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  1. From an email received from Mr Venkatesh Nayak: Dear all, The Government of India has published in the Official Gazette the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Special Investigation Team it has set up to investigate the issue of black money stashed abroad by Indians (2nd attachment). The setting up of the SIT amounts to a welcome reversal of previous government policy on this subject. The previous Government had opposed this direction despite a clear order from the Supreme Court in 2011. The SIT will be headed by Justice (Retd.) M B Shah with Justice Arijit Pasayat as Vice-Chair. The rest of the members are the same ex officio senior bureaucrats who were part of the High Level Committee set up by the previous Government to look into the cases of persons who were said to have stashed away money in foreign banks abroad. The Joint Secy. (Revenue) has been added to this list as Member Secretary of the SIT. This SIT is an outcome of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of Ram Jethmalani and Ors. vs Union of India and Ors., (2011) 8 SCC 1- judgement delivered in July 2011. It is also interesting to note that with the exception of the retired judges and bureaucrats of the Finance Ministry, all other members are representatives of organisations notified under the Second Schedule of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) which are not required to furnish any information other than that pertaining to allegations of corruption or violation of human rights.However, in my opinion, as the SIT has been set up by a notification of the Central Government and as it will be wholly financed by the same Government, it will be a public authority under the RTI Act. Terms of Reference seemingly omit an important Court direction: While going through the ToR, I found that a crucial direction given by the Supreme Court in July 2011 is missing form the Gazette notification published by the Central Government. On page 66 of its judgement the Apex Court had ordered two more things to be done by the SIT in addition to what it said on pages 38-42 (1st attachment): 1) that the SIT must take over the investigation of individuals with bank accounts in Liechtenstein as disclosed by Germany to India and expeditiously conduct the same; and 2) SIT should review concluded matters also to assess whether investigations have been thoroughly and properly conducted or not and if they conclude that there is scope for further investigation they should proceed further. On 01 May this year the Central Government had said that investigations had been concluded against 18 of the 26 individuals that had bank accounts in Liechtenstein. These names were received from Germany and investigation had concluded in 17 cases. No evidence was found against 8 individuals and the investigation had been concluded against them. You will find this information in the daily order of the Apex Court at: http://judis.nic.in/temp/17620093152014p.txt So technically the ToR should have included reopening of these cases also to assess whether everything was properly done and if there is any need to proceed further. The current ToR published in the Gazette do not explicitly refer to these two directions. However I hope the SIT in its wisdom will interpret its mandate broadly to cover these directions as well and make up for what probably is an omission due to oversight. Importance of this case to RTI Readers who have gone through the Supreme Court's judgement and those who may like to read it now, will notice that this appeal case arose from an RTI application made by the Petitioners to disclose the names of the bank accountholders that Germany handed over to the Central Government. The previous Government adamantly refused to follow the directions of the Court to hand over to the Petitioners the names of individuals against whom investigations had been completed wholly or partially. Last month the Government handed over two sealed envelopes containing the names of the accountholders to the Court. The Court again directed that the names be handed over to the Petitioners. These names have not been made public by the Government, officially, till date. There is no reference to this direction in the ToR of the SIT either. The NDA Government could change policy in this regard as well and publicise the names contained in the sealed envelopes, as it would only be dutifully following the directions of the Court. Such a step would demonstrate the NDA Government's commitment to transparency as a real one going beyond mere public relations exercises. This case is also of great use for all RTI users and activists who receive rejection orders from Public Information Officers (PIOs) and First Appellate Authorities on the ground that contracts with private parties contain confidentiality clauses and cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act. In this case also the Government of India, under the United Progressive Alliance, refused to make the names of the accountholders public saying that Germany had handed over their names to Indian authorities under a tax agreement that contains a 'confidentiality' clause. The Apex Court examined the relevant clause of the treaty and came to the following conclusion: 1) that the tax agreement did not prohibit disclosure of information provided by one signatory to another if it was required in a judicial proceeding; and 2) that confidentiality clauses contained in international treaties and agreements are not to be interpreted as set in stone. Instead they must be tested against the concept and practice of the rule of law guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and most importantly the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1) and the right to seek redress for violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 32 of the Constitution. The confidentiality clause would be tolerated only if it matched any of the grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) for imposing reasonable restrictions on the citizens' right to freedom of speech and expression. As RTI is a deemed fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a), it can also be restricted only on grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) and the RTI Act but no other ground would be valid. Readers will recognise that the Indian Government signs bilateral or multilateral treaties and agreements in exercise of its sovereign functions. When confidentiality clauses contained in such agreements are subject to the fundamental right to free speech and expression and consequently RTI, confidentilaity clauses contained in commercial agreements with private parties that public authorities enter into during the routine course of government business must also be interpreted along the same lines. The mere existence of a 'confidentiality' clause in a contract with one or more private parties is not enough to reject a request for copies of the contract under the RTI Act. This is a landmark interpretation of the Apex Court and if applied in letter and spirit can open up to public scrutiny a whole range of contracts and agreements that the Government signs with private parties. Public-Private Partnership (PPPs) agreements would have to meet this test before the public authority concerned can refuse access to such agreements. I hope readers will watch with great interest how transparently the SIT will be functioning in the days to come. Kindly circulate this email widely. Thanks RamJethmalni-v-UnionofIndia-SCI-Jul11.pdf BlackMoney-SIT-ToR-May14.pdf
  2. Mumbai University to start certificate course on RTI Perhaps a first in India, the department of civics and politics at Mumbai University is set to start a six month certificate course on RTI Act, to empower those struggling to learn its use. The course, likely to start from January 2015, aims at targeting social activists, journalists, bureaucrats and members of civil society, to ensure more effective use of the tool. "The idea has been conceived recently and we are still working on its extensive details. An expert committee will soon be formed to workout the syllabus and other details of the course," said Dr Surrendra Jondhale, HoD of civics and politics, Mumbai University. The department in collaboration with NGOs like Mahiti Adhikar Manch is organising a convention, "Western India Convention on Right to Information" on June 7 and 8. The convention aims at discussing every aspect related to the Act. "In the past eight years ever since the inception of the RTI Act, 40 RTI activists have been killed and 150 injured. We have been demanding a need for a special fast-track court for all such individuals, who were attacked or killed for raising their voice. At the end of this convention, we want to finalise a list of resolutions and demands that will strengthen the use of this Act," said Bhaskar Prabhu, convener of Mahiti Adhikar Manch. Read More: Mumbai University to start certificate course on RTI | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
  3. Perhaps a first in India, the department of civics and politics at Mumbai University is set to start a six month certificate course on RTI Act, to empower those struggling to learn its use. The course, likely to start from January 2015, aims at targeting social activists, journalists, bureaucrats and members of civil society, to ensure more effective use of the tool. "The idea has been conceived recently and we are still working on its extensive details. An expert committee will soon be formed to workout the syllabus and other details of the course," said Dr Surrendra Jondhale, HoD of civics and politics, Mumbai University. The department in collaboration with NGOs like Mahiti Adhikar Manch is organising a convention, "Western India Convention on Right to Information" on June 7 and 8. The convention aims at discussing every aspect related to the Act. "In the past eight years ever since the inception of the RTI Act, 40 RTI activists have been killed and 150 injured. We have been demanding a need for a special fast-track court for all such individuals, who were attacked or killed for raising their voice. At the end of this convention, we want to finalise a list of resolutions and demands that will strengthen the use of this Act," said Bhaskar Prabhu, convener of Mahiti Adhikar Manch. Read more: Mumbai University to start certificate course on RTI | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
  4. I have sought an information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 to the District Court at Thane in Maharashtra State, but, the court officials asked to furnish a new application under the Right to Information Act, Maharashtra Districts Court Right to Information Rules, 2009 and when I submitted the same, no information was provided and thereafter, I tried to seek an appeal form for filing an appeal, but, they denied the same by giving vague reply that they done have the copy of the appeal form and now, the last date for filing an appeal is getting closer and closer, which is giving me goosebumps. Kindly help with the appeal form under the Maharashtra Districts Court Right to Information Rules, 2009.
  5. At a time when we are talking of bringing EVEN SOME private players within the ambit of RTI Act-2005, does it not look utterly ridiculous that Power distcoms that are State-controlled entities and operate on the PPP Basis are still outside the ambit of RTI Act-2005? Strange though it may appear, while these companies come well within the purview of The Consumer Protection as also Competition Laws, they are allowed to stay outside the ambit of the RTI Act-2005 and that too in spite of the CIC decisions to the contrary. Should there be no expiry date for interim stays, liberally granted by Courts of Law, by which they should automatically lapse? I WILL LIKE TO HEAR ABOUT THE PRESENT STATUS OF SUCH CASES STAYED BY & PENDING WITH HON'BLE HIGH COURTS AND HON'BLE SUPREME COURT for quite sometime now. -SANJOG MAHESHWARI
  6. Dear All, I have approached District Court for a set of Certified Copy of Judgment[/u][/b]. The copies are of year 1995. I have been informed at court that first I have to check at the Record Room for the availability of Judgement copy. When I approached Record Room, the record room person showed me a register in which there is no information against the OS number that I opted for. He told me that it might be in Sub Court. I asked my lawyer who looked after the case in 1992 time, he said that it may be available in the principal sub court. I went and asked the clerk there for this Judgement Copy. But the suit register nor the Judgement copy is available there. All this happened in about 2 to 3 months time. But till date, I did not get the Judgement copy. Hence, I request you to let me know the process of getting the Judgement Copy. When I called Court Customer Care, they told me that to apply for CA. I also did that but, when I called them after more than a couple of weeks about CA, he told that the details have not yet been computerized and to call after 1 week or so. So, in this case please let me know what is the exact procedure to follow to get a set of Certified Copy of Judgement. Thanks in advance Sharath
  7. Madras HC says complaints of bribery in the subordinate judiciary should not be disclosed under RTI. "Information sought infringes on internal administration" The Madras High Court has set aside an order of the Tamil Nadu Information Commission (TNIC) of January 2012 directing the court Registrar-General to furnish to an RTI applicant details relating to the number of subordinate judges, employees and complaints of bribery in the subordinate judiciary. In its order allowing a writ petition by the Registrar-General challenging the TNIC direction of January 10, a Division Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M.Venugopal did not agree with the Commission’s view that the applicant had asked “only for statistical details and not names of individuals.” The TNIC order was not sustainable in the eye of law, the Bench said. Law Web: Madras HC says complaints of bribery in the subordinate judiciary should not be disclosed under RTI.
  8. In a candid order, the CIC has said that it is helpless (just like citizens, applicants and appellants) since the Allahabad High Court is not changing its RTI Rules. These rules cause inordinate delays in the PIO providing information. The PIO of the Allahabad HC has seldom replied to a RTI application in 30 days. As regards the delay on the part of the CPIO in replying to the Appellant, we have noticed very often that the CPIO of the Allahabad High Court rarely responds to any RTI request within the stipulated period of 30 days mainly because of the elaborate procedure laid down under the Allahabad High Court Right to Information Rules. The sanctity of the time limit fixed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act is breached every such time when the CPIO fails to respond within 30 days of receiving an RTI application. We cannot punish the CPIO for this because it is not he who is responsible for the delay but the procedure put in place by the High Court. In the past, on many occasions, we had observed that the competent authority in the High Court must revisit this arrangement and ensure that the timelines fixed in the Right to Information (RTI) Act are strictly adhered to. It appears no one has taken any heed of that. The citizens can only feel helpless because there is nothing they can do. The CIC is also equally helpless because the Allahabad High Court procedure for disclosure of information involves the vetting and approval of the information by both a Committee of Judges and the Chief Justice of the High Court. Once again, we hope that the situation would change and like all other public authorities in India including the Supreme Court of India, the Allahabad High Court would also follow the provisions of the law both in letter and spirit. CIC helpless in face of Allahabad High Court RTI Rules.pdf
  9. Dear Veteral RTI-Indians, We know that the Indian Administration is 'ADMINISTERED' by the Bureaucrats who act at the wish and whims of Politicians. Can this happen to the Authorities of Judiciary too. Wish to share this existing irony in our JUDICIARY. Me and my wife are TARGETED by a known group of people who committed burglary/theft/trespass/ransack/gang attack/hired people to attack us and brand me, a hindu as MUSLIM and misbehaved with us many occations including within the police station inspite of Section 144(2) in currency. I want to post a query as below and wish the patrons of RTI to guide me overcome this bureaucracy and red-tapism and misinterpretation by the Judiciary official w.r.t my RTI application towards a court document retrieval. I wanted to know transparency in four investigations by State Police Cases (three in 2009 and 1 in 2011) where corruption/influence/favorism/partiality/deprival of justice at grass-root level are verymuch visible. When I applied RTI on State Police they escaped stating that the papers connected with investigation are 'CONFIDENTIAL' and 'THOSE PAPERS ARE PART OF COURT PROPERTY' and can be had from the respective court. When I applied for the certified copies on URGENT basis, agreeing to pay very high charge on May 2012, the Court Officials said that they are not able to search it and also do not have sufficient man power to do the search. A piece of document which I am supposed to get within 2 or 3 days never came to my hand even after a lapse of 6 months. As an alterntive channel to acquire the same, I applied RTI on the SPIO of CMM Kolkata on 27/6/2012 who was silent even after 30 days. Though not stipulated under the RTI Act, I approached the SPIO to know the pratical reason for the delay and wanted to convice him to do the needful under the Act, he replied orally that the records are being searched out. He also told me that if I prefer I can go ahead and file First Appellate Letter with FAA and also guided me by giving the details of FAA and his address and the like etc., I filed FAA with Chief Judge of City Civil Court, Kolkata who is the First Appellate Authority on Sept 3rd. Meanwhile the SPIO sent three letters to me 19/9/2012, 5/10/2012 & 9/10/2012 which were received by me in normal/ordinary post. The first two letters was containing partial and insufficient replies to few of the information I asked in my application while simultaneously mentioning that the records are under search and the remaining parts will be replied as and when they are searched out. Also the replies were incomplete and showed the malicious way he qualified/treatated a standardised formatted existing procedural documentary information (precisely, a summon calling the defacto complainant at the time of hearing of a police case) as a ‘OPINION’ / ‘ADVICE’ and stated in his reply that these cannot be disclosed under RTI Act. On 13/12/2012, I received an order from Appellate Authority who is none other than the Chief Judge of City Civil Court, Kolkata stating that I was not presence at the time of hearing and the case is dismissed stating that I am not interested to prosecute the case. This order was painted in legal language, such as, ‘NON-PROSECUTION’, ‘LOST INTEREST’ I visited the Office of Chief Judge and pleaded that I was not served any communication seeking my presence. An official guided me to give a letter seeking a recall. I sent the letter seeking recall dated 27/12/2012. On 19/1/2013, Saturday a person knocked at my door at 8:30 am to serve me a notice of hearing on 29/1/2013 at City Civil Court, Kolkata. The notice was ill-languaged as..,’...you are warned to appear...’ I appeared as above at the court room where the general cases and arguments were heard. I was also called in the same court room to hear my RTI Hearing. It was an ex-parte’ hearing, that is, the SPIO of CMM was not summoned to appear and the Judge wanted to hear from me alone. He first asked about my occupation and in which capacity I applied the RTI letter, which is no way connected towards the hearing. The CJ who was in the capacity of FAA, instead of reading from my petitions/letters asked me to elaborate. He, instead of applying the provisions of RTI Act which states that the SPIO is bound to reply within 30 days and non-reply is sufficient cause to raise First Appellate Letter. He was not considering the lapse of SPIO and As I also disclosed that I got reply which is not satisfactorily disclosing the information required, he did not mind to hear this fact atall and said that as he subsequently replied, this case is dismissed and he also went to the extent to tell that ...,..’...it is not my duty to convince you, and you donot have any ground to appeal and your appeal itself is faulty. You can step out and the order will be passed dismissing your appeal...’ The FAA also went to the extent of instructing me to meet the SPIO and request reason for the delay. All these are out of any provision of RTI Act and it seems that the FAA grossly illiterate of the RTI act its spirit and provisions. Please help me get the required information and also the way to book the violators by virtue of their position and power and penalise them as per provisions of RTI Act.
  10. Hi all, I came to know that there are some CIC judgments/Rulings which debar Cooperative Housing Societies from RTI ACT. I also read in some forum that such decision has been given stay by the Hon'ble High Court. If any of you would guide me or provide me towards that high Court's Decision I'll be highly thankful. Regards
  11. Dear sir, we have registred a society in 1993 in 2005 Registrar of Co Operative societies sold. changed the name of Society and handed over to some oher person who is not having any concern with us not even we know him. members of new changed name society are diffrent, society registration number is same. i asked information one month ago under RTI, no response yet received. second time I sent RTI application, yet no response. I also sent a complaint to Registrar regarding reason & procedure done for changing the name of our society. No response received yet. tell me any suggestion, our money is in bank and registrar trying to take over the society due to some complaints of misgruntled elements
  12. I want to know information regarding child rape, rape cases, sc-st atrocity cases, abuse of religion seperately. The information will be what is the name of the offender or susect, date of compliant, name of the victim. And also I want to know the number of complaints. The information should include all cases filed in Andhrap pradesh durig the years 2010, 2011, 2012. My questions are 1) Where should I file the plea. 2) Do I have to file in all courts in the state or only High court or something... 3)How to frame the RTI apllication.
  13. atulawasthi

    Step for court marriage

    Hello Sir/mam, I want to know the procedure of court marriage .I love a girl which belong to other cast(kshatriya) and i am brahman that's why my arrange marriage is impossible,we love to each other very much.please tell me how we get married through court marriage procedure.Both of us above 21. please help me.!!!!!!
  14. Could someone help me about details of SPIO/AA of Criminal Court Vadodara. I have trying to find information of court case - the case data is missing or the staff is not abe to locate it.
  15. Hi All, I have court case going on for my house. The Case has been filed in 1987. The Case is about my house in Mumbai. It is a room in chawl. Chawl owner has filed a Case against us. The Case is in Small cause court Bandera, Mumbai. As per my understanding it is still running but not in Hearing. I was paying Rent in Small Cause Court Marin-lines as per the court orders. But this time I went there for paying rent and they refused to take rent. They are saying that the Case might have got disposed off. I visited the site District Courts, Maharashtra for the case info, but I am not able to see the case details. On this site I only can get the info of the cases currently in hearing. My Advocate is not helping me in getting info about the Case. I have Rent receipt with the info as below: L. No - 01, F.No - C-76, C.No - 6661, R/R Suit No. 2342/87 I am not getting any info on this. Is it possible to get info with the RTI.. Thank you,
  16. I need help in determing where I should file second appeal for information not provided by district court.
  17. I had filed FA against PIO of education department for not providing any information within 30 days on my 2 applications to them. When they came to know that I had filed an appeal with the state info comm. they replied after 40 days, but the answers were not what we had asked for. The date for hearing has been fixed. I want that the PIO should be fined as they deliberately did not answer. One of my question was only yes or No. still they did not answer. What preparation should i do for the appeal?
  18. vishnuvijayan

    Filing an RTI for a land dispute

    Hi, My father was entitled to get some land as ancestral property by a Will of my grandfather and my father died in 2011 and he could able to register the land which is entitled to him by the will as there was dispute regarding the property.This dispute is still going on and I am totally unaware of status of this case going on in court.Whom do I file RTI to get information about this. Thanks&Regards vishnu
  19. Hi, Not sure if this is the right area to post such a question. Please advise if not. I have filed a lawsuit against seller in Mumbai High Court for a property bought in 2010. I have reviewed the Case Status on Mumbai High Court's website. 2 case hearings have occured till now, waiting for a 3rd hearing. Can I file a RTI and get to know why the Case Hearing isn;t scheduled in this Civil lawsuit matter? Thanks, Napster
  20. Nearly 30 million cases pending in courts Over three million cases are pending in India's 21 high courts, and an astounding 26.3 million cases are pending in subordinate courts across the country. At the same time, there are almost a quarter million under-trials languishing in jails across the country. Of these, some 2,069 have been in jail for more than five years, even as their guilt or innocence is yet to be ascertained. This has been revealed by official figures emerging from the home ministry's department of justice, under a Right to Information Act application placed by a citizen. It has also been found that over a quarter of all pending high court cases are at Allahabad. The Allahabad High Court had some 1.09 million pending cases, with over eight out of every 10 cases being civil cases at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India had a total of 39,780 civil and criminal pending cases at the end of last year. Madras High Court (406,958 pending cases) and Bombay High Court (362,949) were the others with a large number of pending cases. Sikkim is the lowest with just 51 pending cases. Of the pending cases in high courts, 704,214 were criminal and 3.2 million were civil cases. In subordinate courts, Uttar Pradesh again topped the number of pending cases (4.6 million), followed by Maharashtra (4.1 million), Gujarat (3.9 million), West Bengal (1.9 million), Bihar (1.2 million), Karnataka (1.06 million), Rajasthan (1.05 million), Orissa (1 million), Andhra Pradesh (900,000). In another query, the National Crime Records Bureau that functions under the home ministry told Hari Kumar P. of Kasargod in a Right to Information Act reply that the number of under-trials in India was highest in Maharashtra (15,784) and Madhya Pradesh (15,777). Bihar (with 628 prisoners) topped the number of states with the maximum number of under-trials kept for over five years. Punjab also had 334 under-trials for over five years and Uttar Pradesh had 212. Delhi itself had 344 under-trials languishing in jails for over five years. On the positive side, some states had no under-trials in jail for this long a period without their trials being completed. These states included Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura, apart from some smaller states and union territories. Nearly 30 million cases pending in courts- Hindustan Times
  21. Dear members, my mother have land on her name- it was subjected to a civil case on 20 years back--[ case was filed by my grandfather and 3rd person as counter party]- judgement was given in favour of my grandfather and land came back to my mother's hand-- now some persons occupied that land- we 1] 1] need to know case # and judgement copy of the case 2] land document copy can anybody plz help me to apply with respective format and fee and TO whom [Land and case is belongs to Tamil nadu - madurai district court]
  22. Hello, I am doing some research work in Hamburg, Germany. I need data on judicial system in India like the number of courts (including district courts), number of cases filed, disposed and pending in courts of India state wise. Also, if possible the number of computers in each court. Such information is not available on the internet. So I thought I might ask for them using RTI. Kindly tell me who should I ask for this information. Do I need to write to the Union Law ministry or to every state government? Also, is it possible to get this information in Hamburg? There is an Indian consulate here. This is the first time I am using RTI, so do not know how to proceed with it. Thank You.
  23. jayeshpk

    RTI to PIO of Court

    Hi, I have a civil case in one of the District courts, where 2 out of 5 Courts in the premises don't have a judge. Matters from these courts go to other Courts. Many a times, I have seen the judges of these other Courts use their descrition to decide what matters will be taken up quickly, and which won't (citing jurisdriction). - I had met PIO of the Court, and got oral confirmation that the Judges of these other Courts have all all the authority to handle cases from the 2 Courts that don't have judges. - Requesting help in framing questions to get this confirmed in RTI. This is my first RTI. 1) Does Court Number XX have full authority to handle all matters of all cases from Court Number YY? 2) If answer to question 1 is yes, please cite the order number and date confirming the authority with Court Number XX? 3) Please provide a copy of the said order number. 4) If answer to question number 1 is No, please provide list of matters from Court Number YY that Court Number XX has authority to handle.
  24. Dharminderyadav

    Court Marriage information.

    Dear Sir, Please send the information of court marriage of xxxxx S/O yyyyyy Address ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Court marriage have done in punjab court on dated 10/06/11. Please tell me court marriage information is right or wrong. its uregent please send me urgently.
  25. narayanvarma

    COURTs judgements on RTI

    Since last few days i am trying to find out from where can i get various courts judgements in RTI. i tried on web of MUMBAI h. c. but in their subject directory there is no RTI. same with supreme court. can anyone help me please!
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