Citizens' Issues
Info Commission directs Railways to share service record of a TC

The CIC has directed the PIO of Western Railway to provide copy of service book of one of its ticket checkers after deleting his personal information

In a significant and landmark judgement, the Central Information Commission has directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Western Railway to provide copy of the service record of a ticket checker (TC).
While disposing of an appeal, Annapurna Dixit, the Information Commissioner (IC), said, “...the public authority is obligated under section 4(1)(b) the Right to Information (RTI) Act to disclose information related to the service of its employees. The Commission is not convinced by Allan D'Costa’s (the TC) argument that such disclosure will endanger his physical safety as all this information is anyway expected to be placed in the public domain.” 
Mumbai-based RTI activist Chetan Kothari had filed an RTI seeking information against six points with regard to information on action taken on his complaint against TCs Allan D'Costa and SR Shukla, including copy of the service book and confidential report of Allan D'Costa.
While the PIO furnished the information on all six queries asked by Kothari, he denied copy of service book of D'Costa. Even, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) ordered the same.
Kothari then filed his second appeal before the Commission.
During the hearing, the PIO submitted that when he sought submission under Section 11(1) of the RTI Act, D'Costa objected to the sharing of his service book stating that the disclosure of his service details would endanger his physical safety and that of his family members.
Ms Dixit, the IC, however was not convinced by this argument. She then directed the PIO to supply a copy of  the service record of Allan D'Costa  to Kothari within four weeks after invoking Section 10(1) of the RTI Act to sever all those portions that are exempt from disclosure u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act as personal information. (File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/002874)



B Pugazhendhi

4 years ago

It is a funny order! If what all considered as 'personal information' are deleted/severed from the Service book and only the remaining portion is giver, it will be more or less a blank book! Of what interest or use will it be for the info-seeker?

National Consumer Forum asks Shriram Finance & Citicorp to pay Rs25,000 as punitive cost

Upholding judgements of the district and state forums, the National Consumer Commission directed Shriram Finance Co and Citicorp Finance to pay a punitive cost of Rs25,000 for inordinate delay in filing their appeal

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) while upholding the judgement of the district and state forum directed Shriram Finance Company (Shriram Finance) and Citicorp Finance (I) (Citicorp) to pay a punitive cost of Rs25,000 for inordinate delay in filing the appeal.
In an order on 21 May 2013, VB Gupta, presiding member and Rekha Gupta, both members of the NCDRC bench, said, “...grounds stated in the application (filed by Shriram Finance and Citicorp) cannot constitute sufficient cause so as to condone the inordinate delay of 128 days in filing of the appeal. Even otherwise, the district forum decided the complaint of the respondent about four and a half years ago and if such type of application for condonation of delay is allowed, then it would defeat the very object of the Act which provide for expeditious justice to the consumer."
The case relates to forceful possession and sale to a third party of a vehicle bought on loan by Panvel (Navi Mumbai) based Aziz Miya Patel. After his vehicle was taken over, Patel filed a complaint against Shriram and City Finance before the district forum. He stated deficiency in service in providing advance for purchase of the vehicle and taking forcible possession of the vehicle without the consent/ notice and prior intimation as reason for his complaint.
While allowing the complaint, the district forum on 6 December 2008 directed Shriram Finance and Citicorp to pay Rs8.55 lakh for causing damage and loss due to forcible possession of two vehicles and selling it to third party without prior notice or intimation to Patel.
The forum also directed the lender to pay Rs10,000 as compensation and Rs5,000 as cost to Patel.
Aggrieved by the order of the district forum, Shriram and City Finance filed their first appeal along with a miscellaneous application for delay. The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission vide an impugned order, dismissed the application for condonation of delay and consequently the appeal was not entertained.
While rejecting the application of Shriram Finance and Citicorp, the state commission observed “To support the application for condonation of delay, affidavit of Nityanand S Vazhakulath (the concerned employee of Shriram Finance) dated 18 February 2011 is filed. This is nothing but the verification affidavit to the application for condonation of delay. Neither this application nor the affidavit speaks about the circumstances under which this employee suddenly required to leave for his native place and why he could not make arrangement regarding filing of appeal or brought it to the notice of his employer. Therefore, such statement itself is vague.”
The lenders then challenged the impugned order before the National Consumer Forum.
During the hearing, the counsel of Shriram Finance contended that delay caused in filing of the appeal was not intentional, since the concerned employee had to proceed suddenly to his native village due to some family problem and as such he has kept all the relevant documents of this case in his locker. After that employee returned to the office, immediately thereafter the appeal was filed, the lawyer said.
The NCDRC also noted that in his affidavit Nityanand S Vazhakulath nowhere specified the reason for his sudden departure to his native place; however, he tried to put the entire blame on their previous lawyer. “I say that the delay of 128 days in filing the appeal was not intentional but due to various circumstances and misguidance given by our earlier advocate,” the affidavit said.
The NCDRC bench said, under the Consumer Protection Act, a special period of limitation has been provided to ensure expeditious disposal of cases. Complaint has to be disposed of within 90 days from the date of filing where no expert evidence is required to be taken and within 150 days where expert evidence is required to be taken.  
The bench also pointed out that Shriram Finance and Citicorp have filed application for bringing on record additional grounds in the case. It however, said, at this stage it cannot take into consideration the additional grounds that Shriram City wanted it to take now.
“We do not find any infirmity or illegality in the impugned order and there is no reason to disagree with the findings given by the state commission.  Accordingly, the present revision petition, being not maintainable, is hereby dismissed with punitive cost of Rs25,000 and the same shall be paid by the petitioners to the respondent by way of demand draft in his name, within eight weeks," the NCDRC said in its order.




4 years ago

Very positive judgement.

Facebook says cow slaughter page does not violate its “community standards”

The social networking portal said it was not able to confirm whether the specific page (on cow slaughter) violates Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilities

Lucknow-based Amitabh Thakur, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, and social activist Dr Nutan Thakur have alleged a Facebook page openly encourages cow slaughter which is against all social norms. 
“The page which openly exhorts and glorifies cow slaughter does not violate Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, as per their assessment," the activists have said in a release.
Earlier, Canada-based Vijay Lal reported an abuse against a page titled, “Aao Mil kar Kaaten Gaay” (Let us come together to slaughter cows), to Facebook. However, the social networking site's management replied saying, "After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Learn more about what we do and don't allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards:".
According to the Thakurs, Facebook administrators gave such a response because they do not have grievance officers appointed as is expected under Rule 11 of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011, having adequate knowledge about the local sense and sensibilities of India and its various parts.
Taking exception to this view, the husband-wife duo has once again written to the Department of Electronics and IT of the Indian government to ensure that grievance officers are appointed by Facebook in conformity with Rule 11 of the IT Rules 2011 so as to understand the cultural sensibilities of this country.
In addition, the Thakurs have filed a first information report (FIR) against the group on Facebook, which has created and maintains the cow slaughter page.




3 years ago

Duration - 3 mins
Film - Facebook Fuss (Edited & Directed by - Parimita Barik)

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Optional Link -

The spread of Social Media and its access have raised a number of questions and posed challenges, socially and legally. The argument is that uncontrolled access to Social Media by minors could cause various kinds of problems -innocent and impressionable minds may be affected, cheated or compromised in certain ways. It may provide unsupervised access to facts and other kinds of information that minors are too young to properly evaluate and make decisions on. Is this indeed the case? If it is, are legal, technical and social mechanisms available to help parents and minors make appropriate decisions on accessing social media? Given that mobile devices are all-pervasive, how can such controls actually be implemented?

Is it possible for the Indian Government or its instrument agencies to regulate who opens an account on a web site. There are thousands of places that ask for user data. People open accounts everywhere all the time. FB is just one kind of social media platform. Is it possible for the Government to demand enforcement on such? And how? How can we check the credential of whoever is creating an account?



4 years ago

Obviously, this page has been created by mischief mongers, with nothing better to do than foment trouble.

The best treatment for such people is to ignore it and let it die a natural death.

Unfortunately, the complainants' actions (and this article) have achieved exactly the opposite result.

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