CIC takes on legislature
‘Law Makers Expected To Give Full Regard To RTI Act’
Srinagar, Aug 29: Miffed at the denial of information by constitutional bodies, J&K’s Chief Information Commissioner has ruled that the “august bodies like the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly, which have passed the Right to Information Act, are not expected to disregard the legislation.”
In two separate cases of denial of information by Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, the CIC has ruled “it is expected that in future the august bodies which are initiators and makers of the law would give due regard to and take all necessary steps for implementation of law which originates from these very august houses.”
With regard to LC, the CIC passed the order in case of a complaint filed by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat at the State Information Commission on denial of information by the Council. And in case of the Legislative Assembly, the CIC passed the similar order in case of complaint filed by Meraj-ud-Din Sheikh of Khansaheb Budgam on denial of information by the Council.
THE LC APPLICATION
In RTI application, filed by Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat, the Deputy Chairman of the Legislative Council, Arvinder Singh Micky, had faced some blunt questions on functioning and financial dealings of the Council.
The LC had been asked to divulge the following questions. How much TA/DA has AS Micky has drawn so far since his taking over, including the Air Travel/Tour Programme details? How many vehicles are at the disposal of the Deputy Chairman, including registration numbers and name of drivers to be provided? How much fuel have the vehicles consumed since Micky’s taking over as Deputy Chairman/Acting Deputy Chairman, including petrol pump vouchers from where fuel was filled in the vehicles? How many PROs are working in the LC and how many posts are sanctioned by the Government—names and qualifications of the said persons may also be provided. Is there any Accounts Officer in the LC? If no, who is discharging the duties of Accounts Officer and what is his qualification? Has anybody from the LC asked Director Accounts and Treasures or Finance Department to post an Accounts Officer in the LC Secretariat, if yes, copy of the order be provided? Have the promotions from time to time in the Gazetted Cadre been regularized by the Competent Authority like the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department. If yes provide the copies of orders and if no, when you are intending to forward the cases of regularization of officers? What is the amount of discretionary grants received during the tenure of Arvinder Singh Micky and the list of beneficiaries be provided along with names and addresses? Qualification details/Certificates of all gazetted officers, SOs, Head Assistants may be provided along with date of birth and matriculation roll numbers? How many laptops, computers and mobile phones have been purchased and to whom they have been allotted? And furnish the details of furniture under the possession of Deputy Chairman at office and his residences in Jammu and Srinagar.
On July 15, the State Information Commission had shot a show-cause notice to the Public Information Officer of the Legislative Assembly, asking him why disciplinary proceedings shall not be initiated against him for failing to provide information to the applicant within the stipulated time of 30-days.
When the case came up for hearing recently, the CIC ruled that the Council was not expected to deny information under the act.
He ruled that since 30 days have passed, the LA must provide information to the applicant free of cost. The LA has now said that the information is ready and the applicant can take it.
THE LA CASE
Sheikh had sought information about the alleged encroachment of 350 kanals of land by Member Parliament Chowdhary Lal Singh in Kathua district of Jammu—an issue which rocked the Budget session after the Member Legislative Assembly, Jagdish Sapolia, raised it.
In the application, duly substantiated with Rs 50 fee through Non-Judicial Stamp Paper, Sheikh had asked what action did the Speaker of the Assembly initiate on this issue raised by Sapolia. He had also sought copies of the documents produced by Sapolia before the House, like Shajra-e-Khas and copies, if any, of the reply of the Minister for Revenue to Sapolia’s questions. The applicant had also sought information on how many questions were raised in the Assembly by different MLAs with regard to corruption issues in the past two years and what action has been initiated on each such issue till date. He had also asked the action that the Speaker has initiated against several MLAs of the Bhartiya Janata Party who were involved in cross voting during the recently MLC elections.
While the PIO of the LA had told the applicant that his request had been turned down by the Speaker, the CIC ruled that “it seems the speaker’s name has been unnecessarily dragged in the matter as nothing has been brought on record to show that such directions were passed by him.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 28 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 28 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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