Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Re: Letter to CJ, Bom HC re: RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 6, 2006

Dear Mr. Rebello,
My apologies but I probably missed the mail, asking for the legal notice.
I am attaching the copy of the Legal Notice with this mail.
Love
shailesh
022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.
http://www.satyamevajayate.info

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: E group KARMAYOG ; KARMAYOG GROUP
Cc: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:54 PM
Subject: Letter to CJ, Bom HC re: RTI

Dear members of Karmayog,

Please see the following letter written to the CJ of Bom HC. We would appreciate if some of you can write to the Bom HC on your organisation letter-head on the same, with a copy to us. The first letter can go from Karmayog itself. Please send us a hard copy.

We are even surprised that Shailesh Gandhi who regularly posts emails on this egroup and declares that his emails are in public domain has not even responded to our request to share his notice on behalf of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information to the CJ. We feel that NCPRI can play a more pro-active role on this issue in colloboration with Justice Corps and Karmayog.

We shall be waiting for another 20 days, till we receive a response from the Central Information Commission and CJ’s office, after which we shall be taking up a PIL.

Sincerely,

Ronald L. Rebello
Sanket Kashid
Ganesh Sodaye

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI ; NN Ganesh comrade
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 10:18 PM
Subject: RTI — Important- your notice to CJ

Dear Shaileshji,

My colleague Ganesh has already spoken to you in this regard when you were at Tata Institute of Social Sciences a few days ago. Can you send us a copy of your notice to the CJ of Bombay HC as also other details in the matter such as, copy of Registrar notice, developments after your notice etc.

Thanks

Ronald Rebello

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 4:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Your notice to CJ: RTI — Important

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Cc: NN Ganesh comrade
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 3:44 PM
Subject: Your notice to CJ: RTI — Important

To

Shailesh Gandhi

NCPRI

Dear Shaileshji,

A couple of months ago newspapers had reported that you had issued a notice to the Chief Justice and Registrar of the Bombay High Court in the matter of their dereliction in providing information under the Right to Information Act and not appointing a PIO.

We are a youth action group working for reform and transparency in the Judicial and legal system. We are concerned that the Bombay HC had still not looked into the matter and were contemplating a PIL, till we read about your notice to the CJ.

Therefore, please let us know whether any change took place after the notice was served. Have the authorities or CJ replied saying that they will comply with the Act?.

If you have still not received any response, then I think we can take up a PIL jointly. In the meanwhile, I too shall issue a second notice accordingly.

Please provide me by email any circular or document issued by the Registrar in this regard, that you may have in your possession. I would also be happy to receive a copy of your notice to the CJ and Registrar.

Yours faithfully,

Ronald L. Rebello

Justice Corps

Email: yoursfrankly@rediffmail.com

Cell: 9869 650 870

JUSTICE CORPS

(Action group for judicial transparency and justice reforms)

C/o:  28 Sunrise, Samta Nagar, Kandivali (East), Mumbai 400 101

Mob: 9869 650 870, Email: yoursfrankly@rediffmail.com

To

The Hon’ble Chief Justice                                                                     July 19, 2006.

Bombay High Court

Fort, Mumbai.

Dereliction by Bombay High Court in implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Circular issued by Registrar General, Bombay High Court is ultra vires to the Information Act.

Sir,

This is an official complaint and your attention is invited against the excessive circular of the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court. The said administrative circular issued on February 15, 2006 directs all courts to withhold information asked under the RTI Act till further communication is received from the High Court. The Circular states that the matter of supplying information under the Act is under active consideration by the Supreme Court as well as the Bombay High Court. The complainants rely on the information provided in the news report of the Times of India, attached as Annexure I.

Now therefore, such a circular of the Registrar General is ultra vires to the Right to Information Act 2005; is excessive and unjustified on following grounds:

1.. The Right to Information Act contains a clear provision making it obligatory for the public authorities to appoint Public Information Officers within one hundred days of the enactment of the Act as per section 5, and to publish detailed information about its working within 120 days, as per section 4. This sufficient period of 120 days expired on October 19, 2005, the day the Act came into force.

2.. Under section 2(h)(a) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 the Bombay High Court is a public authority and under section 2(e)(iii) the Chief Justice is the competent authority, both who are enjoined to implement the Act. Even after eight-and-half months since the day the Act came into force, the Act remains unimplemented by the Bombay High Court. No provision in the RTI Act excuses the public authority or you as the competent authority by giving extension in period to implement the Act.

3.. No time-frame for implementation of the Act has been given by you as a competent authority and the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court. Infact, the Registrar had initially stated in an interview to the Times of India in November 02, 2005 that the process of implementation of the Act was likely to resume after November 14, 2005 (Please see TOI report as Annexure II). Five months later in April 2006, inspite of a notice issued by activists to the then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to implement the Act, no response was received from the Bombay High Court. The Registrar General in a response to the Press, repeated that the HC was yet to decide to what extent the Act should be made applicable to the judiciary. (Please see Annexure III).

4.. The circular of the Registrar General does not fit in any provision or rule made under the Right to Information Act and is inconsistent with the same. The circular is an administrative order, non-judicial in nature and is excessive.

5.. The circular amounts to circumventing a central legislation, which is Constitutionally sound and remains unchallenged so far in any court of law.

6.. The Judiciary does not come within the purview of the 18 intelligence and security organizations that are exempt from the RTI Act.

7.. That, other than the regular practice of obtaining copies of judgements, there is enough scope to seek information under the RTI Act from the Judiciary and hence there is certainly a need to appoint Public Information Officers for the purpose. Please refer to Annexure IV, a letter to the editor of Times of India on the scope of using the Act vis-à-vis judiciary.

8.. That, as the competent authority, you are empowered under section 28 of the Act to make rules in terms of cost of the medium or print cost price of materials to be disseminated, the fee payable for providing information. Therefore, the duration in deciding the costs and fees payable for providing information is too long. The so-called “active consideration” as cited by the Registrar General of the court is nothing but an excuse and amounts to dereliction of duty.

Now therefore, in the interests of justice and transparency, the following reliefs are sought:

i.. That, as the competent authority, you direct the Registrar General to revoke the said circular forthwith.

ii..  That, information under section 4 of the Act is published immediately.

iii.. That, Public Information Officers under section 5 of the Act be appointed forthwith.

iv.. That, rules under section 28 of the Act should be framed forthwith.

The Supreme Court has in various judgments held in the past that the citizens enjoy the fundamental right to information. The Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted “to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”. It is therefore hoped, that as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and competent authority appointed under the Act, you would take immediate cognizance of this letter and pass the necessary directives.
Yours faithfully,

Ronald L. Rebello

Social Activist and Founder, Justice Corps

Sanket Kashid

Co-founder, Justice Corps

Ganesh Sodaye

Member, Justice Corps

Copy by email to:

1.. Central Information Commission, New Delhi

2.. Registrar General, Bombay High Court

3.. Organisations and individuals working on the right to information.

4.. Print and electronic media.

In solidarity with the above assertions and demands:

No
Name
Designation and Organisation

1..        Dr. Leo Rebello                                  President, All India (Press) Letter Writers Association

& Litigants Welfare Forum

2..        Mrs. Prabha Tirmare                         Sr. Lecturer, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan

3..        Dr. J. Adsule                                    Member, HC Legal Aid Committee, Mumbai

4..        Ms. Ulka Mahajan                             Sarvahara Jan Andolan

5..        Mrs. Farida Lambay                          Vice-Principal, College of Social Work

6..        Mr. Datta Balsaraf                            NavMaharashtra Yuva Abhiyan, Y. B Chavan Centre

7..        Ms. Medha Kulkarni                          Trustee, Sampark, Mumbai

8..        Mr. Ramesh Kadam                          General Secretary, Police-Janta Parivartan Dal

9..        Mr. Shuddodan Kathade                     President, Janvikas

10.        Mr. John D’souza                              Director, Centre for Education & Documentation

11..       Mrs. Leena Joshi                               Director, Apnalaya

12..       Ms. Seema Pawaskar                        Systems Elite to Endeavor Development

13..       Mr. Vijay Najaraj                              Tata Institute of Social Sciences

14..       Mr. Allyn D’Silva                              Justice & Peace Commission

15..       Ms. Juliet Maben                               Documentation Research & Training Centre

16..       Mrs. Pamela Fernandes                     ACCP, Hotline

17..       Ms. Patsy Khan                                President, Institute of Social Service

18..       Ms. Philomina Vaz                            Anubhav Mumbai

19..       Mr. Pravin More                               State Secretary, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

20..       Mr. Sanjay Lokhande                        Executive Secretary, Konkan Vikas Samanvaya Vyaspith

21..       Mr. Mohan Surve                              Executive Director, Vikas Sahyog Pratishthan

22..       Mr. Lalit Babar                                 Dr. Ambedkar Setivikas Sanstha.

23..       Mr. Anil Borkar                                Gramin Vikas Pragati Mandal, Bhandara

24..       Mr. Datta Patil                                  S. G. V. M

25..       Mr. Sachin Jakhi                               Sahil Sanstha, Ratnagiri

26..       Mr. Anant Kadam                             Lokadhikar Andolan

27..       Mr. Devidas Kumbhar                      Somling Gram Vikas

28..       Mr. Ashok Bhosale                           Samajik Nyay Pratisthan

29..       Mr. Gajanan Bhoir                            Sakav, Raigad

30..       Mr. Ajit Karde                                  Vikalp, Satara

31..       Mr. Sachin M.                                   Constructive Catalyst, Pune

32..       Mr. Ramesh Sagare                          Human Resource Development Corporation

33..       Mr. Suresh Sawant                            Co-ordinator, Rationing Kruti Samiti

34..       Mrs. Asunta D’souza                        Social Worker, Salokha

35..       Ms. Sneha Khandekar                       Social Activist

36..       Mr. Prasad Manjrekar                       Action Aid International, India office

* We had also approached former law minister of Maharashtra, Shri Husein Dalvai, who declined to sign the letter saying that he would rather prefer to follow-up the matter with the government directly. Similarly, Dean of Law, Mumbai University and Principal, New Law College,  Mr. N. M Rajadyaksha said that he would follow-up the matter directly with the Judges of the Bombay High Court.

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One Response to “Re: Letter to CJ, Bom HC re: RTI”

  1. sir.
    Pranam. s o thana kotwali city Bijnoure and s p Bijnoure.(up) will not give me any information about my application
    sir please help me about my application
    And send me R T I. C I C UP offish Address
    Ganesh Prasad kala (National Football Player)
    71/5 Bakralwala Neshvila Road Dehradun uttrakhand
    Phone no 9412403060

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