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karira

Complaints against Supreme Court and variopus High Courts for Sec 4 disclosure and the RTI Rules violating the basic RTI Act

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jps50

Just superb efforts to ensure that courts also follow laws framed by parliament.

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karira

As reported by Aneesha Sareen in indianexpress.com on 11 March 2010:

RTI fee: District courts follow two rules

 

RTI fee: District courts follow two rules

 

Utter confusion prevails in the district courts over the fee charged for applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 

The Public Information Officer (PIO) designated with the court of District and Sessions Judge charges Rs 10 per RTI application.

 

But the PIO designated with the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate charges Rs 50 per application despite a notification by the Chandigarh Administration last year, which reduced the rate to Rs 10 per RTI query.

 

The anomalies came to light following a few RTI applications filed by Newsline in the district courts.

 

An application seeking information about a particular case was accepted by the PIO of the Court of District Sessions Judge with Rs 10 as the fee.

 

But another application in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate was dismissed, as the fee of Rs 10 was “not acceptable”.

 

“As per the Chandigarh Union Territory Subordinate Court Rules, 2007, the applicant is required to affix the adhesive court fee of Rs 50 and then seek the information as desired,” the reply reads.

 

In May last year, the Administration had reduced the enhanced fee of Rs 50 to Rs 10. This was done after RTI activist Hemant Goswami had protested and filed a civil writ petition in the High Court against the hike.

 

Subsequently, on May 21, the Administration had informed the High Court that they had decided to reduce the fee according to the Central Government rules. An amended notification was sent to all the departments concerned, including the district courts.

 

But the district courts continued to charge Rs 50 per RTI query on the pretext that they had not received a High Court notification, amending its 2007 order, which enhanced the fee.

 

“We ourselves are confused over the fee,” a court official said. “We did receive the notification of the Administration to charge Rs 10 but notification from the High Court to amend their order of 2007 has not been received.”

 

Goswami said: “The rules they are following are illegal and a blatant misuse of power. The order by the High Court to impose Rs 50 is not meant for subordinate courts.”

 

Fee can be paid only through court stamp

 

Further, an RTI applicant is asked to pay the fee only through court stamp. According to the RTI Act, the fee can be paid through postal order, cash or demand draft. Also, the choice of the mode of payment rests with the applicant.

 

“Any person intending to obtain information from any Public Information Officer (PIO) is required to pay the prescribed application fee by way of cash against proper receipt or by demand draft or banker’s cheque or Indian Postal Order payable to the Accounts Officer of that public authority,” the RTI Act reads.

 

But in absence of a designated authority to collect the fee, the applicants can only pay the fee through the court stamp — all PIOs in district courts ask applicants to buy court stamps.

 

============

 

Posters Note:

 

The confusion is because under Sec 27 and 28 of the RTI Act, the "competent authority" can make rules to carry forward the Act and prescribe fees. Various Chief Justices of the High Courts have framed RTI Rules and Fees for the subordinate courts also - although as per definition in Sec 2(e), the Chief Justice is the competent authority only for the High Court.

 

This forms a part of my above mentioned Complaints under Sec 18 made to the CIC.

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Sunil_Gupta

Mr. Karira,

 

I would like to know what was the fate of these complaints made against respective Courts. Did the Court amend its rules, wrongly framed by them.

 

Like in the present writ petition, the High Court has challenged the jurisdiction & authority of UIC, to declare the rules framed by HC as illegal or ultra vires.

 

Can a complaint be made in this respect to the Information Commission.

 

Regards.

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Ketan Modi

Karira Sir,

 

This is just the greatest effort on behalf of the RTI community. We all are indebted to you for ever.

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karira
Mr. Karira,

 

I would like to know what was the fate of these complaints made against respective Courts. Did the Court amend its rules, wrongly framed by them.

 

Like in the present writ petition, the High Court has challenged the jurisdiction & authority of UIC, to declare the rules framed by HC as illegal or ultra vires.

 

Can a complaint be made in this respect to the Information Commission.

 

Regards.

 

 

The Complaints have been made directly to the CIC under Sec 18.

 

As per the status on the CIC website, they are in the "scrutiny" stage.

 

I still have to do 4 more Complaints - 2 each against Sikkim High Court and 2 against Uttarakhand High Court.

 

Actually, all the High Courts have some Rule or the other which violates the fundamental principles of the RTI Act. However, for this purpose, I have only complained against those HC's which have major violations.

By now you would have understood that it is only the CIC which has jurisdiction over the various High Courts - not the respective SIC's. In your case, SIC should not have heard the matter in the first place. However, since the SIc order is in your favour, do not raise this issue at this stage.

 

 

 

This is just the greatest effort on behalf of the RTI community. We all are indebted to you for ever.

 

Thanks for your appreciation.

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karira

As reported by Dhananjay Mahapatra of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 01 April 2010:

Article Window

Good Certificate

 

CIC compliments SC on implementing RTI

 

 

New Delhi:The Supreme Court may well savour this pat on the back from the Central Information Commission, which in a rare ‘good’ certificate has congratulated the apex court for being the leader among public authorities in complying with RTI Act provisions.

 

This appreciation in the form an order comes from the Right to Information watchdog after a series of its decisions damned the apex court for being obtrusive to information about judiciary and judges.

 

In fact, the CIC has said that the apex court has taken the lead in implementing the provisions of the RTI Act, in which respect many public authorities have so far been found lacking.

 

Incidentally, this certificate came on a petition filed by the known baiter for apex court on RTI front, S C Agrawal, who had alleged that the SC had not implemented the RTI Act provisions in letter and spirit.

 

After his RTI application was dealt with by the CPIO of the the Supreme Court, a dissatisfied Agrawal had moved the appellate authority in the SC. Finally, he had moved the CIC seeking appropriate directions to the SC for “specifying a time frame” by which it will fully comply with the various sections of the RTI Act.

 

This request was preceded by a question, “Is it true that SC has not complied with provisions of Section 4 of the RTI Act for providing necessary information on its website?”

 

Appearing for the SC, advocate Devadatt Kamat submitted a download of the website of the Supreme Court giving details of the apex court’s functions.

 

Chief Information Commission Wajahat Habibullah perused the details and passed an order congratulating both the Supreme Court and Agrawal for their endeavour towards implementation of the RTI Act. In fact, the CIC noted that the apex court was way ahead of other public bodies.

 

Habibullah’s March 18 order said: “Both parties deserve congratulations, Agrawal for having agitated the subject thereby registering public interest in a matter of vital importance to the successful implementation of the mandate of the RTI Act, 2005, and the Registry of the Supreme Court of India for having taken a lead in an action in which many public authorities are still far from perfect.”

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karira

Can someone please help me in locating the correct link on the Supreme Court website where the Sec 4 disclosure is made ?

 

I tried: Welcome to the Official Website of the Supreme Court of India and there is no RTI link anywhere on the home page.

 

Then I tried the "Other Links" : Supreme Court of India - Other links

 

A new page opens.

 

There is a RTI Act link available there. When that link is clicked, the following is the only information displayed:

 

Right to Information Act

 

 

 

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 

The following officers have been appointed as Central Public Information Officer and the First Appellate Authority for Supreme Court of India under under Section 5(1) and under Section 19(1) of Right to Information Act, 2005 with effect from 1st February, 2007.

 

Shri Raj Pal

Additional Registrar/

Central Public Information Officer

Supreme Court of India, New Delhi.

Tel. No.23384041/ Fax No.23383792

e-mail:supremecourt@nic.in

 

Shri M.K.Gupta

Registrar / First Appellate Authority

Supreme Court of India, New Delhi.

Tel. No.23381581/ Fax No.23383792

e-mail:supremecourt@nic.in

 

Please help in giving the link which is referred to in the above post and for which CIC has congratulated the Supreme Court for its Sec 4 implementation.

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Sunil_Gupta

Hello Mr. Karira,

 

I am not sure but is the link you are referring to:-

 

Right to Information

 

Regards.

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karira

Sunil,

 

That is a general article on the RTI Act.

Where is the Sec 4 suo-motu disclosure referred to in the news report - for which the CIC congratulated the SC ?

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taurus

Perhaps we have to ask CIC! I also searched the site for quite some time. All that I could find which may come some what close to the disclosures under Sec 4 is under the link - Registry. It gives details of the organisational structure, facilities available, pay scales, telephone directory and officials/officers under SC. That is all.

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karira

Taurua,

 

Here is the direct link to the "information" on the SC website:

 

Supreme Court of India - Registry

 

 

The list of Sec 4(1)(b) disclosures are :

 

i. the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties;

ii. the powers and duties of its officers and employees;

iii. the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability;

iv. the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions;

v. the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions;

vi. a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control;

vii. the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof;

viii. a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public;

ix. a directory of its officers and employees;

x. the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;

xi. the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;

xii. the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;

xiii. particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it;

xiv. details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form;

xv. the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use;

xvi. the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers;

xvii. such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year;

 

members/guests can compare for themselves item by item and decide whether Congratulations were in order or not !

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taurus

This is the link that I wrote about. It is an apology of Sec 4 disclosure, to say the least. Ofcourse, it does not claim to be a disclosure under RTI. We really do not know what was shown to the CIC and what was appreciated.

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debnanda

Dear Karira,

Superb effort to uplift the nation's pride, it's rules should be topping all even Court of Law.

I Thank You.

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nr_mohanraam

thank you for your action , very good.nr_mohanraam. salem-2

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nr_mohanraam

..under section 4

111111.pdf

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lakshminarayanan

dear members

yes, i quite agree with this posting.

i have a similar bad experience with madras high court.

one APIO has the temerity to ask me to appear before her to verify (?) my signature and address.

i have filed complaint to state IC because such a procedure is not contemplated in the act and APIO is not empowered to ask for such verification.

the high court is quite tardy in replying to RTI petitions.

in many high courts, separate procedure is there for giving certified copies of court papers. the cic has ruled that these procedures are not in conflict with RTI procedure. what to do?

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lakshminarayanan

dear members

i am sorry that i am not able to agreewith mr.karira on one point - on the jurisdiction of the state ic.

i believe that there is no hierarchy in the appeal mechanism in the RTI act. i believe that state ic has equal jurisdiction over respective high court. may be the CIC has JURisdiction over all the high courts in the country.

the act does not say that CIC IS ANYWAY superior to state ic.

in fact, i have filed a complaint against madras high court to state ic and they have taken cognisance. in fact, CIC stated that they do not have jurisdiction in the matter, once you appeal to state ic.

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karira

i am sorry that i am not able to agreewith mr.karira on one point - on the jurisdiction of the state ic.

i believe that there is no hierarchy in the appeal mechanism in the RTI act. i believe that state ic has equal jurisdiction over respective high court. may be the CIC has JURisdiction over all the high courts in the country.

the act does not say that CIC IS ANYWAY superior to state ic.

in fact, i have filed a complaint against madras high court to state ic and they have taken cognisance. in fact, CIC stated that they do not have jurisdiction in the matter, once you appeal to state ic.

 

The High Courts were set by an Act of Parliament.

Read the definition of "PA" in Sec 2(h).

If the public authority is set by an Act of parliament, then the jurisdiction for hearing second appeals / complaints falls only with the CIC - not SIC.

The CIC has already passed a reasoned order stating that only CIC has jurisdiction to hear appeals/complaints against all HC's.

It has been referred to and quoted in various complaints attached above.

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