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  1. The last quarter has brought PM Narendra Modi his biggest haul as far as foreign gifts are concerned. According to information procured under RTI by a Bangalore-based organisation onlineRTI.com, Modi received a total of 65 gifts during his foreign visits from April to June 2015, which is just two less than the total gifts he received in the first 10 months as PM: Read more at: PM Narendra Modi?s gift cabinet - The Economic Times
  2. NEW DELHI: Five months after the Narendra Modi government sacked the then foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, it has refused to divulge under the Right to Information Act the Cabinet note or any other details related to the controversial decision The Cabinet Secretariat has not divulged the Cabinet note, file notings and papers related to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) meeting on January 28, which had decided to replace Singh with S Jaishankar. Read more at: Sujatha Singh's sacking details blocked? Cabinet Secretariat says cabinet papers exempted from disclosure - The Economic Times
  3. Cabinet note is not secret Within the proviso of the Section 8 (1)(i) of the RTI Act, there is a condition which says information could be withheld until the matter “is complete or over.’ The dispute is about interpretation of this phrase. What does “complete or over” mean? Does it mean “until the NJAC is constituted by the cabinet” about which it should be secret?The RTI law is also called sunshine legislation. In US, they call the government in sunshine, meaning transparency. Among three estates, two function openly – judiciary and legislature. While every trial or appeal is a public hearing, where anybody can attend subject to space and security, parliamentary proceedings are either open or telecast live. Though there is possibility of certain issues being ‘confidential,’ most of the functioning of two estates is ‘open’. Still there are two safeguards for these two – Legislature has power to punish for breach of privilege, while the judiciary can punish for its contempt. Both have ‘special powers’ to snub the ordinary man for his comments against them. Similarly, the executive is armed with ‘protection to official secrecy,’ and the law punishes for revelation of secrecy. Except what they want to tell, everything could be secrecy, or every paper could be privileged. There were a very few cases where persons were punished for revealing secret documents. It is a drastic power that is unfortunately used to guard corruption and irregularities. The administration suffered in general because the indecision, indifference, lethargy and redtape are protected by this ‘cover.’ The Right to Information Act in 2005 opened up this cover; the rule of secrecy became an exception. Public information now cannot be hidden. It is a statutory duty to bring out that, in spite of the “Official Secrets Act” being in place without any dilution. In this context, the question is: Is cabinet note a secret? Senior Advocate S N Shukla sought a Union Cabinet note and details about its decision to establish National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC). The department of justice refused to provide the information, staing that it was cabinet secret and was exempted under the Section 8 (1)(i) of the RTI Act. The RTI Act has created access right and listed out exceptions. One such exception is regarding cabinet papers. As per the Section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 a public authority is not obliged to disclose Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers. The Section subjects this general exemption in regard to Cabinet papers to two provisos, which are as under:-Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. While tje appellant claims benefit of the proviso to that section, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the department of justice said that it cannot be given until “the matter is complete or over.” If the Cabinet has not decided, the RTI says that information cannot be disclosed but when the decision was over exeption does not operate as proviso. But within the proviso, there is a condition which says information could be withheld until the matter “is complete or over.’ The dispute is about interpretation of this phrase. What does “complete or over” mean? Does it mean “until the NJAC is constituted by the cabinet” about which it should be secret? The appellant argued that the moment Bill is passed by Parliament, it is complete. The intial note on amendments to the Constitution for appointment of judges and for establishment of the NJAC was defered by the Cabinet and withdrawn in 2013. A revised note approved on 02.08.2013 by the Cabinet says the following :i) Amendments to Article 124, 217, 222 and 231 and insertion of Article 124 A in Chapter IV, Part V of the Constitution for the creation of Judicial Appointments Commission.ii) Formation of Judicial Appointments Commission as per the details in the draft Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013.That the Cabinet at its meeting held on 02.08.2013 approved the proposal for the establishment of the NJAC is evident. Accordingly, two Bills were proposed for the introduction in the Rajya Sabha – namely the Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill, 2013, and Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013. The Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill was considered and passed by the Rajya Sabha as Constitution (99th Amendment) Bill on 05.09.2013. The JAC Bill was referred to the Parliamentaty Standing Committee, which submitted its report on 09.12.2013. The department of justice explained that Cabinet decision was not complete as it was put to public consultation, with consultation meetings at different cities in country which necessitated reconsideration. The new government revised this Bill which was passed by the Parliament. The appellant sought nothing about new form of bill but has every right to know the notings of the bill as soon as the bill was finally okayed by the cabinet as per the judgment of Delhi High Court in UOI Vs CIC [W.P© No. 8396/2009], wherein it was stated that the Secion 8 (1)(i) of RTI Act prohibits disclosure of cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers for a limited period, protects the Cabinet. The High Court explained that the prohibition is not for an unlimited duration or an infinite period but lasts till a decision is taken by the Council of Ministers and “the matter is complete or over.”In the second appeal, as Central Information Commissioner I have directed on 7.1.2015 the Department of Justice to disclose the notings. After the Cabinet has decided, the notings cannot be withheld on the pretext that the Bill did not become an Act. And I explained: ‘The First Appellate Authority’s order that ‘decision of Council of Ministers is disclosable but Cabinet papers are not,’ is totally untenable. Similarly, the plea taken by the PIO that because the decision with regard to the introduction of the Bill had not reached the finality and hence the noting could not be disclosed does not stand, in view of the plain reading of the Sec 8 (1)(i) of RTI Act and the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. As soon as the final decision was taken with regard to the Bill, which is borne out of the fact by the introduction of the same in Rajya Sabha in 2013 itself, the matter was thus complete or over, the noting should have been disclosed. The CIC directed the Justice dept to provide informaiton sought within a month free of cost. By:Madabhushi Sridhar Read More: Cabinet Note is Not Secret - The Hans India
  4. Home ministry prepares cabinet note proposing to make electoral bribery cognizable offence NEW DELHI: In what could be the first poll reform ushered in by the Modi government, the home ministry has prepared a draft cabinet note proposing to make electoral bribery a cognizable offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). A cognizable offence is an offence for which a police officer has the authority to make an arrest without a warrant. The police are also allowed to start an investigation with or without the permission of a court for cognizable offences. Currently, bribing voters, in cash or kind, during the election season is a non-cognisable offence under sections 171B/171E of the Indian Penal Code, which attracts only up to one-year of imprisonment or fine as punishment. The Election Commission of India (ECI), in 2012, had asked the home ministry to amend the first schedule of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to make it a cognizable offence and also increase punishment to up to two years. That suggestion has been accepted by the new government. The home ministry, in a letter dated December 22, 2014, has informed the poll panel that the process to amend the CrPC has been "initiated" and that a draft cabinet note, approved by home minister Rajnath Singh, has been sent to the legislative department to prepare a draft bill. The ministry's letter was in response to the poll panel's query, dated December 11, 2013, regarding the status of the suggestion to make bribery a cognizable offence. "We made this query because it pertains specifically to the home ministry. Other electoral reforms are with the law ministry and they have sent it to the Law Commission for their suggestions on it," said a senior EC official, who did not wish to be identified. The EC has often lamented that without changes in the IPC and CrPC, it is like a toothless tiger as currently bribery is a bailable offence attracting only minimal punishment. "This is required for us to take any effective action. Without a warrant you can't even search the house of person who could be hiding Rs 20 lakh at home to distribute among voters at night,' said another EC official, not authorized to speak to media. Read more at: Home ministry prepares cabinet note proposing to make electoral bribery cognizable offence - The Economic Times
  5. This is a nice place for getting information regarding right to Information. I had one question as of now: Can I know what advice the Cabinet has given to president and also is it possible to know the correspondence between President and Ministry?
  6. As reported at dnaindia.com on Sep 27, 2011 The government has spent nearly Rs42 crore on foreign visits by Union ministers during the last one year. The information provided in an RTI reply shows that while Cabinet ministers spent Rs 37.16 crore on their foreign visits, their junior colleagues, Ministers of State, spent about Rs4.76 crore on these visits bringing the total travel expenditure to Rs41.82 crore for the year 2010-11. The Cabinet Secretariat has given these consolidated figures of foreign visits expenses incurred by the Ministers to activist SC Agrawal after instructions from the Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra who directed it to make the disclosure. In the case, Agrawal had sought to know from the Cabinet Secretariat the travel details of Union ministers for the last three years, but he was told that information was "scattered" across different ministries and he would have to collect it from them separately. When the matter reached the Central Information Commission, the Cabinet Secretariat reiterated its position. The secretariat also noted that to collate the information, a large volume of records and documents would have to be scrutinised which would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority. "While we tend to agree with the submission made by the respondents (Cabinet Secretariat), we think it would be in the interest of transparency if some key information about the domestic and international travel by Union ministers could be maintained centrally in Cabinet Secretariat itself, especially since the pay and accounts office under it is responsible for all accounting details for payment of the salary and reimbursement of their travel expenditure," CIC Satyananda Mishra had said in his order.
  7. As reported in thehindu.com on 26 October 2008: The Hindu News Update Service All papers pertaining to Cabinet decisions disclosable: CIC New Delhi (PTI): The Central Information Commission has ruled that all papers pertaining to decisions of the Union Cabinet, once arrived at, are "disclosable". "The plea taken by the first appellate authority that the decision of Council of Ministers are 'disclosable' but Cabinet papers are not is totally untenable," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah ruled. The CIC was hearing the plea of P D Khandelwal of Noida, who sought inspection of a file under which a circular of Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, Department of Personnel and Training, was issued in 1999. The inspection was denied by the department saying that it formed part of Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the secretaries and other officers and was exempted under section 8(1) of the Act. His first appeal was also rejected as the appellate authority held, while decisions of the Council of Ministers, "can be made public once decision is taken or matter is complete, but 'Cabinet Papers' are outside the purview of the RTI Act." CIC observed that the argument of appellate authority rests on the term "Cabinet" being distinguished from "Council of Ministers" with the only decision of Council of Ministers being 'disclosable' and not cabinet papers of which decisions of Council of Ministers are only a part. In its order, the information watchdog said that the Constitution of India, per se, did not include the term "Cabinet", when it was drafted and later on adopted and enacted by the Constituent Assembly. The Commission held that every decision of the Council of Ministers was a decision of the Cabinet as all Cabinet Ministers were also a part of Council of Ministers. Elaborating on section 8 of the RTI Act and provisions of the Constitution, CIC ordered that Cabinet papers which include the records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers should be disclosed after the decision has been taken. "The matters which are otherwise exempted under section 8 shall not be disclosed even after the decision has been taken and matter is over," it said.
  8. As reported by Ravish Tiwari in The Sunday Express on indianexpress.com on 31 August 2008: indianexpress.com THE CASE OF THE MISSING CABINET An RTI application shows most Cabinet ministers skipped several crucial meetings in the past four years Since coming to power in 2004, the Prime Minister has convened 217 Cabinet meetings till June-end this year—about one meeting per week—to deliberate over 1,800 proposals. But no Cabinet minister except Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj attended more than 90 per cent of the meetings. Senior Cabinet ministers such as Textiles Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and Railways Minister Lalu Prasad attended less than half of all Cabinet meetings in the last four years. Vaghela, who attended about 35 per cent of the meetings, tops the list of absentees, followed by Nath and Lalu. Only 13 ministers attended more than 70 per cent of the meetings. The Indian Express used the Right to Information to obtain information regarding absenteeism from the Cabinet secretariat. Many ministers were also absent from meetings where a proposal moved by their ministry was on the agenda. Barring Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Water Resources Minister Saif-ud-din Soz, every other Cabinet minister was absent from a meeting at least once despite a proposal from his or her ministry being listed on the day’s agenda. Topping the list in this category is HRD Minister Arjun Singh, who was absent on 22 occasions when a matter moved by his ministry was to be discussed, followed by Lalu (21 meetings), Finance Minister P. Chidambaram (19) and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee (19). Ten of Mukherjee’s 19 absences, however, were recorded after he took over the External Affairs portfolio, which requires frequent overseas travel, in 2006.
  9. RTI: Citizen has the right to know Cabinet decision As reported by P. Divakaran in NewIndPress on March 2 2008 KANNUR: Does the Right to Information Act confer on a citizen the right to know the decision of a Cabinet meeting of the state together with relevant notes? Yes, says State Information Commission. And, the commission didn’t stop there. It has ordered that a copy of the Cabinet decision with relevant notes sought by the citizen should be given to him within 15 days under the RTI act. Again, can the Law Minister of the State refuse to give a copy of the representation he made to the Union Law Minister concerning the establishment of a Bench of the High court in Thiruvananthapuram to a citizen under the RTI act? No, says the State Information commission. The commission has further ordered to give a copy of Law Minister M. Vijayakumar’s representation to the Central Law Minister Bharadwaj, to the complainant, T. Asafali, president of the Thalassery-based People’s Council for Civil Rights. The organisation had requested the public information officer of the secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, through the RDO Thalassery to provide a copy of the decision taken by the Cabinet meeting on August 16,2006 regarding the establishment of a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram. The council also had sought a copy of the representation made by M. Vijayakumar to Bharadwaj in this connection. The Thalassery RDO forwarded the request to the state public information officer of the Law Department. He sent it to the Home Department which rejected it after sitting on it for more than four months. When a complaint against the rejection was lodged, the public information officer of the Home Department, K. K. Ramani, was summoned by the State Information Commissioner. The Commissioner found that the rejection of information under section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act was not justifiable. The Commissioner found that public information officers of the Home and Law departments were equally responsible for the disposal of the request, and ordered the public information officer of the Home Department to supply a copy of the Cabinet decision with relevant notes to the citizen who made the request for information. The public information officer of the Law Department also is bound to to furnish a copy of the representation made by the Law Minister.
  10. In a recent decision, CIC has asked the Cabinet Secretariat to discuss with it ways and means to bring all records of Cabinet Decisions in conformity with Sections 4(1)(a), (b) & © of the RTI Act subject to Section 8(1)(i). It is interesting to point out that at one place, applicant had also pointed out to CIC that it was the APIO who has signed the response. CIC held that this is a valid practice arguing: In his prayer both in his 1st appeal and in the second before us appellant Shri Raj has questioned the validity of APIO’s response in view of Sec 7 sub-sections (1) and (8). He has averred that in the former it is the CPIO who must respond and in the latter, the inadequacy cited in his 1st appeal, assigned to “inadvertence’ by the appellate authority. Attention of appellant Shri Raj Vats is drawn to Sec 5 (4) whereby the CPIO “may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties”. This Commission has held that this will include reply to RTI applications by officers other than the CPIO. In the case of failure to adhere to Sec 7(8) (ii), this stands acknowledged by first appellate authority in his letter of 15.12.07, and although we would expect that such faults will be eliminated from responses provided by the Cabinet Secretariat hitherto, this cannot be held to void the entire response. Thus, neither objection is sustainable. The full decision of the CIC is attached herewith.
  11. Disregarding the Centre's refusal to disclose details of Cabinet deliberations, the Central Information Commission has directed it to reveal the file notings on the government’s decision to prematurely terminate services of a senior Hudco official. “A Cabinet decision, the reasons thereof and the material on the basis of which the decision was taken, is liable to be disclosed once the decision has been taken and the matter is complete,” chief information commissioner Mr Wajahat Habibullah said. The CIC's ruling came in response to a Right to Information application filed by Mr AN Gupta, a former Hudco director, in which he had sought department of personnel and training (DoPT) documents related to the notings of the appointments committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Alleging foul-play behind his removal, Mr Gupta claimed that divulging the file details would establish that the ACC’s approval to terminate him had been obtained allegedly on the basis of false and fabricated documents. The DoPT, which denied to divulge details to Mr Gupta, initially took a stand that papers relating to notings given to the ACC were not connected with any public activity. The submission was outright rejected when the Commission observed: “The very act of submitting a note to the ACC is, in fact, a public activity and cannot in any way be deemed a private activity.” In its hearing before the CIC, the ministry, however, insisted that such details fell under the category of Cabinet papers and were thus exempt from disclosure. The argument was rejected, though, when the Commission said that the RTI Act was specific about disclosure of details after a Cabinet decision was taken. The Statesman
  12. In an age where Right to Information Act has brought a new transparency in the style of governance, the Delhi government wants to set the clock in the reverse motion. It has issued a circular banning the "leakage of confidential information". The circular, issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) last week, said the Cabinet proposals are publicised even before they are passed. "The confidentiality of the Cabinet proposals should be ensured," the note to all the heads of departments and principal secretaries to the government said. The note was issued following the directions of chief secretary R. Narayanaswami who was upset at the way the Cabinet notes were being published in the newspapers even before being officially passed. The GAD circular, dated November 11, 2007 which too has been marked "confidential" and is not supposed to be with any "unauthorised person" is in possession of HT. It specifically says: "It is reiterated that all Cabinet proposals should be dealt with in strict confidentiality and secrecy." Interestingly, most of the issues which are taken up by the Delhi Cabinet are known to the media and through them the people as they are announced in advance by the ministers or the Chief Ministers. There are very few issues which are "fresh" in the Cabinet meetings, said a senior official of the government. By HT : November 19, 2007
  13. Noting that Centre's decision to bring in amendments to the Right to Information Act was yet to be effected, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled out disclosure of any related information till such amendments were actually adopted. "... A decision on a Cabinet note cannot be treated as complete unless the matter of the decision has been completed, which in this case would mean moving an amendment to the RTI Act as per the Cabinet decision. "Decisions of the Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof and the materials on the basis of which decisions were taken can not be disclosed under the RTI Act unless the decision has been taken and the matter is complete or over," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said. The order came after the Commission, in response to a RTI plea seeking details on Cabinet's decision over proposed amendments to the two-year-old legislation, had called upon Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to bring in all relevant documents for its perusal. The application filed by Magsaysay awardee Aruna Roy and RTI activist Shekhar Singh had asked for information on reasons and materials taken into account by the Cabinet to amend the transparency law, while relying upon press reports and statements of ministers to assert that such a decision had already been taken. Taking into consideration the government's position that the proposed amendment bill was yet to be considered by the Parliament, the Commission in its order of October 18 had asked DoPT to produce all relevant records for its perusal. The Commission, which went through the government records as presented before it in a sealed cover on November five, however, observed that from the available documents and files it was clear that the Council of Ministers had approved of the government's action to move an amendment to the RTI Act. In its order, the CIC referred to provisions of the RTI law to claim that disclosure of information pertaining to decisions of Council of Ministers could be allowed only when the matter concerned was completed. Earlier, in their submissions in support of their RTI request, the applicants, represented through senior counsel Prashant Bhushan, had contended that once a government decision was taken, information on the same could not be restricted. Where the government, for reasons extraneous to the Cabinet decision, decides not to table the amendment or is prevented from tabling the amendment, that is a subsequent and distinct matter, and cannot be taken as a ground for refusing access to information, the activists' had argued in their applications. NEW DELHI, NOV 13 (PTI) outlookindia
  14. From the day start the RTI is not getting favour of so many person and so many persons trying to get it modified. Actually these fellows are the real criminals having good set up at present. Some time this man will in `Q` he will feel need of RTI. In my opinion if the retirement age in Govt services have been done 55 years no will oppose the RTI. The fellows who is sitting in Govt. so long is only interested to effective implementation and they are in position to purchase these politicians also. I am sorry to say that there is a provision in constitution that any group B or above officer recruitted before age of 35 must retire on age of 55 and rest all on age of 58. The retirement age of class IV was 60 from very begining. The beaurocrats are so much power ful person who made these politician foolish and made the age of retirement from 55 to 60. I am seeking the opinion of other fellows if they are supporting my opinion that to run the fair Govt it is neede to refresh the Govt. At present our independence is only to elect the 545 MP`s or MLA`s. The beuracrats having such a talent to manage the elected MP`s and MLA`s. The real indepence is only there must be fast change in beuracrats also. 20 to 25 years is to be allowed to work in Govt.
  15. The CIC has directed the DoPT to produce the relevant file on Cabinet Decision for its perusal. The matter came up while hearing an appeal filed by Smt. Aruna Roy & Shri Shekhar Singh. The appellants had earlier sought information on the decisions of Council of Ministers regarding amendments to be made in the Right to Information Act, 2005, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken in July 2006. The Public Information Officer of the DOPT, Shri B.M. Sehgal vide his letter dated 22nd August, 2007 informed the appellants that the information requested by them under the Right to Information Act cannot be provided. The PIO also informed that based on the experience of working of the Right to Information Ac, 2005, the Government proposes to make certain amendments in the Act of 2005. The proposed Amendment Bill is yet to be considered by the Parliament and, as such, the matter is not yet complete or over. It is, therefore, not feasible to furnish details of the decisions of Council of Ministers at this stage. The First Appellate Authority of DoPT also concurred with the views of the PIO. Aggrieved over the decision of the FAA, the present appeal was made before the CIC, where in the appellants contended that " the CPIO and the Appellate Authority are mistaken in holding that the matter is not yet complete or over". The appellants further submitted that another session of Parliament has come to a close and the matter has not again been introduced in Parliament. This clearly shows that the Government, as the concerned Minister has publicly stated, intend to re-examine the issue. Therefore, clearly the earlier Cabinet decision is no longer pending introduction in Parliament and information relating to it cannot be exempt under Section 8(1)(i) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. After hearing both parties to the proceedings and perusing the record, the Commission came to the view that the only issue that needs to be decided in this case is as to whether the Cabinet has taken any decision as regards the amendment to the Right to Information Act, 2005. If the decision has been taken in this regard, it becomes liable to be disclosed under the Right to Information Act and the appellants are entitled to get the information sought by them. However, if as contended by the Government, the matter is still pending and the same is not over, the proviso to Section 8(1)(i) does not apply and, as such, the entire material concerning a proposed amendment to the Right to Information Act remains exempt under Section 8(1)(i). In its interim decision the This Commission said that it is left with no other alternative but to call for the relevant records to ascertain as to whether a decision has been taken in one way or the other to determine whether the matter is complete or over. The Commission, therefore, has called for the relevant documents and accordingly the concerned public authority has been directed to produce the relevant file for perusal of the Commission on 05.11.2007. Appropriate decision will be passed and directions issued if any, only thereafter by the Commission. Decision No. CIC/WB/A/2006/01022 dated 18/10/2007 on Appeal from Smt. Aruna Roy & Shri Shekhar Singh Vs DoPT
  16. sidmis

    Secrecy veil off cabinet

    Calcutta, Oct. 14; The government has admitted that the minutes of a cabinet meeting cannot be kept secret and ordinary citizens have a right to know them. Co-operation secretary Rajiv Sinha, the appellate authority of his department in matters relating to the Right to Information Act, 2005, has instructed the state’s principal information officer to provide an information on a cabinet decision, a request that had been turned down earlier. This is the first time such an instruction has been given in Bengal under the 2005 law. “We had sought an information on March 30 regarding the procedures in the re-appointment of retired IAS officer N.G. Chakraborty as the registrar of co-operative societies,” said R. Agarwal, a Delhi resident and right to information crusader. The principal information officer of the department, H.P. Roy, informed Agarwal on April 30 that the government could not provide the details of the appointment as the decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister. The officer also told Agarwal that as the proceedings of cabinet meetings were classified information, they did not come under the purview of the right to information act. Agarwal challenged the reply and moved the appellate authority, Sinha, for a hearing. Sinha ruled that the principal information officer’s decision was not correct and that Agarwal should be provided with a copy of the minutes of the meeting. “We checked and found that we had committed a mistake in denying Agarwal the copy of the minutes earlier,” said Sinha. He also admitted that procedures were not followed while re-appointing Chakraborty. An official said Agarwal’s questions to the co-operation department had pointed to irregularities while re-appointing Chakraborty after his retirement on January 31, 2006. “Chakraborty was re-appointed for a year, but some basic procedures like issuing a gazette notification were not followed.” Right to information crusaders in the city said the case proves that officials handling the information act in the state are ill informed. SOUMEN BHATTACHARJEE The Telegraph - Calcutta : Bengal
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