Sunday, September 26, 2010

CIC: Great blunder of Dena Bank unearthed

CIC provided information denied by dena bank on pretext of exemption u/s 7(9) of rti act. Great blunder of Dena Bank unearthed.
CIC PROVIDED INFORMATION DENIED BY DENA BANK ON PRETEXT OF EXEMPTION U/S 7(9) OF RTI ACT. GREAT BLUNDER OF DENA BANK UNEARTHED.

DB/NIR/LEG/201/2009 dated 12-09-2009 of CPIO

Rajneesh Madhok Vs. Central Public Information Officer, Dena Bank, North Regional Office, S.C.O. 66, 2nd Floor, Sector-11, Panchkula-134112

I appeared before Hon'ble Information Commissioner, Shri Satyananda Mishra on 24th September, 2010 regarding my appeal against Dena bank, North Regional office. As the information sought has been denied by the said PIO on the pretext of Exemption U/s 7(9) of RTI Act that the information sought by the appellant will disproportionately divert the resources of the Bank and hence exempted U/s 7(9) of the RTI Act.

The access to information has been denied because during the hearing a great BLUNDER OF DENA BANK UNEARTHED. On my plea that the PIO kindly asked to provide reasons how he had come to the conclusion that Section 7(9) is applicable on the application. The PIO could not provide the satisfactory answers to the query.

The case is that Dena Bank had deducted TDS from their customers in the Session 2008-09 twice. On getting refusal to provide information the First appeal and then second appeal had been made.

Query No. 1 C. Kindly provide the name and address and telphone number of the officials wh manage the software installed at Dena Bank.

PIO'reply: Bank is functioning through its employee under designation and not by their names. Hence the information sought by you can not be provided

My plea: Sir, I want to know the software was installed by the bank's staff or by outsourcing company. Whether it was installed at branch level, Regional level or India level.

CIC asked: Who had installed the software? Whether it was installed at branch level or state level or India level.

PIO replied: It was installed at All India level and Wipro has installed the software.

CIC's Direction: Then provide in writing that Wipro has installed the software. What is the hitch to provide the name of the company that installed the software. The information sought should be provided in writing as per the demand of the appellant.

Query No.1.d: Kindly provide me the information that how many account holders of Dena bank had been credited with the interest twice in the session of 2008-09.

PIO's reply: The information sought by you disproportionately diverts the resources of the Bank and hence exempted u/s 7(9) of theRTI Act 05.

My Arguments at CIC : Sir, the information sought has no relation with the diversion of resources. The PIO is intentionally not providing the information.

CIC orders: CIC has directed to provide the information.

Query No.1.g.: Kindly provide me the information that how much customers have been affected with the wrong calculation of Dena Bank and how much amount had been wrongly deducted by Dena Bank from its customers.

PIO's reply: The information sought by you disproportionately divert------- hence exempted U/s 7(9) of the RTI Act.

My arguments: Sir, this is the case of system fault and I urged the CIC to kindly ask the PIO that whether this was branch level fault, Punjab Region level fault or Country level fault.

CIC Queried about: The PIO told that the system was at fault at All India level.

CIC asked me what is your query, whether you want the details about the affected customers at all India level.

My answer: Sir, I have put the query before the North India Region Dena Bank's office. And so the PIO of North India Dena Bank should provide me the information regarding how many customers of Dena Bank got affected with faulty system.

Query No. 3: Kindly provide me the names and addresses of the internal and external auditors who conduct the audit in Dena Bank and provided wrong Audit report.

PIO's Reply: The audit of Dena Bank is conducted by central stautory auditors appointed by RBI.

My plea: Sir, when there is point of submission of wrong Audit Report so the Names and addresses of the internal and external auditors kindly be provided.

CIC orders: Provide the information sought;

Query No. 7: The customers of Dena Bank who had been dodged by Dena Bank Phagwara want to take legal action. Kindly provide the name and addresses of the authorities to whom the complaint can be lodged.

PIO replied: Any person aggrieved by the service of branch can file a complaint before the---

Branch Manager.

Regional Manager

Head office/Corporate office, Dena Bank, Dena Corporate Centre, C-10. G Block, Bandra (East) Mumbai.

My Plea: Sir the reply of Head Office is not sufficient. The name and address kindly be provide.

CIC: Accepted my plea.

Rajneesh Madhok,
B-xxx/63, Nehru Nagar,
St. No. 2, Railway Road,
Phagwara-144401 (Pb)

Courtesy_

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Information prior to 2005 cannot be denied

"Information prior to 2005 cannot be denied"

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has rejected the argument that public authorities dealing with applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005 were not liable to provide details related to the period before the enactment of the legislation.

Dismissing a writ petition filed by a government-aided arts and science college in Tuticorin against an order passed by the State Information Commission, Justice R.S. Ramanathan said that the college could not refuse to part with details sought by an individual about its activities since 1999.

The judge disagreed with the petitioner's contention that compelling an authority to part with information prior to 2005 would amount to giving retrospective effect to the Act. He said that it was a substantial legislation which recognises the right of every person to obtain information.

"The purpose of enacting the legislation itself would become meaningless if the Court accepts the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that no information or documents earlier to 2005 can be asked for by an RTI applicant… A citizen is entitled to call for information related to any period," the judge said.

He also rejected the petitioner's other argument that the State Information Commission had violated the principles of natural justice by not giving an opportunity to the college explain its stand before directing the institution to provide information sought by the RTI applicant.

The Act does not require the Commission to issue notice before ordering disclosure of information.

"Further the question of violation of principles of natural justice would arise only when a person is affected by the passing of an order or any civil consequences followed by that order," the judge added.

He also held that the petitioner college, being a government aided institution, was liable to provide the information as directed by the Information Commission.

Courtesy_

Madras HC Judgement on University Answer Sheets

Answer Sheets_Madras High Court Judgement

Judgement dated 13-09-2010 of Madurai Bench of Hon'ble Madras High Court in the matter of disclosure of answer sheets of university exams. Para Nos 7 and 8 are important for RTI which read as under:

"7.with reference to non furnishing the copies of answer sheets, the conduct of the University cannot be appreciated and without driven the parties to approach this court, the University ought not to have given copies.

8.When a question arose whether such an information is in public domain and the persons are entitled to know the marks obtained in the answer sheets, this court vide its judgment in The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, rep.By its Registrar Vs. The Tamil Nadu State Information Commission and others reported in 2010 (1) CWC 816 has held that even under the provisions of the Right To Information Act, a third party is entitled to get such an information."

In my humble views, there is typographical error in para 7. Last sentence should be as under: "the University ought to have given copies." [not is deleted here]

Courtesy_

Also read the FULL Judgment at: http://judis.nic.in/chennai/qrydisp.asp?tfnm=57128

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 13/09/2010

CORAM
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE K.CHANDRU

W.P.(MD)NO.4815 of 2008

R.Ramasamy ..  Petitioner

Vs.

1.The Secretary,
   Ministry of Higher Education,
   Chennai.
2.The Registrar,
   T.N.Dr.Ambedkar Law University,
   Chennai.
3.The Controller of Examination,
   T.N.Dr. Ambedkar Law University,
   Chennai. ..  Respondents

This writ petition has been preferred under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India praying for the issue of a writ of mandamus to direct the
third respondent to produce answer manuscripts of M.L. Degree exam Code Nos.PDE,
PDF exams held in December, 2007 written by the petitioner in Reg.No.0049 and to
direct to revalue the same answer papers in the court supervision and to declare
the results before the forthcoming exam on 9th and 11th June 2008.

!For Petitioner ... Mr.R.Ramasamy (Party in person)
^For Respondents ... Mr.S.C.Herold Singh, GA for R-1
   Mr.P.Thiagarajan for RR2 and 3
- - - -

ORDER

Heard the petitioner appearing in person, Mr.S.C.Herold Singh, learned
Government Advocate for the first respondent and Mr.P.Thiagarajan, learned
counsel for respondents 2 and 3 University.

2.The petitioner was a Post Graduate student in Law under the second
respondent University. He joined M.L. with Transfer of Properties which is an
optional subject. He wrote his final year M.L. Examination and appeared for
Public Trust and Charities (PDE) and Land Reform Laws and Leases (PDF) with
registration No.0049. But he was unsuccessful. Though he asked for photostat
copies of his answer sheets, the same were not provided. Therefore, he filed the
present writ petition, seeking for a direction to produce the answer sheets for
the examination wrote by him with code Nos.PDE and PDF for the year December,
2007. Further the court should direct the authorities to revalue the answer
sheets under the court supervision and also to declare the results before the
ensuing examination in June, 2008.

3.On notice from this court, the respondents have produced the photostat
copies of answer sheets. A counter affidavit, dated 3.7.2008 was also filed by
the second respondent. In paragraph 5 of the counter affidavit, it was averred
as follows:

"5.I submit, with regard to the averments made in Ground 3 to 6, till now there
is no provision for revaluation of M.L.Degree answer scripts in this University.
Since, in normal practice P.G. Degree answer scripts are being valued by
different Examiners (Double Valuation), the question of revaluation of answer
scripts of the P.G. Programme does not arise. However, the copies of the answer
scripts of the Petitioner, viz., (1) Public Trust and Charities (PDE) and (2)
Land Reform Laws and Leases (PDF) were forwarded to the petitioner on 07-06-2008
as per his request."

4.This court by an order, dated 15.6.2010 allowed the petitioner to write
the examination held in June, 2010 making it clear that in case he succeeds in
the writ petition, the results obtained in this writ petition will be binding on
parties.

        5.After perusing the answer sheets, the petitioner has come up with
an additional affidavit, dated 6.11.2009. He had stated that for the U.G.
Course, the University has system of revaluation and there is no reason why they
should deny the petitioner's request.  It was also stated that the other
universities in Tamil Nadu have adopted revaluation procedure even at the P.G.
Level. Therefore, there is nothing wrong for this court ordering revaluation. He
further submitted that he has done very well in the examination.

6.A perusal of the PDF paper shows that it has been valued by two
different examiners and after working out an average of two valuations, he had
only secured  37 marks. Likewise, in PDE paper, it has been valued by two
examiners and an average worked out to 28 marks. It must be noted that the
petitioner had not alleged any malafide.

7.with reference to non furnishing the copies of answer sheets, the
conduct of the University cannot be appreciated and without driven the parties
to approach this court, the University ought not to have given copies.

8.When a question arose whether such an information is in public domain
and the persons are entitled to know the marks obtained in the answer sheets,
this court vide its judgment in The Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, rep.
By its Registrar Vs. The Tamil Nadu State Information Commission and others
reported in 2010 (1) CWC 816 has held that even under the provisions of the
Right To Information Act, a third party is entitled to get such an information.

9.With reference to the prayer for revaluation, it must be stated that the
petitioner had obtained marks bordering very near to pass mark. Very recently,
the Supreme Court dealt with an issue regarding the court's power in ordering
revaluation, vide its judgment in H.P.Public Service Commission Vs. Mukesh
Thakur and another reported in  2010 AIR SCW 3636 = 2010 (6) SCC 759. It is
necessary to refer to paragraphs 24 to 26 of the said judgment which is as
follows:

"24. The issue of revaluation of answer book is no more res integra. This issue
was considered at length by this Court in Maharashtra State Board of Secondary
and Higher Secondary Education v. Paritosh Bhupeshkumar Sheth (1984(4) SCC 27),
wherein this Court rejected the contention that in the absence of the provision
for revaluation, a direction to this effect can be issued by the Court. The
Court further held that even the policy decision incorporated in the
Rules/Regulations not providing for rechecking/verification/revaluation cannot
be challenged unless there are grounds to show that the policy itself is in
violation of some statutory provision. The Court held as under: (SCC pp.39-40 &
42, paras 14 & 16)

"14. ? It is exclusively within the province of the legislature and its delegate
to determine, as a matter of policy, how the provisions of the statute can best
be implemented and what measures, substantive as well as procedural would have
to be incorporated in the rules or regulations for the efficacious achievement
of the objects and purposes of the Act. ?
* * *
16. ? The Court cannot sit in judgment over the wisdom of the policy evolved by
the legislature and the subordinate regulation-making body. It may be a wise
policy which will fully effectuate the purpose of the enactment or it may be
lacking in effectiveness and hence calling for revision and improvement. But any
drawbacks in the policy incorporated in a rule or regulation will not render it
ultra vires and the Court cannot strike it down on the ground that, in its
opinion, it is not a wise or prudent policy, but is even a foolish one, and that
it will not really serve to effectuate the purposes of the Act."

25. This view has been approved and relied upon and reiterated by this Court in
Pramod Kumar Srivastava v. Bihar Public Service Commission(2004 (6) SCC 714)
observing as under: (SCC pp.717-18, para 7)

"7. ? Under the relevant rules of the Commission, there is no provision wherein
a candidate may be entitled to ask for revaluation of his answer book. There is
a provision for scrutiny only wherein the answer books are seen for the purpose
of checking whether all the answers given by a candidate have been examined and
whether there has been any mistake in the totalling of marks of each question
and noting them correctly on the first cover page of the answer book. There is
no dispute that after scrutiny no mistake was found in the marks awarded to the
appellant in the General Science paper. In the absence of any provision for
revaluation of answer books in the relevant rules, no candidate in an
examination has got any right whatsoever to claim or ask for revaluation of his
marks." (emphasis added)

A similar view has been reiterated in Muneeb-Ul-Rehman Haroon (Dr.) v. Govt. of
J&K State (1984(4) SCC 24), Board of Secondary Education v. Pravas Ranjan
Panda(2004(13) SCC 383), Board of Secondary Education v. D. Suvankar(2007 (1)
SCC 603), W.B. Council of Higher Secondary Education v. Ayan Das(2007 (8) SCC
242) and Sahiti v. Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences(2009(1) SCC 599).
26. Thus, the law on the subject emerges to the effect that in the absence of
any provision under the statute or statutory rules/regulations, the Court should
not generally direct revaluation."

10.In the light of the above, there is no case made out to entertain the
writ petition. Hence the writ petition will stand dismissed. However there will
be no order as to costs.
vvk

To
1.The Secretary,
   Ministry of Higher Education,
   Chennai.
2.The Registrar,
   T.N.Dr.Ambedkar Law University,
   Chennai.
3.The Controller of Examination,
   T.N.Dr. Ambedkar Law University,
   Chennai.

Courtesy_

Saturday, September 11, 2010

RTI helps Banking customer to know about fault in his Account

Banking on RTI

RTI helped a customer figure out why his bank sent him an unauthorised letter saying he had defaulted on his minimum balance

Neelambari Bhoge

Posted On Thursday, September 09, 2010 at 11:30:01 PM

The bank had penalised 55342 customers....another reply received under the RTI from the OBC head office in Delhi dated May 11 for the same query, states that the number of defaulters uptil March 2010 was only 19,636. — Rashad Shaikh, RTI applicant, the power of the Right to Information Act (RTI) has proved itself yet again by helping an applicant to retrieve obscured information.

Rashad Shaikh, a resident of the Camp area was able to push the mechanism into action to retrieve some information about the Oriental Bank Of Commerce (OBC) with the help of the RTI tool.

The reason behind this application was that Rashad received an undated and unsigned letter from a branch of the OBC at MG Road, Camp which stated that the minimum account balance has been increased.

"I received this letter which had no details like the date or signature. I filed an RTI for an explanation for this letter. I received the answer that it had been inadvertently sent by the concerned officials."

Rashad also asked for further information under RTI on February 26 as to how many account holders were defaulters for the same issue. "The bank had penalised 55342 customers", says Rashad.

He added, "It is interesting to note that another reply received under the RTI from the OBC head office in Delhi dated May 11 for the same query (how many account holders were penalised) states that the number of defaulters uptil March 2010 was only 19,636."

When Pune Mirror got in touch with Purnendu Sarangi, Deputy General Manager of OBC, Pune he said, "The information regarding the penalty for this particular rule is given to the customer on the same day that they open their account. It was a mistake that an undated and unsigned letter was dispatched. It was a computer generated mistake."

He added, "We have a total of 55,342 savings accounts. The applicant had requested information on the defaulters of three specific types of accounts. The number of defaulters in those came to 19,636 and that is the reason why there was fluctuating number in the tally of defaulters," concluded Sarangi.

Courtesy_

Friday, September 10, 2010

Emergency records can't be made public: Prez secretariat

Emergency records can't be made public: Prez secretariat

Agencies

Posted: Aug 31, 2010 at 1457 hrs IST

New Delhi: The communication between the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on imposition of Emergency nearly 35 years ago cannot be made public, the President\'s Secretariat has said.

While withholding the information sought through an RTI plea, the Secretariat has cited Article 74 of the Constitution which says that the advice tendered by the Cabinet to the President "shall not be inquired into in any court".

In his RTI application, S C Agrawal had sought to know "complete and detailed information" on the declaration of internal Emergency in the country by the then President including any communication or advice received from Gandhi.

The reply from the President\'s Secretariat said, "The information sought is covered under Article 74 of the Constitution and hence cannot be disclosed."

"CPIO declined information as covered by Article 74 of the constitution and hence not disclosable (sic). But \'Right To Information Act 2005\' has an over-riding effect on all previous provisions, and as such it is not justified to refuse any information which is not covered by section 8 of RTI Act," Agrawal said in his representation before the Appellate Authority at the Secretariat.

Quoting a news report on the issue, Agrawal said it indicated that no other public authorities including the Prime Minister\'s Office, Union Home Ministry or National Archives of India ever took the information as "undisclosable (sic)".

"Only thing (according to reports) was that the sought information could not be practically traced out. Now when the sought information exists at the President\'s Secretariat, it should not be denied because the sought information and documents are not covered by any of the sub-clauses of section eight," he said.

According to reports, former IAS officer M G Devasahayam has also filed a series of RTI application with the PMO seeking details of the Presidential proclamation of declaring Emergency in the country in 1975. But he could not get the information as it could not be traced.

The state of emergency was declared by Ahmed on advice by Gandhi on June 25, 1975 which lasted for 21 months till March 21, 1977.

Courtesy_

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Form 10 details must be disclosed under RTI Act

Form 10 details must be disclosed under RTI Act

NEW DELHI: The details of Form 10 submitted by an office to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation should be disclosed under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has held.

The Commission directed the EPFO to disclose Form 10 details — including information on workers who have resigned — submitted by a newspaper group, which were demanded by an RTI applicant.

The EPFO refused, saying the records were held in "fiduciary capacity" — exempt from disclosure under the RTI Act — by the Regional PF Commissioner. — PTI

Courtesy_

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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

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