Election time: Maharashtra and Haryana to vote on 15th October

Maharashtra and Haryana would go to polls on 15th October in a single phase and election results would be declared on 19th October


Maharashtra and Haryana are set to go to polls on 15th October as per the legislative assembly election schedule announced by the Election Commission. Bye-elections in Beed constituency in Maharashtra, Kanubari on Arunachal Pradesh, Hiyanglam in Manipur, Northern Angami-II AC in Nagaland, Rajkot in Gujarat, Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Kandlamal in Odisha would also be held on 15th October.


Chief Election Commissioner, VS Sampath, said both the states will go to polls on 15th October in single phase and votes would be counted on 19 October 2014.


With the EC announcement, the model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect. There are 288 seats in Maharashtra and 90 seats in Haryana up for grabs.


Talking about the paid news phenomenon, the Commission said, it has laid out a mechanism with three tier of media certification and monitoring committees (MCMCs) at district, state and EC level.


Complaint redressal mechanism – Call Center and Website based

The EC said, all poll going States shall have a complaint redressal mechanism based on website and call center. The number of call center is 1950, which is a toll free number. The URL of the complaint registration website will be announced for each State by the respective Chief Electoral Officer separately.


"Complaints can be registered by making calls to the toll free call center numbers or on the web site. Action will be taken within time limit on all complaints. Complainants will also be informed of the action taken by SMS and by the call center. Complainants can also see the details of the action taken on their complaints on the website," it said in a statement.




Notification: 20 September 2014

Last date of filing nominations: 27 September 2014

Last date to withdraw nomination: 1 October 2014

Polling: 15 October 2014

Counting of votes: 19 October 2014


Salman case trial to resume as 'missing' documents found

All but one of the 63 original statements of witnesses and case diaries that had gone missing from the custody of police have been found


After repeated adjournments and admonition by the court over missing statements of witnesses, the trial in the hit-and-run case against actor Salman Khan is set to resume from 24th September following production of the documents before a Sessions Court on Friday.


The prosecution informed the Court trying the case that all but one of the 63 original statements of witnesses and case diaries that had gone missing from the custody of police have been found and placed them before Judge DW Deshpande. The court was told the lone missing statement will also be traced soon.


The trial in the case had hit a roadblock in July when the court was informed that the original statements of the witnesses had disappeared. The court was again informed in August that case diaries relating to the case too were not traceable, inviting reprimand from the judge, who directed the police to locate the documents at the earliest for the trial to recommence.


Following this, Mumbai Police commissioner Rakesh Maria ordered a probe and the documents were found at Bandra Police Station on 26th August.


Salman's lawyer Srikant Shivade had earlier insisted that under the law trial cannot continue in the absence of the original statements of the witnesses, while the prosecution had contended that as per practice in Mumbai courts it can go on with true copies which were available.


After the newly-appointed public prosecutor in the case Pradeep Gharat produced the documents, the judge took it on record and asked the prosecution to proceed with the examination of witnesses from 24th September. So far 11 witnesses have deposed in the case.


Salman is likely to appear before the court on 24th September.


Gharat, who has conducted trials in several important cases, including the multi-crore rupees Telgi fake stamp paper case, was recently appointed special public prosecutor in the case against Salman Khan and appeared for the first time on Friday.


RTI Judgement Series: Defiant PIO of Delhi school fined Rs25,000

The PIO of the School neither provided any information nor appeared before the Bench for show cause hearings, forcing the CIC to levy a penalty of Rs25,000. This is the 207th in a series of important RTI judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi


The Central Information Commission (CIC), levied a fine of Rs25,000 on the Public Information Officer (PIO) of SD Hari Mandir Girls Senior Secondary School for refusing to provide information despite orders and failing twice to appear before the Bench for a show cause hearing.


While giving the judgement on 9 August 2010, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, "As per the provisions of Section 20 (1) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, the Bench finds this a fit case for levying penalty on Pawan Kumar Bhatia, Manager and PIO. Since the delay in providing the correct information has been over 100 days, the Bench is passing an order penalising Pawan Kumar Bhatia for Rs25,000, which is the maximum penalty under the Act."


New Delhi resident, Vinod Bharti, on 1 August 2009, sought from the PIO information regarding teachers availing special leave. Here is the information the appellant had sought...


1. No. of teachers that had availed special leave (abortion leave) from 1 April 1995 till date (31 July 2009).


2. Certified copies of the relevant papers on basis of which such medical leave was sanctioned by the school authorities to the teachers including medical prescription, ultra sounds & urine report and fitness certificate and any other relevant information/documents etc.


3. Period of special leave of the above mentioned teachers.


There was no immediate response from the PIO. Bharti received reply from the PIO only after filing his first appeal.


In his reply, the PIO stated, "The requested information was of a confidential nature and therefore they were not in a position to furnish the same and that the teachers had also refused to provide their personal details in this regard."


There was no mention of any order passed by the First Appellate Authority (FAA).

Bharti, the appellant then approached the CIC with his second appeal.


During the hearing on 10 December 2009, the Bench of Mr Gandhi, observed that the PIO has refused the information without giving any exemption under Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act. "However, the Appellant’s asking for certified photocopies of various medical records of the individual teachers was certainly inappropriate," the Bench noted.


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi then directed the PIO to provide information on query-1 & 3 to the Appellant before 26 December 2009 and the list of documents, which were submitted by the teachers to avail of the special/ abortion leave.


However, the PIO did not provide the information in the stipulated time. Bharti, the appellant, then sent a letter to the CIC on 15 January 2010 complaining about non-compliance of the CIC's order by the PIO.


On 4 February 2010, the PIO sent a letter to the CIC, stating that the School had decided to challenge the decision of the Commission in a writ petition.


The CIC, then sent a show cause notice to the PIO. It said, " have only moved a Writ Petition, but there is no stay order issued by a Court on the order of the Commission, the order of the Commission remains in force and has to be complied with. Section 19(7) of the RTI Act provides that the decision of the Commission 'shall be binding'."


"Non-compliance of the Commission’s order which is still in force, may lead to initiation of penalty proceedings in accordance with the Right to Information Act, 2005. The Commission is hereby directing you to provide the complete information to the Appellant before 6 March 2010. You are further directed to appear before the Commission on 12 March 2010 along with written submission to show cause why penalty should not be imposed on you under Section 20 (1) and (2) of the RTI Act, 2005," the CIC said.


However, the PIO did not appear before the Bench on 12 March 2010 for the show cause hearing. The Bench, then decided to give one more opportunity to the PIO to present himself along with his written submission on 27 April 2010.


Again, the PIO did not appear before the Bench on 27 April 2010. The Bench, then spoke with Pawan Kumar Bhatia, manager and PIO, who stated that he was unable to come to the Commission without giving any reasons. The appellant, Bharti stated that he still had not received any information from the PIO.


"It is evident that the PIO is determined not to follow the law and the directions of a statutory authority. It appears that the PIO has no reasonable cause to offer for refusing to obey the directions of the Commission for providing the information," Mr Gandhi noted.


He said, "It appears that the PIO does not wish to give any explanation for his defiance of statutory order. He has not sent any written submission nor given any reasons for not appearing before the Commission."


The Bench then directed the PIO to send complete information before 15 May 2010 warning that if the information was not provided then it may consider recommending to the Department of Education to take appropriate action against him.


Mr Gandhi said, "The Bench therefore decides that Pawan Kumar Bhatia, Manager and PIO has no reasonable cause for refusing to give information. Since the delay has been for over 100 days the Bench imposes the maximum penalty of Rs25,000 leviable under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act."


The Bench also directed the chairman of SD Hari Mandir Girls Senior Secondary School to recover Rs25,000 at the rate of Rs5,000 per month from the salary of Bhatia and remit it to the CIC before 10 October 2010.


Even then, the PIO neither provided any information nor the School remitted the penalty amount. The Bench again, gave the PIO an opportunity to appear before it for a show cause hearing on 26 July 2010. The PIO again did not appear before the Bench.


In addition, the CIC received a letter dated 22 July 2010 from Abha Joshi, PIO, deputy director of education, Central District, New Delhi, stating that the respondent school was unable to deduct the penalty sum from the salary of Pawan Kumar Bhatia, PIO/Manager as the post of ‘Manager’ was honorary and no salary/ allowance was being paid to him.


Mr Gandhi then issued a summons on 27 September 2010 asking the PIO/Manager and the Chairman to appear before the Bench for an inquiry. The Chairman was also directed to bring a demand draft for the penalty amount of Rs25,000 on 28 October 2010. The PIO/ Manager was also directed to bring all relevant records on that date.


The school Chairman did not respond to the summons. Even the Manager, who appeared before the Bench stated that he did not consider it necessary to bring the information. When the Bench asked the school principal did not offer any explanation.


Mr Gandhi noted that the Chairman and the Manager of the School appear to be determined to flout instructions given by statutory authorities. He then directed the manager, chairman and Khan Chand, deputy director of education at New Delhi to appear before the Bench along with the records and requisite information and a banker's cheque or demand draft of Rs25,000 for the penalty.





Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/002597/5818/Adjunct-I


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/002597


Appellant                                                                      : Vinod Bharti

                                                                                            New Delhi


Respondent                                                                   : Pawan Kumar Bhatia

                                                                                           Public Information Officer & Manager

                                                                                           SD Hari Mandir Girls Sr. Sec. School

                                                                                           Des Raj Bhatia Marg, Nabi Karim,

                                                                                           New Delhi – 110055



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