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karira

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee comes under RTI :HC

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karira

As reported by PTI in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 24 July 2010:

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee comes under RTI :HC - Delhi - City - The Times of India

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee comes under RTI :HC

 

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has held that Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is a public authority making it mandatory to reveal information under the RTI Act.

 

Justice S Muralidhar dismissed the plea of the committee for not bringing it within the ambit of the transparency law.

 

The committee had approached the court after the Central Information Commission had directed it to reveal information sought under the RTI Act and set up the necessary infrastructure for the purpose.

 

"This court concurs with the view expressed by the CIC that DSGMC is a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act,'' justice Muralidhar said.

 

The committee contended that it should not be directed to comply with the provisions of RTI Act as it did not get any finance from government.

 

Rejecting its contention, justice Muralidhar said the public authority under Section 2(h) (a) to (d) need not be necessarily, directly or indirectly, substantially financed by funds provided by the appropriate government.

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karira

The last paragraph of the judgment of the Hon'ble Court is way beyond what is stated in the Act !

 

However, considering that the above question of law had not

earlier been examined for its correctness by this Court, this Court

is of the view that the penalty of Rs.25,000/- levied on the General

Manager of the Petitioner may have been a bit too harsh. In the

circumstances, the penalty amount is reduced to Rs.5000/- in both

petitions and directed to be paid by the Petitioner DSGMC itself to

the CIC within a period of two weeks without recovering it from

the salary of its General Manager.

 

1. The Hon'ble court has not given any reasoning as to why is the penalty of Rs 25,000 very harsh.

2. There is no provision in the RTI Act for the PA to bear the penalty. Penalty under Sec 20 has to be borne by the PIO himself and from his own pocket.

 

This part of the judgment sets a very very poor precedent.

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smbhappy

Here it seems a systematic dissolution of the RTI Act by all those who felt threatened by it. The Hornets’ egg was stirred by the SC, went down to Government (Read Manmohan Singh), then to SICs and then to PIOs and FAAs. All are supporting the act of each other and weakening the Act. The only tooth available with the CIC has been damaged.

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taurus

A very nice judgment. The relaxation in the penalty is in keeping with the status of the PA. Perhaps a saving grace!

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colnrkurup

The decision of the High Court on penalty aspect is too bad and not in commensurate with the remaining wise interpretation of Section 2(h). Justice Muralidhar's orders are in tune with our friend SG's orders where SG after finding the PIO guilty of denying an information without any reasonable cause leaving him with an a punishment of 'warning' (with no instruction to record it in his dossier) which is outside his powers.

In this case. I don't think the PIO pleaded the punishment as harsh or sought any reduction of fine. Justice Muralidhar after upholding the decisions of the CIC is not expected to make CIC's orders null and void by exonerating the PIO from payment of fine. In practical sense the PIO being not made to pay the penalty,the extend of penalty ie., Rs.25000/- or Rs.5000/- is immaterial to the PIO thus nullifying the very basic structure of penalty under RTI Act. I don't think the fine of Rs.5000/- will sustain if the SGMC approach the Supreme Court as the SGMC cannot be fined in RTI Cases for no fault of theirs. Similarly I could not follow as to why the HC order payment of the fine to CIC. The CIC does not collect fine. It appears that the High Court is not aware that penalty go to government treasury.

 

It has introduced far too many undesirable precedence . Anyway I fully appreciate the view taken by Mr.Tulsi. This is a new angle. The HC has wisely taken the stand that if Mr.Tulsi's stand is accepted, it amount to making financing a precondition for 2(h)(a) to ©to be effective.

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rajub

I was having a general chat with my lawyer friend (practising in HC).

 

I could not believe when he named few judges who habitually pass one line judgments "dismissed". But there was no reason he should make such a statement.

 

But few days later I myself saw a shocking HC judgement where in a poor female worker was denied a basic relief "the stay order over prima facie illegal recovery order from her employer". The HC said the recovery can be made first and the case for the legality of the recovery will continue. This order was passed by a female judge. Since I knew the details of the case I was stunned after going through the judgment.

 

Another instance. Maharashtra SIC has ordered the Govt. to furnish the assets details of an IAS officer. The HC while granting the stay order commented. "The motive of the applicant has to be looked into". We all know the RTI Act specifically provide that applicant need not give any reason for seeking the information.

 

If my memory serves me correct Shri Subramanyam Swamy (or his advocate) had bluntly told the SC (in Ramsetu case) the personal beliefs of a judge cannot decide the fate of a litigation when the Court asked "who worships Ramsetu?"

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akhilesh yadav

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC)

 

Reported by Syed Ali Ahmed in tribuneindia.com on 13 Sept 2012

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Delhi and neighbourhood

 

New Delhi, September 13

In a judgement, the Delhi High Court considered the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) a "public authority" that had come under the jurisdiction of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, dismissing the appeal of the gurdwara committee that the DSGMC was not a public authority as it did not receive funds from the government.

The judgement was given by a double bench of the High Court in an appeal case filed by the DSGMC against the judgement of the single bench of the High Court that had held the gurdwara committee to be a "public authority" with the meaning of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act, 2005, on August 22, 2010.

 

In the appeal, advocate of the DSGMC K.T.S Tulsi said that in Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, the words "and includes any" occurring after Section 2(h) (d) have to be read conjunctively. Therefore, even if a body fell within the definition of a public authority under Section 2(h) (a) to (d), such a body would have to be substantially financed directly or indirectly by funds provided by the government.

 

In its order, the court said, "We, thus, do not find any merit in these appeals, which are accordingly dismissed." The order said, "Once we read the definition of 'public authority' in Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, obvious conclusion would be that the appellant is a 'public authority' as it is constituted by the Act of Parliament. Undeniably, the appellant is a statutory body under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1971. It is not a body made under any law, but a body made by the Act of Parliament. The learned single judge as rightly pointed out that there is a distinction between the use of the words 'by any law made by Parliament' and 'by or under the Constitution'. Parliament has consciously not used the words 'by or under' in sub-clause (b) of Section 2(h)."

 

The order further said, "We are in agreement with the aforesaid view. We, thus, hold that once it is found that an authority or body or institution of self-government is established in any manner prescribed in clause (a) to (d) of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, there is no further requirement of such a body to be either owned or controlled or substantially financed by any appropriate government."

 

In this case, the respondent was jathedar Kuldep Singh Bhogal, national organising secretary of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

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harinder dhingra

Is anybody aware of any Stay Order granted to SGPC by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the above mentioned judgment of Hon'ble Delhi HC???

 

Do enlighten as it is very important.

 

harinder dhingra

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karira
Is anybody aware of any Stay Order granted to SGPC by Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the above mentioned judgment of Hon'ble Delhi HC???

 

Do enlighten as it is very important.

 

harinder dhingra

 

Tried searching on the SC website.

Cant find any pending case.

You can also try searching there.

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harinder dhingra

Thanks Mr Karira.

 

I have done searching in SC website already but could not find anything.

 

In one case when I quoted the Hon'ble Delhi HC double bench order (LPA 606 & 607 of 2010) titled SGPC Vs others which declared SGPC to be a publc authority under RTI Act 2005, the opposite party submitted that the same has been stayed but could not produce the copy of it and sought four weeks time thus gaining four weeks more to be declared under RTI Act 2005.

 

harinder dhingra

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karira
Thanks Mr Karira.

 

I have done searching in SC website already but could not find anything.

 

In one case when I quoted the Hon'ble Delhi HC double bench order (LPA 606 & 607 of 2010) titled SGPC Vs others which declared SGPC to be a publc authority under RTI Act 2005, the opposite party submitted that the same has been stayed but could not produce the copy of it and sought four weeks time thus gaining four weeks more to be declared under RTI Act 2005.

 

harinder dhingra

 

Was that in the CIC or SIC or some Court ?

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harinder dhingra

Haryana SIC in the case of harinder dhingra vs ITM, Gurgaon Haryana

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karira
Haryana SIC in the case of harinder dhingra vs ITM, Gurgaon Haryana

 

Haryana SIC was incorrect in adjourning the case for 4 weeks to enable the respondent to get a copy of the stay order.

 

The hearing must have taken place after a due "Notice of Hearing". Both the petitioner and respondent had the written submissions of each other. Both should have come prepared with all citations and should not have wasted time and money of the SIC. If the respondent did not have the stay order number or the reference, then the SIC should have simply ignored it.

 

The same thing happened with me in a matter before Ex-IC MLS in the CIC. I strongly objected and openly stated that this a ruse by the respondent to buy extra time so that they can get more time to use extraneous consideration, pressure and blackmail on the Commission/er and the petitioner. The commission cannot go be heresay of someone and even remotely agree that such a thing is true. IC MLS agreed but sadly nothing of this was reflected in the final order.

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  • Similar Content

    • karira
      By karira
      As reported by TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 29 November 2009:
      CIC slaps fine of Rs 57,500 on Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee - Delhi - City - The Times of India
       
      CIC slaps fine of Rs 57,500 on Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee
       
       
      NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped a fine of Rs 57,500 on the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for its failure to reply to three RTI applications.
       
      Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Prabandh Sudhar Committee member Kuldip Singh Bhogal in a press conference on Saturday informed that the CIC has imposed a penalty of Rs 57,500 for non-furnishing of information under RTI Act in three different complaints by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC).
       
      Bhogal said there were reports of illegal transfer of Guru Harkrishan Hospital, Bala Sahib, in Delhi to one Manipal Group by the office bearers of DSGMC. "An RTI application was filed by the Sudhar Committee seeking a copy of the agreement made with the said Manipal Group. But the information was not provided even after one year. In view of the delay, the CIC in its final hearing passed an order imposing a penalty of Rs 25,000,'' Bhogal said.
       
      "Similarly, in another complaint, the CIC imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on DSGMC for not furnishing the details of the fee paid by it to lawyers to defend the case of illegal postponement of elections of the executive board due in February 2008. A fine of Rs 7,500 was also imposed for delay in providing information in another matter,'' Bhogal added.
       
      When contacted, DSGMC chief PS Sarna rubbished the claims of Bhogal and on the RTI issue, he said, "Our lawyer has told us that we are not covered by the RTI Act as we are a religious body. Thus, we decided not to respond to the RTI applications.''.

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