The Collegium has recommended names of Chief Justice of Karnataka, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Chief Justice of Delhi, Justice Sanjiv Khanna for elevation to the Supreme Court who are junior to Justices Rajendra Menon and Pradeep Nandrajog. There are no parameters available in public domain indicating as to how this elevation of judges to the Apex Court is assessed by the Collegium. The entire process is whimsical, random and highly arbitrary.
It is not only against the DoPT guidelines but also contrary to catena of decision of the Central Information Commission wherein it has ruled that information under the RTI Act, cannot be denied by mere citing exemption clauses of the Act. CPIO and FAA must give justification for the same.
Having noticed this huge lacuna in the general public’s understanding and awareness of the RTI Act, The Leaflet will be running a weekly column on it, in an attempt to make Indian citizens more aware about the myriad uses of the Act, thereby encouraging its wider application in holding various government departments accountable and transparent in their functioning as well as decision-making process.
The Commission has also called for the action taken report from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Office of the Finance Minister on a letter dated February 5, 2015 written by the former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding “a list of high profile fraud cases of non-performing assets and requested for coordinated investigation into the matter”.
This nomination took place at a time when Justice Goel still had a week to demit his office as a judge of the Supreme Court. The letter written by the then CJI Misra to the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, also reveals that Justice Goel had verbally conveyed to the then CJI, his willingness to accept the post-retirement assignment.
This order has come on an appeal filed by RTI applicant and Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi who sought regarding corruption charges against Cabinet Minsters/IAS officers etc. including details of various projects such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’and ‘Smart City Project’, etc. from the PMO.
After seven years since I sought the information under the RTI Act, the CIC has directed the HQ-IDS to make the complete text of these doctrines public within 15 days. Whether HQ-IDS will comply with the CIC's direction and disclose the Joint Doctrines or challenge that decision in the Delhi High Court remains to be seen.
In a response to an RTI application filed by one Paras Nath Singh on May 30, 2018, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) cum Under Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) after being directed by the First Appellate Authority (FAA), informed Singh on September 19, 2018, that no such proposal was under consideration by the Union Government at present.
In response to a PIL, the Government of India in an affidavit has said that it is looking at only four of the eight vacancies, and has also not committed any specific timeframe within which to fill in all the vacancies should be filled. The affidavit has also revealed that Modi Government has been intending to amend the RTI Act, 2005 since 2016 itself to change the very nature of the posy of Information Commissioners.