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As reported by Arvind Kashyap in expressindia.com on 14 February 2008: Sanawar school a public authority Sanawar school a public authority Solan, February 14 Declaring Lawrence School, Sanawar, a â€œpublic authorityâ€ under the provision of Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commissioner has directed the authorities of the school to provide all information sought by one of its former teachers, Dr Rajender Kumar Singla, under the Act. Notably, the headmaster of the school had earlier denied certain information sought by Dr Singla under the RTI, claiming that the school did not fall under the purview of the Act. The headmaster, in his reply to the information seeker in February, 2007, giving reference of Section 8 (I) © of the Act, stated that the institution has been exempted from disclosure of information under the Act. The information was sought in the month of December 2006. However, Dr Singla had contested that the school was directly accountable for its functioning to the Education Secretary, Government of India, who happens to be the ex-officio chairman of the schoolâ€™s management. Besides, the school is also answerable to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which is also a public body. Moreover, the institution is located on government land and is also accountable to many public authorities under various laws. Under such circumstances, school authorities cannot deny any information sought under the provision of RTI Act. Singla had alleged that officials concerned of the school has allegedly violated the provisions of law by denying information. Singla, whose services were terminated in January 2007 by the school authorities, had sought information concerning a copy of school rules, besides other information. Talking to mediapersons, Singla said here today that after receiving denial letters from the school headmaster, he had filed an application before the appellate authority at Panchkula, who had also disposed of the case on the plea offered by the headmaster. After this, he had made a second appeal before the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) in May, 2007. He said the CIC, after hearing both sides and examining the relevant documents, ordered that the institution had been substantially funded through grant of government land and it could not accept the contention of respondents that the chairman of Board of Governors would have no say in the management of affairs of the institution. Further, memorandum of association and regulations of the school have been issued by the Ministry of Education of Government of India on June 26, 1952, and had on its Board of Governors as many as three secretaries to the Government of India, besides other government officials like Director of Public Instruction and District Magistrate. Declaring the school a â€œpublic authorityâ€, the commission finally ordered the headmaster of the school, Assistant Secretary, CBSE, and others to provide the information to Dr Singla before February 20 and cite specific provisions of the RTI Act in case they wish to deny any information asked for by the appellant.
ganpat1956 posted a topic in RTI in MediaChandigarh, February 20: A former teacher of Sanawar School, DR Rajinder Singla, today alleged that he was sacked after he demanded some information from the school under the Right To Information Act (RTI). Addressing a press conference at Press Club, Sector 27, Singla alleged that the school has a number of irregularities and the school authorities were not ready to confront it. Singla said, â€œWhen the school authorities were not ready to answer my queries I went through the RTI and submitted a 13 page application to the regional officer of CBSE at Panchkula. A few weeks later I received a letter from the headmaster of the school stating that my services had been terminated with immediate effect.â€ He further said, â€œ While I was denied the information the first time I had asked for it under the RTI act, the regional officer at the CBSE office in Panchkula, Kushal Singh later directed the headmaster of the school to provide me with the required information.â€ Singla also alleged that the school authorities direct the teachers to act and function as per their wishes, failing which they are harassed. He added, â€œ those who have been harassing the teachers include R P Aggarwal, Chairman of board of governors and education secretary to the Government of India, Jai Singh Gill, former chief secretary, Government of Punjab, Omar Abdullah, MP from Jammu and Kashmir and Lt General A N Aul, chief of staff, HQ Western Command, Chandimandir. Many teachers have been sacked by the school without serving any notice or explaining the reason of doing the same.â€ Meanwhile, refuting the allegation, Praveen Vasisht, Headmaster Sanawar School, said, â€œSingla had a poor record. He has been sacked as per the decision taken by the board of directors and not because he requested for information. He is making false allegations about the school because he himself is at fault.â€ Singla also said that he would be filing a case against the school authorities in the District Courts soon. Former Sanawar teacher alleges harassment at the hands of school authorities