RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: Appeal reached First Appellate Authority (FAA) in 34 days, CIC apologised to FAA

The first appeal erroneously was received by the PIO and it took 34 days to reach the FAA. Accepting its error in making the charge, the Commission apologised to the FAA. This is the 43rd in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

In an interesting case, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had charged the First Appellate Authority (FAA) for not passing an order in the matter within 45 days, the maximum limit under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. However, it was found that the FAA was not at fault since the Public Information Officer (PIO), took 34 days to forward the appeal.


While giving this judgement on 15 March 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner offered his apologies to the FAA for making charge of Vishwa Mohan (the FAA) being ‘guilty of dereliction of duty”.


The appellant filed his first appeal on 20 October 2009, but the FAA passed an order only on 16 December 2009, after 45 days, the maximum time permitted under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Based on the information received, the CIC on 22 January 2010, said, “The FAA Vishwa Mohan, Joint Commissioner (Industries) is guilty of dereliction of duty since he had not passed an order in the matter within 45 days which is maximum time permission to give an order as per the RTI Act. Vishwa Mohan is directed to give an explanation to the Commission for his dereliction of duty before 15 February 2010.”


Delhi resident Harishankar Thakur sought information from the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) about aids given to help poor, destitute, blind and handicapped as per Society Registration no. (XXI) 1860. During the hearing, he told the Commission that he received the information only after the order was issued by the FAA. “Thus the second appeal was entirely unnecessary and was made only because of the delay on the part of Vishwa Mohan (FAA) who did not do his duty as per the RTI Act,” the Commission observed.


In a written and oral submission, the FAA stated that was an error on the part of the Commission to have held him ‘guilty’ without giving him an opportunity of hearing. In his reply he stated as below…

(i) He assumed charge as FAA only on 26 October 2009 and hence cannot be held responsible for actions before that.

(ii) A perusal of the records reveals that the RTI appeal was erroneously received by the PIO on 22 October 2009 and after travelling through some officers was received in the office of the FAA only on 26 November 2009.

(iii) On receipt of the appeal on 26 November 2009 he scheduled a hearing on 8 December 2009 which could not be held on that day since he was required to be present in the High Court of Delhi.

(iv) After hearing the matter he gave an order on 16 December 2009. Thus he had issued an order within 19 days of receiving the appeal in his office.


The FAA also requested the Commission to withdraw its charge of “dereliction of duty” against him and close that matter.


After considering the submission of the FAA, the Mr Gandhi, the CIC, said, “I erred in making the statement and should have given an opportunity to him to explain his actions before passing this observation.”


The Commission, said, based on the evidence given by Vishwa Mohan, it appeared that he was not guilty of any dereliction of duty by has actually performed his duty as FAA very diligently. “The appeal was erroneously received in the office of the PIO, from where it took 34 days to reach the FAA. Vishwa Mohan cannot be held accountable for this. The Commission accepts its error in making the charge of Vishwa Mohan being 'guilty of dereliction of duty' and withdraws it completely,” Mr Gandhi said in his decision.


Here is the information sought by Thakur from the Registrar of Society, GNCTD and the reply given by the PIO...


A. Whether any organization under Society Registration Act (XXI) 1860 can implement schemes which include financial transactions?       

PIO's Reply- There is no such provision in the Act.


B. If yes. Then what is maximum amount permitted?      

PIO's Reply- As stated above, there is no such provision in the Act.


C. Whether using gifted (Dan) amounts is permissible/approved under such schemes to organization namely ‘Utthan’?      

PIO's Reply- No such information is available regarding reorganization and justification.


D. If not. Then under which rule such schemes can be implemented?        

PIO's Reply- Companies Act, Chit Fund Society and Cooperative Society Act (Threft & Credit)


E. If such organizations are not doing their work as approved, then what action has been taken against such organizations?        

PIO's Reply- Registrar of Societies is empowered to take any action against such society.


F. Whether 80 G certificate can be used for other such schemes?     

PIO's Reply- No legal opinion can be given in this regard.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/003121/6529adjunct


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/003121


Appellant                                            : Harishankar Thakur

                                                            New Delhi - 110059                                                               


Respondent                                        : Public Information Officer

                                                            Govt. of NCT of Delhi

                                                            O/o the Registrar of Society,

                                                            Plot no. 419, FIE,

                                                            Patparganj Industrial Area,

                                                            Delhi - 110092


                                                          : First Appellate Authority

                                                            Jt. Commissioner of Industries

                                                            419, Udyog Sadan

                                                            FIE, Patparganj Industrial Area

                                                            Delhi 110092


Nifty, Sensex on a short-term uptrend: Tuesday Closing Report

As of now, the market has reversed into a short pre-budget rally that may last for 3-4 days

The market, which was sideways for a major part of the trading session, witnessed a smart recovery from the lows to close in the positive for the second day in a row. As of now, the market has reversed into a short pre-budget rally that may last for three-four days. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 53.89 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 1022:495.


The domestic market opened almost unchanged from its previous close on weak cues from the Asian markets which were mostly lower in morning trade. Markets in the US were closed on Monday for a local holiday.


The Nifty opened two points up at 5,900 and the Sensex resumed trade at 19,524, a gain of 23 points over its previous close. The benchmarks witnessed a high degree of volatility in subsequent trade, moving in and out of the red in the morning session.


The Telecom Commission, on Monday approved provision for companies holding internet services licences with spectrum to provide phone call service by paying additional fee of Rs1,658 crore each. The announcement led telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular were trading lower today.


Selling in metals, capital goods, banking stocks pushed the market into the negative in noon trade. The lower opening of the European indices on a fall in auto sales in the region also added to the woes of domestic investors.


The benchmarks slipped to their lows at around 1.30pm with the Nifty down to 5,883 and the Sensex falling to 19,457. The market witnessed a splendid recovery from the lows with the indices emerging into the green.


Buying in realty, IT, healthcare and power sectors helped the market hit its high in the last half hour. At this point the Nifty went up to 5,940 and the Sensex rose to 19,635.


The market closed near the high-point of the day on across-the-board buying as investors brushed aside concerns relating to the budget. The Nifty gained 42 points (0.70%) to 5,940 and the Sensex closed the session 135 points (0.69%) higher at 19,636.


The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today, as the BSE Mid-cap index gained 1.12% and the BSE Small-cap index climbed 0.94%.


All the sectoral indices were in the positive; the top gainers were BSE Realty (up 1.90%); BSE IT (up 1.66%); BSE Healthcare (up 1.38%); BSE Power (up 1.16%) and BSE TECk (up 1.10%).


Twenty two of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were ONGC (up 4.03%); Bajaj Auto (up 2.36%); Maruti Suzuki (up 2.19%); BHEL (up 2%) and Cipla (up 1.96%). The major losers were Bharti Airtel (down 1.94%); GAIL (down 1.37%); Hero MotoCorp (down 1.37%); Coal India (down 1.35%) and Jindal Steel (down 0.79%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Eicher Motors (up 6.26%) and IFCI (up 5.52%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were— Bharti Airtel (down 1.94%) and Zee Entertainment (down 1.67%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Thakral Services (up 19.99%) and Jindal Photo (up 19.97%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were— Gallantt Metal (down 12.88%) and Chromatic India (down 10%).


Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 42 stocks settled in the positive. The major gainers were ONGC (up 4.33%); DLF (up 3.70%); ACC (up 3.22%); Ranbaxy (up 2.99%) and UltraTech Cement (up 2.58%). The key losers were Bharti Airtel (down 1.99%); GAIL (down 1.51%); Hero MotoCorp (down 1.50%); Coal India (down 1.37%) and Jindal Steel (down 0.95%).


Markets across Asia settled mostly down in the absence of fresh triggers. Speculations that Chinese policymakers will initiate new limits to tame real estate prices also weighed on the sentiments.


The Shanghai Composite tanked 1.60%; the Hang Seng dropped 1.02%; Jakarta Composite fell 0.22%; the KLSE Composite contracted 0.36% and the Nikkei 225 lost 0.31%. On the other hand, the Straits Times gained 0.23%; the Seoul Composite rose 0.20% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.22% higher.


At the time of writing, the key European indices pared early losses and were in the positive with gains between 0.37% and 0.98%. At the same time, the US market futures were in the green, indicating a positive opening for US stocks. 


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs142.92 crore on Monday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks amounting to Rs110.55 crore.


 After the recent price hike, Maruti Suzuki has ruled out price hike in the near term, and expects the sales growth of about 6% in the current financial year ending next month. The stock rose 1.35% to close at Rs 1,499.80 on the NSE.


NHC Foods is planning to raise Rs25 crore through qualified institutional placements (QIPs) in March 2013, which it would utilize this fund to meet the working requirement for its proposed expansion plans. NHC Foods down 7.28% to close at Rs40.75 on the BSE.


CCEA may take up IKEA investment proposal soon: Commerce minister

FIPB can clear investment proposals worth up to Rs1,200 crore. As IKEA’s planned investment is higher than this, the proposal has to be cleared by the CCEA

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is expected to take up Swedish home furnishings retailer IKEA’s Rs10,500-crore investment proposal shortly, Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said today.


Though the world’s largest furniture maker had received the FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) approval earlier, this as well as a fresh proposal from the Swedish retailer that was subsequently cleared, will have to be approved altogether.


FIPB can clear investment proposals worth up to Rs1,200 crore. As IKEA’s planned investment is higher than this, the proposal has to be cleared by the Cabinet.


CCEA will now have to clear the Rs10,500-crore investment proposal which includes stores and cafeterias. “It (IKEA’s proposal) will go to the CCEA,” Sharma told reporters after the India-UK CEO Forum meeting in New Delhi.


Asked about a tentative timeline for the CCEA approval, Sharma said that it would be taken up soon.


The Rs10,500-crore investment proposal in India through IKEA’s 100% owned subsidiary is for opening 25 retail stores across the country.


The India-UK CEO Forum meeting was attended by Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej, ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, ITC Group chairman YC Deveshwar, Standard Chartered CEO Peter Sands and Balfour Beatty Plc chief executive officer Ian P Tyler.


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