Transparency and Accountability

Right to Information

Proper implementation of RTI Act has the potential to bring about good governance: Supreme Court

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices A K Sikri and Abdul Nazeer has issued slew of directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by noted RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.) and Amrita Johri seeking filling up of the vacancies at Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and also the direction to adhere to the transparent process in the selection process of the Information Commissioners.

February 15,2019

Case update

Non-bureaucrats can be considered for posts of Information Commissioners: SC

two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices A K Sikri and Abdul Nazeer has issued slew of directions in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by noted RTI activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.) and Amrita Johri seeking filling up of the vacancies at Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and also the direction to adhere to the transparent process in the selection process of the Information Commissioners.

February 15,2019

Judiciary

Dismissal of court masters without inquiry is improper

The two court masters who have been dismissed had the protection of Article 311. The question that arises is, why was there no inquiry conducted and no charges framed against them before their services were terminated. Dismissal dispensing with inquiry itself is a serious matter, not only because it affects the rights of person concerned, but also because it deprives the general public of the right to know what was the misconduct committed by the public servant.

February 15,2019

Right to Information

Cabinet note on 10% quota law cannot be disclosed under RTI: Social Justice Ministry

On January 17, 2019, three days after the 10% Quota amendment came into force, the Union Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment issued an Office Memorandum (OM) detailing the criteria for excluding persons who would not be eligible to lay claim to the 10% reservation of seats and posts. Interestingly, this OM is labelled: "For Internal Circulation Only" and cannot be located on the Ministry's website. However, it is included in multiple OMs issued by other Ministries and Departments to entities under their charge for identifying posts that may be reserved under the 10% quota law.

February 11,2019

Right to Information

Centre refuses to disclose minutes of High Powered Committee’s meeting that took decision to transfer out Alok Verma from CBI

The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) cum Under Secretary in the DoPT has informed on February 7, 2019 that the authorship of the sought information which includes three high-level dignitaries does not vest in the DoPT. Thus, the copies of documents sought cannot be provided by the CPIO.

February 8,2019

Transparency and Accountability

Lokpal Search Committee issues advertisement inviting applications/nominations

The chairperson of the Search Committee constituted under the The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, has invited applications/nominations for preparation of panel of names for consideration by Selection Committee for appointment as chairperson & Members of Lokpal. The applications/nomination should reach to the Search Committee latest by   February 22, 2019.

February 6,2019

Lead Opinion

Contempt, the flavour of the season

When the truth is stated, it does not “scandalise” the court. If it is true that the Selection Committee HPC held on January 10, 2019 did not select M Nageswara Rao as the interim director, then   the question of “scandalising” the court may not arise. Moreover, the contempt application suggests that Prashant Bhushan has “scandalised” a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. It is true that Justice Sikri was a member of the Selection Committee, but while sitting on the Committee he was not performing a judicial function but an executive function of making a selection to a post.

February 6,2019

Right to Information

Computers intercepted, transparency interrupted: MHA's CPIO refuses information

Under The Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act), the MHA has refused to disclose the reasons and materials such as file notings which formed the basis for issuing this order. Even more shocking is the MHA's refusal to treat as a valid query. the request for reasons for not complying with the duty of proactive disclosure of all relevant facts and reasons that underpin the order.

February 3,2019

Case update

Sealed cover strikes again! Kharge contradicts Attorney General

Hours after the claim made by the AG, one of the members of the High Powered Committee, Mallikarjun Kharge, contradicted the statement of the Attorney General and told counsel for the petitioner Prashant Bhushan that issue of the appointment of M Nagaswara Rao as interim director CBI was never discussed in the meeting.

February 1,2019

Case update

High Powered Committee had consented to appointment M Nageswara Rao as interim director, CBI

This discloser has come to the light during a course of hearing of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO Common Cause and noted RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj who have approached the Supreme Court of India seeking quashing of the appointment of IPS officer M Nageswara Rao as the interim Director CBI. Rao was given charge of the office of the Director CBI by an order dated January 10, 2019 issued by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet.

February 1,2019

Case update

Third in row: Justice N V Ramana too recuses himself from hearing plea against Nageswara Rao

In a series of recusals from hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Common Cause and RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim director CBI, Justice N V Ramana has become third judge in a row after CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A K Sikri, who recused himself from hearing the said PIL. The PIL was listed before a three-judge bench comprising Justices N V Ramana, Mohan M Shantanagoudar and Indira Banerjee.    

January 31,2019

Case update

Justice Sikri recuses himself from PIL hearing against Nageswara Rao’s appointment interim director CBI

Justice A K Sikri, the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, on Thursday, January 24, 2019, chose to recuse himself from hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as interim director CBI. PIL was listed for hearing today, January 24, 2019, before a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices A K Sikri, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah. The matter came up before Justice Sikri after the recusal of the CJI Ranjan Gogoi from the case on January 21, 2019 and the judicial order passed by him listing the case before Court 2, i.e. bench presided over by Justice Sikri.

January 24,2019

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