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RTI to PIL, a right path

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Great idea, great execution, great results by Bali Sahib. Congratulations to him.


We sitting locally in Chandigarh have not been able to nail /shake the Punjab Commission for its numerous omissions and commissions. Think, Advise, Act - I will join.


P.K. Aditya

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Posting a relevant news article for member RTI activists aspiring to file PIL at some stage:-



SC: Principle of utmost good faith to be litmus test for PIL


Reported by Dhananjay Mahapatra in Mobiletoi.timesofindia.com



New Delhi: The principle of utmost good faith a litmus test in the insurance business and trust jurisprudence will be the first point of scrutiny of the credentials of those who file public interest litigations (PILs),the Supreme Court has ruled.


Under this newly accepted principle,a person who files a PIL to question credentials of another a public authority or a politician must first prove his own and demonstrate before the court that he has no ulterior motive and trust can be reposed in the petitioner.


Earlier,the court had held that if the issue raised by the person even if he lacked credentials or bona fides was of sufficient public importance,the petitioner could be replaced by amicus curiae (a counsel chosen by the court to render assistance during the proceedings on the PIL).But now,if he fails to prove utmost good faith,the PIL will be thrown out.


With proliferation of PILs and vested interests creeping in camouflaged as public interest,a bench of Justices S S Nijjar and Pinaki Chandra Ghose accepted Attorney General G E Vahanvatis utmost good faith proposition and drafted it in as a cardinal threshold principle to test bona fide of PIL petitioners.


This new parameter setting judgment came on a PIL filed by Arun Aggarwal,who had challenged appointment of U K Sinha as chairman of Sebi.He had accused the government of throwing rules to the wind and even hurled charges at Omita Paul,former adviser to the finance minister,for allegedly influencing the appointment process.Paul was adviser to President Pranab Mukherjee when he was finance minister.She is secretary to the President.


Vahanvati termed the PIL as an unfair petition and said public interest litigation jurisdiction is based on the principle of uberrimae fidei which means utmost good faith.Therefore,before the petitioner can attack the integrity of respondent No.4 (Sinha ),he would have to establish his own good faith in filing the present writ petition. He said,This is a very unfair petition.Documents have been presented before the court in a very selective manner.The petitioner has admitted the suppression of earlier petition but he has tried to explain it by giving some excuses.


The SC accepted the AGs submissions.The bench of Justices Nijjar and Ghose said: We entirely agree with the submissions made by the Attorney General that the first requirement for the maintainability of public interest litigation is the uberrimae fidei of the petitioner.


In our opinion,the petitioner has unjustifiably attacked the integrity of the entire selection process.It is virtually impossible to accept the submission that respondent No.6 (Paul) was able to influence the decision-making process which involves the active participation of the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (ACC),a search-cum-section committee with the final approval of the finance minister and the PM, the bench said.


The principle of uberrimae fidei first finds mention in the 1970 SC judgment in Prem Lata Agarwal Vs Lakhsman Prasad Gupta case,where it fastened this during the execution of a decree.But,thereafter four judgments in which the SC dealt with this principle pertained to marine insurances.Section 19 of the Marine Insurance Act,1963,says,Insurance is uberrimae fidei A contract of marine insurance is a contract based upon the utmost good faith,and if the utmost good faith be not observed by either party,the contract may be avoided by the other party.


[Published in the Sunday Times of India, Chandigarh Edition, on November 3, 2013]

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1. Can someone please explain how does someone like me establish my "good faith" ?


2. Ms. Omita Paul was also a IC in the CIC - for a period of 31 days ONLY. Read more about here here:




More on Omita Paul can be read here: https://www.google.co.in/?gws_rd=cr&ei=QuJ3UpTEC4bxrQeYiYD4AQ#psj=1&q=omita+paul+

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When PIOs' even attributive motives to stranger Applicants to suppress facts, it is very hard to prove of good faith from your side, as you are one of the contender, and Hon Judges or opponents just term this as jealousy in not securing the post (sour grape fruit policy).

Some one who follows your posts and commitment in this portal can only know what is Hon. Karira and unfortunately, you do not publicise and appear in media, promoting yourself.

So no chance for sincerity.

Why Omita Paul alone, there are several such Pauls in every palle (village) using influence in their own levels.

Please do not say, that I always complain, as that is the only thing a common can do and find relief.

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  • 1 month later...

The latest info is that in PIL 8801/2012, the Chief Justice took a very serious note of modus-operandi of MC officials in allowing the unauthorized constructions under their nose in connivance. No doubt, it was my skill to make the court aware of the facts by my insisting arguments and art of making court to listen (this is experience which makes you an expert- as called word "Practice" in legal profession).


The Double Bench on 16/12/2013 passed a historic order which is self speaking. Since 1976, MC Act Punjab was enacted, this technology (video-photo) was never used.

1) Now all of MCs of Punjab had been made parties.

2) Photography is also mandated with notices of unauthorized construction.


RTI community is benefited, like, make complaint of unauthorised building under construction, ask after 24 hours from MC under RTI the copy of notice and PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN. If still you find the construction going on, file COCP petition in High Court against MC officials by name (like MTP) after taking fresh photographs and MC has no reply. (instead of CWP or any other remedy, COCP is more fearful to administration) So where statue was silent, I have made to make a new provision, "Photography". Please follow this path and you will enjoy.

6 Interim Order 16-12-2013.pdf

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I am very very and very happy by above order. It is reply to those friends who say that Courts do not give any thing and bla bla bla. It is art of convincing, please learn it and focus on action. God will sure help you all.

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Bali Sir,


God bless you for your absolutely commendable and effort in making justice a part of today's grim situation.


I am truly inspired to follow your footsteps.


I am truly humbled by your words of wisdom and also your work.


Also your format for rti to pil is also so simple.

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Sir, Congratulation for your success.


Request to approach Aam Aadmi Party to stand for MP, You can produce fast result when you come in power.


- - - Updated - - -


Sir, Congratulation for your success.


Request to approach Aam Aadmi Party to stand for MP, You can produce fast result when you come in power.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am feeling highly delighted that my struggle which I did for the noble cause, to make Amritsar Residents to regain their legal right which had been forsaken by them since 1976, has ended successfully .


The Municipal Corporation Amritsar sends invitation to public to witness the meeting of House of Councillors being held on 23/01/2014. None in Amritsar rather whole of Punjab including my legal practitioner’s fraternity ever paid their kind attention to such democratic issues. Alas, people themselves become aware of their rights & duties or ofcourse the bureaucrats lobby does their foremost duty to voluntary implement those “Rights” which a statue confers upon the people of India. So that a person like me have not to knock door of Courts for days and weeks for just for a issue which is already available to people.


A commoner now is entitled to watch & witness, sitting with the elites in the House that what his elected representative says and behaves in house.


The Dainik Jagran Daily-Amritsar details the story.

A21 Daily_Jagran.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Adding achievement to the directions in "RTI to PIL- A right Path", I achieved one more goal that after getting information under RTI, I moved a PIL in HC of PB & HR which directed me to go for COCP in Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Apex Court admitted my arguments made in-person by me and issued notice to Government of Punjab officials by name to file their affidavits.


So pleading in Supreme Court (before DB) is no problem. RTI fraternity please follow the right path.


One more advantage, the filing of petitions in Supremo Court is available online. I filed online, paid court fee online, made corrections online and finally got Notice for Appearance online.No need to go to New Delhi for filing, only go to pleade

14a Interim Order 3-2-14.pdf

Amritsar Bhasker, explains my Supreme Court Case.jpg

2 Petiton Revised.pdf

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  • 1 year later...

None of the corporations of Punjab is revealing in reply to an RTI application that what action has been taken by them actually on the High Court’s orders in Two Public Interest Litigations which were filed by a City RTI Activist, Parbodh Bali in High Court in-person as CWP 7251 and CWP 8801 both of 2012, as Actually None of Corporations have complied with the Orders of High Court till this date. In CWP 8801 of 2012 a landmark interim order was passed on date 10/03/2014 and High Court directed Punjab Government clearly that in future all the unauthorised construction will be photographed at the stage of issuing notice u/s 269 and 270 and those would not be vague notices and would have clear report on the body of notice itself that at what stage the building was at the time of issuing such notices and no building will be allowed to get further constructed even with the help of police if so desired. In CWP 7251 of 2012 an order was passed on 09/07/2012 that compliance to Sec 55 to 70 of Punjab Municipal Corporation Act would strictly be adhered. The main relief sough was to make rules for General Public to be invited to enter in premises where Meeting of Councillors as General House of corporations is held and everyone to witness the proceeding of the councillors for transparency and knowledge of business. While nothing was done a Contempt of Court Petition, COCP No. 1340 of 2013 was filed by Parbodh Bali in CWP 7251 of 2012 agaisnt Municipal Corporation Amritsar for showing contempt to the orders of High Court. Fearing prosecution, the Amritsar Corporation immediately drafted there Rules for admission of Public in its House Meetings and notified those right on 30/08/2013 which was the date of next hearing and escaped contempt proceeding as the matter stood complied with. Finding that no action at all was being taken on CWP 8801 of 2012 by any of the corporation for photography of unauthorised constructions and for making rules for admissions of Public in House meetings in 7251 of 2012 by rest of corporation leaving only Amritsar, Parbodh Bali filed an RTI application to the Secty Local Government, Punjab to provide data for building photography and rules of admissions in House Meetings by all corporations of Punjab. The RTI was filed on 11/05/2014 and no information was supplied by Public Information Officer of the government even after passing of more than one year. The plea of PIO before the information commission remained the same throughout in last 5 dates that No information is being sent to them by the respective corporation inspite of repeated reminders by Government. The State Information Commissioner, Hon’ble HPS Mann, on 30/12/2014 issued show cause notice to PIO for penalty of Rs.25000/- under provisions of RTI and finally in consequence to that the Secretary to Government of Punjab, Local Government issued a Office order on 08/05/2015 to All commissioner of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ludhiana, Moga, Bathinda, Patiala, Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, all 10 Corporations of Punjab to



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But in Hyderabad one of RTI activist who is my friend deals it the other way , after RTI Application and intial reply from PIO he pproches either Consumer Redressal Forum or Human Rights Commission and in majority of the cases the PIOs and FAAs are afraid of him.His name is Nityanadam who lives in Nagaram where I live in Hyderabad

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  • 4 weeks later...

your determined pursuit of the cases indicates that you are not a easy going RTI activist . we must congratulate you for this. success depends upon efforts. best of luck to you.

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