Saturday, 21 January 2012

RTI-an old application to President to remove CIC

Posting of this application at this blog has been necessitated by certain reports that have come to my notice. These are about people who have been responsible for enforcing the law, after having subverted it thoroughly then, are now going around as its greatest proponents! This blog is therefore an attempt to expose the false gods that we worship or gods with feet of clay, as some may like to put it.

File: RTI/pio-remove cic-210407                                                        21 Apr 2007

The President
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi


1. The Right to Information Act is one of the best pieces of legislation in the post-independent era of this country. It does have it shortcomings and some amendments required urgently are given in Appendix A to this application. These suggestions have been submitted to the legislative department of the Ministry of Law and Justice through an e mail addressed to on 20 Apr 2007. But notwithstanding those suggestions, the performance of the Central Information Commission itself has been so shoddy that citizens, especially activists working in this field, are genuinely afraid that the Commission itself is subverting the Act. A public hearing took place on 24th Sep 2006 on the functioning of Central Information which was attended, amoung others, by the Chief Information Commissioner, Dr P C Alexander, T S Krishna Moorthy, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejrival, senior advocates Prashant Bhushan and Colin Gonsalves and about 200 people who had filed complaints/appeals with the Commission. Without going into the details of the discussion, the summary of recommendations, which emerged during the hearing, are listed below:

    1.1. Opportunity of being heard should be given to both parties in every case. It is upto the party to decide whether they wish to be physically present or send their written comments or decide not to avail of the opportunity.
   1. 2. No case should be closed, just by ordering that information be provided in the next 15 days etc. In most of the cases, it has been seen that the PIO does not comply with such an order. As a result, the appellant has to again approach the Commission and again wait for 7 months for his/her turn to come. Therefore, after passing an order, the case should be adjourned, and not closed. On the next hearing, if the appellant confirms having received information to his/her satisfaction, only then should a case be closed. This is the practice which is being successfully followed by Public Grievance Commission in Delhi for the last five years and also by State Information Commission of UP.
   1.3. The Information Commissioners should undergo training in judicial processes from some retired Supreme Court judges.
    1.4. Penalty should be imposed in every case of violation by government officials. Else RTI would soon be dead.
    1.5. Some guidelines should be made on the terms like "fiduciary", "private information" and "public interest", which should be uniformly adhered to by all the Commissioners.
    1.6. Appeal number should be given to every appellant/complainant and it should be   
              communicated to him within 24 hours of receipt of his appeal/complaint. Within  
              the next 24 hours, it should be put up on the website. Status of every appeal should
               be provided on the website, even if it is treated as inadmissible ab-initio.
    1.7. No case should be taken up on out of turn basis, unless there is some grave public interest involved, which should be mentioned in the order.
    1.8. There should be a public hearing every three months, which should be attended by all Commissioners.

2. The summary of cases filed/disposed off by the Commission is given at Appendix B. At the rate at which the back log is increasing it is difficult to miss the fact that the plight of information seekers will soon be worse than the plight of people seeking justice from our courts. But even that is not as bad as the decisions themselves that are given by the Commission. I am giving below two instances from personal experience. I must admit that in my 20 plus years of life in the army, I have not seen even a newly recruited clerk at the lowest level put up such shoddy drafts even for approval!

Case 1. Copies of the application I had submitted to the Public Information Officer (PIO), Supreme Court and the final orders of the Information Commission are attached as appendices C and D. The absurdity of the order is evident.

Case 2. Copies of the application I had submitted to the PIO, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and the two orders of the Information Commission are given at appendices E, F and G. Inspite of clarifying the fact that the appeal pertained to an application submitted to the PIO seeking information on the action taken by the NCDRC on a petition pending with them and sending the appeal again, the Information Commission had again send the application to the Kerala State Information Commission! If such decisions earn for the Information Commission the notoriety of being an Idiotic Commission can the public be blamed for it?

3. For reasons given above, I request you to kindly exercise the powers under Section 14(3)(d) of the RTI Act to remove the Chief Information Commissioner, Mr Wajahat Habibulla from his present assignment. I also take this opportunity to highlight the need to appoint people like Mr Aravind Kejriwal or Ms Aruna Roy to such posts so that the letter and spirit of the RTI Act is sustained and not subverted.

Yours truly

(P M Ravindran)


The Registrar
Supreme Court of India
New Delhi


It is understood that a petition has been filed by Common Cause as WP No 106/2005 against use of incineration of bio-medical waste.

I request you to provide me the following information in the context of the above petition:

1.      The present position of the petition and
2.      The next date of hearing in the matter of the petition.

Postal Order Number  58E997146      dated 25 Jul 2006 for  Rs 10.00 (Rs Ten only) issued by the Head Post Office, Palakkad-678001 and payable to the Registrar, Supreme Court, New Delhi is attached towards the prescribed fees.

Yours truly,

APPENDIX D (Order of the CIC in the complaint filed when NO response was there from the public authority)

CIC/AT/C/2007/00027 dated 13/2/2007

This is with reference to the information sought from the supreme court of India. The Commission has intimated that the progress of a matter can be taken by filing miscellaneous application in Supreme Court. The cmplaint is not maintainable as orders of the court are in public domain and accessible by website. Further action may be taken accordingly by you. The matter is being closed in the Commission accordingly. This issues with the approval of the Information Commissioner.

Sd/- Nisha Singh, Jt Secretary and Additional Registrar.


File: kscdrc/ncdrc-240306                                                                  24 Mar 2006

Public Information Officer
Joint Registrar, Room No.502
5th Floor, ‘A’ Wing, Janpath Bhawan
Janpath, NEW DELHI-110 001


Please refer the following:

-          Save Consumer Courts Action Council letter No NCDRC/170805-ksrdc-prez dated 17 Aug 2005 handed over to the Mr Justice M B Shaw, President, NCDRC on 22 Aug 2005 (photostat copy attached alongwith a photostat copy of the report that had appeared in the press on 24 Aug 2005)
-          RTI Act Sec 2, 6 and 20
-          Indian Postal Order No    58E997101                  for Rs 10.00 issued by HPO, Palakkad in favour of The Public Information Officer, NCDRC, payable at New Delhi towards fees for application under the RTI Act.

I may please be informed of the action taken on the above letter/petition.

If no action has been taken the reason thereof may please be communicated.

Yours truly,

Note:  Save Consumer Courts Action Council letter quoted is a complaint to the President National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for taking action against the then President of the Kerala SCDRC who had filed a false affidavit in the Kerala High Court and hence needed to be removed. While the Govt of Kerala as the appointing authority would be the final authority to remove the accused, the National CDRC had to initiate the action because of its administrative jurisdiction over state commissions. There are earlier instances when deficiencies in the service of the Commission had been brought to notice of the state govt, the complainant had been advised to approach the national commission. But all this is only background info for understanding the context. What is pertinent here is only the fact that an application was filed under the RTI Act to get information on the action taken by the NCDRC on this complaint!


When the PIO, NCDRC replied that the complaint (mentioned in the application) should be taken up with the Govt of Kerala which was not the information about the action taken on the complaint by the NCDRC itself , a complaint was filed with the CIC. The CIC forwarded the complaint (on an application made to a Central PIO)  to the Kerala SIC on 25/7/2006!

The matter was taken up with the then Chief IC Mr Wajahat Habibulla personally and he asked to send the complaint afresh! And when it was send the reply I got is given in Appendix G.


This response from the CIC, CIC/PB/C/2007/00035 dated 21/2/2007, stated that the appointment of the President KSCDRC is done by the Kerala Government. Hence the appeal lies with the State Information Commission!

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