Jump to content
News Ticker
  • NPAs under PM Modi's Mudra scheme jumped 126% in FY19
  • shows RTI
  • RTI query reveals banking frauds of ₹ 2.05 Trillion reported in the last 11 years
  • 509 per cent rise in cases under child labour law: Study
  • The Central Information Commission has allowed disclosure of file notings on the mercy petition of a rape and murder convict, rejecting the government's contention that the records cannot be disclosed as these are privileged documents under Article 74(2) of the Constitution.
  • Electoral bonds worth over ₹5,800 crore were bought by donors to fund political parties between March 1, 2018 and May 10, 2019, a Right to Information reply has said.
  • Don't pay 500/- for answer sheet now- Supreme Court says if Answer sheet is asked under RTI, RTI Fees will be governed
Atul Patankar

Wajahat Habibullah to complete term as CIC

Recommended Posts

Atul Patankar

As reported by Raminder Singh at mynews.in on 04 Dec 2009

 

New Delhi: The Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah has consented to withdraw his resignation from the office to the President of India. Wajahat Habibullah, who had resigned as the ChiefInformation Commissioner of India, on 20th Oct 2009 was supposed to take up his new assignment as the watchdog to the Right To Information in Jammu and Kashmir on Oct 26.

 

 

 

According to informed sources the development was consequent to the criminal notice issued today by the Supreme Court of India in a contempt of court motion filed against Shri Habibullah by the Solicitor General of India citing 2 recent decisions of the CentralInformation Commission ordering the court's Public Information Officer to disclose cerrtain information pertaining to the recent appointment of some judges of the court. If Habibullah had taken up his new assignment in J&K he would have had to defend the case in his personal capacity.

 

 

The Union of India has alleged that the publication on the CIC's website of these controversial decisions containing scandalous pleadings of the appellant has tended to lower the dignity of the Court and interfere in the administration of justice by busybodies in collaboration with the CentralInformation Commission.

 

 

 

Commenting on Mr Habibullah's watchdog role in Jammu and Kashmir, a source in the PMO had said. "His essential task would be to help the government in consolidating the dialogue process with Kashmiri separatists with whom he has a personal equation,". Tragically now the peace process must defer to a legal process.

 

Source: Wajahat Habibullah to complete term as CIC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sidmis

> If Habibullah had taken up his new assignment in J&K he would have had to defend the case in his personal capacity.

 

If this story is true, then I feel this is the the easy way out for all. The reasons given are just a subterfuge.

 

The Real gainers are the Kashmiris. Nevertheless they will Sorely miss a bleeding heart like Sir Wajahat. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atul Patankar

As reported by CJ Delhi-High-Court-infowire at merinews.com on 06 December 2009

 

THE SUPREME Court on Friday (December 4), issued notice to India's Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah on a criminal contempt petition filed by the Union of India and mentioned by attorney general GE Vahanavati.

 

The petition alleges that publication of two controversial decisions on the website of the Central Information Commission lowers the dignity of the court and interferes in the administration of justice. The petition also alleges that the two CIC decisions were in fact written by Prashanth Bhushan advocate for the appellant one Subhash Chandra Agrawal.

The contempt petition goes on to state that the appellant Subhash Chandra Agrawal is a professional information seeker fronting for a coterie of Supreme Court advocates styled as ‘Committee for Judicial Accountability’ seeking to promote a few candidates for judgeship and the CIC is collaborating with busybodies bent on tarnishing the court's image.

 

Habibullah has now decided to stay on as chief information commissioner to answer these charges levied against him in his personal capacity.

 

The Supreme Court had decided to take the unusual step of staying the CIC's orders directed against it for the reason that Agrawal's right to information (RTI) appeal had raised queries concerning the passing over of Chief Justice AP Shah of the Delhi High Court who is himself hearing a previous matter of Agrawal's in the Delhi High Court versus the apex court.

Source: Contempt notice to CIC Habibullah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atul Patankar
>If this story is true, then I feel this is the the easy way out for all. The reasons given are just a subterfuge.

 

If at all this news turns out to be true,

The petition also alleges that the two CIC decisions were in fact written by Prashanth Bhushan advocate for the appellant one Subhash Chandra Agrawal.

is a very serious charge. If the Solicitor General has really made this charge, he should actually start the process of removing him under section 14 simultaneously!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rajub

The petition also alleges that the two CIC decisions were in fact written by Prashanth Bhushan advocate for the appellant one Subhash Chandra Agrawal.

 

The contempt petition goes on to state that the appellant Subhash Chandra Agrawal is a professional information seeker fronting for a coterie of Supreme Court advocates styled as ‘Committee for Judicial Accountability’ seeking to promote a few candidates for judgeship and the CIC is collaborating with busybodies bent on tarnishing the court's image.

 

 

I guess defamation notices by Wajahat Habibullah, Prashant Bhushan and Subhashchandra Agarwal will be shortly issued. My guess is based on what is stated in the news.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karira

The news about the Contempt notices is correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sidmis

Somehow I have a feeling that this news item has some truth in it though it is a little bit twisted. This considering the placatory statements from Wajahat himself and other similar media reports.

 

Notwithstanding the allegations made by Attorny General, I find these impugned orders by the CIC are in true spirit of RTI Act and the information sought by the SC Agrawal must be disclosed to general public.

 

The RTI act itself provides a mild protection to all the parties involved. Let's see what would be wajahat's defence.

 

Sec. 21 "No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made thereunder."

 

The sad part is all these so called 'Turf wars' have a damaging effect on the RTI Act.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atul Patankar

How come the main line media is neglecting this news even 10 days after it was reported by citizen journalists?

 

Is there a gag order?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karira

As reported by Arif Shafi Wani in greaterkashmir.com on 03 January 2009:

Wajahat keen to take over as JK’s CIC | Greater Kashmir Daily English Newspaper from Kashmir Online News Channel - Daily News - Live Updates

 

Wajahat keen to take over as JK’s CIC

 

Dispels Reports About Contempt As ‘Bundle Of Lies’

 

Srinagar, Jan 2: The chief information commissioner of India, Wajahat Habibullah, on Saturday expressed hope to take over as head of the Information Commission of Jammu and Kashmir soon saying he was eager to assume the assignment.

 

“I am eager and enthused to assume the new role in Jammu and Kashmir. But let the Central Government name my successor first,” Habibullah told Greater Kashmir on phone from New Delhi.

 

Pertinently, Habibullah had served as the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, and played a pivotal role in achieving a breakthrough during the Hazratbal siege in early ’90s.

 

“I want to serve the people of Jammu and Kashmir again. I hope the Right to Information will empower them and make the system more transparent and accountable,” he said.

 

Official sources said a meeting held last month between the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Lal Krishen Advani, and the Law Minister, Veerappa Moily, had remained inconclusive. Since then, no meeting took place due to Christmas and New Year celebrations. “The meeting will be held soon and even the candidates have been short listed for the coveted post,” they said.

 

The State Government has recently constituted the State Information Commission after which the governor, N N Vohra, appointed Habibullah as its first head. The government has also appointed the Special Secretary (Home), Ghazanfar Hussain, as the Secretary of the Commission. The governor also appointed the first appellate authority and public information officer in the Raj Bhavan.

 

Habibullah refuted the reports that the Supreme Court had initiated contempt proceedings against him. A newspaper had reported that the Apex Court had shot notice to Habibullah in a contempt motion filed by the Solicitor General of India, “blurring his chances of taking over as first Information Commissioner of Jammu and Kashmir by the end of this year.”

 

Wajahat had resigned as the CIC on October 20, 2009 to pave the way for appointment of the new CIC of India. But the report, quoting sources, had said that due to the contempt notices “the president of India, Pratibha Patil, had asked him to withdraw his resignation and complete the term. President’s office took the decision and thereafter consulted Wajahat who agreed to the same. If Wajahat would have taken up this new assignment in Jammu and Kashmir, he would have had to defend the contempt case in his personal capacity.”

 

“I am saying with confidence that the report is nothing but a bundle of lies. All speculations and misconceptions will be put to rest once I assume the new assignment,” Habibullah said.

 

This is not the first time that Habibullah faced roadblocks on way to assume the new job in the state. Last year, an RTI activist of Jammu had filed a Public Interest Litigation petition challenging his appointment on the grounds that he was not a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the High Court had dismissed the petition saying no public interest was involved in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karira

As reported by PTI in ptinews.com on 04 January 2010:

fullstory

 

Notice to PM for not accepting resignation of CIC

 

New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) An RTI activist today opposed continuance of Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah in office despite his resignation three months ago.

 

RTI activist, Mumbai-based Girish Mittal today sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard and has attached a legal advice given by Law Ministry to the Department of Personnel and Training on the process to be adapted at the time of Information Commissioners demitting their office.

 

"He (Habibullah) continues in office, presumably on the ground that the President of India has not yet accepted his resignation...this position is not tenable in law as the DoPT, in the case of Omita Paul, has sought a Legal opinion and also acted on it in a manner which is contrary to that applied in the case of Wajahat Habibullah," the notice reads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
karira

As reported by PTI in dnaindia.com on 14 February 2010:

Habibullah to continue as chief information commissioner - dnaindia.com

 

Habibullah to continue as chief information commissioner

 

New Delhi: Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah today expressed his inability to join the newly constituted Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission as its chief citing the Centre's reservations in relieving him from the post.

 

Habibullah called on chief minister Omar Abdullah today to convey the message, prompting the state government to start a hunt for his alternative as the National Conference-Congress coalition is steadfast in setting up a RTI panel at the earliest.

 

Habibullah had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who advised him to reconsider his decision of joining the first Sate Information Commission of militancy torn Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.

 

Omar then decided that Jammu and Kashmir government withdrew its offer to Habibullah as he could not get the Centre's nod to relive him from the current position, leaving no option for the state but to look for other alternatives for the post.

 

Habibullah, who will turn 65 in September this year, has just seven months left if he had taken up the new assignment in the state, the sources said. He had tendered his resignation in October to president Pratibha Patil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atul Patankar

As reported at dnaindia.com on 14 February 2010

 

Habibullah to continue as chief information commissioner

 

New Delhi: Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah today expressed his inability to join the newly constituted Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission as its chief citing the Centre's reservations in relieving him from the post.

Habibullah called on chief minister Omar Abdullah today to convey the message, prompting the state government to start a hunt for his alternative as the National Conference-Congress coalition is steadfast in setting up a RTI panel at the earliest.

Habibullah had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who advised him to reconsider his decision of joining the first Sate Information Commission of militancy torn Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.

Omar then decided that Jammu and Kashmir government withdrew its offer to Habibullah as he could not get the Centre's nod to relive him from the current position, leaving no option for the state but to look for other alternatives for the post.

Habibullah, who will turn 65 in September this year, has just seven months left if he had taken up the new assignment in the state, the sources said. He had tendered his resignation in October to president Pratibha Patil.

 

Source: Habibullah to continue as chief information commissioner - dnaindia.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atul Patankar

As reported by Krishnadas Rajgopal at indianexpress.com on Feb 15, 2010.

 

The UPA Government, for the time being, cannot find anyone to fit in the shoes of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah, the senior bureaucrat who pioneered the apex transparency panel at the beginning of the Right to Information wave in the country. This has put an end to months of speculation and lobbying after Habibullah put in his papers in October 2009 to take up a new assignment as RTI head of Jammu and Kashmir on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s request.

 

“I met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few days back. He told me to continue because they have not been able to find me a successor,” Habibullah told The Indian Express on Sunday. Now, Habibullah will continue as the CIC till the end of September 2010 when his term ends.

 

But the Prime Minister’s words, Habibullah admits, comes as a disappointment for him personally. “Obviously, I wanted to go there (J&K),” said Habibullah, a 1968-batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, who had several memorable stints in the state between 1968 and 1982.

 

Omar’s move to bring him in was seen as a fillip to RTI in the state. After taking over, Omar had listed the implementation of the state’s version of RTI Act as one of his priorities, and Habibullah was his pointsman. Habibullah says the government’s indecision has in fact trampled on several reformative ideas he had nurtured for RTI practices in J&K. “There is not much purpose in me going there (J&K) now. The time was best when I had put in my papers. I would have had a full year there and could have contributed something. Now, what could I do with just some seven months left for my retirement,” Habibullah said.

 

He said he had already broken the news to Omar. “I went and met young Omar and told him I’m not coming. I told him that I could not do much in seven months,” he said.

 

Asked whether the PM had explained to him the reason behind the delay in finding a successor, Habibullah said: “It was a brief meeting. I could not start asking him for details, but he told me that they could not find the right names.” He added: “I have already put in my papers, now all those details have to be worked out again.”

 

Anyway things don’t happen the way you see it. This is when I remember the last words of Scarlet O’ Hara in Gone With The Wind, where she says ‘After all tomorrow is another day’,” Habibullah signs off.

 

Source: Habibullah to stay as CIC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      File notings under RTI after debate with section of society: Wajahat Habibullah
       
      Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said if the government decides to bring the bill to keep file notings outside the purview of the Right To Information (RTI) Act in the winter session, it will only be after debate with all sections of the society.
       
      "The civil society and the government are the decision makers on the Act. The Central Information Commission job is only to implement the Act, ' Habibullah said speaking at an interactive session on Right to Information Amendment Bill, 2006 organised by the NGO CUTS International.
       
       
       
      He said that all government departments have been directed to make a comprehensive compliance report of Section 4 of the Act dealing with maintaining data and information catalogue of information related to the department and submit it to CIC. The report will be submitted to the Parliament in the forthcoming winter session.
       
      Arvind Kejriwal, CEO of Parivartan and 2006 Magsaysay Award winner, said that the amendments do not pertain to file notings only as has been projected in the media. "If the amendments come through, the government will be able to keep the entire country out of the decision-making process. This is because the amendments provide that the departments will not give information on any issue till such time the matter is completed," Kejriwal said.
       
      Another important lacuna, he said, was that even after the decision was made, the entire information would not be provided and only file notings related to social and development work will be available. "So, if a citizen wants to know the status of his ration card or passport he would not get any information because this did not pertain to any social or developmental work," Kejriwal said.
       
      Also, all matters related to personnel will be out of the purview of RTI.
      Any information related to examinations process will also not be shown, he said.
       
      Pradeep S Mehta, secretary general of CUTS International, urged CIC to take up the role of advocacy given the extremely low public awareness on the usage of the act. [sourse: Business Standerd Aricle published dated 15th Sept 2006]
    • ganpat1956
      By ganpat1956
      Kolkata, April 2 (PTI): The full bench of the Central Information Commission will decide whether documents consulted by enquiry panels probing the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose should be disclosed, Information Commissioner A N Tiwari has said.
       
      Tiwari conveyed this recently to Mission Netaji, a Delhi-based organisation campaigning to access information on the disappearance of the icon of the freedom movement, while hearing its appeal in this regard.
       
      Giving a "final chance" to the Union home ministry to come clear on the issue, Tiwari asked it to provide an adequate explanation from the ministerial level on why documents sought by Mission Netaji could not be made public.
       
      All documents on the basis of which the two inquiry panels led by Shah Nawaz Khan (1956) and G D Khosla (1970-74) made their decisions have been kept secret by the government.
       
      Tiwari's directive came close on the heels of Information Commissioner O P Kejriwal directing the external affairs ministry to provide Mission Netaji's Anuj Dhar copies of its correspondence with the Sovet Union and later Russia on Netaji's disappearance.
       
      "If adequate explanations are not provided, the Commission will be compelled to direct the disclosure of all documents in question," Kejriwal said.
       
      Last year, Home Minister Shivraj Patil announced in Parliament that investigations conducted by Khan and Khosla were more credible than that of Justice M K Mukherjee who headed another panel that probed Netaji's disappearance.
       
      Following Patil's announcement, Mission Netaji's Sayantan Dasgupta filed a petition with the home ministry to seek copies of all documents examined by the Khan and Khosla panels.
       
      "Our case has been that these enquiries made selective use of evidence to arrive at the conclusion to suit the government's view that Netaji died in Taipei," Dasgupta claimed.
       
      In response, the home ministry refused to provide documents, taking recourse to secion 8 1(a) of the RTI Act, which exempts the release of information information which can "prejudicially affect sovereignty and integrity of India", "relations with a foreign state" or "lead to incitement of offence".
       
      Dasgupta then filed a complaint with the CIC. In its first hearing in October last year, home ministry officials said they were not aware of the documents examined by the earlier panels as they, unlike the Mukherjee Commission, had not appended any list of exhibits.
       
      Tiwari then directed Dasgupta to revise the original application to demand specific documents. Accordingly, Mission Netaji filed a revised petition with a list of 202 documents used as exhibits by the Khosla Commission in its arguments section.
       
      At the latest hearing last week, home ministry officials were to appear with the papers but instead came with a secret note from Home Secretary V K Duggal, who has since retired.
       
      Irked at the letter that reiterated the same arguments using Section 8 1(a), Tiwari said: "The issue is far too important to be decided in an ad hoc manner at the level of the home secretary. I am not prepared to allow an omnibus recourse to Section 8 1(a)."
       
      The CIC assured the appellant that Indians had every right to have full information on their hero.
       
      The Hindu News Update Service

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy