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I read the news about Criminal Cases pending against Members of Parliamnet. Where I have to make application ? Have to apply to PIO Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seperately ? Is the PIO Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha bound to give this information ? Should the application be made to Election Commision ? Can I know if some one of our members has already sought this type of information and succeded or failed ?
As reported by Sumit Pande and Marya Shakil at ibnlive.in.com on 07 August 2009 New Delhi: During election time, politicians lived on promises, built castles in the air. After the polls when the MPs have trooped over to Parliament, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has sparked off a controversy saying Parliamentarians have no assigned role, no responsibility and not even accountability. This was stated in response not just by the Lok Sabha Secretariat but also by a few state Assemblies, to an RTI filed by a man named Dev Ashish Bhattacharya. "There is no provision either in the Constitution or the rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok Sabha defining duties and responsibilities of members of Parliament or through which the accountability can be fixed on non-performing MPs," the Lok Sabha Secretariat's response read. Further the states of Bihar, Manipur, West Bengal, Kerala and others have responded saying: "There is no rule through which duties, responsibilities of MLAs can be fixed." The states further go on to say: "A non-performing MLA cannot be held accountable incase he fails to perform legal duties." Parliamentarians, meanwhile, are embarrassed by the opinon of the Secretariat. Congress MP Manish Tewari says, "You have to function as a responsible lawmaker. There is no rocket science in that." BJP MP Arun Jaitley adds, "MPs have a responsibility to their constituency, they have a responsibility to raise issues with their respective governments." Constitutional experts meanwhile, are with the MPs on this issue. They say the the rule book provided to MPs and also the Constitution of India talks about the responsibilities of the Parliamentarians and the legislators, and MPs have far greater accountability than an ordinary citizen of India. Constitutional Expert, Subhash Kashyap says, "Under the privileged law, if a member indulges in bringing the House to contempt, the punishment for him has to be more severe than available to ordinary citizens. The question is: why did the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies respond to the RTI application saying there is no accountability? There cannot be a bigger accountability than that to the people and every five years the MPs face voters with their report cards. (With inputs from Marya Shakil in New Delhi) Source: MPs have no defined roles: LS Secretariat
LS Secretariat open to public scrutiny As reported by Krishnadas Rajagopal, Indian Express July 10, 2008 New Delhi, July 9: In a first, the Central Information Commission (CIC) directed a private person to "personally inspect" documents regarding recruitment and filling up of vacancies to various posts in the Lok Sabha Secretariat. The decision on Monday made clear that every citizen had right to know "how his tax money is used in larger public interest to service the people's elected representatives and the Parliament". The Secretariat had tried to fend off the supply of the information by saying the exercise under RTI was an unnecessary diversion of "time, expense and manpower resources" to cull out the specific data sought from computerised records. "Records of vacancies and recruitment are computerised and automatically updated by the computer. Therefore, seeking to find separate information in the specific form, in which it is asked for, would involve time, expense and the diversion of manpower resources," reasoned Deputy Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat, to the listening CIC Bench. In reply, the Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah observed that information under RTI cannot be denied merely on the ground that data was in a computerised format. To save the Secretariat from any bother, the Bench said the applicant himself could approach the Secretariat authorities within the next 20 days and personally check the records at their offices. Vinod Babu of Dharam Marg in Chanakyapuri had appealed to the topmost transparency panel after the Secretariat denied him access to information on the number of posts lying vacant for the past 10 years from the period between1997 to 2006. IndianExpress.com :: LS Secretariat open to public scrutiny
Is the Right to Information Act applicable to get information on the affairs of Parliament, its proceedings and on expunged remarks? This is a question being faced by the authorities at a time when parliamentary committees face two key issues: codification of privileges of MPs, and offices of profit. Sources said demands under the RTI Act for original documents placed before the two Houses and on remarks expunged by the Chair were increasing. The authorities are yet to determine whether Parliament, as an institution, is required under the RTI Act to furnish such information. The Lok Sabha privileges committee and another committee looking into misconduct by MPs are studying these issues for the past few months and will submit reports soon to Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. What exactly constitutes a breach of parliamentary privilege has never been precisely defined. The privileges committee of the Lok Sabha has been working on trying to determine if there was a need to codify such privileges. The privileges committee is also expected to decide on November 16 on the "headless chickens" controversy involving Indiaâ€™s ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen in the light of his apology. Some reports have suggested that the committee has decided not to proceed with the matter in view of Mr Senâ€™s explanation. Mr Sen is scheduled to also appear before the Rajya Sabha privileges committee on November 2 for a similar hearing. The committee on Wednesday finalised its report on the issue of disqualification of three BSP MPs, and this will be submitted to the Speaker. Sources said the committeeâ€™s proceedings were more in the nature of fact-finding and it had not gone into the merits of the case. The BSP has filed petitions against Mohammad Shahid Akhlaque, Ramakant Yadav and Bhalchandra Yadav, who have already appeared before the committee. By By Our Special Correspondent Thursday November 1, 12:06 AM Does RTI apply to Parliament? - Yahoo! India News