Citizens' Issues
Malin landslide: Death toll rises to 51, hope for survivors fading

So far, eight injured persons have been rescued and they are being treated at nearby hospitals. The deceased include, 22 women, 23 men and six children

 

The death toll in the Malin village landslide disaster has climbed to 51 with recovery of ten more bodies since Thursday night. The deceased included 22 women, 23 men and six children, an official at the Pune District control room said.

 

So far, eight injured persons have been rescued and they were being treated at nearby hospitals, he said.

 

Rescuers comprising over 300 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) continued to look for survivors under the huge mound of debris as signs of life slowly dimmed 48 hours after the village in Ambegaon taluka was flattened in the fury of nature.

 

Intermittent rains and the difficult hilly terrain made the rescue and relief operation difficult as NDRF jawans moved JCBs and dumpers cautiously to ensure safety of prospective survivors under mud and stone debris of the hill that caved-in on Wednesday morning.

 

As many as 44 houses were crushed under the rubble in the mishap trapping about 160 residents of the village.

 

A mass cremation of several victims was performed on Thursday at the village by their grieving relatives.

 

Maharashtra's Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Patangrao Kadam is expected to hold a meeting of district officials to chalk out a plan for rehabilitation of the affected population of Malin.

 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had Thursday visited Malin village, the scene of the tragedy and announced an assistance of Rs2 lakh to the next of kin of each of the deceased from PM Relief Fund.

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Gaza truce: Israel, Hamas agree to a 72-hour ceasefire

Delegations from both Israel and Palestine are going to Cairo for negotiations with the Egyptian government, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at reaching a durable truce

 

Israel and Hamas on Friday agreed to an unconditional 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza. The US has said the deal to be negotiated in Cairo by Israeli and Palestinians is an opportunity to find a long-term solution to end the deadly 25-day conflict that has claimed over 1,500 lives.

 

A joint statement issued by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the UN representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, has "received assurances" that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

 

The ceasefire will commence at 0500 GMT (8 AM local time) Friday and will last for 72 hours unless extended. During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place.

 

Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately go to Cairo for negotiations with the Egyptian government, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at reaching a durable truce. The two sides will raise all issues of concern in these talks.

 

"We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire," the statement said.

 

The ceasefire is "critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence," it said.

 

Egypt has invited Israel and the Palestinian Authority to send delegates to Cairo for truce talks, after the 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza was announced.

 

"Egypt emphasises the importance of both sides committing to the ceasefire so the negotiations can take place in a favourable atmosphere," the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

 

The delegations are expected to start arriving in Cairo later today.

 

Since Israel began its offensive in Gaza on 8th July at least 1,450 Palestinians have been killed, along with 61 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians.

 

"This is not a time for congratulations and joy, or anything except a serious determination, a focus by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead. This is a respite. It's a moment of opportunity, not an end; it's not a solution. It's the opportunity to find the solution," Kerry, who fell short of winning a truce in Cairo last week, said.

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RTI Judgement Series: No need for appellant to show any public interest

The Appellant does not have to show any public interest in disclosure of the information unless an exemption under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act applies to the information, the CIC ruled. This is the 205th in a series of important RTI judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi

 

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Allahabad Bank to provide the information, which the PIO has declined under Section 8(b) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 

While giving the judgement on 18 June 2012, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, "The Lawmakers have specifically exempted information, which has been expressly forbidden by any court of law of tribunal but not exempted matters merely because they are sub-judice. In the instant case the PIO has not established any claim for exemption as per Section 8(1) of the RTI Act and hence there is no need for the appellant to show any public interest in this disclosure."

 

Satna, Madhya Pradesh resident, Bihari Singh, on 29 December 2011, sought from the PIO information regarding a letter, an affidavit and agenda of the Bank's board meeting on 26 December 2011. Here is the information the appellant had sought and the reply provided by the PIO...

 

Provide certified copy of the letter no. SSB/HO/VIG/01771 Satna dated 06/06/94.

 

PIO's reply- It is under consideration of the Arbitration Appellate Authority, whose hearing has been scheduled. As per Section 8(b) of the RTI Act, information regarding any proceedings in the Court of Law or Tribunal is exempt from disclosure.

 

Provide certified copy of the agenda that was send to the Board of directors regarding the board meeting on 26/12/2011.

 

PIO's reply- The information sought is not in public interest. Thus, the information cannot be made public and thus cannot be provided.

 

Provide certified copies of the affidavits by the bank on episode no. PMA/MCJ/12/2002 in Arbitration, New Delhi.

 

PIO's reply- This information can be provided as the proceeding is pending on the Arbitration Tribunal. As per Section 8(b) of the RTI Act, information regarding any proceedings in the Court of Law or Tribunal is exempt from disclosure.

 

Provide certified copies of the suspension order no. ----193-94/8849 dated 03/02/94.

 

PIO's reply- Copy of the suspension order has been enclosed.

 

Bihari Singh, the appellant, citing incomplete and unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO, then filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA), while disposing the appeal, upheld the PIO's decision/reply.

 

Bihari Singh, then approached the CIC with his second appeal.

 

During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that both the parties were given an opportunity for hearing, but neither party appeared. "From a perusal of the papers it appears that the PIO has denied information on query 01 & 03 under Section 8(1)(b) of the RTI Act," he said.

 

Section 8(1)(b) of the RTI Act exempts, “information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;”.

 

Mr Gandhi said, "The PIO has incorrectly applied this exemption and denied the information on the ground that any proceedings in a court of law or tribunal are exempt. The Lawmakers have specifically exempted information which has been expressly forbidden by any court of law of tribunal but not exempted matters merely because they are subjudice. No evidence has been shown that the information on query 1 & 3 has been prohibited from disclosure by any Court of Law or Tribunal. In view of this, the Bench does not accept the claim of exemption by the PIO with regards to query 1 & 3 of the RTI Application."

 

The PIO had also refused to disclose the information on query 2 on the ground that there is no public interest in disclosure of this information. "The Appellant does not have to show any public interest in disclosure of the information unless an exemption under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act applies to the information. Only if an exemption under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act is applicable, the PIO may still disclose the information as per the provisions of Section 8(2) of the RTI Act. In such an event a larger public interest in disclosure has to be shown. In the instant case, the PIO has not established any claim for exemption as per Section 8(1) of the RTI Act and hence there is no need for the appellant to show any public interest in this disclosure."

 

While allowing the appeal of Bihari Singh, the Bench of Mr Gandhi directed the PIO to provide information on query 1, 2 & 3 before 5 July 2012.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/001239/19290

 

http://rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SG_A_2012_001239_19290_M_84921.pdf

 

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2012/001239

 

 

Appellant                                                        : Bihari Singh

                                                                             Behind Little Flower Public School,

                                                                             Prabhat Vihar Colony, Satna,

                                                                             Madhya Pradesh

 

Respondent                                                     : Public Information Officer

                                                                             Allahabad Bank

                                                                             Head Office, Civil Lines,

                                                                             Satna, Madhya Pradesh

 

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