Shailesh Gandhi to continue hearing RTI cases till 6th July
Moneylife Digital Team 31 May 2012

 

Shailesh Gandhi, the Information Commissioner under the RTI Act, would continue to hear cases till his retirement, except that he has requested the CIC not to send any new cases or fresh inputs so that no cases remain pending when he leaves the office 

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a circular clarifying that Information Commissioner (IC) Shailesh Gandhi, who is scheduled to retire on 6th July, will continue to hear cases till that day. However, fresh cases, from 12th May onwards, would be dealt with the reallocated public authority. The circular was issued following the rumours that Mr Gandhi was sitting idle after the CIC had asked him to stop hearing cases from 12th May. 

Mr Gandhi, in an e-mail, said, “Generally when commissioners leave the office, many files and papers becomes orphans. To avoid such a situation, I requested the Chief Information Commissioner that fresh inputs should be stopped in my office and I would attempt to ensure that very few files or papers would be left when I retire on 6th July. Hence such a circular was issued.” 

He adds that, “Incidentally, I have also released most of the staff so that they can work with the other commissioners. My office is only issuing letters for hearing and I am holding hearings. For 6th July the last hearing notices will be issued before 15th June. The chief commissioner had also issued a clarification on 25th May to squash the rumours. Incidentally, I am hearing cases of all the public authorities before me, including the CIC and have already cleared over 500 cases in this month.”

The CIC, on 11th May, issued a circular allocating the ministries and department held by IC Mr Gandhi to other information commissioners. Accordingly, the department of atomic energy, ministry of tourism, ministry of external affairs, ministry of environment & forests, ministry of information & broadcasting and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar have been allocated to IC Sushma Singh; municipal corporation of Delhi to IC Deepak Sandhu; all banks (expect State Bank of India and its associates) to IC Vijai Sharma and ministry of health & family welfare and CIC to IC ML Sharma. 

In the same circular the CIC also said that from 12th May, fresh receipts relating to the public authorities of the ministries and department held by Mr Gandhi would be sent to the registry of the allocated IC. 

Mr Gandhi, before becoming an information commissioner was actively involved in promoting RTI and using it effectively to improve governance. As IC he has given many landmark verdicts. This most important among them is to bring Public Health Foundation of India, which is private-public partnership, under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI). PPPs were out of the purview of the RTI Act by claiming they are not “public authorities”. 

In April, when the Chief Justice of India (CJI) SH Kapadia commented that irrelevant queries filed under the RTI hampered the work of the judiciary, Mr Gandhi wrote to him saying this may “dampen the RTI journey” of the country.

 

Comments
Nagesh Kini
1 decade ago
When Babus can get extensions even when they don't delivery there is no reason why a non-Babu like Saliesh Bhai cannot be granted extension simply for being more than efficient!
We'll certainly miss him at the CIC!
mukesh
Replied to Nagesh Kini comment 1 decade ago
I agree with you. Mr Gandhi gave so many good decisions in favor of common people. I salute him.
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