Right to Information
Maharashtra Information Commission treats itself to three long vacations
Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad brings out an Order on 11th March, for enjoying in summer, Diwali and winter vacations
 
Now, the State Information Commissioners (SIC) of Maharashtra are also eligible to three long vacations. As per the order of 11 March 2016, issued by Ratnakar Gaikwad, the Maharashtra State Information Commission (SIC) will go on special vacation from 9th May to 5th June, 28th October to 6th November and 25th December 2016 to 1st January 2017. 
 
Under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, State Chief Information Commissioner is not legally permitted to even take casual leave on his own or sanction leaves to others in the Information Commission. Leaves have to be sanctioned by the Governor. As a special case, the Governor by a special order has given the authority to Maharashtra’s SCIC to sanction only casual leaves. Also, the Commission abides by the holidays given as per Central government norms, yet there are 30,000 second appeals pending with the Maharashtra Information Commission. And now with long vacations, information commission will go the way of courts which are clogged with cases.
 
Gaikwad says in the order that he has adhered by Section 15 (4) of the RTI Act. This section states, “The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the State Information Commission shall vest in the State Chief Information Commissioner who shall be assisted by the State Information Commissioners and may exercise all such powers and do all such acts and things which may be exercised or done by the State Information Commission autonomously without being subjected to directions by any other authority under this Act.” 
 
RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar has contested it by writing to the Governor, appealing for cancellation of the order. He says, “Even if the administration of the State Information Commission vests in the State Chief Information Commissioner, that does not empower him to use Governor’s authority. As per the terms and conditions of services of information commissioners they are eligible for the leave as per All India Services officers and such leave is to be sanctioned by the Governor. Chief Information Commissioner does not have the authority to sanction such leave or vacation. That’s why to sanction only casual leave, the Governor has given that authority to chief information commissioner by special consent through a special order dated 25 June 2009.’’
 
 
Shri Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao
Hon’ble Governor
Maharashtra State
 
Subject – Please cancel the Maharashtra CIC order to go on long vacations without authority and despite huge pendency
 
Dear Sir,
As you know there are around 33,000 second appeals pending in State information commission of Maharashtra, resulting in denying justice to the RTI applicants. The Pace and quality of information commissioners orders are also low. Hence, there is urgent need to overhaul entire functioning of state information commission. However, in spite of doing that commission has decided to go on three special long vacations this year. The state chief information Commissioner (CIC) of Maharashtra Ratnakar Gaikwad has issued “order” in that regard on 11th March 2016. (Copy attached) 
 
Gaikwad has issued this order under section 15 (4) of the RTI act. However, the Chief Information Commissioner does not have the authority to approve even the casual leave of himself and other Information Commissioners without the consent of the Governor. It needs to be pointed out here that Hon’ble Governor has delegated authority to sanction casual leave to him issuing a special order dated 25/06/2009. (Copy attached.). 
 
Thus, it is crystal clear that by issuing such order the Chief Information commissioner has encroached upon Governor’s authority. Hence, I request you to cancel CIC’s order to go on vacation.
 
Thanks
 
Regards, 
Vijay Kumbhar
(Surajya Sangharsh Samiti)
 
 
 

 

 

(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, and also convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book "To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte" with Vinita Kamte and is the author of "The Mighty Fall".)

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COMMENTS

GLN Prasad

7 months ago

Why no one raised such hue and cry in court cases and regular vacation to all courts in India.
Even PIOs of regular courtsof in certain states are on vacation. Let us appreciate the fact that IC has delivered some of the best decisions and really brought laurels to SIC. In certain states, in the name of study tours, ICs visit piligrim centers / hill resorts and take vacation with state funds. IC has not done in that manner.

Binoy Gupta

9 months ago

The people who get themselves posted to such (independent) posts think they are above the law.

The result is that instead of tryng to clear off the backlog, they try to only enjoy the perqs and privileges.

Such people are menace to the common man.

Mr Jitendra

9 months ago

Terrible thing! Already the courts in the country have long vacations, less duty hours where courts assemble at 11AM because once upon a time the Mughal Court started at 11AM. The courts close at 5PM because of the same reason. The Mughal Courts were closed in Agra and Delhi between May to mid July for the heat, so the vacations. British wanted to escape the heat and wanted to move the England and Scotland so they also kept the financial year from April to May so that they could escape to England by April end and return by July 1st week.

Are Mughals and British still ruling on India?

Rajendra Dhulla

9 months ago

Shocking. this cannot be allowed.

Binoy Gupta

9 months ago

Truly a great achiever.....first he manages to get the post retirement job of CIC.....now he sanctions leave to the entire staff under him including himself...................

what remains is he should sanction paid holidays abroad to himself and some selected officials, like the old ICS used to enjoy..

Binoy Gupta

Kalyan Dombivli still not received the Rs6,500 crore package announced by the CM
CM Fadnavis had announced a package of Rs6,500 crore for KDMC just before the civic polls, which he later denied. The municipal body has not received any such funds till date, reveals an RTI reply
 
The Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corp (KDMC) is yet to receive funds from the Rs6,500 crore package announced by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last year, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. However, the CM had told the Legislative Council in December that he was talking about the smart city project of KDMC and not separate package. 
 
According to the reply received by RTI activist Anil Galgali, Accounts Office and Public Information Officer (PIO) from KDMC said the Municipal Corp has not received any such funds from the government till date.
 
Ahead of the KDMC civic polls in October 2015, CM Fadnavis had announced a Rs6,500 crore package for the all-round development of Kalyan and Dombivli townships, during a campaign rally. For the 27 villages that were left out from the KDMC, the CM had promised a special package of Rs1,200 crore.
 
Galgali said he also filed an RTI query with the Chief Minister's office (CMO), which forwarded the RTI application to the Urban Development Department and it in turn forwarded it to the MMRDA. A reply is yet to be received, he added. 
 
"The CM should stick to his promises. The CM had promised people of Kalyan and Dombivali of development. But if the CM fails to adhere to this, it will tarnish his and the government's image and citizens from KDMC will feel neglected," Galgali added.
 
Interestingly, after criticism and accusation from opposite parties for breaching code of conduct, the CM backtracked. He said he never declared any package for KDMC and all he was talking during the Vikas Parishad organised by local unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was about the smart city project in the township. 
 
“I had never announced any package. I had announced the Smart City initiative. The KDMC has prepared a proposal of Smart City and I had spoken about that project. The government will approve the Smart City proposal sent by the KDMC, irrespective of whether it is of Rs6,000 crore, Rs7,000 crore or Rs8,000 crore,” the CM had told the Legislative Council in December 2015.

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COMMENTS

NANDAKUMAR M S

9 months ago

What is the purpose of this post? If CM has denied announcement of 6500 crores then what is the use of talking about not receiving the same? Something is wrong with moneylife it seems

Radhe Maa in more trouble; to be booked for 'trishul' on flight
Mumbai : A magistrate here on Wednesday ordered police to lodge an FIR under the Arms Act against self-styled godwoman Sukhwinder Kaur alias Radhe Maa for carrying a sharp 'trishul' (trident) on a flight last year.
 
The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's order followed a complaint by Right to Information (RTI) activist Asad Patel a year ago against Radhe Maa for entering the domestic and international airport premises in August 2015 carrying the trishul, where it is banned under law.
 
"Though I wrote to various authorities in the matter, including police and airport officials, they took no cognizance of the matter. On August 13, 2015, I sent legal notice to all concerned parties and then filed a complaint with the magistrate's court which issued the directions today (Wednesday)," Patel told IANS.
 
Patel said a trident, which was dangerous and could cause harm to passengers, was among many other such sharp items banned by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
 
However, since Radhe Maa claims to be a godwoman, she was not restrained by the airport security staff from carrying it with her on the flight operated by a private airlines.
 
An official of the airport police station said they would initiate action in the matter after receiving the court order.
 
The controversial godwoman was earlier accused in a dowry-abetment case by a Mumbai housewife, Nikki Gupta, and later television actress Dolly Bindra had filed a criminal case of alleged threats and sexual harassment against her.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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