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.
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...
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.