Transparency and Accountability

Parliament Watch

Democratising human rights commissions

The Sub-Committee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions underscored that the current selection process under the Act is not sufficiently broad and transparent since it does not mandatorily require the advertisement of vacancies and establishment of clear and uniform criteria upon which all parties assess the merit of applicants. The SCA also noted that the NHRC was not free from political interference.

August 13,2018

Independence of judiciary

SC issues guidelines to designate ‘senior advocates’

The notification comes days before the anniversary of Jaising’s ‘Gown Wapsi’ movement. On August 15 of last year, she shed her senior counsel gown to symbolise the discrimination inherent in the senior advocate designation process. The eligibility criterion for designation is a minimum of 10 years combined standing as an advocate or a District Judge, or as a Judicial Member of any Tribunal whose qualification for eligibility isn't less than that prescribed for a District judge.

August 6,2018

Transparency and Accountability

RTI Amendment Bill 2018: A flawed approach

The latest draft of the RTI Amendment Bill 2018 reflects a discriminatory approach towards a statutory body such as the Information Commission. There appears to be an uncanny intention on behalf of the Centre to acquire overarching powers to decide the salaries and tenures of the Information Commissioners. The proposed Bill has also been critiqued for being violative of various Constitutional provisions, especially that of Article 14.

August 1,2018

Law and Technology

Whither right to privacy?

Provisions that permit personal data processing without express consent are clearly overbroad in comparison to comparable frameworks such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) brought forth by the European Union (EU). The non requirement of necessity and proportionality with respect to personal data processing by the State prima facie seems regressive and violative of the tests laid down by the Puttaswamy verdict.

July 30,2018

Transparency and Accountability

Amendment to RTI Act will kill transparency

The proposed amendment in the RTI Act, 2005 takes away the independence of Information Commissions that have been conferred with the adjudicatory power to decide the appeals and complaints arise out of violation of the RTI Act and denial of the information, whatever may be the case.

July 20,2018

Freedom of Speech

SMCH: A full-scale surveillance state

The SMCH can reasonably be construed to be a surveillance mechanism encompassing the entire digital space, laying the groundwork for an information system where it only flows from a Statist source, with all dissenters silenced into fear of State sanction.

July 18,2018

Case update

RTI reply contradicts Times of India’s claim

The President Secretariat has confirmed in response to an RTI application that there is no such correspondence, information and knowledge available with the President’s Secretariat with regard to the alleged harassment meted out to President of India, Ram Nath Kovind and his wife, on the part of servitors of Puri Jagannath Temple.

July 16,2018

Transparency and Accountability

[EXCLUSIVE] The Golden Question on CSC SPV

Why is a private company using the government domain name — gov.in — and bagging creamy contracts from Meity and other government departments without any tender, bidding, etc., without raising the Government’s hackles?

July 12,2018

Education

DUTA pans MHRD largesse for ‘Jio Institute’

Jio Institute has no record of academic or socially relevant accomplishments. The inclusion of clauses which allow paper proposals to qualify as an Eminent Institution is an academic corruption of highest order. It is turning a government scheme as a promotion for a private player.

July 10,2018

Transparency and Accountability

SC likes Jaising’s live-streaming plea

A three-judge bench comprising CJI Dipak Misra, Justices Khanwilkar and Chandrachud noted such measures as being ‘the need the hour’ in lieu of transparency and the right to know.

July 9,2018

Transparency and Accountability

Challenge to FCRA amendments

Alterations to the FCRA avail grounds to ‘foreign companies, lobby groups and wealthy individuals’ to exert influence over Indian politics and democracy vis-à-vis corruption, the PIL claims.

July 3,2018

Transparency and Accountability

The Age of Information Emergency

Punctuated by the State’s persistent demand for a transparent and obedient citizenry, is the spectre of the government trying every trick in the book to be less transparent and accountable to its people.

June 26,2018

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