Citizens' Issues
Open letter to Rahul Gandhi by another Gandhi, the RTI activist

Rahul Gandhi mentioned RTI for almost 33 times in his interview to TimesNow. This prompted Shailesh Gandhi, the former CIC, to send an open letter asking the Congress leader to discard moves to amend the RTI Act and also appoint a PIO at his own party for giving information under the transparency act

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, in an interview to TimesNow has mentioned Right to Information (RTI) Act for 33 times. This prompted former central information commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi, who continues to pursue his RTI activism from Mumbai after the end of his tenure as CIC, to send a letter to the Congress leader on the things that needs to do to further empower citizens through the RTI movement. In a letter, the former CIC has requested the Rahul Gandhi not to support moves by political parties to amend RTI Act and also appoint a public information officer (PIO) at his own party.


Here is the letter sent by Shailesh Gandhi...


Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi,


I would like to congratulate you for your interview broadcast yesterday, where you mentioned RTI 33 times and rightly claimed credit and your personal affinity for it. You have said: "We worked together to bring the RTI. So as far as transparency in the political party is concerned I am absolutely for transparency. There are questions about the RTI that need to be discussed and thought through. The real question is that our system is based on different pillars. And the question is which ones of these pillars should have RTI. Because, if you only put RTI into one pillar and you don't have RTI in for example the judiciary and the press and in other areas then you might create an imbalance. Am I for opening up? Am I for bringing RTI into as many places possible? Absolutely. Am I for creating an imbalance and weakening the legislative structures of this country?"


I must point out that as per the law and the Central Information Commission's interpretation of it, the judiciary and political parties are covered by RTI. The judiciary has accepted this. Since some political parties do not wish to follow the law, they are proposing to amend the RTI Act. Please do not support this move. Get your party to appoint a Public Information Officer and start giving information. Citizens will certainly appreciate this move for transparency. If you do not do this, it would be disowning the position you took yesterday in your interview.


You mentioned that citizen's should be concerned about how candidates are selected. Once you accept RTI you will set the lead and other political parties will have to follow suit. This will also lead to citizen's understanding how candidates are selected for elections.


Yours Truly,


Shailesh Gandhi



Vinay Joshi

3 years ago

Dear Mr.Shailesh Gandhi [ex.CIC],

Has your letter reached to Mr.Gandhi? Generally an 'open letter', is in PRINT MEDIA, noted. I've no idea if ML has fwd the said letter & its only in the forum.

Mr.Shailesh, FYI, eight months after CIC order, Feb 7,2014 CIC, has put up an order ...


“It is directed that the detailed comments...of the action taken on the directions in the commission’s order dated 3 June 2012 may be furnished to the commission within four weeks,” the CIC told the chiefs of the six parties—the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Now,Mr.Shailesh, if this Feb 7, communication still doesn't filter down? Then What?- WHAT ACTION YOU'LL TAKE. [APART FROM YOUR TRASH LETTER.]

Further the said order has stated -
“Take notice that if you fail to furnish your comments/response within the specified time, it will be presumed that you have nothing to say in your defence and the matter will be processed further as per law,” the order said.

Mr. Shailesh, you've known that fourth estate not public, can't be under RTI as per KG student interview emphasis. But this prominent pillar,& third estate are our dependence. Even CIC as quasi judicial.

Mr. Shailesh, some 'JOKER', talk about me questioning you! I do not want such 'joker' to comment in the forum who has zero IQ!


Mani P Patel

3 years ago

Hi Shailesh, Nice letter to have written to Rahul Gandhi. But what a waste of time and energy. The whole country knows that the Congress Govt. did not want to pass the RTI Act till their hands were twisted. So RG is only bluffing himself and no one else. I looked at the interview as I would look at "Comedy Circus" In fact, I look forward to the elections. It will be One Stand up Comedian Vs. another Stand Up Comedian.


nagesh kini

In Reply to Mani P Patel 3 years ago

Sorry Mani, Not merely stand up comedians but a bunch of crooked clowns out to master the act of cooking the right mix for kichhdi!

nagesh kini

In Reply to Mani P Patel 3 years ago

Sorry Mani, Not merely stand up comedians but a bunch of crooked clowns out to master the act of cooking the right mix for kichhdi!

Vinay Joshi

3 years ago

Dear Mr. Shailesh Gandhi [ex.CIC],

You've still not answered me?

Mr. Gandhi instead of writing a letter to Mr.Gandhi,just an imagination! Nothing beyond that.

As asked by me earlier Mr.Gandhi, have you put up YOUR RTI to CIC on non compliance of its June'13, order to political parties?

Since June'13,there have been - THREE CIC's - NONE THOUGHT IT's ORDER TO BE PURSUED?

Today 4th CIC, since then, have you put up your RTI?

HAVE YOU QUESTIONED IT? DOES IT NOT AMOUNT TO DERELICTION OF DUTY OF CIC? Non cognizance of the order passed by CIC - - NONE OF THE PARTIES OF THE ORDER, have approached CIC to defend!?

Instead of writing concentrate on RTI!


So your open letter to RaGa, no meaning!

Either escalate CIC non compliance aspect or just abandon your letter as 'TRASH'!

Respected Mr.Shailesh do not misread this post. Await your answer if any?


Dayananda Kamath k

3 years ago

rti is giving you the right to information but not the right information. he has mentioned it because he thinks it is a big favour done to the country by him or his party. but this right is enshrined right in democracy. but since you failed to impliment this right. people have to agitate. and you are forced to bring a law. and for that you take credit. it is rediculous

jaideep shirali

3 years ago

Rahul Gandhi mentioned that it was OK for political parties to come under RTI, if the parties felt it necessary, ridiculous is'nt it? With so many questions raised about funding of parties, they would be least interested in transparency. A fundamental question is why the representatives of citizens are not covered by RTI, when most other public bodies are covered under RTI. Secondly, he is hopefully aware that babus and netas are now desperate to amend the RTI, in other words his government is in the forefront of the move to amend the RTI.


3 years ago

Dear Shailesh Gandhi
This is perfect response to what was said in the interview about RTI. It is completely improper and smacks of arrogance to proclaim that UPA II or Congress Party in particular played any proactive role to make RTI happen. I am not also clear about the issue of imbalance, on which Rahul Gandhi was found to be more confused than clear. Congratulations for your candid letter. Sunil Bhandare


3 years ago

Walk the talk, Mr Gandhi !

B Pugazhendhi

3 years ago

Congratulations for writing a positive letter to RG. The suggestion is good. But why no comments about his views on bringing Press under RTI?

Vinay Joshi

3 years ago

Mr. Shailesh Gandhi,

You've neither addressed my post nor had you then on your post as CIC - my reply - faulted in escalating Karnataka HC, judgement to apex court which was summarily dismissed.

In fact your letter to Rahul Gandhi, a non entity in many as spheres as it suits him, SHOULD HAVE STATED THAT information officer not appointed since June 2013, as per CIC order.

Instead of Rahul [non entity as aforesaid- BUT AUTHORITY WHEN WANTED] - You should put up an application to present CIC asking & questioning non compliance & escalate. OK!


nagesh kini

3 years ago

I wholeheartedly support Shaileshbhai's views.
If Rahul's 33 refernces in the interview to the RTI really means that he wants the Congress's Party to take credit for enacting it, the least that he can do is to take RTI forward by taking a lead in getting his own Indian National Congress Party to appoint a PIO.
The Congress Party in consultation with the other political parties and the Information Commission can formulate the Rules as to what information like the criteria for selection of candidates and other 'sensitive information' can be kept out of the purview of the RTI. All other information sought has to be provided as per the provisions of the RTI Act.


3 years ago

Sir, thanking you for writing to the VP of largest political party to make RTI effective first in its own party. only if its done prior to 2014 LS elections, it can be said he was true to his words otherwise he was misleading or fooling the people of India.

Vinay Joshi

3 years ago

Dear Mr. Shailesh Gandhi,

In the first place a debate has to take place on ‘INTELLECTUAL INPUT[s], OF THE INTERVIEWEE BY THE INTERVIEWER! [Arnab, had limitations.]

The interview agreed was with Barkha Dutt, spin masters of Cong.[mainly Sonia & Priyanka] thought let it be with Arnab, highest TV ratings! – A mellowed down an interview was never expected! His body language lacked confidence.

Aspect was to keep him in limelight, the question paper was available to him & like a KG student irrespective of his homework, he flaked! Be it so.

The word ‘fundamental’, used by him 103 times, RTI 33, ‘women empowerment’, - possibly more than the no. of women in India.

Tho’ this comments are restricted to only RTI, pertaining your post.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi, not dynastea [dynasty] as professed yet practice same. Apart.

He going round & about on RTI in respect of political parties, wanting other two estates, viz judiciary & press [media] to be under RTI so as to balance ‘certain’ pillars – FORGETTING that they are pillars of the democracy. THIS SIGNIFIES THAT NEITHER HIS POLITICAL PARTY OR THE UPA IS KEEN TO GET POLITICAL PARTIES UNDER THE AMBIT OF RTI!

Why he fails to state that irrespective, his party which gets 90% donations in cash & 80% unaccounted for SHOULD BE THE PARTY, WHICH SHOULD PREACH, WHAT HE WANTS TO PRACTICE!? HE WANTS RTI TRANSPARENCY BUT AWAITING PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION [so as to suit all] IN RTI v.Political party v.RTI.

Mr. Shailesh, this speaks for itself as regards RTI, or what RTI means otherwise ‘not applicable’ to political parties. WHERE IS THE ‘WHISTLE BLOWER BILL’? How was it surreptitiously eliminated from the Lok Pal Bill?!

‘Adarsh’, was coz of RTI, nothing has happened to the then CM’s! Rather to the perpetrators of the scam – ‘KARGIL WAR WIDOWS HOUSING’!

I think more aspects can be put in by Ms.Vinita, vociferous team, i've rightly put up all my aspects.

Mr. Shailesh, none of the political party can be under RTI as of now.

Mr.Shailesh Gandhi, under which provisions of RTI & jurisprudence, the act applicable to ‘judiciary’, - NOT PROCEDURE OF COURT[s], -AS YOU LAST FALTED AS CIC /QUOTED – ‘KARNATAKA HC’ appeal to SC ‘DISMISSED’!? [You have still not answered me on that]. Judiciary wants transparency.

OR for that matter under RTI which political party was asked to ‘GIVE RELEVANT INFO’!?
A single example required from you – ‘judiciary – v/s – political party – UNDER THE AMBIT OF RTI!

Mr. Shailesh, CIC’s interpretations are always subjected to ‘jurisprudence’.

C’mon Mr. Shailesh, answer me, Mumbai RTO, under RTI had asked 55L – YES FIFTY FIVE LALKHS+ to give info on certain RTI application. What action will you take against this aspect - WILL YOUR RTI SUSPEND THE OFFICERS? OR DISMISS THEM FROM SERVICE?

Apart, RTO, a govt body, WHAT IS THERE STAND? Who has contested it?

So, RTI, is required to be pursued. RTI follow up action should prevail!



3 years ago

Rahul G mentioned "S Y S T E M " 73 times !!

Sanjay Nirupam asks Maharashtra CM to initiate power reforms

Congress MP Nirupam has alleged that Reliance Infra and the MERC are hand-in-glove and Maharashtra government must take steps to revamp the constitution and functioning of the state power regulator

Sanjay Nirupam, the Member of Parliament (MP) from north Mumbai and Congress leader, has asked the Maharashtra government to take steps to revamp the constitution and functioning of power regulator and appellate authority.


Nirupam, in a letter sent to Maharashtra chief minister (CM) Prithviraj Chavan has said, "There is a dire need to rein in vulture capitalists like Reliance Infra (RInfra) to prevent them exploiting and looting their consumers. The power reforms must address issues of functioning, costing and pricing of discoms, like RInfra and Tata Power so that the consumers become the ultimate beneficiaries of privatisation of the power sector."


On Sunday, the Congress MP withdrew his fast following assurance from the CM. Nirupam took this step after the Maharashtra government announced a reduction in power tariff in the rest of the state.


Nirupam had asked Reliance Infra, which supplies power in the city to withdraw three surcharges that are being charged at present.


He had also alleged Reliance Infra and the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) were hand-in-glove and had demanded a probe in the matter.


Here is the letter sent by the Congress MP to the CM...


SEBI says no penalty on Karvy Stock Broking in IPO scam

On one hand, SEBI barred Karvy Stock Broking from taking new clients for 18 months, at the same time it says since the depository participant had undergone such prohibition, there is no need for further penalty

Market regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued an order to penalise Karvy Stock Broking Ltd from signing new clients for the next 18 months. However, the same order says since Karvy Stock Broking as depository participant had undergone such prohibition for 18 months and 26 days, there is no need for further penalty.


Prashant Saran, whole time member of SEBI, in an order issued on 28th January said, "...the acts and conduct of Karvy DP are unfair and fraudulent within the scope of the Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practice relating to Securities Markets) Regulations, 2003 (PFUTP Regulations). I find that Karvy DP by its commissions and omissions had violated the provisions of Section 12 A (a), (b) and (c) of the SEBI Act, Regulation 3(a), (b), (c) and (d) and 4(1) of the PFUTP Regulations and also Regulation 19, 42(2) and (3), 43, 46, 52 of the DP Regulations. Further, by actively facilitating key operators, it is established that Karvy DP had violated the code of conduct specified in clause 3, 9, 12, 16, 19, 20 and 22 of the code of conduct specified in the DP Regulations."


He said, "I note that the Karvy group as a whole appeared to have favoured an extremely aggressive approach to business leading to their direct involvement in the IPO manipulation. Karvy DP has tried to disown the responsibility. I note that the entire case revolves around the unusual business practices adopted by Karvy group entities. Karvy DP has tried to distance itself from the activities of the other Karvy entities and the key operators, however, the discussion above makes it clear that the operations of the Karvy group entities were supplementary to their roles and complementary to each other. This gives a

strong presumption that Karvy group entities had acted in close coordination and the whole group should be viewed as one, irrespective of the separate legal identity of different entities."


The IPO scam goes back to 2006 when SEBI investigations conducted by then chairman M Damodaran, unearthed that shares reserved for retail investors were illegally acquired by various entities through tens of thousands of fake dematerialised (demat) accounts and fictitious applications.


SEBI's preliminary examination inter alia revealed that Karvy Stock Broking had opened various demat accounts in the fictitious/ benami names and aided and abetted various key operators to corner the shares in the IPO.


Based on the prima facie findings, SEBI issued various directions against 82 financiers, 24 key operators, 12 depository participants (DPs) and two depositories.



Vaibhav Dhoka

3 years ago

The order is on expected line from SEBI who is more worried about intermediaries who pay them and least concerned about INVESTORS.

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