Dear Pradhan Mantriji,
I understand that the outgoing Chief Information Commissioner, A K Mathur, has being appointed as the first Lt Governor of Ladhak.
I see it as an act rewarding treason, nothing less.
He, along with other information commissioners, has subverted the Right to Information Act which had sought to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. The preamble to the Act has rightly highlighted that democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.
There are two forms of corruption- one visible, where bribes are openly demanded and taken and the other is not so visible- nepotism or favoritism in some form of other.
The Bar Council rules have sought to contain the latter by forbidding relations of judges appearing in their courts as advocates. It is a different thing that even this has been violated with impunity.
In an order dated 26 Nov 2010, a bench of the apex court had made the following observation:
“We do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as Judges of the High Court are misusing that relationship. Some are scrupulously taking care that no one should lift a finger on this account. However, others are shamelessly taking advantage of this relationship”. Defending this observation the bench of judges Markandeya Katju and Gyan SudhaMisra made another great observation: the reputation of an institution is damaged and its image sullied when some of its members pass shocking orders and behave in a totally unacceptable manner.
But way back in 2004 itself, Binod Kumar Roy, Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, had identified this problem and he had issued an administrative directive wherein he had identified a dozen judges whose relatives were advocates and forbade them from appearing before any of these 12 judges. This ensured that a judge cannot help even a fellow judge's kin.
Within a month of this directive, the SC Collegium recommended his transfer to the Patna High Court.
See ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Judge Dread’ at https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/all-in-the-family/225626 and http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Judge-Dread/225624 both published on 08 Nov 2004.
Given the extent of networking within the society, especially among organized employees, retired bureaucrats should have been seen to be most unsuitable for the post of information commissioners. But it seems that the RTI Act was actually intended to only pull the wool over the eyes of the public. (Not surprising, since even the Constitution seems to have been drafted with no different aim by Nehru and his courtiers!) The status of CEC, EC and Chief Secretaries given to these commissioners has ensured that they remained lucrative sine cures for those retiring from regular employment. Without going into details here I shall invite your attention to a series of 5 articles on ‘RTI: Exposing the traitors among public servants’ at
There was a report a few months ago about an amendment to the RTI Act that would change the status and duration of employment of information commissioners. Nothing has been heard of its implementation till date.
There is no denying the fact that a lot of good work has been done under your guard. But the sad fact is that nothing appears to have been done towards making the government responsive to public needs of governance. Lack of transparency and accountability and corruption and favoritism continue to rule the roost. While examples can be given aplenty, this appointment of AK Mathur, would suffice for now.
P M Ravindran
29 Oct 2019
Save RTI Campaign-Mission Statement:
Save Right to Information. Use Right to Information Act.
Get information or......Expose at least three idiots/traitors* among public servants!
1. THE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
2. THE FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY (AND THE HEAD OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY WHERE THE HEAD OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY IS NOT THE FAA!) AND
3. THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
* An idiot is one who does not know the job s/he is getting paid to do and a traitor is one who knows it but does not do it. Provided that even an idiot can be branded a traitor based on the consequences of his/her action