Right to Information
Chief Information Commissioners with short tenure have poor records
With number of pending cases going over 40,000 at the Central Information Commission-CIC and 15,704 Cases pending in the Chief CIC bench, the Commission requires drastic reforms. Plus, the CCIC and ICs must have a tenure of at least three years to justify their appointment 
After keeping the post of Chief Central Information Commissioners (CCIC) vacant for almost 10 months, the union government finally appointed Vijai Sharma, the senior-most Information Commissioner (IC) as the CCIC. However, Mr Sharma, an officer from the 1974 batch of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is left with less than six months before he retires on 1 December 2015, on attaining the age of 65. 
In the past, between 5 September 2013 to 22 August 2014, we had three Chief Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC), under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, who had short tenures.
I have since carried our study based on information available on CIC website. The study suggests that the CCIC, who headed the CIC for a shorter duration, have poor records in terms of disposing cases. During the 11 and a half months period to 22 August 2014, three people, Deepak Sandhu, Sushma Singh and Rajiv Mathur were CCICs and together disposed 893 cases or 165 cases per month on the average. 

Some Observations


1. In 3.5 Months Tenure (5.9.2013 to 18.12.2013):
Ms Deepak Sandhu disposed = 796 Cases: @ Average =227.43 Cases per month

{During this period Pendency Increased by 467 cases to go up to 1,946 cases}

2. In next say 5 Months Tenure: (19.12.2013 to 21.05.2014):

Ms Sushma Singh disposed = 712 Cases: @ Average = 142.4 Cases per month

{During this period Pendency Increased by 1,308 Cases to go up to 3,254 Cases}

3. In next 3 Months Tenure (22.5.2014 to 22.8.2014):

Rajiv Mathur disposed = 385 Cases @ Average of 128.33 Cases per month

{During this period Pendency Increased by 4,397 Cases to go up to 7,651 Cases}

Total cases disposed by three Chief CIC in 11.5 Months are 1,893 cases at an average of 164.62 cases per month

With huge number of Pending Cases (40,019) in CIC and 15,704 Cases pending in Chief IC bench, the Commission requires drastic reforms. This includes the CIC to work on Saturdays like High Court for consolidating the work in registries and ICs finalising orders.
In addition, the CCIC, who also have administrative role at the CIC, must have at least three years of service left before retirement, to justify the appointment.


PVR to acquire DT Cinemas
Film and retail entertainment company PVR Limited on Tuesday announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to acquire the cinema exhibition business of DLF Utilities Limited, which is operated under the brand name of DT Cinemas.
The company has got into the agreement on a slump sale basis for an aggregate consideration of approximately Rs.500 crore, a statement said. 
Ajay Bijli, chairman and managing director of PVR, noted that the deal will add to the cinema-going experience. 
"It has been our strategy to expand our film exhibition business both organically and inorganically over the years. This acquisition is in pursuance of our core strategy to offer a world class cinema experience to the discerning Indian consumer," Bijli said. 
DT Cinemas currently operates 29 screens with approximately 6,000 seats across eight properties in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chandigarh.
In the next 12 months, DT proposes to add ten new screens at two properties in the NCR. Currently, PVR has 467 screens across 105 locations in 43 cities. As a result of the proposed acquisition, PVR will have a presence in 44 cities with 115 multiplexes and 506 screens.
Sriram Khattar, CEO of DLF Rental Business said: "We are pleased to sell DT Cinemas to PVR which is a high quality provider of cinema experience. Combining our unrelenting focus on providing a wholesome experience at our malls with PVR's deep knowledge of the cinema business, we look forward to continue enhancing our best in class offerings for the customers." 
The proposed transaction will be subject to approval of applicable statutory and regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary conditions precedent.


Industrialist M.A.M. Ramaswamy disowns adopted son
Industrialist and former Rajya Sabha member M.A.M. Ramaswamy, 84, on Tuesday disowned his adopted son M.A.M.R. Muthiah.
Ramaswamy also declared that Muthiah should not perform any ceremonies or obsequies on his demise.
Ramaswamy said the adoption has been nullified as per the practice of the Chettiar community and steps are being taken to void the adoption on the legal side as well.
"I have disowned him and do not wish to call him my son. Whatever the law may be, he is no more my son. According to me he can be only S. Ayyappan (original name) and not M.A.M.R. Muthiah," Ramaswamy told the media here at his residence.
Ramaswamy said Ayyappan has not performed the annual rituals for his late wife Sigappi Achi which had affected him emotionally.
According to Ramaswamy, though a substantial part of his properties is with Ayyappan, whatever is remaining should go to two charitable trusts - Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswamy Chettiar of Chettinad Charitable Trust and Dr.M.A.M. Ramaswamy Chettiar Trust- in which Ayyappan will have no part to play or have a say.
"I have also written and registered a will that all the assets which may be left at the time of my death would go only to the said trusts and not to Ayyappan or M.A.M.R. Muthiah or any one claiming on his behalf or under him," Ramaswamy said.
An emotionally disturbed Ramaswamy against whom several cases have been filed by his adopted son said Ayyappan should not perform any ceremonies or obsequies on his demise.
The Ramaswamys did not have any biological children and hence adopted Ayyappan, natural son of R.M. Sekkappa Chettiar, in 1995 when he was around 26 years old and named him as M.A.M.R. Muthiah.
According to Ramaswamy and his industrialist cousin A.C. Muthiah of the SPIC group, the adoption of Ayyappan did not follow the tradition of the Nagaratha community.
"In our community adoption is valid only when the adopted boy belongs to the same temple to which the person who adopts belong. In this case Ayyappan belongs to a different temple," Muthiah said.
"My father (M.A. Muthiah Chettiar) has stated in his will that his entire wealth should go only to a grandson adopted according to the traditions of the Nattukottai Nagarathar Community (Chettiar community) and not otherwise," Ramaswamy said.
He said the adoption was done without following the mandatory customs of the Nattukottai Nagarathar community.
Ramaswamy alleged that Ayyappan transferred a substantial part of his and his wife's properties and powers in business to himself.
"He also forced me to make him the managing director of the Chettinad Cement Corporation and also pressurised me to induct him and his wife Geetha Ayyappan and also the employees nominated by him in the various trusts and societies," Ramaswamy said.
The problems between Ramaswamy and his adopted son had been there for some time and aggravated after the demise of the former's wife.
According to Ramaswamy, his adopted son's miserly attitude did not gel with his philanthropic one.
"I am maintaining this home from my own resources. Around 60 people work here and Ayyappan wanted the staff to be pruned. Many of these people are hereditary workers and they have families to support," Ramaswamy said.
He said his grandchildren are sweet and loved him very much. But it has been a long time since they saw him.
Ramaswamy was ousted as the chairman of Chettinad Cements and other group companies.
The group has interests in cement, logistics, education among other things.
"I am left with this residence and some properties," Ramaswamy said.
On the other hand Ayyappan/Muthiah in a recent statement said since 1995 certain vested interests were inimical to his adoption as the fourth generation descendant of the Chettinad family and they never wanted the father-son relationship to take root and blossom and had always come in the way of the father-son relationship.
"Consequently, my father M.A.M. Ramaswamy's affection towards me and my family was constrained. In fact, even the grandchildren were not allowed to get close to my father and it almost gave an impression that my father was closer to his attendants than his grandchildren," he said.
According to Ramaswamy, all Ayyappan had to do was to wait for a couple of years to inherit all his properties after his demise, but it is not known why he is in a hurry.
The aged industrialist with a passion for horse racing categorically said that there is no space for a compromise with his adopted son.


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