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Rakesh Vetkar

whether it is nessassary to appear

Question

I am asked to appear personally before CIC for enquiry of my complaint against CPIO and 1st appellate authority

 

MY querry is whether it is nessassary to appear

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Personal appearance will enable you to project your case in a better manner, especially if you had missed any point in your original complaint or if you have discovered any new point in support of your contentions. You should remember that it provides you a due opportunity to present your case in the best possible manner.

 

If you find that the distance and travel makes it a costly process, you can think of attending the hearing through the tele-conferencing mode from the nearest NIC studio.

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RE : Whether it is necessary to appear

 

Under section 18(3) of RTI ACT 2005, CIC is empowered like a Judge in Civil Court while trying a suit under Civil Procedure Code. You have not just "asked" to attend - you should treat as "being summoned" by a Judge of the court. You must attend.

 

As ganpat1956 has suggested, such personal attendance will help you to give any late or fresh discovery of material fact related to your case u/s 18(3)(b) of RTI ACT 2005.

 

CHEERS !

Debashis

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I disagree that you are "being summoned" to appear. If you look at the CIC decisions on its web site, you will find that in a substantial number of cases the petitioner is not there, either in person or on video conference.

 

You DO NOT have to appear. However it is better to appear and present your case, answer any questions the commissioner has, and to rebut any argument made by the opposing party.

 

Satish Gupta

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Friends,

Suppose some one is unable to attend personally due to some reason may be monetary, family problems or any thing else and tele conferencing facility is not there. Whether his appeal will be treated as ex-parte??

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The dictionary meaning of "ex parte" is one sided point of view. But in actual practice like CIC hearings, the decision of the appeal will be made duly taking into account the earlier submissions that have been made by the appellant, though he gives up the opportunity of putting forth any further clarification that the CIC may require.

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Rakesh,

 

You have gone through the Application Stage and the First Appeal stage.

Why do you want to give up now ?

Look at this as a Golden Opportunity !

How many citizens of this country will have the opportunity to appear in person before the CIC in a matter relating to RTI ?

It will be a good experience for you.

If I were in your place , I would never miss this opportunity.

 

There are other members of this forum (I can immediately think of Mr Anuj Dhar of Netaji Mission) who have appeared before the CIC. You can definitely take their guidance and advise before you go and that will give you more confidence.

 

If you do appear, please share the experience with us. It will give members like me a chance to get a first hand account and add to our RTI knowledge.

 

Unless you have compelling reasons for not going, please try to go.

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Dear karira,

Certainly I (in the present circumstances) will not miss the oppurtunity, but I put the query because there may be situation where one may not ( not myself) appear, suppose a person is too old to travel, there is some mishap in the family, there may be shortage of money or any other circumstances where one may not be able to appear the appeal, I liked know what will be fate of the appeal.

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Firstly let me appraise you the legal position. As per Section 18(3)(a) of the Act the CIC can summon and enforce your attendance.

Secondly it is necessary to attend failing which whatever you had submitted in writting is likely to be misinterpretted to your disadvantage. So it is necessary to attend if you can

Thirdly, if you do not attend the case will be decided expartee based on thecontentions in your appeal.

Fourthly, I had projected the same view you had put it, to the CIC and his Legal Advisor. They replied me that the new Regulation allow the appellant to be represented by someone.

To my specic question as to how a poor man can afford to come to Delhi or nominate someone else in his place many times as required in the new so called regulation, his answer was akin to telling a HUNGRY man that " if he cannot afford 'ROTTI' eat ' PIZZA'

The Legal Advisor to CIC Prof KK Nigam is yet to teply me.

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Dear karira,

Certainly I (in the present circumstances) will not miss the oppurtunity, but I put the query because there may be situation where one may not ( not myself) appear, suppose a person is too old to travel, there is some mishap in the family, there may be shortage of money or any other circumstances where one may not be able to appear the appeal, I liked know what will be fate of the appeal.

All CIC communications state "appellant may choose not to remain present". This means that attendance of the appellant during a hearing is optional. However, it would be far better to attend. There is a possibility that the Respondents may raise the "grievance" & "appellants personal problem" dhanda and try to influnce the Commissions. In case its not possible to attend, request for a video conference. NIC offers this facility in most parts of the country. You will have to request the CIC for this.

 

If this is not possible, try to get in touch with some of the RTI Crusaders in Delhi. If they agree to attend, then send all your details and counter arguments to them. Also provide them your phone number etc. so they can contact you if required. Make sure that you give your phone numbers to the CIC also.

 

If every thing fails, the hearing takes place in your absence and you are not happy, you are still free to file a review application ;-)

 

Manoj

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thanks all friends I will be attending the proceedings personally and be sure I will share my experience with all of you the date hearing is 6/12/2007

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That is a good decision Rakesh. You have sufficient time to prepare your case. I would also advise you to get in touch with experienced crusaders like Shri Manoj Pai who have appeared before the CIC on several earlier occassions and take necessary tips and guidance from them. I wish you all the best in your efforts.

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May I request you to read my blog with subject title : TO BE OR NOT TO BE THERE. You will see that how negligently CIC has overlooked "Document missing"" replies to two questions in a decision of last week with Shri Wajahat Habibulla CIC in chair.

 

What are these missing documents ?

 

Is it a 20 year old file ? No. 10 years old ? No.

 

It is supporting evaluation papers by an expert committee of Govt tender of a multi-crore Annual Maintenance Contract awarded for the year 2004 -05 and 2005 -06 !!!!!

 

The appellant was absent in CIC hearing and could not press his point during CIC hearing. Review application before CIC is the only option open now.

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Dear members,

 

I requst some explanation here. If the applicant wants to attend, who will pay for the travel cost? And how will be entitlement of travel etc be decided. I am asking this question because I have seen some instances of the CICI directing the office concerned to take care of the travel epenses of the aplicant who has filed the application with CIC.

 

With regards

 

Akanksha Chopra

 

 

I disagree that you are "being summoned" to appear. If you look at the CIC decisions on its web site, you will find that in a substantial number of cases the petitioner is not there, either in person or on video conference.

 

You DO NOT have to appear. However it is better to appear and present your case, answer any questions the commissioner has, and to rebut any argument made by the opposing party.

 

Satish Gupta

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Iagree with you. It is discrimination that the delinquent PIO and AA travel at government expense as part of their duty and the complainant travel at own expense. As on now there is no orders laying down that thet rvel expenses will be borne by some one else. However there is a provision in Section19(8)(b) of RTI Act which lays down that "the CIC/SIC has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered" The CIC has been invoking this powers in certain cases and has been ordering the public authority to provide travel expenses to the complainant. I do not know whether such expenses were ever paid or not as the public authorities have no separate Head of Account from which such amount could be drawn nor any provision of funds to such account seen made by government in the budge allocation.

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Thanks all friends, its good that someone had thought of travel expenses but when we have started this movement to seek information we had goal set in our mind. a transperent society and for that some cost should be borne by us. So come on friends we are here to fight, fight to the last minute. We know we will win and win for the betterment of this society. and if we work with this intent without vested interest then nothing will distract us.

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Sometimes its seems that RTI india.org is a Bombay to Goa bus that goes via Delhi and Chennai....

 

Great Keep going ....

 

Ms Akanksha Do refer to FAQ and you would find answer to your querry ...

 

I would try to put your querry on the RTI querry thread too...

 

Good Point raised ....Money matters.....

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