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  1. A meeting was convened to discuss the mis-interpretation of the RTI act due to precedence setting judgments made by the Supreme Court. Several prominent RTI activists were present for this meeting. For more information visit website : http://foundation.moneylife.in/
  2. A meeting was convened to discuss the mis-interpretation of the RTI act due to precedence setting judgments made by the Supreme Court. Several prominent RTI activists were present for this meeting. For more information visit website : http://foundation.moneylife.in/ View full record
  3. 42 downloads

    Upper Ceiling For RTI Fee for application fixed for Rs.50/- and photocopy charges for Rs.5/- Supreme Court Stated that The first objection of the petitioners was that the charges for the application fee and per page charges for the information supplied should be reasonable.
  4. 4 downloads

    Find here the original Supreme court judgement on Aadhaar. (1) The requirement under Aadhaar Act to give one's demographic and biometric information does not violate fundamental right of privacy. (2) The provisions of Aadhaar Act requiring demographic and biometric information from a resident for Aadhaar Number pass three­fold test as laid down in Puttaswamy (supra) case, hence cannot be said to be unconstitutional. (3) Collection of data, its storage and use does not violate fundamental Right of Privacy. (4) Aadhaar Act does not create an architecture for pervasive surveillance. (5) Aadhaar Act and Regulations provides protection and safety of the data received from individuals. (6) Section 7 of the Aadhaar is constitutional. The provision does not deserve to be struck down on account of denial in some cases of right to claim on account of failure of authentication. (7) The State while enlivening right to food, right to shelter etc. envisaged under Article 21 cannot encroach upon the right of privacy of beneficiaries nor former can be given precedence over the latter. (8) Provisions of Section 29 is constitutional and does not deserves to be struck down. (9) Section 33 cannot be said to be unconstitutional as it provides for the use of Aadhaar data base for police investigation nor it can be said to violate protection granted under Article 20(3). (10) Section 47 of the Aadhaar Act cannot be held to be unconstitutional on the ground that it does not allow an individual who finds that there is a violation of Aadhaar Act to initiate any criminal process. (11) Section 57, to the extent, which permits use of Aadhaar by the State or any body corporate or person, in pursuant to any contract to this effect is unconstitutional and void. Thus, the last phrase in main provision of Section 57, i.e. “or any contract to this effect” is struck down. (12) Section 59 has validated all actions taken by the Central Government under the notifications dated 28.01.2009 and 12.09.2009 and all actions shall be deemed to have been taken under the Aadhaar Act. (13) Parental consent for providing biometric information under Regulation 3 & demographic information under Regulation 4 has to be read for enrolment of children between 5 to 18 years to uphold the constitutionality of Regulations 3 & 4 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations, 2016. (14) Rule 9 as amended by PMLA (Second Amendment) Rules, 2017 is not unconstitutional and does not violate Articles 14, 19(1)(g), 21 & 300A of the Constitution and Sections 3, 7 & 51 of the Aadhaar Act. Further Rule 9 as amended is not ultra vires to PMLA Act, 2002. (15) Circular dated 23.03.2017 being unconstitutional is set aside. (16) Aadhaar Act has been rightly passed as Money Bill. The decision of Speaker certifying the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 as Money Bill is not immuned from Judicial Review. (17) Section 139­AA does not breach fundamental Right of Privacy as per Privacy Judgment in Puttaswamy case. (18) The Aadhaar Act does not violate the interim orders passed in Writ Petition (C) No. 494 of 2012 and other Writ Petitions.
  5. Version CBSE Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay


    In this context a reference was made to the Hon’ble Supreme Court decision in 2011 (8) SCC 497 (CBSE Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay), wherein it was held as under: 35..... “It is also not required to provide ‘advice’ or ‘opinion’ to an applicant, nor required to obtain and furnish any ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ to an applicant. The reference to ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ in the definition of ‘information’ in section 2(f) of the Act, only refers to such material available in the records of the public authority. Many public authorities have, as a public relation exercise, provide advice, guidance and opinion to the citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be confused with any obligation under the RTI Act.”
  6. The plea that was filed by RTI activists Commodore Lokesh Batra (retired) along with Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri on 24 April will be heard by the top court when it reopens Monday after the summer break. The plea suggests that despite huge backlogs of appeals and complaints in many information commissions across the country, information commissioners have not been appointed. This has resulted in information commissions taking months, and in some cases even years, to decide appeals. “Currently, there are four vacancies in the Central Information Commission, even as more than 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending,” the petitioners claim. According to the petition, the State Information Commission (SIC) of Andhra Pradesh is completely non-functional since no information commissioner has been appointed there. Similarly, the Maharashtra SIC has four vacancies resulting in a backlog of around 40,000 cases. In Kerala, just one officer is manning the commission and has to adjudicate on more than 14,000 pending appeals and complaints. Recounting the state of affairs in various state commissions, the plea has noted that there are six vacancies in the SIC of Karnataka even though 33,000 cases are pending there. Odisha and Telangana are the only states where appointments have been made. There too the backlog goes up to 10,000 and 15,000 appeals respectively. The situation in West Bengal is particularly grim with two commissioners hearing appeals/complaints that were filed almost 10 years ago, the plea points out. “Further, several commissions like that of Gujarat, Nagaland and Maharashtra are functioning without the chief information commissioner, even though the RTI Act envisages a crucial role for the chief commissioner, with the administration and superintendence of the commission vesting with the chief,” the plea reads. “The effective functioning of information commissions, the final adjudicators under the RTI Act, is critical for the health of the transparency regime in the country,” the activists argue in their plea.
  7. New Delhi: The Supreme Court next week will hear a petition alleging that the Centre and various state governments have “stifled” the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act by failing to ensure appointments of information commissioners. The plea that was filed by RTI activists Commodore Lokesh Batra (retired) along with Anjali Bhardwaj and Amrita Johri on 24 April will be heard by the top court when it reopens Monday after the summer break. The plea suggests that despite huge backlogs of appeals and complaints in many information commissions across the country, information commissioners have not been appointed. This has resulted in information commissions taking months, and in some cases even years, to decide appeals. “Currently, there are four vacancies in the Central Information Commission, even as more than 23,500 appeals and complaints are pending,” the petitioners claim. According to the petition, the State Information Commission (SIC) of Andhra Pradesh is completely non-functional since no information commissioner has been appointed there. Similarly, the Maharashtra SIC has four vacancies resulting in a backlog of around 40,000 cases. In Kerala, just one officer is manning the commission and has to adjudicate on more than 14,000 pending appeals and complaints. Recounting the state of affairs in various state commissions, the plea has noted that there are six vacancies in the SIC of Karnataka even though 33,000 cases are pending there. Odisha and Telangana are the only states where appointments have been made. There too the backlog goes up to 10,000 and 15,000 appeals respectively. The situation in West Bengal is particularly grim with two commissioners hearing appeals/complaints that were filed almost 10 years ago, the plea points out. “Further, several commissions like that of Gujarat, Nagaland and Maharashtra are functioning without the chief information commissioner, even though the RTI Act envisages a crucial role for the chief commissioner, with the administration and superintendence of the commission vesting with the chief,” the plea reads. “The effective functioning of information commissions, the final adjudicators under the RTI Act, is critical for the health of the transparency regime in the country,” the activists argue in their plea. View full entry
  8. 11 downloads

    In a landmark judgement delivered in Asian Resurfacing Road Agency Vs CBI Criminal appeal No 1375 and 1376 of 2013, the Supreme Court has held that all stays granted by ANY court in ANY matter (Civil / Criminal) shall lapse automatically after 6 months, unless the concerned court extends it by a speaking order. The Court has also held that where a party produces such a stay before the Trial Court, the Trial Court can automatically fix a date after six months and resume hearing pending fresh extension of stay after that period.
  9. The Supreme Court fixed on Tuesday an upper limit of Rs 50 as application fee that government authorities can charge those seeking information under the right to information (RTI) act, the country’s transparency law. Also, a bench of justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said public authorities cannot ask for more than Rs 5 for each page as photocopying charge, and an applicant need not mention the “motive” while filling out the application form. The order came on petitions challenging high fees set by different public bodies, including high courts and state assemblies. The decision can be downloaded from here:
  10. Version 1.0.0


    Judicial functions of the Supreme Court is not covered under the RTI Act the remedy available to such a party is to challenge the same by a legally permissible mode.
  11. Hello RTI India Activists, RTI Question(needs drafting): How to seek information from High Court or Supreme Court of India regarding the Judgments on Converted Christians Child adoption from Hindu Parents during 1991-1995? Requesting fellow forum members to help me to get relevant information from High Court or Supreme Court. What is the address of PIO of High Court or Supreme Court? Tips to get information faster. Any suggestions are warmly welcomed. My grandmother wrote a WILL to My Friend's Christian NGO organization. She was converted to Christianity from Hinduism. After she was passed away, One of her close relative was challenging the WILL in High Court as he was her adapted son. NGO is in financial crisis. It can hardly survive not more than 4 months roughly. There are children in the NGO Care, Sick and Old. To overcome the situation. We need to win the case in the court at any cost. Facts about the case 1. She was childless 2. Converted Christian 3. During 1991 She had adopted a Hindu grandson of her Younger Sister Son's-Son by the force her close family members using Hindu ritual and registration. He refused to live with the foster parents and left the house to live with biological parents. After her dismissal he came to know about the assets she had possessed earlier. Thank you all in advance Raja
  12. I am a student B.Sc 3rd year. I have given exam 3 year. I have been failed in this exam of chemistry subject and given zero mark by copy checker. But my exam is going good and i am 100% sure that i can take zero marks. That's why we applied RTI form and before two days I getting my RTI Copy. And check my answer is right I also check my Mdu related syllabus. Previous day we was going to MDU But MUD controller and vice chancellor not give a proper response. And we also going secrecy branch it is not give answer. He told me you go you home and give again exam. So please give suggestion what can i do now? Please help me.
  13. Since December 2009, I have filed over 20 direct Complaints under Sec 18, with the CIC for: 1. Sec 4 Disclosure by Supreme Court and various High Courts 2. RTI Rules of various High Courts violating the basic RTI Act itself. Attaching them in the thread for general reference. Still to do the exercise for : Rajasthan High Court Punjab & Haryana High Court Sikkim High Court COMPLAINT Allahabad High Court Rules.pdf COMPLAINT under SEC 18 for Sec 4 disclosure Allahabad HC.pdf COMPLAINT Andhra Pradesh High Court Rules.pdf COMPLAINT Chattisgarh High Court Rules.pdf COMPLAINT under Sec 18 for Sec 4 disclosure Delhi HC.pdf
  14. From an email received from Mr Shailesh Gandhi: Shailesh Gandhi B2, Gokul Apartment, Podar Road, Santacruz (W), Mumbai 400054 email: XXXXXXXXXX Tel: XXXXXXXXXXX Complaint under Section 18 (1) (f) of the RTI Act To, The Chief Information Commissioner, August Kranti Bhavan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi 110067. Dear Sir, I am making a complaint under Section 18 (1) (f) against the Reserve Bank of India. Section 18 (1) (f) provides for a complaint “in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Act.” Hence there is no RTI application with this. RBI has issued what it calls a ‘Disclosure Policy’ on its website at: Reserve Bank of India - Database The list of information which shall not be given is justified by the proclamation that: ‘While compiling the ( nondisclosure) list, it has been the Bank's endeavour to attain the objectives of the RTI Act, without jeopardizing the financial stability and economic interests of the State.’ Effectively it means that RBI arrogates to itself the right to lay down exemptions to disclosure of information in line with the objectives of the Act. This is the sole prerogative of Parliament which has provided the exemptions to disclosure in Section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act. You will be aware that the Supreme Court of India had in a clutch of nine transfer cases of RBI ruled that the decisions of CIC in ordering information to be provided were correct had said “We have, therefore, given our anxious consideration to the matter and came to the conclusion that the Central Information Commissioner has passed the impugned orders giving valid reasons and the said orders, therefore, need no interference by this Court.” Even these have been listed as information which will not be disclosed.# It is an irony that the ‘Disclosure Policy’ only lists information which will not be disclosed in the garb of claiming exemptions under Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act. This is illegal and is certainly usurpation of the powers of the commission. RBI has no power under law to declare which information is exempt. That is the role of the commission. This is a very dangerous and illegal action, which could cause complete disruption of the working of RTI, if other public authorities follow this example. PIO’s of public authorities will then be following the illegal proclamation of their organizations instead of the RTI Act. Relief sought: Please declare this action of RBI illegal and reprimand them for this illegal act. This matter needs to be heard urgently, since this is a major threat to the fundamental right of citizens. I am also a senior citizen. Yours truly Shailesh Gandhi, Former Central Information Commissioner 16 December 2016 Enclosed: List of information ordered to be given by CIC orders Love shailesh All my emails are in public domain. Mera Bharat Mahaan Nahi Hai, Per yeh Dosh, Mera Hai Tel: XXXXXXXXXXXXX ========================================================== RBI was ordered to provide information listed below by the orders of the Central Information Commission# which were upheld by the Supreme Court on 16 December 2015. RBI is now defying these and pronounced its own non-disclosure policy at Reserve Bank of India - Database. # Orders given by Shailesh Gandhi I. Jayantilal Mistry: CIC/SM/A/2011/001487/SG/15434 [TABLE=width: 675] [TR] [TD]1.[/TD] [TD]Last RBI investigation and audit report carried out by Mr. Santosh Kumar during 23/04/2010 to 06/05/2010 sent to Registrar of the co - operative of Gujarat, Gandhinagar on Makarpura Industrial Estate Co - Operative Bank Ltd. Reg No. 2808.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2.[/TD] [TD]Last 20 years inspection report carried out with the name of inspector on the above named bank and action taken report.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3.[/TD] [TD]Reports on all co - operative banks that have gone into liquidation and action taken against all directors and managers for recovery of public funds, powers utilized by RBI and analysis, and procedures adopted.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4.[/TD] [TD]Names of remaining co - operative banks un der your observations against irregularities and action taken reports.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]5.[/TD] [TD]Period required to take actions and implementations.[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] II. Venugopal CIC/SG/A/2011/002011/15404 1. Under which Grade The George Town Co-operative Bank, Chennai – 600079, has been categorized as on 31.12.2006. III .Mittal CIC/SG/A/2011/002793/15661 Kindly provide copies of inspection reports of apex co-operative banks of various states/Mumbai District Co-operative Bank from 2005 till date. IV.Kapoor CIC/SM/A/2011/001376/SG/15684 The PIO shall provide the complete information as per records on queries 2(b) The Commission also directs the Governor, RBI to display this information on its website, in fulfillment of its obligations under Section 4 (1) (b) (xvii) of the RTI Act. This direction is being given under the Commission’s powers under Section 19 (8) (a) (iii). This should be done before 31 December, 2011 and updated each year. (b) Details of default in loans taken from public sector banks by industrialists. Out of above list of defaulters, top 100 defaulters, name of the businessman, address, firm name, principal amount, interest amount, date of default and date of availing loan. © Steps being taken for putting information sought in query 2(a) and list of defaulters on the website of the Respondent – public authority. V. Subhash Chandra Agrawal [TABLE=width: 625] [TR] [TD]1.[/TD] [TD]Complete and detailed information including related documents / correspondence / file noting etc of RBI on imposing fines on some banks for violating rules like also referred in enclosed news clipping.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2.[/TD] [TD]Complete list of banks which were issued show-cause notices before fine was imposed as also referred in enclosed news clipping mentioning also default for which show-cause notice was issued to each of such banks.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3.[/TD] [TD]List of banks out of those in query (2) above where fine was not imposed giving details like if their reply was satisfactory etc.[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] VI. Patil [TABLE=width: 722, align: center] [TR] [TD]1.[/TD] [TD]Copies of complaints received by RBI against illegal working of the said bank, including violations of the Standing Orders of RBI as well as the provisions under Section 295 of the Companies Act, 1956.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2.[/TD] [TD]Action initiated by RBI against the said bank, including all correspondence between RBI and the said bank officials.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3.[/TD] [TD]Finding of the enquiry made by RBI, actions proposed and taken against the bank and its officials- official notings, decisions and final orders passed and issued.[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] VII. Shanmugam CIC/SG/A/2011/001966/16167 [TABLE=width: 100%] [TR] [TD]1.[/TD] [TD]Before the Orissa High Court, RBI has filed an affidavit stating that the total mark to market losses on account of currency derivatives is to the tune of more than Rs. 32,000 crores. Please give bank wise breakup of the MTM losses[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2.[/TD] [TD]What is the latest figure available with RBI of the amount of losses suffered by Indian business houses? Please furnish the latest figures bank wise and customer wise.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3.[/TD] [TD]Whether the issue of derivative losses to Indian Exporters was discussed In any of the meetings of Governor I Deputy Governor or senior official of the Reserve Bank of India? If so please furnish the minutes of the meeting where the said issue was discussed.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4.[/TD] [TD]Any other Action Taken Reports by RBI in this regard.[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] VIII Murlidharan CIC/SG/A/2011/002841/16732 [TABLE] [TR] [TD]1.[/TD] [TD]What contraventions and violations were made by SCB in respect of non-compliance of RBI instructions on derivatives, for which RBI has imposed penalty of INR 10 lakhs on SCB in exercise of its powers vested under Section 47A(1)(b) of the Banking Regulations Act, 1949 and as stated in the RBI press release dated April 26, 2011issued by Department of Communication, RBI.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]2.[/TD] [TD]Please provide us the copies/details of all the complaints filed with RBI against SCB, accusing SCB of mis-selling derivative products, failure to carry out due diligence in regard to suitability of products, not verifying the underlying/adequacy of underlying and eligible limits under past performance and various other non-compliance of RBI Instructions on derivatives. Also, please provide the above information in prescribed format.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]3.[/TD] [TD]Please provide us the copies of all the written replies/correspondences made by SCB with RBI and the recordings of all the oral submissions made by SCB to defend and explain the violations/contraventions made by SCB.[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]4.[/TD] [TD]Please provide us the details/copies of the findings, recordings, enquiry reports, directive orders, file notings and/or any information on the investigations conducted by RBI against SCB in respect of non-compliance by SCB in respect of non-compliance of RBI instruction on derivatives. Also, please provide the above information in prescribed format.[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] IX. Ashwini Dixit CIC/SG/A/2011/003293/17640 1. Action taken by RBI against scams/economic inconsistencies of United Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd. (the “Bank”) along with the daily progress reports.
  15. Attached is an order of the CIC dated 21 Nov 2016. The CIC has ordered the Apex Court to upload certain data related to judgments, etc. The same information was provided to the applicant earlier. However, the CPIO of the SC denied the same information when various other RTI applications were filed and similar details were sought about more cases. The order of the CIC is small....but please go through the detailed arguments of the appellant and the convincing and intelligent way in which he has rebutted each and every argument put forward by the respondents. The appellant left the CIC with no choice but to pass this order. SC to upload info on website.pdf
  16. Reported by Economictimes.indiatimes.com on Jul 23, 2015 Death penalty better than entire life behind bars: Supreme Court - The Economic Times The award of life imprisonment with a rider that it means "remainder of life" today came under sharp attack from the Supreme Court which said that it would be better to award death penalty to such convicts. "All of us live in hope, if this is the prevailing situation then there will be no hope for such convicts. What is the point in keeping a man in jail for whole life... Give him the death sentence. That will be better," a five-judge constitutional bench, headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, said. The remarks came while hearing a petition of the Centre against Tamil Nadu Government's decision to set free convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case in which the court today allowed states to exercise power of remission in certain class of cases. During the hearing, the bench asked the Centre about the rationale behind providing life imprisonment till the death. "We follow the reformatory penal system," the bench said, adding that if there is no scope of remission, then why a convict, serving life term, would try to reform himself.
  17. Reported by Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jan 1, 2015 SC collegium out, panel to pick judges gets President's nod - The Times of India The Supreme Court collegium system of appointing judges for the apex court and high courts gets a burial with President Pranab Mukherjee giving assent to the judicial appointments commission bill on Wednesday. The Bill has already been ratified by at least 17 states and many more are in the process of doing it, said a senior law ministry official. It is mandatory for a constitutional amendment bill after it is passed by both the Houses of Parliament to be ratified by at least half of the states. This brings to an end a system which the apex court had, through a judgment in 1993, decided to appoint judges to put an end to the earlier practice of the government appointing judges. The process of replacing the collegium with a judicial commission was first initiated during the first NDA government when it had brought a Bill in 2003 but this was never taken up by Parliament for consideration. But after the Narendra Modi took over, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was the law minister in the first NDA government, initiated the NJAC bill to replace the collegium and finally pursued political parties to evolve a consensus. The government will shortly notify the new Constitutional amendment replacing the SC collegium with the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC). After the notification, the process of setting up of the NJAC will begin as provided under an enabling legislation which has also been passed by Parliament along with the Constitution amendment bill. The enabling NJAC bill provides for a six-member commission headed by the chief justice of India and comprising two senior SC judges as its members besides two eminent persons and the law minister. The two eminent persons in the commission will be appointed by a panel comprising the CJI, the Prime Minister and the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha. The NJAC also has provision for a veto where it provides that no name opposed by two or more of the six-member body can go through. The two eminent persons will have a tenure of three years and one of them would be from one of the following categories: Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, women or the minority community. After the NJAC is set up, a name recommended for appointment as judge to the SC or HCs can be returned by the President for reconsideration. Though an initial recommendation to the President for appointment can be made by 5-1 majority, this would not suffice to re-recommend the same name. If a name is returned for reconsideration, the committee can reiterate the name only if there is unanimity among the members after reconsideration.
  18. I had seen one post some time back that the judgements of Supreme Court of India is law by vsprajan. Can any of our Hon'ble members give the link to that post or the siad judgement.
  19. D.T.RATHAVA has just uploaded About 8 1 (j) SUPREME COURT OF INDIA! SUPREME COURT OF INDIA SAY'S RTI 8 1 (J)
  20. pitterlarissa

    Supreme court judgements on RTI

    Hello, Are there any SC judgements on RTI in 2014? Larissa
  21. Supreme Court has tried to curb the unhealthy practice of frequent adjournments, by making rules, so that any lawyer seeking adjournment will have to file a consent-letter for adjournment from the opposite side to be submitted to the court-registry at least two days in advance of hearing-date. The Circular issued by the SC is attached to this post. Supreme Court new procedure on adjournments.pdf
  22. From an email received from Mr Venkatesh Nayak New Supreme Court Rules for inspection and copies must become RTI-compliant Today, the Supreme Court of India has begun implementing its new set of Rules for regulating its practice and procedures. These Rules were notified in May this year. They replace the existing Rules brought into force in 1966. Readers may access the text of the new SC Rules at:http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/Supreme%20Court%20Rules,%202013.pdf Readers will recollect that the Registry of the Supreme Court is also a public authority under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Whether the Chief Justice of India is also a public authority under the same law, is a question that has been referred to a Constitution Bench of the Court in November 2010 in the matter of Central Public Information Officer, Supreme Court of India vs. Subhash Chandra Agrawal, (2011) 1SCC 496. This Bench has not been constituted for almost four years despite important constitutional and legal questions being framed by the three-Judge Bench. Readers may recollect this is the well known 'judges' assets case' initiated by the RTI intervention of veteran RTI activist Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal. I have enclosed a document containing a comparison between the 1966 Rules and the new Rules of the Apex Court from the perspective of the RTI Act. While access to court records were governed by Order XII of the 1966 Rules, they have been split up under Orders X and XIII in the 2014 version. They cover the rights of parties as well as strangers to information about any judicial proceeding. The 1966 Rules required a stranger who is not a party to any ongoing judicial proceeding to give reasons (i.e., "show cause") for seeking copies of documents related to that proceeding. This requirement remains unchanged under the new Rules. Several experts including the Public Information Officer of the Apex Court and their advocates have tried to draw a distinction between seeking copies of court records under the Court's rules as well as seeking the same information under the RTI Act. The PIO of the Apex Court has frequently denied access to copies of Court records under the RTI Act stating that the 1966 Court Rules permit access to even strangers under Order XII, so there is no need to make a request under the RTI Act. However what is often lost in the interpretation is the question- why should Court Rules be forced upon an RTI applicant when the request is made under the RTI Act. Division Benches of both Rajasthan and Delhi High Courts have ruled that when a public authority under the Executive arm of the State receives RTI applications, it must deal with them in terms of the RTI Rules and not any other Rules, especially with regard to calculation of fees. These judgements will override the Delhi High Court Single judge Bench's 2012 directive that when other laws also provide for access to information then those fee Rules will apply no matter what [see Registrar of Companies and Ors vs Dharmendra Kumar Garg and Anr. (2012) ILR6 Delhi 499]. So the same principle must apply to Courts as well. A second contradiction with the RTI Act is that a stranger has to show cause for seeking information under the Court Rules while under the RTI Act there is no such compulsion. Of course when a person seeks information under the Court Rules, those Rules must apply, however, when a request is made under the RTI Act, then commonsense requires that the RTI Rules must apply. It is a clear recognition of this commonsensical principle which seems to have guided the Madras High Court to amend its Appellate Side Rules (but not the Original Side Rules) in 2010. Order XII, Rule 3, earlier required a stranger to a case to submit an affidavit explaining to the Court why he/she wants copies of a court record. The 2010 amendment deletes this requirement. So now a stranger to an ongoing appeal case needs to only make an application to the Madras High Court seeking copies of any document of an ongoing case. While notifying its new Rules, the Hon'ble Supreme Court could have incorporated similar provisions to make them RTI-compliant. I hope the Apex Court makes its new Rules RTI compliant just as the Madras High Court did four years ago. Readers may also note that Article 145(1) of the Constitution is the source of the Apex Court's power to make Rules with the approval of the President to regulate its procedure. This provision starts with the phrase: "Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament..." The RTI Act is clearly a law made by Parliament and covers the Supreme Court squarely as a 'public authority' and all court records as 'information' within its definitions. So when a request for court records in an ongoing case is made under the RTI Act, the RTI Rules must prevail because the Constitution subjects the Court Rules to the RTI Act. Time and again the PIO of the Apex Court has contested this position. A matter relating to access to records on the administrative side of the Apex Court in which I assisted the Appellant has been referred to a full bench of the CIC in May this year. The outcome of a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the Apex Court- again about information pertaining to the administrative side which Commodore (retd.) Lokesh Batra has filed- is awaited as the judgement has been reserved last week. SCI-2013Rules-v-1966Rules-ATIprovisions-comparison-Aug14.pdf
  23. I gave 100 application to police station about nuisance created by loudspeaker in Gurudwara. Police came many times but the loudspeaker is still creating lot of noise each day in the morning. I also submitted the photocopy of the orders given by the supreme court to the police station. But police still not able to remove the loudspeaker. Please tell me what kind of RTI and to whome i should use.
  24. 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
  25. 1. Can a government department refuse to accept two or more my identifying certificates on the grounds that "one identification has the middle name just initialized and the other has the middle name in the expanded form"? [could be a legal question actually]. This has happened even when the father's name(second level of identification) and date of birth(third level of identification) matches in both. This is specially in relation to the PAN card department about not accepting my certificates as valid to make changes in PAN card. 2. How to frame RTI and to whom to frame RTI for this? A lot of us have middle names. Sometimes we initialize it, sometimes we expand it. Does just using the initials(in name or middle name) make us unidentifiable even when other layers of identification are provided? For instance, our former President was called S.Radhakrishnan and sometimes he expanded and sometimes he didn't. But that didn't make him ineligible for consideration of both names. 3. Can I file RTI with Supreme Court asking for documents which show that just because a person's middle name(or name) is initialized doesn't make him ambiguous or unidentifiable, provided other layers of identification are provided. 4. This can be a landmark RTI if we have a reply from, say, Supreme Court and can be used to quote in future RTIs. I'm sure people who have legal background have the answer already. Please share your views.
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