The apex court while examining the affidavit submitted by CBI in the coalgate scam, took a very strong stand and called the investigating agency a 'caged parrot speaking in its master's voice
Taking a strong stand against the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allowing interference in the coalgate scam report, the Supreme Court on Wednesday called the investigating agency as 'a caged parrot speaking in its master's voice'.
"The CBI has become a caged parrot speaking in its master's voice. It is a sordid saga that there are many masters and giving unbridled power to the CBI is not possible. The CBI has become the police force and is in the administrative control of the Central government. CBI investigations have to be independent," the three-judge bench headed by Justice RM Lodha said.
The apex court also slammed Attorney General GE Vahanvati, former Additional Solicitor General Harin Raval and officials from the Prime Minister's Officer (PMO) and Coal Ministry. "How on earth could the joint secretaries of the PMO and the Coal Ministry attend the meeting, see the report and suggest changes to it," the Court asked.
Earlier, in a nine-page affidavit submitted before the apex court, CBI director Ranjit Sinha admitted making changes in the 'coalgate' draft report on suggestions from Ashwani Kumar and the AG, but stated that it has neither altered the report nor shifted the focus of inquiries in any manner. "...heart of the CBI report was changed on the suggestions of government officials," the Court said.
In its nine-page affidavit, the CBI chief had given details of the meetings between the officials of the agency, the law minister, AG, then additional solicitor general Harin Raval and officials of PMO and Coal Ministry.
The affidavit had said the changes made in the draft report on the suggestion of the law minister and Vanahvati have 'neither altered the report nor shifted the focus of inquiries in any manner'. "The central theme of the status report had not changed post meetings. There were no deletions of any evidence against any suspect or accused nor were any let off," the affidavit said.
IGNOU failed to provide NHD certificates to some students who have cleared the course offered by Edexcel International. The CIC directed the vice-chancellor of the University to probe the matter. This is the 87th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while disposing an appeal, directed the vice-chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to probe the matter where students were not being issued certificates despite successfully clearing the course.
While giving this judgement on 2 April 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “IGNOU is not able to give the certificate to the appellant's son since it says it is writing letters to Edexcel (International, UK) and has no explanation for this lapse. It is absurd that a young man is cheated and frustrated in this manner by IGNOU.”
Patna resident Aslam Ansari, on 22 September 2008, sought information about certificate of his son for higher national diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) for 2005-06, from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of IGNOU under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In his application, Ansari stated that while his son's friend had been taken certificate from the institute, his son did not get certificate despite passing the course.
In his reply, the PIO stated, "...the HND Certificate to the student is to be awarded by the Edexcel International, UK. (The) University is in regular touch with the authorities of Edexcel to issue certificates and efforts are being made to organize a meeting between the authorities of both the bodies' to sort out all the issues regarding issue of HND certificate to the students. A meeting is expected soon."
Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Ansari filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) did not reply. Ansari, then approached the Commission with his second appeal.
During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that Obaidurrahman Ansari, son of Aslam Ansari (appellant) had done a course on computing and multimedia of BIT and HND with IGNOU. He cleared his course in December 2005 and was eligible to get a certificate for HND programme from UK-based Edexcel International.
To read Moneylife’s extensive coverage on the RTI, please click here.
According to the PIO, Obaidurrahman Ansari has completed the course successfully but was not given the certificate. "People who have done the course after him have also been given the certificate, but IGNOU is not able to give the certificate to the appellant's son since it says it is writing letters to Edexcel and has no explanation for this lapse," the CIC noted.
The PIO also informed the Commission that Edexcel courses continued in India and there other students who are also going through this traumatic experience.
"It is absurd that a young man is cheated and frustrated in this manner by IGNOU," Mr Gandhi said. While disposing the appeal, the CIC then directed vice-chancellor of IGNOU to enquire into the matter and send a report to the Commission before 30 April 2009.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC /SG/A/2009/000072/2603
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000072
Appellant : Aslam Ansari f/o Obaidurrahman Ansari,
Respondent : PIO,
Indira Gandhi National Open University,
Maidan Garhi, New Delhi-110068.
Aided by strong demand for home loans from individuals, HDFC reported 17% growth in fourth quarter net profit
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), the country's largest home finance company reported a 17% growth in its fourth quarter net profit on robust loan book.
For the quarter to end-March, the home loan company said its consolidated net profit rose to Rs2083 crore from Rs1776.7 crore while total revenues grew to Rs11042.9 crore from Rs9278 crore, same period last year.
HDFC said its full year net profit on a consolidate base increased to Rs6639.7 crore from Rs5462.5 crore while total revenues rose to Rs35986.9 crore from Rs30,302.9 crore a year ago period.
For the full year, HDFC has declared a dividend of Rs12.50 per share.
On Wednesday, HDFC shares ended 3.85% up at Rs885.6 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex closed marginally higher at 19,990.