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CIC bouncers in court


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The Union government has taken refuge before the judiciary to avoid parting with the information sought under the RTI Act in some cases, claiming that they were "classified" and would be a "threat to national security."

Hit by the bouncers from the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Union government-- which initiated the Right To Information Act -- has taken refuge before the judiciary to avoid parting with the information sought under the RTI Act in some cases, claiming that they were “classified” and would be a “threat to national security.”


The Centre has moved the Delhi high court challenging the CIC order in at least three cases: Appointments of chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court Vijender Jain, Shiv Shanker Menon as foreign secretary and the UPSC civil services examination.


Asked about these cases, a commissioner with the CIC on condition of anonymity said, ''CIC is a toothless tiger. It can only pass an order but it is up to the government to provide the information.''


Challenging the CIC order in Jain’s appointment, the government said, ''The impugned order is contrary to the provision of 8 (1)(e) of the RTI Act. There is no obligation to disclose information available to a person in the fidicious relationship.


In the instant case, the views expressed by the Judges or persons under consideration for being appointed as judges clearly creates a judiciary relationship between the Supreme Court collegium and such judges or person.''


The government maintained that under Article 217 of the Constitution, the records of the collegium of the Supreme Court, made to the Ministry of Law and Justice; and subsequently to the Prime Minister and President would be in the nature of advice tendered by the cabinet to the President and, hence, being privileged, cannot be disclosed.


In May 2007, the high court stayed the CIC's order directing the Union to produce all relevant documents pertaining to the appointment of Mr Menon as foreign secretary. The Centre submitted that the information sought did not come within the ambit of the RTI Act.


“The documents are not liable to be disclosed in any form or manner either to Ms Veena Sikri, a 1971 batch IFS officer (who had challenged Menon’s appointment), or before any other person or authority including the CIC.”


The CIC by its May 7 order had also directed the External Affairs Ministry to allow Ms Sikri to make inspection within 15 days of a file on Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) in connection with the promotion to the foreign secretary. Ms Sikri had moved the CIC complaining of gender bias in the selection to the key post. Menon had superseded 16 officers including her to become the foreign secretary.


UPSC exam


In another similar case, the government appearing on behalf of the UPSC told the high court that the information sought by about 2,500 IAS aspirants such as cut-off marks, individual scores scaling criteria and model answers were top secret and disclosure of such "crucial" documents would lead to violation of intellectual property.


''Revealing of the marks would infringe intellectual property right of the commission. The coaching institutes might decipher short-cut methods to the advantage of its students,'' said the UPSC. Many meritorious students might be at disadvantage if the marks, cut-off points and the scaling system were revealed, it contended.


Deccan Herald - CIC bouncers in court

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From thebeginning the above cases, I had maintained theview expressed byu High Cout. Ihese are rare occasions whereI appreciate the judiciary.In Sikri's Case, everyone including she herself knew that appointments to critial posts like Foreign Secretaey cannot be done purely becuase one has joined the service earlier. It has tobe selected from a group of eligible contestents. His way of thinking and deplomacy should be in tune wih that of government's foreign policy. How can one tolerate Mrs.Sikri as our Foreign Secretary who rush to pillar to post in a most undeplomatic manner as our chief of deplomates when she is fully aware of the selection pattern. .

Similarly, I fully agree with the contentions and justifications of the court in UPSC case also..

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  • 1 year later...

Wait for HC order on cut-off marks: CIC tells IAS aspirant


as reported in Chennai Online


New Delhi, Aug 26 An Indian Administrative Services (IAS) aspirant, seeking information on cut-off marks in the UPSC examination, was told by the Central Information Commission (CIC) to wait till the Delhi High Court passes its verdict on the issue.


"On the question of cut-off marks, RTI applicant Vivek Tripathi will have to await the decision of the Delhi High Court which is expected to be announced on November three," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.


The transparency panel, however, refused to re-examine its decision given earlier in which it held that a citizen cannot seek disclosure of the evaluated answer sheets under the RTI Act.


Tripathi, a resident of Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh), approached the CIC, seeking information regarding Civil Service Main Examination held in 2005 and asked it to direct the UPSC to show him the answer sheet of English paper.


He contended that the UPSC had provided him incomplete information but the Counsel for the Commission, Naresh Kaushik, refuted the allegations.


Kaushik submitted that the applicant was being replied in accordance with the spirit of the RTI Act.


"The UPSC does not maintain question-wise marks but has provided the marks, the record of which is being maintained by the public authority," he said. (Agencies)


Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Wait for HC order on cut-off marks: CIC tells IAS aspirant

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