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dr.s.malhotra

Bureaucrats’ property details

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dr.s.malhotra

Bureaucrats’ property details

Info panel refers matter to double Bench

Manish Sirhindi/TNS

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110929/haryana.htm#9

Panipat, September 28 [ 2011 ]

The State Information Commission (SIC) has finally referred the issue pertaining to property details of the state bureaucrats to the double Bench which would be taking up the case tomorrow.

In a formal communiqué sent to RTI activist PP Kapoor, the SIC has stated that hearing of the case has been scheduled before the double Bench of the commission comprising Prem Veer Singh and MR Ranga, state information commissioners, for September 29.

The Tribune on August 30 had highlighted the delay in the taking up of the case by the commission, which in February this year had told the applicant that the matter would be referred to the full Bench of the commission for a final decision.

Kapoor had put up a petition before the commission in which he had stated on December 16, 2009, that he had sought information from the SPIO attached with the office of the Chief Secretary to Government of Haryana to provide him with the details of properties owned by all the IAS, IPS, tehsildars, assistant tehsildars, HPS and HCS officers posted in the state at the time of their joining the duty and at the end of 2009.

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dr.s.malhotra

the above matter PP Kapoor vs Chief Secretary Haryana is listed for hearing today , that is , 29-09-2011 at 3 PM . In fact this said matter is to be taken up along with 3 other similar matters from different RTI Applicants and involving requests for Asset details of all Haryana IAS / HCS officers . Significance of the requested Information is clearly visible . Incidentally I happen to one of these Appellants / Applicants for Annual Property Returns of IAS and HCS officers .

 

What I wish to point out here is the time lag between filing of these cases and the date when these are being taken up for hearing . After filing of PP Kapoor vs Chief Secretary Haryana [ case No.312 of 2010 ] more than 3000 cases must have been filed / heard / decided by a conservative estimate .

 

HSIC finally decided to take up the Asset cases of these groups of employees by constituting a full bench in February March 2011 .

 

Apparently this set of cases have been considered UNIQUE !

 

Incidentally , HSIC had ordered disclosure of assets of Sh. DP Jangra [ Distt Food and Supplies Controller Yamuna Nagar ] and his family members on 09-08-2010 [ in RTI Application dated 18-01-2010 ] by RTI Applicant/Appellant Shamsher Singh . Sh. DP Jangra approached Hon'ble HC Pb and Hy in CWP 15964 / 2010 [ DP Jangra vs HSIC & ors. ] which was decided on 06-01-2011 [ more than 8 months back ] and Hon'ble Mr. Justice MS Sullar up-holding the decision of HSIC allowing disclosure of Assets of Sh. DP Jangra .

 

Meanwhile , DoPT , Govt of India , ordered all IAS / IPS officers to submit their Annual Property Returns by 20.04.2011 5PM so that these could be put in public domain on th internet [ it has been done in case of officers who have complied with that order - many have not complied yet ]

 

I then , on 12-8-2011 , filed an RTI Appl with SPIO , HSIC raising queries in relation to long pending cases . In her reply the SPIO , on 07-09-2011 conveyed that no date has been fixed for hearing in Assets cases .

Then , by letter dated 16-9-2011 , I was conveyed by HSIC that the matter was to come up for hearing on 29-9-2011 at 3PM .

 

Haryana State Information Commission (HSIC) is the highest agency in State of Haryana for implementing Right to Information Act .

 

The opening para of preamble of RTI Act reads :

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto

 

Whereas the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic;

 

And whereas democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed;

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dr.s.malhotra

State Bureaucrats' Property Details

RTI activist demands early decision by full Bench

Manish Sirhindi

Tribune News Service

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110830/harplus.htm#3

 

 

Panipat, August 29

It was in February this year that the state Information Commissioner had snubbed the Special Public Information Officer (SPIO) attached with the office of the Chief Secretary to Haryana Government for denying information to a convict lodged in Karnal jail, who had asked for the property details of state bureaucrats.

 

Though the commission had upheld that "conferment to police or judicial custody or conviction has no bearing on a citizen's right to seek information under the RTI Act", it had referred the issue pertaining to the property details of the state bureaucrats to the full Bench of the commission.

 

The ruling had been pronounced while settling a petition filed by RTI activist PP Kapoor --- the convict --- before the commission, after he was denied information related to the properties owned by all the IAS, IPS, tehsildars, assistant tehsildars, HPS and HCS officers posted in the state at the time of their joining the duty and at the end of 2009.

 

However, even after six months, the commission has still not announced any date and time for taking up of the case by its full Bench.

 

Kapoor had used the RTI Act to seek the property details of the state bureaucrats in December last year and despite depositing the fee asked by the SPIO, he was not provided with any details asked by him. Kapoor, who at present is out on bail, was at that time undergoing imprisonment at Karnal jail after being convicted in a case related to damages caused to a factory in Panipat where his trade union had organised a protest six years back.

 

Kapoor lamented that he had already taken up the matter at an appropriate level but the commission had not yet decided the date and time to settle the issue. He contended that when the Chief Minister of the state had asked his ministers to declare their assets and had even written to them on three different occasions, what was holding the bureaucrats back from revealing their property details? He requested the commission to take up the matter in the full Bench as early as possible so that it could be decided in the best public interest.

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dr.s.malhotra
the above matter PP Kapoor vs Chief Secretary Haryana is listed for hearing today , that is , 29-09-2011 at 3 PM . In fact this said matter is to be taken up along with 3 other similar matters from different RTI Applicants and involving requests for Asset details of all Haryana IAS / HCS officers . Significance of the requested Information is clearly visible . Incidentally I happen to one of these Appellants / Applicants for Annual Property Returns of IAS and HCS officers .

 

Today I presented myself for hearing before DB of HSIC [ IC Ld. Sh. Ranga and IC Ld. Sh. Prem Veer Singh ] in above matter . The matter was adjourned sine die . The Ld. Commissioners were of the view that since an LPA 946/2011 is pending before Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana in matter of DP Jangra vs HSIC in matter of assets , the matter will be taken up after decision in said LPA .

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smbhappy

In CWP 15964 / 2010 - High Court Dismissed the petition with the following remarks:

 

"21. No other legal point, worth consideration, has either been urged or

pressed by the learned counsel for the petitioner.

22. In the light of aforesaid reasons, as there is no merit, therefore, the

instant writ petition is hereby dismissed as such.

 

 

January 06, 2011 (MEHINDER SINGH SULLAR)

seema JUDGE

"

 

Regarding LPA 946/2011, no judgement/status is available on the net.

 

But going by the circumstances of the case, if there is no stay on the proceeding in the Commission, why commission should suo-moto sine-die adjourn the the proceedings. Perhaps, it is to favour some incumbent bureaucrats (including Chief Secretary) to enable them to retire and there will be no need for them to file property return.

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jps50

It appears SIC is facilitating delay for revealing assets presumably due to friendly pressure from vested interest. There is no provision in RTI fixing time limit for SIC/CIC. Appellants should file writ in HC for expediting decision by full bench of SIC in such an important issue.

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smbhappy

My earlier post to this thread is missing. Or this is a duplicate thread on this topic.

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dr.s.malhotra

But despite all odds we are going to have the matter about Assets of State Bureaucrats settled by DB of Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana in another few months time . And it may another couple of months at SC . The matter will then be beyond the whims .

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jetley

In the 1st place, why referral to bench was needed is not clear; to my mind, there can be no justification for the same. The issue/point of law to be decided upon is clear cut, property details of public servants have to be disclosed under RTI Act. Secondly, what is being persued before the HC may not be the same matter, so there being no concurrent proceedings by the applicant, delay doesn't seem to be justified.

 

I agree with the+ views expressed in post #5. This seems to be intentional and mala fide. Hence the best remedy, to my mind, is that the applicant in this case may apply to be joined as a party in the pending LPA, citing the decision of the IC and refusal of the bench to initiate proceedings on grounds of pendancy of this LPA. Even if the HC refuses permission to join as a party, that decision can be used to expedite hearing by the bench.

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harinder dhingra

Dr Malhotraji,

The SIC, Haryana needs to be told that they can not take this matter too lightly as they have had till now. When whole country including President of India can declare her assets what is the stopping SIC to direct the disclosure of assets of Public Servants.

I have sought information about District Attorneys in District Gurgaon and won an order from first appellate authority cum Additional Director Prosecution to disclose Assets but Hon'ble SIC came in between and matter is fixed for 12th December 2011 but no notice has been given to me in this case.

I am writing to all the three Information Commissioners namely Ms Asha Sharma, Mr.Param Veer Singh & Mr Ranga to declare their assets in the light of observations made by Hon'ble CIC, Haryana in 15th October 2011 order on undersigned 2nd appeal. AND

if better sense does not prevail upon these Hon'ble Commissioners, I shall have no alternative but to move Hon'ble PH High Court for appropriate directions. Although it is not legal but Once they declare their assets, I think they will have moral authority to ask others to do so(Remember Gandhiji and Kid who ate lot of "Gur").In the meantime, I suggest, with the very limited knowledge I have which I have got from you & others on this portal, you to move Hon'ble PH High Court for directions to SIC to early disposable of the case.

In the meantime, let us all keep building pressure of Public Opinion and as you know it can do "wonders". The "wonder" I am referring is implementation of RTI Act 2005 by Hon'ble Haryana State Information Commission.

thank you

 

harinder dhingra

proud to be student of rti

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harinder dhingra

Dear Dr Malhotraji,

This can not be allowed to go on. The Hon'ble SIC has been taking the matter too lightly. If the Hon'ble President of India can declare her assets then what on earth make these IAS/IPS/IFS/HCS officers to hide their assets declaration behind iron curtains. The information sought by all of us is available with the Public Authorities and the RTI Act 2005 is clear that the information which is with the Public Authority can be had by following due process of filing application under Section 6(1) of RTI Act 2005.

Lot of paper, ink and efforts have been put to come to conclusion that these assets declaration have to be declared. The Hon'ble State Information Commission, Haryana, has to understand this.

With the limited knowledge I have that too I have learned from you and other Experts, I think it is better to move Writ of Mandamus in HC for suitable directions to SIC, Haryana to Dispose of the case in time bound period.

thanking you

 

harinder dhingra

proud to be student of rti

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dr.s.malhotra

Let us wait for the Order from hearing .

But the affairs at HSIC are enough to make a sensible rights conscious person sick. Can you imagine the Information Commission sitting over PP Kapoor's Asset case for nearly 2 years now .

It makes one wonder whether ICs are really the officers of the Public ?

 

In the 1st place, why referral to bench was needed is not clear

 

I may add . The case was originally listed before CIC Mrs. Meenaxi Choudhury . But due to two undesirable Orders by her [ present on the forumin one of threads] which though were recalled on filing the Review Applications , I wrote to the CIC to "trasfer my case to some other bench , preferably a double bench " . Out-going CIC Mrs. Choudhury had desired to put all cases before full bench -this I was told , but Full bench never came into existence . Then present CIC Sh. Gulati joined . Since in my RTI Application Sh. Gulati had denied disclosure of his assets [ he was serving CS then] , I again requested that my case be not listed before Sh. Gulati . I believed an officer who had dis-allowed his own assets , should not be a Judge for deciding the same matter . Thence the case was listed before the DB of Sh. Ranga and Sh. Prem Veer .

The story after that is already there .

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smbhappy

The management and working at the Haryana Info. Comm. is totally in disarray. Not because of this high-profile case of assets disclosure, but otherwise too. Lot of appellant are suffering. There is no procedure for orderly disposal of the matters listed before the commission. Notices/Orders are not dispatched to the Appellants. Most of the time only respondents are called for hearing and taking there versions on record, the matters are disposed of without informing the Appellants. There is no cause list available, the next dates are not announced during hearings and suddenly one gets a telephone that hearing is today, RUSH.

 

There is no Proper website of the commission and most of the links are inoperative. Cause List is blank always.

 

HSIC is needed to be well informed and entire chunk there need through reorientation before getting into serious business of management, administration and delivery of justice.

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Sajib Nandi

Reported by Anita Singh in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Mar 11, 2012

Wait for info on bureaucrats' assets gets longer for RTI activist - The Times of India

 

Panipat: The wait to get property details of state bureaucrats continues to get longer as, even after two-and-a-half years of filing an RTI plea, the state information commission is not yet willing to part with the said information.

 

Activist P P Kapoor had used the RTI to get property details of state bureaucrats which was denied to him by the SPIO attached with the office of chief secretary to government of Haryana on the ground that the applicant was undergoing imprisonment in a case related to a protest organized by his trade union in Panipat and that many of the officers had not given consent for revealing their property details.

 

Following this, Kapoor moved the state information commission in December 2009, which had snubbed the said SPIO, holding that any citizen could use RTI to get any information. However, the matter pertaining to property details of bureaucrats was referred to a full bench of the commission.

 

In his RTI plea, Kapoor had sought information about property details owned by all IAS, IPS, tehsildars, assistant tehsildars, HPS and HCS officers posted in the state, at the time of their joining duty and at the end of 2009. As the information was not provided to him in the stipulated time of 30 days, he had pleaded with the state information commission that the same be provided to him without charging any fee as was mandatory under the RTI Act.

 

Kapoor said that though many state bureaucrats had agreed to give property details under the RTI, it was the commission which held back the details stating that a PIL related to the same issue was pending in the Punjab and Haryana high court and thus, any decision is this regard could be taken only after the PIL in the high court was settled.

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karira

​Two threads merged

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ambrish.p

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