Right to Information
SC gives centre six weeks to appoint three central information commissioners
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to appoint three information commissioners, within six weeks, from among the applicants who responded to two advertisements issued in 2014 and a notification issued on September 9, 2015.
 
Giving six weeks time as sought by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for making the appointments, a bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice C. Nagappan said: "We have given you the time you have asked for, please try to make sure appointments are made."
 
The court directed the listing of the matter after six weeks as counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for respondent R.K.Jain, told it that the central government had made a similar statement before the Delhi High Court also but actually made just one appointment of information commissioner as the senior most information commissioner was elevated as Chief Information Commissioner.
 
"Despite several clear assurances given to the Delhi High Court, they did not appoint and left three vacancies," he said. At this, Justice Khehar reassuringly told him that now the matter was before the apex court.
 
At the outset of the hearing, Attorney General Rohatgi referring to section 12 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 told the court that the RTI act envisages "maximum of 10" central information commissioners as may be necessary and not the ten posts of the information commissioners. 
 
Apparently unimpressed by the submission, Justice Khehar observed then "you can have one, two or even none".
 
"Technically, the answer is yes," Rohatgi said adding that things don't happen that way.
 
Despite doubt expressed by Bhushan about the seriousness with which the central government was going about the matter, the court agreed to give six weeks' time as the attorney general said that all those who had applied in pursuance to two advertisements issued in 2014 and in the wake of September 9 notification would be considered to fill the three vacancies.
 
The central government had moved the apex court challenging the Delhi Court's November 6, 2015 verdict asking it to appoint three information commissioners within six weeks from the 553 applications who had applied for the post in pursuance to the February 25 and July 16, 2014 advertisements.
 
"The selection process pursuant to the circular dated September 9, 2015, shall be confined for selection and appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner in the vacancy that would arise with effect from December 2, 2015, and one information commissioner which is likely to arise with effect from December 2, 2015," it had said.
 
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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Strike affects clearance of 21 lakh cheques worth Rs.16,000 crore
Chennai : Around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore could not be cleard on Friday owing to bankers strike against the violation of bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI), said a top leader of employees union.
 
According to All India Bank Employees' Association's (AIBEA) C.H.Venkatachalam, around 350,000 bankers participated in the strike across the nation which affected clearing of around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore.
 
The five associate banks of the SBI are State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and State Bank of Travancore.
 
The strike also put several thousands of people into difficulty across the country, and they will be put to further hardship as Saturday and Sunday will be bank holidays.
 
"It is a matter of regret that the associate banks which are public sector banks and their managements do not care for the advice of the chief labour commissioner and insisted on violation of the bilateral settlement not caring for the law of the land," Venkatachalam said.
 
"While we are sorry for the unavoidable inconveniences to the banking public on account of this strike, we wish to clarify that the strike was forced on us because of the adamant approach management," he added in a statement issued here.
 
According to Venkatachalam, the management of SBI's five associate banks remained steadfast on implementing the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS) for their employees, violating the bilateral agreement with the union.
 
He said that the five banks want to abolish permanent cadres like sweepers and outsoucre their labour activity, but this cannot be done unilaterally.
 
AIBEA also perceives the uniform service conditions between SBI and its five associate banks as a further step towards merger.
 
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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In a first, French contingent to join in Republic Day parade
New Delhi : For the first time ever, a foreign contingent will participate in the Republic Day parade -- French troops will march down the Rajpath on January 26, official sources said.
 
Sources from the defence ministry said that a contingent of the French army will participate in the march.
 
The French contingent will march down the Rajpath as French President Francois Hollande will be seated as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year.
 
In 2009, India participated in the Bastille Day Military Parade or 14 July Military Parade, the oldest regular military parade in the world.
 
Then President Nicolas Sarkozy invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to attend the event as the guest of honour. Soldiers including jawans of Maratha Light Infantry Regiment Centre (MLIRC) marched down the Champs Elysees to the sound of an Indian military band playing Indian martial tunes including "Saare Jahan Se Achcha".
 
This is the fifth time a French leader will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, the highest for any country. Earlier leaders from that country had presided in 1976, 1980, 1998 and 2008.
 
Defence relations between the two nations have been growing close, with the deal for buying 36 Rafale jets, which was finalised recently, being the latest feat.
 
Meanwhile, a French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, arrived in Jodhpur to take part in eight-day long counter insurgency joint exercise 'Shakti-2016'.
 
The contingent, led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie arrived on Thursday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.
 
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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