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  1. The CIC has asked the Rajya Sabha to upload expenses (and entitlements) of MPs on its website within 2 months so that citizens do not have to resort to RTI to get such information. We expect the competent authority to initiate steps to ensure compilation of such data, MP*wise, preferably digitally so that it would be easy to access all data regarding the expenditure and entitlement of MPs on a regular basis. In fact, the Rajya Sabha must upload every month all the expenses incurred on every MP on its website so that people need not have to resort to RTI in order to know about such expenditures. We would expect a compliance report from the CPIO within two months of receiving this order. ​The full order is attached to this post. Rajya Sabha to upload expenses on MPs in two months.pdf
  2. 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 ?
  3. As reported at deccanherald.com on June 7, 2011 In a landmark decision that may make India’s parliamentarians more accountable and help expose unsavoury links between high-stakes business and power politics, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that pecuniary interests of MPs in various companies must be made public. The obvious rationale behind the CIC’s decision of June 3 is to help people keep “a better watch” on parliamentarians with stakes in big business and industrial establishments. The other reason, though not explicitly reasoned out in the CIC’s order, could also prevent lobbying by big business who, as in the Nira Radia case, often times influence MPs’ positions and other policy decisions. The CIC decision came in the wake of RTI application filed by New Delhi-based Association for Democratic Reforms National Coordinator Anil Bairwal whose plea that he be furnished with copies of statements of all current Rajya Sabha members having pecuniary interests in business houses was initially rejected by the Rajya Sabha information officer and the Upper House’s appellate authority. The plea taken by the Rajya Sabha was that information related to House members with “remunerative directorship, regular remunerative activity, shareholding of controlling nature, paid consultancy and professional engagement” in any company “might not be provided to the public since the information was available to the secretariat in a fiduciary relationship”. The Upper House also held that Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee (members) were not obligated to “provide such information as it was covered under the exempt category under Section 8(1)(e) of the Right to Information Act, 2005”. Yet another inexplicable reason given by the Rajya Sabha to deny information to Bairwal was that “it was personal in nature, the disclosure of which had no relationship to any public activity or interest”. Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra’s order overturned the Rajya Sabha’s stand, saying that the CIC was “firmly of the view that the disclosure of desired information would serve a larger public interest”. According to the commission, “It is the standard practice that people in positions where they can make decisions or influence policies affecting the financial and other interests of companies should ordinarily recuse themselves from such a process, if they themselves have an interest in those specific companies or the class of enterprises, to avoid conflict of interest”. Speaking to Deccan Herald over phone from Delhi, Bairwal said the position taken by the Rajya Sabha, which had rejected his application (first submitted two years ago) twice earlier was “against the spirit” of the RTI Act. “What is ominous is that the Upper House’s Ethic Committee did not want to disclose information that members submit for registration in the Register of Members’ Interest under Rule 293 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States”. Bairwal said that Mishra’s order could go a long way in preventing lobbying by firms in which some MPs might hold stakes or have other pecuniary interests. The CIC’s order would then be in line with the ethics rules of the United States Congress which clearly states that “House Members...should never accept “benefits under circumstances which might be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance” of (their) official duties. Besides, the House of Representatives’ Ethic Committee “found that this standard was violated, for example, when a Member persuaded the organisers of a privately held bank to sell him stock while he was using his congressional position to promote authorisation for the establishment of the bank.”
  4. As reported at deccanherald.com on 8 May 2011 At a time when even the Supreme court judges have put details of their assets and wealth online, the two houses of parliament have ruled out publishing such details of its members online. In reply to a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Rajya Sabha's ethics committee said it was felt that since details of assets and liabilities of members can be availed by anyone after written permission from the Rajya Sabha chairman, uploading could be avoided. “It was the considered view of the committee that since any person could ask for the information of the Register (of Declaration of Assets and Liabilities), there appears no need to place the same on the website," committee director Sunita Sekaran said. She was replying to a RTI application filed by activist S.C. Aggarwal, who had asked for information on the steps taken by the union government for the declaration of wealth of members of legislature and judiciary on government website. In its reply, the Lok Sabha secretariat said that no steps were taken by it for uploading the assets and liabilities on its website."Lok Sabha Secretariat maintains information pertaining to assets and liabilities of members of Lok Sabha as required under the provisions of Representation of the People Act, 1951 and Members of Lok Sabha (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Rules, 2004,” said Lok Sabha information cell under secretary Savita Sharma
  5. As reported by Iftikhar Gilani in dailytimes.com.pk on 21 January 2009: Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan Indian Senate wants members’ asset declarations publicised NEW DELHI: The Indian Rajya Sabha (Upper House) chairman wants to publicise the declaration of assets and liabilities that members of parliament (MPs) file upon taking oath, to be in accordance with the Right to Information Act, 2005. “Why not place these declarations on the Rajya Sabha website,” he asked the House’s Ethics Committee. “In any case, anybody can get these details by filing an application under the act, and hence, why not put the details on the website itself to end the need for compilation of the information whenever sought,” said a reference by the chairman that the committee will examine today (Wednesday). The rules for the Rajya Sabha members do not keep the information they furnish confidential, while the Lok Sabha rules lay down that the register of declaration of assets and liabilities shall be ‘confidential’. Albeit the ‘confidential’ clause in Lok Sabha rules, the information can be made available to any person with the written permission of the speaker. The reference points out that the Lok Sabha Secretariat had, in some cases, supplied copies of original declarations of the MPs to the applicants under the Right to Information Act.
  6. CIC takes note of wrong reporting of R S proceedings as reported in NewKerala.com --- UNI New Delhi, Oct 18 : Wrong reporting of Parliamentary proceeding recently came to the notice of the Central Information Commission(CIC) while it was dealing with an RTI application. The CIC has suggested that the matter could be taken up with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The application had been filed a few months back by Maj Gen V K Singh of Gurgaon before the CPIO (RTI Cell) Rajya Sabha, seeking information on the report of Group of Ministers on National Security constituted in the year 2000. However, he was told by Mr Deepak Goyal, Director & CPIO Rajya Sabha Secretariat that as per records available in the Secretariat, no report of Group of Ministers (GOM) on National security has been laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha nor any information about the report available with the House. Following this reply, the appellant again approached the House authorities furnishing them copy of a news report that indicated that the GOM Report on National Security was tabled in Parliament in May 2001. Another news report dated 25.8.2001 mentioned the Home Minister announcing that the report would be discussed in Parliament the following week. In response, the Appellate Authority, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat reiterated that the report of Group of Ministers was not presented in Parliament on May, 3 2001 as mentioned in the news report referred to by Maj Gen Singh. The Authority sought to clarify that as per the 22nd Report of the Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (14th Lok Sabha), presented to the Rajya Sabha on 20.7.07, the GoMs report (which stands classified as ‘Secret’) was submitted only to the Government in February 2001. While disposing of the application of Maj Gen Singh, the CIC last week said, ''It does raise the question of irresponsible reporting of parliamentary proceedings which the Rajya Sabha Secretariat may wish to note and pursue with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.'' CIC takes note of wrong reporting of R S proceedings .:. NewKerala - India's Top Online Newspaper
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