NDDB Continues to Dodge RTI Cites Sub-Judice Case to Ignore Govt Advice
Although the government has advised the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) to subject itself and its subsidiaries to the RBI Act, it continues to dodge the transparency law. 
 
It was in this year, vide letters dated 10th July and 11 July 2019 that NDDB was asked to submit itself to the Rright to Information (RTI) Act. But the dairy cooperative claimed that applicability of the law to it is sub-judice because of litigation pending before Division Bench of the Delhi High Court in the case of its subsidiary Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd (MDFVPL). 
 
Using long drawn litigation, delays and appeals has been a trick adopted by several organisations that are heavily funded by the government or in regulatory roles to avoid the statute. 
 
The matter came up in the Rajya Sabha on 29 November 2019 in response to a question by Prof Manoj Kumar Jha (unstarred question No. 1375),  asking whether NDDB has accepted advice of Government to extend provisions of RTI Act?
 
The minister of state for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan provided this information to the house. It is curious why the government is shying away from issuing a directive to NDDB to fall in line. 
 
NDDB further stated that it could only consider the ministry’s advice after the issue of applicability of RTI Act to MDFVPL was decided. The matter is listed for discussion in NDDB Board’s agenda in the next meeting, the reply in Rajya Sabha shows.
 
As of now, the question of RTI applicability to NDDB and its subsidiaries has been upheld by the Central Information Commission’s order of 15 April 2011, followed by a decision by a single-judge Bench of the Delhi High Court (HC). An appeal was filed before the Division Bench of the Delhi HC which is pending. This same strategy has been adopted by several other organisations who fulfill a quasi-regulatory function. 
 
When asked whether department of animal husbandry and dairying (DAHD) has received a resolution of NDDB approving contribution of Rs200 crore towards equity of its subsidiary NDDB Dairy Services, Dr Balyan, the minister replied affirmatively saying the information was received. 
 
Prof Jha also sought details of equity and resources transferred by NDDB to originally incorporated NDDB Dairy Services Pvt Ltd, which had previous approval of government under section 43(1) of NDDB Act. Dr Balyan revealed that as per Section 43(2)(a) of NDDB Act, 1987, NDDB has contributed Rs200 crore as equity to the NDDB Dairy Services.
 
Prof Jha also probed whether NDDB re-incorporated NDDB Dairy Services Pvt Ltd with change of name without pre-approval from government under section 43 of NDDB Act. 
 
Dr Balyan stated that the NDDB has informed that the central government conveyed its approval on 3 August 2009 for formation of a wholly owned subsidiary company of NDDB for implementing NDDB’s development objectives relating to productivity improvement and cooperative effort in terms of the resolution passed in the 89th meeting of the board of directors of NDDB held on 28 January 2009. 
 
NDDB has further stated that in the agenda note of the board meeting it was clearly mentioned that “Since the objective of the proposed subsidiary is developmental in nature, after formation, the company will, at an appropriate stage take steps to convert itself into a not for profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956”. 
 
As a result, the company was initially incorporated as NDDB Dairy Services Pvt Ltd on 12 October 2009 and license was issued to it under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 on 10 March 2010. The company received fresh certificate of incorporation on 26 March 2010 with the change of name as NDDB Dairy Services (as a not for profit company).
 
Earlier Moneylife had reported about the propensity of NDDB to set up numerous subsidiaries and quickly cause them to vanish through a closure or amalgamation or often without an explanation.
 
We had also highlighted how NDDB paid Rs200 crore to its subsidiary NDDB Dairy Services, a private company, to employ its retired executives at same package. 
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    COMMENTS

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    1 week ago

    China team is 🐕 tail ,they r cheater's.
    They can't pluck a thread from us.

    Iam always follow u .

    MP’s Information Commissioner Rahul Singh Creating a Flutter with His Use of Twitter & WhatsApp for RTI
    While most information commissioners and Central and state chief information commissioners are hanging on to the government babu system of functioning, journalist turned information commissioner of Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Singh is creating waves as he interacts with appellants of second appeals as well as RTI applicants in general, through Twitter and WhatsApp ever since his appointment in February 2019.
     
    For example, that is on 28th November, an RTI applicant Sudhir Singh Baghel through his Twitter handle @sudhirsinghbag6 tweeted that: “I submitted RTI in Govt HS school Jhabua to give my father's attendance information but the Principal refused to give information.” 
     
    He tagged Rahul Singh’s Twitter handle @rahulreports.
     
    Promptly, he received a Twitter reply from the information commissioner.
     
     
    On 27th November, one Rahul Pandey, RTI applicant tweeted that, `` Sir please help me Mujhe bhi Suchna nhi diii gyi Sbse pehle mene SDM office sirmour me unse patra ki suchna mangi toh unhone 3 month pe jabab diya aur bola dene ka prabdhan nhi h  Firr Appeal ki toh wha se bhi nhi mili please help me sir appliciant  ( Shivkumar pandey) Rewa MP’’ (I also have not been given the information.Translated it means: First I asked the SDM officer of Sirmour for some information which he did not give up to three months and then said there is no provision to supply me with the information. First Appellate Authority too declined the information.)
     
    Here is the reply, he received from the information commissioner…
     
     
    Rahul Singh’s Twitter handle is @rahulreports (old habits die hard!) and though he has only 3,517 followers as of now, his active interaction through it, is a novel and soothing experience for RTI applicants, who Singh believes are often distressed due to the dereliction in duty by many public information officers (PIOs). 
     
     
    Known to be a credible bi-lingual television journalist with two decades of experience, he has indeed taken his job of information commissioner sincerely and seriously as did Vijay Kuvalekar, former Pune information commissioner and a senior journalist of Maharashtra. While Mr Kuvalekar brought in orders with intelligent interpretations of the RTI Act that benefited the common man, journalist Singh has moved out from the physical space of his office by entering/interacting through cyberspace and making RTI applicants aware of the rules of the RTI Act. 
     
     
    Rahul Singh is the former assistant executive editor and national editor of News 18 regional channel network in Delhi. He also did stints in India Today- Aaj Tak, Times Now, Zee News, Sahara Samay, ETV-News18, Free Press Journal. 
     
    One of the news reports states that, ``he is one of few journalists in India who has expertise and experience in handling national as well regional news channel content across the country. He comes with multi-state experience across Delhi-NCR, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Odisha, West Bengal, Karnataka, Assam & Northeast states.” 
     
    Mr Singh is not new to the RTI subject as he has been using it extensively in his journalism career, one of them being the 2005 Padarvada mass grave story from Gujarat for Sahara Samay. 
     
     
    Recently, he issued a show cause notice to the forest department of MP when RTI applicant Virendra Singh Parihar’s request for information way back in January 2017 on details of plantations of 50 lakh saplings amongst other related information, was  not answered. In the show cause notice, he asked as to why a Rs25,000 penalty should not be slammed on the forest department. 
     
     
    With the trend of information commissioners coming from the field of bureaucracy, who are used to red tapism, officers like Rahul Singh and Vijay Kuvlekar from the media have shown vision with their understanding of quickness of addressing RTI applications. 
     
     
    Prof Sridhar Acharyulu, former Central information commissioner, who came from a law background was asked in an interview to Moneylife: “What according to you should be the ratio of retired government officers becoming CIC and independent private individuals?” 
     
     He had replied, “My suggestion is you just act according to the law. What does the RTI Act say?  Look up Section 12(5). It gives eight fields of social life. Appoint one from each field and the remaining you may please appoint as per your choice. There should not be more than one bureaucrat whether it is Central or state commission.” 
     
    “I am not opposing the appointment of former government officers; they must be appointed as they are experienced and they know how the administration runs. If they are committed to people then they can do wonders; if they are committed to the government, then they will do blunders. They have to choose, whether they want to create wonders or make blunders.” 
     
    “If the government appoints majority of information commissioners from the field of the people which is the intention of the RTI Act, which is also the intention of the people who wrote the draft and NGOs who struggled and organized movements for that purpose; the government must implement it and see the wonders of RTI. And so long as you do not do so, you'll face blunders. That’s what we are facing,’’ Prof Acharyulu had said.
     
    (Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    COMMENTS

    gcmbinty

    2 weeks ago

    I fully and wholeheartedly support the journalists like Rahul Singh on the RTI Benches coming to the rescue of complainants. The names of the derelict bureaucrats and others in the ranks dealing with providing RTI to the complainants should be put on the shame list besides imposing the penalty of Rs.25,000 and recovered their personal salaries. Such news must be given wide publicity.

    Next, I would suggest and request all the Congress Ruled States leaders to give top priority to the implementation of RTI Act in taking care as the RTI is their own baby and must not be allowed to suffer the indignity at the hands of Opposition, and prove they are honest at least in intentions.

    Harish

    2 weeks ago

    We need more Commissioners like Shri Rahul Singh.

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    2 weeks ago

    File case against them ,iam ready to sign in any paper .

    REPLY

    BR

    In Reply to Nakul Kumar Reddy 2 weeks ago

    Would you please clarify what case must be filed against whom & why? Why must you sign Any paper?

    RBI Continues to Defy Supreme Court’s RTI Ruling on Sharing Inspection Reports of Banks
    Continuing with its tradition to disregard the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) once again failed to uphold the provisions of the Act and has failed to follow Supreme Court decision on providing information on bank inspection reports.  
     
    In a recent RTI request filed by retired central information commissioner (CIC) Shailesh Gandhi, the delaying tactics of the central bank while responding are quite evident. 
     
    Mr Gandhi had filed an RTI seeking information about Saraswat Co-operative Bank. He was seeking information on documents such as; 
     
    1.  Copies of RBI’s Audit reports and inspection reports.
    2.  Copies of any warnings or advisories issued to the bank 
    3.  Details of any fines or penalties levied on the bank.
    4.  The grade allotted to the bank.
    5.  Total amount of Non-Performing Assets.
    6.  Report on quality of borrowers.
    7.  List of top five Defaulters with the amounts of default
     
    This RTI application was filed by Mr Gandhi on 25th October and was sent by speed-post which as per the tracking was delivered to the RBI four days later on 29 October 2019. 
     
     
    However, in its reply, the central public information officer (CPIO) of RBI stated that he received the RTI application on the 6 November 2019 and not before that, against the delivery date of 29th October.  
     
     
    What the CPIO of RBI did was to send a letter to Saraswat Bank seeking its consent before sharing any information.  In the letter, RBI says, “Since the information sought by the application related to your bank, a notice is therefore, given under section 11(1) read with section 11(2) of the act to enable you to make a written submission within 10 days from the date of receipt of this notice, as to whether the documents sought by the applicant may be disclosed or not along with the reasons for the same indicating clearly for each of the documents.” 
     
    While it might seem like the RBI is right in asking Saraswat Bank before revealing the information since it pertains to a ‘third party’, they are however not following the provisions of the RTI Act. Before furnishing the information, the PIO must analyse whether it is exempt or not and then must proceed with the RTI application.
     
    While section 11 is not a rejection, it is however incorrect in this case. Section 11 of the Act works under the presumption that the information, which RBI holds regarding Saraswat Bank is held under fiduciary capacity and is a third party information hence the RBI has to seek the permission of the third party involved before disclosing the information
     
    Fiduciary in legal parlance means, “any relationship existing between the parties to the transaction where one of the parties is duty bound to act with utmost good faith for the benefit of the other party. Such a relationship ordinarily arises where confidence is reposed by one person in the integrity of another, and in such a relation the party in whom the confidence is reposed, if he voluntarily accepts or assumes to accept the confidence, can take no advantage from his acts relating to the interests of the other party without the latter’s knowledge and consent.”
     
    As per a Supreme Court (SC) ruling in the “Reserve Bank Of India vs Jayantilal N. Mistry”  the apex court observed, “In the instant case, the RBI does not place itself in a fiduciary relationship with the Financial institutions (though, in word it puts itself to be in that position) because, the reports of the inspections, statements of the bank, information related to the business obtained by the RBI are not under the pretext of confidence or trust. In this case neither the RBI nor the Banks act in the interest of each other. By attaching an additional “fiduciary” label to the statutory duty, the Regulatory authorities have intentionally or unintentionally created an in terrorem effect.”
     
    The court further observed, “Furthermore, the RTI Act under Section 2(f) clearly provides that the inspection reports, documents etc. fall under the purview of “Information” which is obtained by the public authority (RBI) from a private body.”
     
    In their judgement, the SC conclusively stated that, “As in this case, the RBI is liable to provide information regarding inspection report and other documents to the general public.” 
     
    The SC categorically has defined and has cleared that RBI does not hold information of banks in fiduciary capacity and neither is the inspection report obtained from private entities 3rd party information. As per the RTI act as well, the RBI is legally bound to declare the inspection reports which are ideally supposed to be declared suo-moto on their website. The RBI however does not declare them on their own and neither do they reveal inspection reports when asked under RTI. 
     
    As per the RTI Act, information can only be exempted on the basis of provisions which are mentioned under section 8 and section 9. 
     
    In the past as well, the RBI has refused to give inspection reports under the RTI act. Girish Mittal, an RTI activist had been filing requests with the RBI seeking inspection reports of various banks, which they had stone-walled until the SC weighed in. 
     
    While in this case, the RBI has not refused the information directly, they have however failed to follow various SC rulings and also failed to follow the provisions of the act itself. 
     
    "It is obvious that the RBI is not being honest about receipt and dispatch of RTI responses. It is unfortunate that it does not recognise the efforts of the Supreme Court in matters clearly decided by it. If the RBI were to keep all the information on their website for all banks, instances like PMC would not occur," Mr Gandhi, the former central information commissioner, concluded. 
     
    You may also want to read…  
     
     
     
     
     
  • Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

    User

    COMMENTS

    Dr Benoy Kumar Chattapadhyaya

    3 weeks ago

    RBI Official has Frauded me Rs.1,34,700 for transferred of my Fund which is under Custody of RBI months of 26th July 2019 through [email protected]. I am giving both Official names Mr. Sameer Singh Head Customer Consumer Forum and Mr. Dinesh Shah RBI New Delhi. They have not send my Fund nor Refund my money what ever I have send to RBI. Matter has been reported to Governor RBI, cepcbelapur, cepcnewdelhi and Cyber Crime Pune with all the proofs of documents but no body has taken any actions as well as no reply has given to me. RBI how Frauded the innocent people.

    Nakul Kumar Reddy

    3 weeks ago

    File case against them.

    We are listening!

    Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
      Loading...
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email
    Close

    To continue


    Please
    Sign Up or Sign In
    with

    Email

    BUY NOW

    online financial advisory
    Pathbreakers
    Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
    online financia advisory
    The Scam
    24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
    Moneylife Online Magazine
    Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
    financial magazines online
    Stockletters in 3 Flavours
    Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
    financial magazines in india
    MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
    (Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)
    FREE: Your Complete Family Record Book
    Keep all the Personal and Financial Details of You & Your Family. In One Place So That`s Its Easy for Anyone to Find Anytime
    We promise not to share your email id with anyone