Tuesday, 16 June 2015

to pm-kerala chief secretary bluffing-160615

File: Pers/Comp/pm-csk lies-160615                                                                         16 Jun 2015

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

Please find attached herewith two reports that had appeared in the regional daily, Malayala Manorama, on 11/6/2015.

doc1-gail-csk ltr to pm-mmpkd-110615.jpg is a report about a letter written by the Chief Secretary to the Government of Kerala, Jiji Thomson to you. The essence of the report is that, while agreeing that in the last 15 years only 50 kms of the 505 kms of pipeline has been laid, he has accused GAIL of dragging its feet on the work now. On the other hand he claims that the Government of Kerala has taken serious steps to expedite the work. Of course the first such step he claims is he has been made responsible for expediting the work! The next steps are:

  1. The Chief Minister will be convening an all party meet towards this month end or early next month!
  2. Collectors of 7 districts, through which the pipeline will be passing, have been appointed as nodal officers!
  3. A team of 5 officers under each Collector for supervision.
  4. Police protection for survey!
  5. Extension of the tenure of Competent Authority for revenue documentation by six months from 31 May 2015!

Now, as a permannet resident of of Kerala for the last 17 years, I can say with enough conviction that the public servants in Kerala are worse than the headload workers here who have earned notority for claiming ‘nookkukooli‘ for looking at people who are working! My interventions with the Right to Information Act has provided me enough documents to even postulate that all public servants are either idiots or traitors unless proved otherwise! The futility of the tall claims implied in the steps enumerated above can be easily proven with just one example- of the failure of the Collectorate, Palakkad to comply with the orders of the Government of Kerala to issue receipts to the public for documents submitted by them to the public authorities. The Govt of Kerala has been issuing circulars repeatedly since 1/1/2005 and the one issued on 12/1/2009 even directs the public authorities to display the format of the receipt in a board of specific size for the informationof the public! (Copy of this circular is attached as KeralaGovtCirNo168-AR 13 -2-09-UBPV dated 12 jan 2009.pdf) While my specific complaints on failure to comply with this order had not elicited any response, my follow up with applications under the RTI Act have been responded with the perfunctory phrase ‘directions have been given to issue receipts‘ without any further action being taken to ensure that these directions have been complied with! In response to complaints to the Chief Minister, the District Collector has given only false reports that receipts are being given as generated by the application DC Suite and that receipts as per prescribed format shall be issued only when printed receipt forms are made available! (Copy of the latest such response from the DC is attached as comp-cmk-dcpkd-receipts-fm dcpkd-210415.pdf). That ‘receipts are being given as generated by the application DC Suite‘ is a lie as can be proved by the documents in my posession!



There is no need to wonder what issuing receipts has to do with actions taken to progres the laying of gas pipeline. When a simple thing like issuing receipts could not be implemented in 10 years and the public servants can carry on lying without any shame or being held accountable, is there any need to believe the opportunistic claims made by the Chief Secretary of the State who incidentally is  also an accused in the Palmolien import case! Yes, the very same case involvement in which had led to the  apex court holding the appointment of a former CVC untenable!

The other media report, doc2-gail-conflict at alanghat-mmpkd-110615.jpg, attached also proves how futile the assurances given by the Chief Secretary will remain. This report is about public protest when a team reached Alanghad for carrying out survey of the land for laying the piple line.

Well, the density of population in Kerala is quite high and land acquisition is a very, very serious problem indeed. And gas piple lines passing through populated areas do pose serious threats to the people living in the vicinity and their fears cannot be just trampled upon! Now look at the ineptitude of the government in evicting encroachers from land acquired for the National Highway. Attached is a report from Malayala Manorama of 16/6/15 -crime-dc pkd-nh encroachment-mmpkd-160615.jpg- which shows how the District adminstration in Palakkad has failed to evict some structures and encroachments from the land belonging to the National Highway Authority at Vadakkencherry! The report says that teams of officials with police had gone there 7 times and returned without being able to perform their task!  Now is there anything left to imagine about the onerous nature of the task of surveying, acquiring and clearing land for a project that poses potential threat to human lifes?

Yours truly,

P M Ravindran

Sri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister- through email, pmindia@pmindia.nic.in

Copy to:

Mr Jiji Thomson, Chief Secretary- through e mail, chiefsecy@kerala.gov.in

Ms Mary Issac, District Collector, Palakakd- through e mail,  dcpkd@kerala.nic.in,  pkd_collectorate@messaging.kerala.gov.in

Media- through e mail

Blog at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in

Justice Delivery System- FAQs

Q1. Miror, mirror on  wall, tell me which is the most corrupt of them all- the legislature, the executive or the judiciary (in India)?

Ans: It is indeed a very, very difficult question to answer. As with difficult questions, one way to tackle it is by going through first principles.

Of all the people constituting the three organs, the law maker, politician, is the only one who atleast once a couple of years actually comes to the people and presents a balance sheet to him. It is for the people to evaluate their candidate objectively and choose the right one. However, even after being elected, the fact remains that NO politician can swindle public resources without the active support of a bureaucrat. Then there is the media always on the prowl looking for news to slander the politicians. And ultimately the politician can always be hauled up before a court by any citizen.

The bureaucrat, the behind the scene player is actually the real power broker. By twisting facts and laws he can actually make the politician a puppet. But officially atleast he is supervised by the politician, the media and also the courts!

Coming to the courts, once a judge, the person enjoys a lot of immunity. In the case of higher judiciary it goes to the preposterous extent of absolute immunity! I need not highlight this further as the media is so full of reports about the crimes committed by judges (Dinakaran, Soumitra Sen etc) and the existing system looking helplessly on! The provision of impeachment is a fraud. It is as good as promising free medical aid if the patient can be transported to the moon! Nowhere is the truism in the saying 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' more evident than in our judiciary.

Q2. Is the large number of cases being filed in our courts any indication of the faith of the common man in our judiciary?

Ans: Definitely NOT. The judiciary is an institution that has been officially set up to redress grievances, resolve disputes and deter crimes through legal punishment.

The common man has two avenues for redressing grievances- the police and the courts. But as per transparency international both these are the most corrupt institutions in the country. TI only provided the statistics but this is a fact that was known to our forefathers who always considered it a blessing to pass through this life without entering a police station or a court. By the very yardstick of justice delayed is justice denied our judiciary is a total failure. And worse, by default the judges are in the role of deciding issues subjectively but our constitution has not provided any means to check if the subjectivity is kept minimal. Adding insult to injury are the provisions of contempt of court in our constitution and the contempt of court act! The end result is that judges have become a law unto themselves. Over a period of time they have encroached on the functions of the parliament and the executive so much that today they are the law makers, prosecutors, jury and hangman- all in one! The attitude of the judiciary towards India's first pro-democracy legislation- the Right to Information Act- has really exposed the threat our judiciary is to democracy and rule of law. Unless right thinking citizens come  on a common platform and ensure that the judiciary is overhauled -to make it transparent and accountable- the society is in danger of being overrun by naxlaites and maoists.

It is indeed a great achievement for Anna Hazare and all those who have supported his India against Corruption crusade that the people in government who have dragged their feet for over 40 years in enacting the Lokpal Bill have finally been made to sit up and do something. Typical of those who have treacherously managed to exploit their offices for personal gains at public cost had let loose their first salvo by trying to discredit the members of the civil society who have been co-opted to draft an effective law to check corruption. Even the media proved that they are one with the corrupt by tom-tomming these unsubstantiated allegations. Only Tehelka had the honesty to pursue further and come out with corrections. (‘The smears. And the facts about the Bhushans’ can be read at http://www.tehelka.com/story_main49.asp?filename=Ne070511SMEARS.asp) But there have been more worrisome news coming. The worst, to my mind, is the suggestion to exempt the Prime Minister and the judiciary from the purview of Lokpal. It is my considered opinion that except for the President of India, who in any case is seen only as rubber stamp, no public servant should  be exempted from the purview of Lokpal/Lokayuktha. it would be futile to constitute the Lokpal if the Prime Minister is exempted from its jurisdiction as recent history itself proves that most of the Prime Ministers, starting with Indira Gandhi, were not overboard. While Indira Gandhi had been accused of election malpractices and convicted, Rajiv Gandhi was involved in the Mother of all Scandals- the Bofors’ case. The case continues with no one convicted till date though there is no doubt in any one’s mind that the crime had been committed. Narasimha Rao, as Prime Minister, had to appear as an accused in three cases- the Pickle tycoon case, JMM bribery case and the St Kitts case. That he was not convicted in any of them is no argument to prove his innocence, given the fact that the accused was more directly than indirectly was the prosecutor himself. But these cases, in themselves prove one thing- that even the current system has, in principle atleast, the means for bringing even the Prime Minister to book. But when it comes to the judiciary the fact remains that the high court and supreme court judges are well above law or in other words a law unto themselves! The only means available to punish them is impeachment which is as useless as declaring that BPL patients will be given free treatment on the moon if they can reach there on their own! And the crimes of the judiciary aren’t negligible either. No, not merely the high court and supreme court judges who enjoy the immunity afforded by a ludicrous process called impeachment but also by the lower judiciary and even the quasi judicial organizations which use the incompetence or/and indulgence of the higher judiciary to perpetuate crimes which have to be seen to be believed. Before I go on to illustrate some cases to substantiate my statement this is what the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) has stated in their report:
'Judicial system has not been able to meet even the modest expectations of the society.  Its delays and costs are frustrating, its processes slow and uncertain.  People are pushed to seek recourse to extra-legal methods for relief.  Trial system both on the civil and criminal side has utterly broken down.'
Also, 'Thus we have arrived at a situation in the judicial administration where courts are deemed to exist for judges and lawyers and not for the public seeking justice'.
The cases against P D Dinakaran, Soumitra Sen, Nirmal Yadav etc have occupied adequate media space to need repetition here. But K G Balakrishnan needs to be quoted even if it means repetition. When the Right to Information Act was enacted, KGB as the then Chief Justice of India had requested the Prime Minister to exempt judiciary from the purview of the Act. That this request was not acceded to is now part of history. So what did KGB do? Abused his office to declare his office to be out of purview of the transparency law! This contention has been held illegal by the final authority on the law- that is the Central information Commission and that too by a full bench of the commissioners! It has been subsequently upheld by both a single judge and division bench of the Delhi High Court also and now the matter is pending with the apex court- by itself a travesty of justice! Adding insult to injury of the tax payer, the Executive not only failed to impeach him for proven incompetence, if not for treason, but rewarded him with another plum appointment on retirement!
Next, I shall narrate the essence of another case which has baffled me ever since the apex court acquitted five of the six sentenced to death in a murder case. The murder of Jayakrishnan, a primary school teacher in northern Kerala, was done in broad daylight in front of his students. The trail court sentenced six of the accused to death. This was upheld by the high court also. But in the apex court five of those sentenced to death were acquitted and the sentence of one was commuted to life imprisonment! Considering that we have heard a lot about our jurisprudence being based on the principle that even if a thousand criminals are let off not one innocent will be punished and that capital punishment is awarded only in the rarest of rarest case, isn’t it shocking that the trial court had sentenced five innocents to death and the high court had upheld it?
Cut to a couple of quasi judicial organizations. Firstly, the fora/commissions set up under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). The Act mandates that every complaint has to be disposed off within 3 months. As per data collected under the RTI Act, as on 31/5/2010 there were 15 cases that have been pending for more than 3 years, 37 pending for more than 1 year and 109 pending for more than 3 months! As claimed by the public authority itself one case is decided per day and the Forum hold sittings for 2 hours every day. From personal experience I can state that the Forum sits only for less than one hour every day and that too irregularly. The sittings sometimes commence as late as 11.30 am when the working hours are from 10 to 5!
The picture above is that of a case list of the Forum and anybody who has been to any forum or court can imagine how long it would have taken to transact the above business. But do they do justice even during the negligible hours they work for the fat pay packets they take home at the end of every month? Case No 282/99 is typical of how waywardly and whimsically the complaints/ complainants are treated. This case of medical negligence was initially filed on 6/4/1995 at Malappuram but transferred to Palakkad and the first hearing was held on 4/8/99. It was stayed by the high court on 28/10/99 and the stay vacated on 8/6/05. It was 1st posted for orders on 6/7/07 but suo moto reopened for hearing on 15/2/08 and then posted for orders again on 28/2/09. It had been adjourned 11 times thereafter and orders had not been issued till 31/5/2010 when the information was provided. It is typical of the harassment meted out by the justice delivery system (eloquently stated by Arundhati Roy as  ‘the process is part of the punishment’) that even when the case had remained stayed by the high court for almost six years, scheduling and adjourning had continued regularly almost every month!
In another case involving three complaints against the railways, the Forum, after 8 months of hearings and adjournments, dismissed the case, holding that the grievances were genuine but it would be within the jurisdiction of the Railway rates Tribunal (RRT) under Sec 38 of the Indian Railways Act, 1989. The Railway Rates Tribunal, Chennai quoted Sec 37 of the same Act to claim that it was not within the jurisdiction of the RRT! When the matter was taken up in appeal with the Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (KSCDRC)an application (or interim appeal-IA- as they call it) for condoning the delay was also filed. Though notice for the hearing in this IA was issued by the Commission (see Pic 1 below), when it dismissed the appeal the reason given was that the application for condoning the delay had not been submitted (see Pic 2 below)!
Pic 1-Notice for hearing in IA 568/08
Pic 2- Order of KSCDRC in FA 210/08
The next step was to go to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and there the matters are even worse. Even for filing the revision petition one has to appear for a hearing at the national capital. But still the fraud perpetuated by the State Commission could not be condoned and so instead of a revision petition against the decisions on the initial complaints, a formal complaint was submitted by post against the blatantly fraudulent order of the State Commission. And what should one get as response other than a routine advice to file the revision petition!
Experiences with the Human Right Commission or Ombudsmen for local self governing bodies and banks have not been any different. But to keep this simple and short I shall leave them out of my narrative. But the Information Commissions constituted under the Right to Information Act merits some exposure, given the simplicity, unambiguity and citizen friendliness of the law. It was not only K G Balakrishnan who abused his office and the law. The judiciary in general has been anti-RTI. While most public authorities have Rs 10/- as application fee the judiciary mostly has Rs 50/- or more. The Delhi High Court had initially prescribed Rs 500/- before reducing it to Rs 50/- While the cost of information in most public authorities is Rs 2/- per A4 size page, it is Rs 5/- in the judiciary (varies from high court to high court). And when the 1st appeal is only an opportunity given to the public authority to correct any mistakes of its Public Information Officer, the judiciary has introduced a fee for that also. Also Sec 23 of the RTI Act clearly states that ‘No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.’ But courts have not only been entertaining all kinds of petitions but have also imposed penalties and provided compensation which are purely within the jurisdiction of the information commissions. In WP (C) 3845/2007 the Delhi High Court imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000/- on the Public Information Officer of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd and also directed the public authority to compensate the petitioner to the extent of Rs 50,000/- Though both these come under the ambit of Sec 19 and 20 of the RTI Act since the CIC had failed to abide by the rule, the applicant/appellant was forced to petition the high court. While the high court did address the initial grievances of the petitioner, it had let the first respondent in the petition –the CIC- go scot free. (The information commissioners should have been charged under Sec 219 of the IPC and punished by the court. The punishment specified is imprisonment upto 7 years or fine or both!)
That justice delayed is justice denied is a simple truth. The judiciary has always been quoting the judge to population ratio and blaming it all on this irrelevant figure. Though it would appeal to the uninformed, the fact is that in a country like India where people are starving to death, the ratio of the litigating population to the overall population is very, very small. What matters really is the judge to docket ratio. This, as Adv K T S Tulsi of the apex court has pointed out is just 987 per judge in India against 3235 in the US of A! The number of cases filed in India in 1999, with a billion population, had been just 13.6 million against 93.81 million cases in the US of A with less than 25 percent of India’s population!
The judiciary in India is the best example for proving the truism that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. of the three organs of the Constitution, the political organ is the best.  Of all the people constituting the three organs, the law maker, politician, is the only one who atleast once a couple of years actually comes to the people and presents a balance sheet to him. It is for the people to evaluate their candidate objectively and choose the right one. However, even after being elected, the fact remains that NO politician can swindle public resources without the active support of a bureaucrat. Then there is the media always on the prowl looking for news to slander the politicians. And ultimately the politician can always be hauled up before a court by any citizen. The bureaucrat, the behind the scene player is actually the real power broker. But twisting facts and laws he can actually make the politician a puppet. But officially atleast he is supervised by the politician, the media and also the courts! Coming to the courts, once a judge, the person enjoys a lot of immunity. In the case of higher judiciary it goes to the preposterous extent of practically absolute immunity! The provision of impeachment is a fraud. The NCRWC is also unambiguous when declaring that 'the crucial failure is the innate resistance in governments and governmental processes to the fundamental article of democracy, viz. that all power and all authority flows from the people and that all public institutions are meant solely to serve the public interest. The assurance of the dignity of the individual enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution has remained unredeemed; From this fundamental breach of the constitutional faith flow almost all our present ills.  The first and the foremost need is to place the citizens of this country at center-stage and demonstrate this prioritization in all manifestation of governance'. Viewed thus, the provisions in the Constitution that deal with impeachment and contempt of court are both anathema in a democratic society. And so long as the Constitution is not amended to correct these anti-democratic provisions there is no way the judiciary can be brought under the purview of Lokpal. It is not that the judiciary is not conscious of this fact. That is why time and again they have been heard harping that they have the powers even to review  constitutional amendments and that they will never allow the basic structure of the Constitution to be tampered with. Thus we have a Gordian knot to cut before an effective Lokpal is constituted. But there is no turning away from the challenge now. The first pro-democracy legislation-the RTI Act- is on ventilator right now. Such a fate should not befall the Lokpal.

cmk-jsp-2015-comp-dc pkd-110415

P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail: raviforjustice@gmail.com

File: Comp/cmk jsp2015-distadm-110415                                                                                                     11 Apr 2015

Through the District Collector, Palakkad


1.       While it can be easily said that the district administration is a total farce and a 100% drain on the exchequer, the following few issues are listed because of the simplicity of the requirement and the grossness of the failure of the public servants involved:

1.1.  The failure to comply with the directions contained in Kerala Govt Circular No 168/AR 13(2)/09/UBPV dated 12 Jan 2009. The directions are in two parts:one is regarding issuing of receipts for documents submitted by the public and the other is regarding displaying this information along with the copy of the receipt in a board of specific size, for the benefit of the public.
1.2. The failure to comply with Sec 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act
1.3. The failure to comply with Sec 5 of the RTI Act
1.4. The failure to comply with Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act

2.       Regarding the matter of issuing receipts, though the Circular is of 12 Jan 2009, even as on 1/3/14, the Huzur Sirastadar had only given directions as reproduced below, vide Note 5 in file No 2014/14649/9:

And as a matter of fact even this has not been complied with till date! Neither the board nor its substitute is anywhere visible in the premises of the Collectorate. The Civil Station complex, housing the Collectorate, has so many offices that it would have been prudent to display atleast one board each, may be a little larger in size, at the various access points to the complex!

Even in the matter of providing receipts the order is not being complied with, with brazen contempt for the authority issuing such orders and denying a basic right of the public seeking services of the government. In this context your attention is invited to  my complaints through e mails dated 31/1/2015 and 14/2/15 both addressed to chiefminister@kerala.gov.in, cmoffice@kerala.gov.in and cm-grccell@kerala.gov.in with copy to dcpkd@kerala.nic.in and pkd_collectorate@messaging.kerala.gov.in. It also needs to be placed on record that there has been no response to those complaints till date!

Continued ...

3.       Regarding non compliance with Sec 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act, I had inspected the documents on 22/8/14 and found that  except for one register with partial info of some employees having their names, designation and records held there were no records available providing the info that is required to be disclosed proactively/suo moto under this section. The 2nd appeal on this application is pending with the Kerala State Information Commission (KSIC)  since 28/10/14!

4.       Regarding non compliance with Sec 5 of the RTI Act, even when the public servant dealing with the file on the subject has made an assertion, relevant extract reproduced below, the SAPIO, o/o the DC, Palakkad has been returning applications to the applicant, blatantly violating the law on the subject.



While many examples can be given one instance will suffice to prove the perfidy of the public servants involved. In this context your attention is invited to Collectorate Palakkad letter No 2014/37925/9 dated 23/6/14.

In this context it is also reiterated that the KSIC letter quoted therein is not only illegal and invalid but is just another example of treachery by the public servants involved in implementing and enforcing the law.

Your attention is also invited to para 5 of Kerala Govt Circular 1 reference, No 77000/Cdn5/06/PBV dated 30 Oct 2006.

Your attention is also invited to the fact the CAPIOs in Head Post Offices are accepting applications and appeals to any central public authority and forwarding them to the concerned addressees, leaving no room for doubt in the matter of interpretation of the functions of the APIOs.

5.       Regarding non compliance with Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act, Collectorate Palakkad letters No E3-2009/49675/9 dated 16/7/2011 and LRG6-2011/40278/9 dated 12/8/2011, both in response to my one application, dated 14/7/2011, under the RTI Act, speak for themsleves about the wayward functioning of the public authority, headed by none other than the Head of the District Administration itself! While the application had been transferred (in a manner of pure palming off of

responsibility) to Akshaya Kendra for providing info on UID, it was not followed in providing info on computerisation of land records! That the office of the District Collector should have had this info and did not have it is in itself a matter of serious concern and the direction to collect the info from respective tehsildars can only be seen as a matter of evading provision of the required info! As events turned out, even the info about UID that was ultimately provided on 21/11/12 by the PIO of Collectorate, Palakkad, on the orders of the information commissioner, were copies of two letters: Cabinet Secretary, New Delhi letter No DO/281/1/5/2011-TS dated 4th Apr 2011 addressed to all Chief Secretaries and Govt of Kerala order GO(rt) No 37/2011/ITD dated 26/2/2011! The most notable thing about the GO is that the District Collector is the Working Chairperson of the District Implementation and Monitoring Committee for UID!

6.       Even as late as on 9/3/15, the PIO, o/o the District Collector, Palakkad had refused to comply with Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act, inspite of my having quoted Central Information Commissioner’s order dated 16 Jun 2011 in Appeal No CIC/SM/A/2011/000278/SG which amply clarifies the scope of Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act.

7.       Lastly, on seeking info about the expenses incurred in organising the earlier Jana Samparkka Paripadi, only the following info was provided, vide Collectorate Palakkad letter No PGR3-2013/72809/9 dated 10/12/2013.

This is without doubt  blatant violation of Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act. But interestingly, it had been reported in the media that one MLA, Mr George Sebastian, had got info under the RTI Act that a total of Rs 24.24 Cr was distributed and Rs 4.32 Cr were expended in organising the last Jana Samparkka Paripadi. (http://manoramanews.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/mmtvVideoGallery.do?tabId=14&contentId=15686775) The question is who had provided the compiled info or did the MLA seek information from atleast 6 public authorities in each district to arrive at these figures?

8.       While, in the matter of complying with the RTI Act, the action required to be taken by the Head of the Public Authority, that is, the District Collector, in this case,  is obvious, the following practical method of implementing the order on issuing receipts is placed on record:

8.1. The present method of issuing receipts, only to those demanding it, with file numbers as receipt numbers should be discontinued forthwith. All those activities, like scanning the document, assigning file numbers etc are tasks that have nothing to do with issuing receipts across the counter. The receipt numbers have to be in series and printed and is much like the serial number (and date) of a register maintained for recording receipt of tapal. If the receipts are maintained in book form (example TR-5) then the serial number would be continuous over a period of time and will be associated with the book number also; but, if computer generated,
it needs to continous only for a particular day and will be associated with the date. This can, and should be done across the counter, and would not take more than a minute to provide a receipt for a document.
8.2. Since documents like applications under the RTI Act involve payment of fees also, whoever is providing receipts for documents should be tasked with providing receipts, on TR-5, for cash also. Alternately the public servants designated as PIOs should be tasked with providing both the receipts for applications/appeals and fees. The kind of running around required and delay, as reported in my e mails dated 31/1/15 and 14/2/15, referred to in para 2 above, need not and cannot be accepted.

9.       The RTI Act provided a window of opportunity to usher in real democracy in this country. However the treacherous public servants have murdered this law as well as other citizen friendly directions from competent authorities. If the Chief Minister of the State cannot ensure that the services of the government due to the citizens are delivered promptly and correctly then the citzens would be better off without such Chief Ministers and the white elephants that are legally called institutions of governance.

Yours truly,

(P M Ravindran)


P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail: raviforjustice@gmail.com

File: Comp/cm contpgm-ksic-110415                                                                                                             11 Apr 2015


1.       Refer the following documents:
1.1.  My complaint , Comp/cm contpgm-ksic-22111 dated 22 Nov 2011 submitted through the DC Palakkad on the same day and registered vide their number 4516; followed up through e mail on 4/5/12 and in person on 30/6/12
1.2.  General Admn (Co-ordination) Dept letter No 90105/Cdn.5/11/GAD dated 1/6/2012
1.3.  My e mail of 21/6/12 addressed to chiefminister@kerala.gov.in with copy to cm-grccell@kerala.gov.in, chiefsecy@kerala.gov.in
1.4.  Sections 2(e), 15(3), 17, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the RTI Act.
2.       A perusal of the documents at para 1.1 and 1.2 above will reveal that no action has been taken on my complaints submitted during the Jan Samparkka Paripadi held in 2011.
3.       A perusal of the documents at para 1.2 and 1.3 above will reveal that the public servants who have dealt with the complaint are either idiots or traitors. Considering the cost to exchequer they cannot be dismissed as idiots but have to be tried under our laws for treason. Or atleast under Sec 217, 218 and 219 of the IPC.
4.       There has been no response to my email referred to in para 1.3.
5.       The document at para 1.2 and sections of the RTI Act referred to in para 1.4 above prove that you are a mere puppet in the hands of the clerks-whether they are of the LDC, UDC or IAS categories- who are supposed to help you perform your duties effectively and efficiently. It is worthwhile recollecting the remarks of the Kerala High Court while dismissing a PIL against your Jana Samparkka Paripadi. As reported in the media, the court had opined that it was necessary because the bureaucracy was defunct!
6.       Evidently, while there has been no action taken by the KSIC on my complaint, forwarded to them by GAD as claimed in their letter at para 1.2 above, it is obvious that things have only gone from bad to worse.
7.       As on 8/4/2015, the info availble on the website -http://www.keralasic.gov.in/-of the KSIC is as given below:
7.1.  The current information commissioners are: Dr(?) Siby Mathew, M N Gunavardhan, Soni Thengamom, K Natarajan and CS Sasikumar! Dr Kurias Kumbalakuzhy has demitted office on 20/3/2015. This implies that the information has been updated atleast on 20/3/2015.
7.2.  But when it comes to the information on orders/decisions of the information commissioners, there is NO such info for 2015! Does it mean that during the past 3 months  the information commissioners have been having paid holidays at the tax payers‘ cost?
7.3.  So we go on to the information available for 2014 and here it is: Siby Mathew-52 cases, Gunavardhan-59 cases, Soni Thengamom-12, Sasi Kumar-16, Kurias Kumbalakuzhy-17! Mind you this is for the whole of 2014 or in other words for almost 300 working days! And what about Natarajan-0 (yes, zero!) cases!
8.       The other day I also heard your own party MLA, V T Balaram, making an allegation on a video news channel, that the KSIC has not submitted its Annual Report  to the Kerala Legislative Assembly for the last three years! I do not know if he had ever brought it up on the floor of the Assembly or other approppriate forums  and what action has been taken on it. Maybe the CIC has decided to discontinue such an act

because of its futility. May be he must also be hoping that citizens also give up submitting complaints/ appeals, realising its futility, so that he and the other traitors like him can enjoy their sinecures without any interruptions!
9.       Coming to the tasking of the information commissioners it is obvious that their job is easier than that of a munsif. Disposing of complaints should not take more than a minute. In the matter of appeals, it could be 10 minutes per appeal. The commissioners should be able to decide the basic questions of law involved- whether the info sought is disclosable or not and if disclosable the extent of default on a simple perusal of the appeal. There after the only thing required for the information commissioner to do is to provide an opportunity to being heard to the PIO seeking reasons for not imposing the penalty. After providing this opportunity, which need not be through a personal hearing, if the reasons given are not satisfactory or in precise terms, legally tenable the IC is required to mandatorily impose the prescribed penalty.  Various high courts across the country have while dealing with cases involving the RTI Act, ruled that penalty has to be imposed even for mere delays and that reasons like records are not traceable/not available cannot be accepted as valid and the information commissioners can order inquiry to trace such records or to find out the reasons why those records are not available. Relevant extract s of certain orders of high courts and information commissioners are appended to this complaint.
10.    That the information commissioners have grossly failed to fulfill their assigned tasks should be adequately clear from the above mentioned facts. But to add fuel to the fire they have also been sending wrong messages to public authorities through various letters like their letter No6009/SIC-Gen2/2007 dated 5/10/07 to the PIO, RDO, Palakkad and 15134/SIC-admn/2012 dated 28/12/12 to the District Collector, Palakkad.
11.    Not only their failure to impose mandatory penalty has murdered the law for transparency, the loss to exchequer can be considered to be of the magnitude of the Vadhragate or 2G and Coalgate scams put together!  There is also a valid suspicion that the information commissioners may actually be corrupt in that they could be taking bribes from defaulting PIOs only to fail to impose the mandatory penalty! This may need to be investigated by the CBI under the supervison of the apex court itself!
12.    While there is a need to introduce transparency right from the appointment of information commissioners, the government cannot absolve itself of its responsibility when it comes to  making these public servants deliver what they are tasked, empowered and paid to deliver. Specifically in the context of the RTI Act, Sec 26 and 27 needs to be implemented in letter and spirit by the government and defaulters should be punished exemplarily.

Yours truly,

(P M Ravindran)




1.    High Court of Delhi in W.P. (C) 3845/2007:

14. xxx… Information seekers are to be furnished what they ask for, unless the Act prohibits disclosure; they are not to be driven away through sheer inaction or filibustering tactics of the public authorities or their officers. It is to ensure these ends that time limits have been prescribed, in absolute terms, as well as penalty provisions. These are meant to ensure a culture of information disclosure so necessary for a robust and functioning democracy.
15. In the above circumstances, Court is of the opinion that the impugned order to the extent it discharges the sixth respondent of the notice under Section 19 (8) and does not impose the penalty sought for has to be declared illegal. In this case, the penalty amount (on account of the delay between 28.12.2005 and the first week of May, 2006 when the information was given) would work out to Rs.25,000/-. The third respondent is hereby directed to deduct the same from the sixth respondent's salary in five equal installments and deposit the amount, with the Commission.
16. In the circumstances of the case, the third respondent shall bear the cost of the proceedings quantified at Rs.50,000/- be paid to the petitioner within six weeks from today.

2.    High Court of Punjab and Haryana in C.W.P. NO. 1924 of 2008:

A plain reading of sub-section (1) of Section 20 of the Act makes it obvious that the Commission could impose the penalty for the simple reasons of delay in furnishing the information within the period specified by sub-section (1) of Section 7 of the Act.

3.    Madras High Court in W.P.NO.20372 of 2009 and M.P.NO.1 of 2009:

The right to information having been guaranteed by the law of Parliament, the administrative difficulties in providing information cannot be raised. Such pleas will defeat the very right of citizens to have access to information.

4.    High Court of Punjab and Haryana in C.W.P. NO. 15850 of 2010:

The primary contentions raised in the affidavit are the shortage of staff, joining of the petitioner after the notice had been issued, the extension of time for registration of the plots by the Government which led to the rush of registration of plots by the owners and essential duties of Census as per the directions of the Election Commission. These are internal matters which
have to be dealt with and taken care of by the Administration and cannot be taken as a ground or a defence for not supplying the information within the time stipulated under the 2005 Act itself. The provisions as contained under the 2005 Act have to be given effect to achieve the objective of this Act which are to bring transparency and accountability of public officials and to establish the right of the citizen to have the information and these excuses, if taken into consideration, the 2005 Act itself will be rendered ineffective and the purpose with which the Statute has been brought into existence would be frustrated. Therefore, the reasons assigned for not supplying the information at an early date to the complainant cannot be accepted.

5.    High Court of Punjab and Haryana (as reported in the media)

Chandigarh: Creating a precedent the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that if the public
Information Officer (PlO) of a department has been penalised by a State Information  

Commission on account of withholding information the officer cannot appeal against the order  through the state. The court has held that the PIO will have to approach the court in personal capacity.

6.    Delhi HC (as reported in the media):

The Delhi HC said the Chief Information Commission can direct a government department to inquire into "missing" files "wherever it is claimed...information sought is not traceable."

7.    CIC, New Delhi in File No CIC/DS/A/2013/001788-SA:

13. Based on the above discussion, the Commission thus holds: Unless proved that record was destroyed as per the prescribed rules of destruction/ retention policy, it is deemed that record continues to be held by public authority. Claim of file missing or not traceable has no legality as it was not recognized as exception by RTI Act. By practice ‘missing file’ cannot be read into as exception in addition to exceptions prescribed by RTI Act. It amounts to breach of Public Records Act, 1993 and punishable with imprisonment up to a term of five years or with fine or both. Public Authority has a duty to initiate action for this kind of loss of public record, in the form of ‘not traceable’ or ‘missing’. The Public Authority also has a duty to designate an officer as Records Officer and protect the records. A thorough search for the file, inquiry to find out public servant responsible, disciplinary action and action under Public Records Act, reconstruction of alternative file, relief to the person affected by the loss of file are the basic actions the Public Authority is legitimately expected to perform.

8.    CIC, New Delhi in Appeal No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000278/SG:

There are numerous instances where RTI applications have been transferred by one public authority to another and none of them appears to know where the information is. In this scenario for public authorities to take a position that they will only transfer to one public authority is unreasonable and the law certainly does not state this. Public Authorities claim that it would be difficult to transfer RTI applications to multiple authorities since it would mean putting a lot of resource. …. If public authorities do not meet commitments implied in the RTI Act, the citizen cannot be denied his fundamental right.

The Commission rules that DOPT’s office memorandum no. 10/02/2008-IR dated 12/06/2008 is not consistent with the law.

The PIO is directed to transfer the RTI application to various public authorities before 25 June 2011, who must provide information for the last two years to the Appellant as per the provisions of the RTI Act.

9.    SIC, Maharashtra in Appeal no. 489 + 331/Pune, Dashrath Ghenbhau Shevkari versus First Appellate Authority and District Collector, Pune

"One month had been granted earlier for conducting a diligent search of the lost file, as mentioned eariler in this Order. That period is now being extended for another one month i.e. till 15.12.2007. The relevant information should then be promptly provided to the appellant. In case the file is yet not found then an FIR should be lodged against the concerned officer / staff member. This would be the responsibility of the Appellate Authority and the Collector, Pune. Completion of this procedure should be reported to the Commission by the Collector, Pune by