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Friday, April 30, 2010

Applicability of RTI Act in J & K

Many-a-times, a ground is taken by certain organisations of the central govt located in Jammu & Kashmir, that the RTI Act, 2005 does not extend to them. They also cite a case pending in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court namely UOI Vs Veena Kohli in which supposedly a stay had been granted on the orders of the Central Information Commission directing the release of information held by a military unit in J & K.

The contention is wrong. A close examination of the pendency of the ibid case in the Delhi High Court would show that the stay granted in the case was not extended beyond the first hearing and as on date there is no interim order or stay prohibiting the operation of the CIC directions in the said matter. Moreover, the CIC has already ruled in other similar cases that the Act would definitely extend to central organisations based in J & K.

The stand in question of certain officers of the central govt is also in contravention of national policy. The Govt has already appointed Public Information Officers under the RTI Act in all its consulates outside India, and here we are taking a stand that the Act does not extend to J&K !!!. Moreover all Central Ministries and Departments have designated their CPIOs and Appellate Authorities under the RTI Act in their establishments in J & K. The Constitution of India does not extend to J & K, but does that mean that people of J & K are not Indian citizens ? The Administrative Tribunals Act does not territorially extend to J & K, but does it imply that central govt servants belonging to J & K or based in J & K cannot approach the CAT for relief ?

One fails to understand when our public authorities would start realising that flow of information needs to be encouraged to show the populace at large that there is nothing to hide. Dissemination should be the rule, and non-dissemination an exception. Till the time this realisation dawns, the implementation of the Act shall remain on paper, notwithstanding the attempts of the present govt to give it a fillip.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Navdeep,
NOT RELATED TO YOUR POST BUT IMP
As per Page - 2 Hav garnted rank of Hony Nb sub shall be allowed pension of Rs. 226/-.

One side govt has issued orders that Hav granted Hony Rank will be given MINIMUM pension RS 7750 equivalent to Nb sub. is it not confusing.

Dear Navdeep YOU HAD GIVEN A POST ON THIS BUT THAT WAS BEFORE COS REPORT I WOULD REQUEST TO CLARIFY WHAT IS THE STATUS NOW AS NOT EVEN SINGLE HONORARY NB SUB IS GETTING THE PENSION OF NB SUB IN MY UNIT I THINK THE ISSUE REQUIRES YOUR CONSIDERATION

Anonymous said...

62 yrs of lethargy with 100+ yrs of legacy it will take time to change mindset. but you must continue. perseverance will pay.

Harry said...

@ Maj Navdeep

Sir,

I am going to talk about an unrelated but nevertheless imp issue.

After arrest of Indian Diplomat Madhuri Gupta for spying, it came out in the media that she was doing it to seek revenge with some of her Indian Foreign Service Seniors who she described as 'Arrogant' and she also blamed her 'Bad Service Conditions' as her reasons.

Not condoning what She has done but I am constrained to ask this question as to why MEA still treats MAs (brigs having GP 8900 and 28 plus years commissioned service excl training) below a Counsellor ( Foreign Service Officer with 8700 GP and about 13/14 years service incl training) in protocol? And ditto is the case of Cols who are equated with First Secys (GP 7600) who infact with 9 years of service are even below Lt Cols in GP.

Is this attitue not corrobrating what Madhuri Gupta (Grade B Officer) is saying about Foreign Service officers?

pradosh said...

what about non-public funds like mess account, wine account, officers welfare fund, NWWA fund,AFNHB fund, Golf club fund and other Non Public Funds in armed forces? Do they come under the perview of RTI?

Anonymous said...

@Harry said... May 2, 2010 11:23 AM

The reason is BECAUSE WE ACCEPT IT WHILE IN UNIFORM
Try this with any other service like the MES etc and they will go to court. In the Army the Officer will first be discouraged and then threatened by our own people.
Another thing is that generally Hi-profile officers go for such postings. So, why should they screw up their career by fighting for the army since their own career is more important.

Of course after they retire when they are 'overlooked' as Brigs(TS) or Maj Gens(TS) or Lt Gens(TS) they will get out into civvie street and be the loudest to protest.

The Babus know our weak point.

WE,US - we are weak.

How many such officers can put their foot down and say I want to be reverted back and will not accept the foreign posting? NONE.

Take the case of the 4th PC scam.The MoD has put in a prayer just before the Courts close for vacations. So, the next hearing will be after August and the MoD does not have to pass any instructions to CDA/PCDA for payments. Delay,deny. harass is taught as the Basic tactics of war but somewhere we 'Ulloo Ka Pattas' cannot put it into practice. The Babus do it better.

Anonymous said...

NOT RELATED TO YOUR POST BUT IMP
As per Page - 2 Hav garnted rank of Hony Nb sub shall be allowed pension of Rs. 226/-.

One side govt has issued orders that Hav granted Hony Rank will be given MINIMUM pension RS 7750 equivalent to Nb sub. is it not confusing.

Dear Navdeep YOU HAD GIVEN A POST ON THIS BUT THAT WAS BEFORE COS REPORT I WOULD REQUEST TO CLARIFY WHAT IS THE STATUS NOW AS NOT EVEN SINGLE HONORARY NB SUB IS GETTING THE PENSION OF NB SUB IN MY UNIT I THINK THE ISSUE REQUIRES YOUR CONSIDERATION WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY

Anonymous said...

he comment by Anonymous to (@Harry said... May 2, 2010 11:23 AM) is what I call hitting the nail on the head OR bulls-eye. Nothing can be closer to truth. When r we going to wake up and who is going to remind us of our teaching of self respect the first of the lessons they taught us in the academies.Is it to hell with self respect if benefits are involved in career?

rajkumar said...

@ harry comment on madhuri gupta

similar treatment is being given by army officers in mixed organisations to civilian officers .
civilian officers of higher ranks are forced to work under junior army officers .
so now compairing th esituation in MEA one would realize how an officer in mixed organisation feel when forced to work under junior officers .

so at times one has to consume its own bitter medicine some times .

answer given in mixed organisation is if u dont like the organisation then leave it .

so same answers is applicable to army officers in MEA

thanks