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Complaint against the working manners of the Commissioners of Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC)


sabharwal786

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sabharwal786

I have made a Complaint against the working manners of the Commissioners of the Punjab State Information Commission. Which is as under :

The Hon’ble President of India,

Rashtrapati Bhawan,

New Delhi.

 

Subject: Complaint against the working manners of the Commissioners of the Punjab State Information Commission, Chandigarh (Punjab).

 

Respected Madam,

 

The undersigned is a RTI activist and a firm believer that Right to Information Act, 2005 is the most proactive piece of legislation. He wants the system to work very efficiently and fairly. Because of this believe, he wants to bring an issue in your notice for your necessary action.

 

Therefore, with due regards to the integrity and honor of Hon’ble Punjab State Information Commission, the undersigned wants to state that he is dealing with the Hon’ble State Information Commission, Punjab from three to four years. He has filed various Appeal and Complaint Cases with it and have attended several hearings personally and through representatives also. During this long tenure of official relationship, a fact has caught his eye that most of the Commissioners of the said Hon’ble Commission do not follow the principles of the Natural Justice. They do not pronounce their orders by providing reasoning for the same.

 

As per Section 4 (1) (d) of theRight to Information Act, 2005 which read as:

 

“Every public authority shall – provide reasons for its administrative or quasi judicial decisions to affected persons.”

 

it is mandatory to provide the reasons for its administrative or quasi judicial decisions to the affected persons. Moreover, it is also one of the principles of Natural Justice that one should be told the reasons for the decision. Such right is part of the fundamental right to Freedom of Expression also.

 

In this regard, the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Chairman, D.A., Rani LakshmiBai… vs Jagdish Sharan Varshney And Ors. on 26 March, 2009 has held that Every Order by a judicial or quasi-judicialauthority must contain reasons for the same to uphold public confidence.

 

In this regard, the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam in WP©.No. 11973 of 2009(N) has stated that “Moreover, persons against whom quasi judicial decisions are taken are entitled to be told the reasons for the decision and such right is part of the fundamental right to Freedom of Expression and has now been statutorily laid down also in the Right To Information Act.”

 

In an another case in WP©.No. 6796 of 2009(T) also the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam stated that “Days have gone when the courts have to repeatedly refer to classic works on Administrative Law by learned authors or refer to any fundamental principle of jurisprudence to show that a person against whom a decision may be passed or who would be affected by any such decision, is entitled to be heard and be told the reasons for the decision. Section 4(1)(d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 provides that every public authority shall provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons.”

 

In the case of Ibrahim Kunju v. State of Kerala (AIR 1970 Ker 65) it was held that “If no reasons are given in the appellate orders, then it is injustice to the natural justice because quasi judicial obligations are giving reasons for order, since justiceis not expected to wear the inscrutable face of a sphinx.

 

However, most of the Commissioners violate this mandatory provision and the principles of Natural Justice and pronounce their orders without giving reasoning for the same. The undersigned can show number of cases where most of the Commissioners of the Hon’ble Commission have pronounced their orders without justifying them under Section 4(1) (d) of the Right to Information Act. Therefore, they by doing so are deliberately showing disrespect towards the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Courtand the Hon’ble High Courts. They even do not bother that they by doing so are also violating the fundamental right of expression provided by the Constitution of India itself.

 

Moreover, during the course of hearings, the undersigned has observed that most of the Commissioners of the Hon’ble Commission, constantly and vociferously act in the favor of the respondents. They usually argue on behalf of the respondents whereas it is their duty to remain neutral. Their such behavior leaves a wrong effect on the mind of the appellants/complainants and they certainly doubt the justice to be provided by them.There is a well-known saying that the Judges are the depositories of the laws,living oracles, who must decide… according to the law of the land. However, the working mannerism of most of the Commissioners shows that they are certainly working contrary to their duties and their posts.

 

Sir, “Fair Play is a part of the public policyand is a guarantee for justice to citizens. In our system of Rule of Law every social agency conferred with power is required to act fairly so that social action would be just and there would be furtherance of well-being of citizens.The rule of natural justice have developed with the growth of civilizations and the contract there of is often considered as a proper measure of the level of civilization and the Rule of law prevailing in the community.”Per Ranganath Misra, J. in K.I. Shephard v. Union of India, (1987) 4 SCC 431 (Para15).

 

Therefore, in light ofthe above-mentioned facts and circumstances, your goodself is requested that:

  1. Strict directions be passed to all the Commissioners of the Hon’ble Punjab State Information Commission, to pass their decisions in compliance with the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and Hon’ble High Courts and justify them under the Sections 4 (1) (d) of the RTI Act, 2005.
  2. In the interest of justice and fair play, all the Commissioners of the Hon’ble State Information Commission Punjab be directed to act in a neutral manner.

Yours truly,

 

 

 

 

Rohit Sabharwal

 

 

Copy of the same is forwarded to:

 

  • Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, New Delhi.

 

  • Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, New Delhi.

 

  • Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice, Government of India, New Delhi.

 

  • Hon’ble Governor, Punjab Raj Bhawan, Chandigarh.
  • Member Secretary, Law Commission of India, 2nd Floor, The Indian Law InstituteBuilding, (Opp. to Supreme Court), Bhagwandas Road, New Delhi- 110 001.
  • Chief InformationCommissioner, Punjab State Information Commission, SCO84-85, Sector 17-C, Chandigarh.

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