Right to Information – Master key to good governance

An open e-mail to the Chief Information Commissioner of India

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 4, 2006

An open e-mail to the Chief Information Commissioner of India


I refer to the decision posted on your CIC website in
Appeal No. CIC/WB/A/2006/00194 
Dated: 11.4.2006 

Right to Information Act – Section 19 
Name of Appellant  Shri Manoj Chaudhry 
Name of Public Authority  Smt. Neemo Dhar, Director (PR), DDA 
and Shri V.M.Bansal, Commissioner-cum-Secy 

At the outset may I compliment you for remembering that I was
assisting the appellant Mr. Manoj Chaudhury. I compliment you Sir for
remembering at least this one essential fact, because the rest of the
so called "facts" you found during the proceedings are a figment of
your imagination.

Sir, I would strongly urge you to video-tape all the proceedings of
CIC in future or at least have a stenographer present so that there is
no dispute about what happens behind the closed doors of your
chambers. To put it very bluntly (since I am given to plain speaking)
I am impugning your competence in this matter and you seem to have
overlooked somehow that proceedings of CIC are to be open proceedings
precisely to avoid the closed door dealings which in which you
repeatedly and blatantly favour the land mafia of Delhi which is
epi-centred in Nirman Bhawan where I am given to understand you were
yourself an officer at some time past.

I intend to send you a detailed letter concerning Mr. Manoj
Chaudhury's case and also Information Comissioner Kejriwal's RTI
matter concerning his category 7 accomodation pending with MoUD where
the CIC appears open to being bought off.

Till then I would kindly request you to see if you wish to review Mr.
Chaudhry's decision suo-moto since I am unable to assist him before 

Yours in disgust etc.

Sarbajit Roy
A Citizen of India.

8 Responses to “An open e-mail to the Chief Information Commissioner of India”


    There is no provision for video recording of proceedings of the commission and any other judicial proceedings. To bring more transparency an amendment may be suggested.

  2. Manoj k. kamra said

    On 3-8-2006,cic decision allowing videography is as follows——

    Shri Sanjay Singh, appellant and Shri A.K.Pandey, representing PIO are
    present. Shri A.K.Pandey apologized for the absence of Er. Divakar Agarwal, who
    is attending a simultaneous hearing in CAT. The issues are two:
    1. Whether videography can be permitted.
    2. The status of providing information sought by the appellant.
    On 1) above, if an applicant wishes to make copies of records/ samples
    given to him for inspection at his own expenses, it is not for the Public Authority to
    object to the form in which the copies are being made, provided it is restricted to
    the information permissible under the Act. There is no provision in the Act
    disallowing Videography, and therefore, cannot be excluded unless it violates the
    parameters of any information sought and agreed to be provided.

    So videography is allowed.

  3. rtiact2005 said

    > From: whabibullah@…
    > To: “sroy1947”
    > Thanks.

    This was only an interim order,and is described as that,
    dealing only with a specific point. Shri Roy’s points are best
    argued in the Commission than through the internet.

    > Wajahat

  4. rtiact2005 said

    Dear Mr. Habibullah,

    I fail to see what there is to argue any further. All our submisison
    are on record and have been noted. Your order deals with a SINGLE
    issue : HOW TO SAVE MR.V.K.Bansal’s skin !!!

    Let me explain:-

    1) Mr. Raghveer Singh files an RTI request to DDA. He asks for only
    TWO bits of information, but these 2 information are so explosive that
    DDA an the land mafia at MoUD will do everything (including
    compromising your assistant information commissioners) to supress.

    To refresh your memory, here are the questions:-

    “Please provide us minutes of Authority (ie. DDA) meetings /
    Resolutions relating to consideration and approval for Publc Notice of
    the proposals for which teh following Public Notices have been issued
    by Pr. Commissioner cum Secretary (ie. Mr.V.K.Bansal).

    a) No. F3(73)2003/MP dated 28.2.2006 for change of land use of 11 Ha
    to ‘Residential’ and 5.5 Ha to ‘Commercial/Hotel’ from ‘Recreational’.

    b) No. f3(10)2000/MP dated 10.3.2006 for change of Land Use of 37 Ha
    to ‘Residential’ and 1.05 Ha to ‘Public/Semi-Public’ from ‘Agriculture
    and Water Body’.

    We also wish to inspect the files pertaining to the same”.

    The PIO Ms. Neemo Dhar did not reply in time. Mr.Raghveer Singh very
    promptly filed his First Appeal to Mr.V.K.Bansal. Again there was no
    reply. Then Mr.Manoj Chaudhry filed the 2nd Appeal in this matter as
    he is allowed to do u/s 19(1) of the RTI Act. For over 2 months at
    DDA’s behest your Registry sat on this matter and it was only after
    great follow-up that CIC even bothered to send it to DDA for their
    comments. The comments were only submitted 2 days before the day of
    hearing and no minutes of meeting / resolution could be provided by
    DDA, the best they could do was to provide extracts from a DRAFT
    minutes of meeting. Even this draft document is shocking , a small

    I decline to say any more on this matter today. Please inform me
    within 24 hours if you can fix a date within this week where
    Mr.V.K.Bansal is to be personally present to answer this matter, and
    we shall settle this matter at the CIC, or else it must be over the
    Internet or elsewhere.

    The so-called point at issue concerning locus is not relevnt to this
    matter since neither Neemo Dhar nor Bansal have challenged Raghveer
    Singh’s locus.

    Sarbajit Roy

  5. rtiact2005 said

    whabibullah@nic.in wrote:

    Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2006 10:28:53 +0530 (IST)
    Subject: Re: An open e-mail to the Chief Information Commissioner of India
    From: whabibullah@nic.in
    To: “sroy1947”

    Thanks. This was only an interim order,and is described as that, dealing only with a specific point. Shri Roy’s points are best argued in the Commission than through the internet.

  6. rtiact2005 said

    Dear Sarabjit Roy,

    Video Recording of the proceedings are generally prohibited. Normally judgment/decisions are dictated and pronounced in open courts unless it is reserved. Only in case where judgment is reserved then it will dictated and thereafter pronounced in the open court.

    “veeresh bellur”

  7. rtiact2005 said

    Dear Veeeresh

    The CIC proceedings for appeal matters are NOT court proceedings. In
    any case, the points I am making in this connection are as follows:-

    1) That these proceedings are meant to be “open” – akin to criminal
    proceedings – particularly so that third parties can intervene if

    2) Why does the CIC not publish their “cause list” on the internet
    well in advance. Several other SICs are doing so.

    3) I challenge the CIC to produce the transcript, if any, concerning
    Manoj Chaudhry’s hearing in his 2nd Appeal versus V.K.Bansal where I
    was assisting the Appellant. Let me tell you that even the CIC’s
    Registry is extremely embarassed about this bizarre order emanating
    from Respected Habibullah Sa’ab.

    4) Nowadays, in many High Courts, in addition to stenographers, the
    proceedings are audio / video taped for the Court’s internal use.
    Voice recognition software then directly converts the spoken orders
    into a draft of the order. Such positive use of technology is to be
    welcomed and not opposed.

    5) Delhi’ites who have appeared before Shailaja Chandra (former
    Appellate Authority under Delhi RTI ACT) wil recall how she dictated
    directly into her laptop using Voice recognition Software, teh Orders
    used to be depatched within 2 days of the hearing. In this way she
    could handle 30 hearings a day single handedly – when 5 ICs at CIC
    cant do so many in a week.


  8. rtiact2005 said

    FROM: sroy1947@yahoo.com
    DATE: Tue, 08 Aug 2006 03:19:34 -0000
    SUBJECT: Re: Attn : The Chief Information Commissioner of India

    Dear Veeresh,

    For 2nd Apueals u/s 19/20 the CIC is NOT a COURT. It is only
    u/s 18 for complaints that CIC has been given some limited
    powers akin to those of a court. Furthemore, there is
    nothing in the CIC Appellate Rules which preclude audio /
    video recording, and neither has the CIC been given any
    powers by or under the RTI ACT to settle its own procedures
    for hearing appeals or to disallow videography.

    Please dont confuse the members of INDIARTI with all this legal hocus
    pocus. In fact the clear intention of the RTI ACT and Rules is to
    dispense with cumbersome legal rules and procedures so that the
    ordinary citizens and those below the poverty line can particpate in
    their democracy.

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