Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Can an Advocate represent an PIO — when he is wrong

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 29, 2006

dear freinds ,
I was representing Mr Yaswanth Dalvi of Vadagoan Belgaum Today . I was asked to represent him by my freinds from belgaum . The Case was the PIO had not provided info sought within thirty days , the Requester had gone under appeal to the AA (DC of Belgaum) .
However both PIO and AA were represnted by an Advocate From Bangalore who tried to divert the entire issue in the Info comm . Finally  we could get an undated reply addressed to the info commission . We could also get these noted in orders of the commission.
Now my question is what will be the position of Commoners who are unrepresented when PIO’s start sending Advocates  as their duly authorised representatives . What if the PIO’s have committed the mistake of not having provided the info within 30 days and Deemed refusal , already there is a loss to govt thorugh loss by additional fees , and over that advocates fees .
Can we think of how to counter this
vikram

N vikramsimha , KRIA Katte , #12 Sumeru Sir M N Krishna Rao Road , Basvangudi < Bangalore 560004.

3 Responses to “Can an Advocate represent an PIO — when he is wrong”

  1. rtiact2005 said

    Dear vikram ji,

    irrespective of PIO being right or wrong,there is no provision of sending representative by PIO in the act,no interference of judiciary before second appeal decision.

    This attempt of sending representative should be resisted in the very beginning.no proxy of criminals(guilty PIOs).

    Manoj K. Kamra
    Bikaner

  2. rtiact2005 said

    dear vikramji,

    i respond together to your original query and the rejoinder from mr kamra.

    first your query: the rules allow ANYONE to represent an appellant. these do
    not specify who CANNOT. that means any party can hire services legal
    practitioners. i do not recall who exactly, central info commission or
    maharashtra’s had noted while deciding a matter that hiring of services of
    legal professionals is `undesirable’. but, that reaffirms, there cannot be a
    ban.

    this places the common requisitioner in a disadvantageous position because
    s/he cannot afford to hire such service nor even making a trip to the
    commission, whereas an officer can travel at the government’s
    expense and can afford hiring a legal service.

    video conferencing seems to be the best answer to travelling. we will
    discuss the travelling part separately as it does not directly concern
    the present discussion.

    as for legal representation, i am aware of a case in maharashtra when a
    tehsildar had demanded government attorney to represent her against an
    appeal filed by our shahid burney. this was denied. yet, certain
    establishments are known to have deployed their legal officers during the
    hearings.

    so the official side being represented by professionals is a hazard, i
    guess, we just have to face. haven’t there been instances of motivated
    activists arguing their matters themselves in courts of law against a
    formidable battery of advocates on the other side?

    do not rule out the other possibility. a government pleader may be denied to
    an official, whereas a requisitioner may be in a position to
    afford professional representation.

    now, mr kamra says, “there is no provision of sending representative by PIO
    in the act.”

    section 19 of the Act says:

    19. (1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the
    time specified in sub­ section (1) or clause *(a) *of sub-section (3) of
    section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information
    Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may
    within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of
    such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to
    the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information
    Officer, as the case may be, in each public authority;… etc

    it does not explicitly mention a representation. but no other law mentions
    this either. so i guess, the representation is inherent. So, i guess, one
    cannot say that a representation is NOT allowed. i am not a legal person and
    this is for legal experts to explain.

    If it is taken that way, a common requisitioner will not be allowed to be
    represented by a well wisher during hearings by the commission and this will
    be a great handicap.

    operational rules of the RTI Act anyway make it very clear that an appellant
    can be represented by anyone – not necessarily a legal practitioner.

    it is for appellate authorities and info commissions to discourage
    representation through hired professional service, but i do not know how they will be able to deny it if a part insists.

  3. VEERESH BELLUR said

    Dear Friends,

    The Public Information Officers have a right to be represented by an Advocate. But in case where PIO is held guilty of not providing the information, then we will have a right to demand for recovery of the legal expenses from the salary of the PIO. In the present case where I was also present, the PIO has failed in providing theinformation within 30 days and hence he is at fault. We may demand the public authority to recover not only the legal expenses but also even recovery of other incidental expenses such as xerox charges and postage spent on providing the information after the complaint/appeal is heard by the commission.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: