The PIL had sought filling of posts of Information Commissioners and subordinate staff, including secretarial staff, in a time-bound manner
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the Centre's stand on a plea to begin contempt proceedings against it for its failure to comply with a court order to fill all the vacant posts of information commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC), reports PTI.
Issuing notice to the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on the plea by a tranparency activist RK Jain, Justice Vipin Sanghi asked the official to file a status report by 30th July, the next date of hearing.
Mr Jain's contempt petition, filed through advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, accused the government of not complying with the court's 15th February and 20th March orders to fill up CIC vacancies.
Mr Jain's petition said despite mounting backlog of cases and high court orders, the Centre till March was able to fill only three of the five posts, which fell vacant out of a total 10 posts of Information Commissioners (ICs) in the CIC.
The remaining two posts were to be filled immediately, as per directions of the high court so that the RTI panel's work would not suffer but nothing has been done, the petition said.
Another commissioner is due to retire in July and the number of vacant posts will become three, the petitioner said.
While hearing the PIL earlier, the Court had directed the Centre to fill all the ICs' posts after it told the court that it had filled up three out of the five vacant posts and sought more time for framing of recruitment rules for appointment of subordinate staff in the CIC.
Though the court granted it a month's extension for framing the rules, it emphasized that the remaining two posts of IC be filled up immediately.
The petition said "despite two letters written by the Central Information Commissioner (CIC) to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the panel is not complete with total number of commissioners."
The PIL had sought filling of posts of ICs and subordinate staff, including secretarial staff, in a time-bound manner.
Bahujan Samajwadi Party president Mayawati has made unauthorised constructions to her four bungalows in New Delhi, as per information sourced by Delhi based activist Subhash Agrawal. While the CPWD had ordered her to stop the unauthorised construction, no action has been taken against her
Information disclosed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) reveals that Mayawati, president of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) and her Bahujan Prerna Trust had made unauthorised constructions to her four bungalows-number 4, 12, 14, 16 allotted to her on the Gurdwara Rakabganj Road (GRG) in New Delhi.
The information was furnished in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal who sought details of unauthorised construction done by Mayawati to the official bungalow allotted to her. He also sought list of other parliamentarians indulging in similar acts.
According to the RTI reply, dated 2 May 2012, for the bungalow No 4 on GRG, allotted to BSP national president, the unauthorised construction include raising of a compound wall, and main gate on the back side along with construction of three to four rooms and compound wall around the park at the rear side of the bungalow. The total area covered by these constructions stands to 145 sq m and it is a temporary construction.
For bungalow No 14, allotted to Mayawati as BSP president, the total space taken for unauthorised construction is 197.4 sq m. This includes construction of a verandah in entire width of the bungalow in the rear side and four rooms at the side of the bungalow.
Similarly, for bungalow No 12 on GRG, unauthorised construction of rooms, office, toilet, kitchen along with fibre sheet, covering area of 238 sq m has been added. This bungalow is allotted to the chairman, managing trustee of Bahujan Prerna Trust. For bungalow No 16 allotted to the president of BSP, the unauthorised construction includes rooms with AC sheets and a toilet, AC steel shed along with three other rooms and a bathroom. The total covered measures to 300.86 sq m. In addition, there is a temporary unauthorised construction of tin sheets made of steel and metal, covering 180.5 sq m in the same bungalow.
The RTI reply from the CPWD also disclosed a letter dated 6 February 2012, written by the department to Mayawati requesting her to stop the illegal construction and demolish the unauthorised construction.
This disclosure comes at a time when a RTI query, reported in The Times of India, revealed that the BSP supremo, during her tenure as CM, had spent over Rs86 crore of public money to renovate her 13 Mall Avenue bungalow, which was entitled to her as CM.
Meanwhile, the list of parliamentarians who indulged in unauthorised construction includes, Sushma Swaraj, Ahmed Patel, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Suresh Kalmadi, D Venugopal, Raj Babbar, Sanjay Nirupam and Naveen Jindal. Interestingly, it also includes name of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) state office which illegal constructed additional room and an office, among others in front of the bungalow.
If Nifty closes above its previous day’s high, it may signal a change of trend
Weak global cues and domestic economic concerns led the market lower for the second day today. Although the market is moving down, there is no momentum to fall. The trend is still down. Look out for the Nifty closing above previous day's high for a possible change in direction. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a higher volume of 65.87 crore shares.
Unending problems in Europe resulted in a gap down opening in the domestic market. Fresh political concerns in Greece which have led to the uncertainty over the bailout package to the beleaguered nation saw markets in the US and Europe settle lower overnight. The developments also weighed on the Asian pack in morning trade today. Back home, the Nifty opened 32 points down at 4,968 and the Sensex resumed trade at 16,436, a loss of 110 points.
Intense volatility kept the benchmarks range-bound on both sides of the previous close. However, select buying helped the market recoup its losses and hit its intraday high in the late morning session. At this point the Nifty rose to 5,016 and the Sensex moved up to 16,616.
Unable to sustain the gains, the indices moved lower in noon trade, but a positive opening of the European bourses resulted in the benchmarks emerging into the green for a short time. The market extended its losses in the late session dragged by banking, metal, realty and auto stocks.
Meanwhile, a media report stated that the Indian government would not bow to the pressure from the West even as the income tax department is readying itself to recover the tax from telecom major Vodafone.
The benchmarks touched their low at around 2.40pm with the Nifty falling to 4,956 and the Sensex declining to 16,423.
A minor recovery ensured a close off the lows. The Nifty finished 25 points lower at 4,975 and the Sensex ended the session at 16,480, down 67 points.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was in favour of the losers at 477:1267.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index dropped 0.98% and the BSE Small-cap index tanked 1.23%.
Barring the BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods index (up 2.69%) and the BSE IT index (up 0.21%), all other sectoral gauges settled lower. The top losers were BSE Realty (down 2.99%); BSE Metal (down 2.06%); BSE Bankex (down 1.89%); BSE Power (down 1.84%) and BSE PSU (down 1.79%).
ITC (up 5.61%); TCS (up 2.13%); Hindalco Industries (up 1.36%); Bajaj Auto (up 1.19%) and Wipro (up 1.11%) were the top performers on the Sensex. The losers were led by DLF (down 4.18%); State Bank of India (down 3.64%); Mahindra & Mahindra (down 3.21%); NTPC (down 2.92%) and Jindal Steel (down 2.90%).
The top stocks on the Nifty were ITC (up 5.73%); Ranbaxy (up 3.78%); Bajaj Auto (up 2.42%); TCS (up 1.94%) and IDFC (up 1.89%). The key losers on the index were Jaiprakash Associates (down 5.23%); DLF (down 4.29%); Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 3.87%); SBI (down 3.80%) and M&M (down 3.57%).
Markets in Asia closed in the negative on negative cues from Europe. A failure to form a government in Greece after the recent elections has put the bailout package in a limbo. A leftist aspirant for the prime minister's post has set a condition of rejection of the international aid, a move which could have Greece leaving the Eurozone and more troubles for the continent.
The Shanghai Composite tanked 1.65%; the Hang Seng declined 0.75%; the Jakarta Composite fell by 1.24%; the KLSE Composite shed 0.36%; the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.49%; the Straits Times slipped 1.06%; the KOSPI Composite fell by 0.85% and the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.93%. At the time of writing, the three key European indices were in the negative and the US stock futures were in the red.
Back home, foreign institutional investors continued to be net sellers in the equities segment. They sold stocks totalling Rs398.98 crore on Tuesday whereas domestic institutional investors were net buyers of shares aggregating Rs257.60 crore.
Shares of jewellery retailer Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) today made a weak debut, listing at Rs115.05 against the issue price of Rs 120 per share on the NSE. The scrip traded in the range of Rs110.50 and Rs120. It finally closed at Rs111, down 9% over its issue price.
Pig iron maker Tata Metaliks today said it has allotted one crore shares of Rs100 each to one of its promoters Tata Steel on preferential basis. The shares would be redeemable after a period of three years from the date of allotment, it added. Tata Metaliks settled 0.88% higher at Rs63.25 on the NSE.
HCL Infosystems has entered into an agreement with Cisco WebEx, for the Indian market. Under this deal, the SaaS (Software as a Service) offering brought to the market by HCL Infosystems, will be operationalised by Cisco. Cisco WebEx is on-demand collaboration, online meeting, web and video conferencing platform. HCL Info closed at Rs43, down 1.60% on the NSE.