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]
A Supreme Court lawyer has moved the Central Information Commission seeking information on the procedure of the recruitment of class III and IV employees in the Delhi High Court after it was denied by its administration.
Advocate Kamini Jaiswal approached the CIC contending that orders of the High Court Public Information Officer and Chief Public Information Officer (First Appellate Authority) refusing to part away with the information was a violation of the Right to Information Act and also her Fundamental Rights.
She alleged that information had been denied for erroneous reasons and none of the exemption available under Section 8 of the Act allows the authority not to part away with the information sought.
The lawyer had filed the application before the Public Information Officier on September 22, 2006 seeking information regarding number of class III and class IV employees recruited by the Court from the year 1990 to 2006 and the procedure followed for their recruitment.
The High Court PIO while denying the information held that information pertaining to those decisions which were taken administratively or quasi-judicially would be available only to the affected parties.
The lawyer then approached Appellate Authority challenging the PIO order contending that the High Court (Right to information) Rules were inconsistent with the provision of the Right to Information Act and it should be held void.
But the Appellate Authority refused to accept the contention of the lawyer and dismissed her appeal. Now the lawyer has moved Central Information Commission against this order.
CIC moved on recruitment procedure of High Court .:. NewKerala.Com, India News Channel