Sarbajit Roy | 2 Nov 06:42 2012
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IMPORTANT GROUP ANNOUNCEMENT for Humjanege

Dear HJ members

CONGRATULATIONS !!

Over the past 2 years and the take-off from HJ-YG, this group has
achieved considerable cohesion and camaraderie.

For most of the past 2 years your list moderators could not allow much
non-RTI discussions on this list. We were more focused on keeping the
group afloat, ensuring Google did not shut us down and emails were
delivered to your inbox.

The Government, however, does not like our group (and has thrice used
unheard of illegal methods to shut us down). It seems the time has now
come for a more coordinated and action-oriented approach by the
citizens.

There are only 2 institutions left in today which can still save India
from descending into chaos and a State of Emergency. However, both are
under tremendous pressure from corrupt people inside them and are
likely to collapse at any time. Patriotic citizens must do everything
in their power to shine the spotlight on dirty cockroaches so that the
system itself can HIT them.

Also, the "anti-corruption" drama being staged in media is fully
scripted by political parties and acted out by teams of mercenary NGO
bandits and rogue ex-babus. The REAL CULPRITS are all going scot free
because the handpicked haramis are misleading and distracting the
citizens. As always only a few small fish will get caught while the
big fish keep getting bigger.
(Continue reading)

Sarbajit Roy | 1 Nov 17:25 2012
Sarbajit Roy | 1 Nov 14:50 2012
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3 news stories in 1 email

"Sonia firm on RTI, Centre to drop dilution plans"
http://www.firstpost.com/india/sonia-firm-on-rti-centre-to-drop-dilution-plans-510614.html

Swamy’s dig at Kejriwal: Unlike you will move court
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/swamys-dig-at-kejriwal-unlike-you-will-move-court-511571.html

Full text: Sonia, Rahul accused of grabbing Rs 1,600 cr property
http://www.firstpost.com/politics/full-text-swamy-accuses-rahul-sonia-of-fraud-511434.html

NB: How 600 crores 2 days ago becomes 1,600 crores today.
(Just like Narendra Modi's Rs. 1,880 crores spent on Sonia's foreign trips)

RTI Movement | 1 Nov 11:05 2012
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Clarification sought

Sir,

 

I sent a petition under RTI seeking certain information from the PIO of the DPAR, Govt of Tamil Nadu.

I have attached a copy of my RTI petition addressed to the PIO of the DPAR, Govt of Tamil Nadu.

Instead of sending me a reply, the PIO send me a note stating that:

1.   As per sections 2(f), 2(i) of RTI act the Public Authority cannot be questioned in the guise of information and the information seeker has no right to seek on the opinion explanation an clarifications etc.

[Appeal No 151/ICPB/2006 F No PBA/06/232 dated 6.11.2006. Shri Rajiv Gupta vs Directorate  General of Foreign Trade (M/Commerce].

2.   The Commission is of the view that establishment matters does not come under the ourview with him that the appeal under consideration was not about supply of information but a request for redressal of the grievances which is purely an establishment matter.

[Appeal No. CIC/OK/C/2006/00069 dated 19.6.2006 Shri Ashok Mathur vs North Western Railway Headquarter office, Ajmer]

Kindly elucidate me if this statement of the PIO can be accepted. If there is reason to reject this reply of the PIO, please let me know.

Thanks.

 


John Lopez
President & Chief Executive
Right to Information Movement,
16, Kubera Munusamy Street, Chennai 600 061
Phone: +91 94444 84 517 || +91 90 4242 7390


Attachment (Steno DPAR.pdf): application/pdf, 57 KiB
IAC INFO | 31 Oct 17:57 2012
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Sonia, Rahul convert public trust into private property

Sonia, Rahul convert public trust into private property

By Sandhya Jain on October 29, 2012

A private company managed by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Satyan G Pitroda, has quietly acquired the over Rs 600 crore estate and properties belonging to the Jawaharlal Nehru-founded The Associated Journals Ltd for the paltry sum of Rs 50 lakh. The acquisition, which was finalised as recently as April 26, 2012, covers an ‘extinguished’ loan of over Rs 90 crore from the All-India Congress Committee.

The Associated Journals Ltd is the owner and publisher of National Herald (English daily), Qaumi Awaz (Urdu daily) and National Herald International Weekly.

Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi is a Director in the said firm, Young Indian (Registration No 55-210686), which is a private company registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Its principal aim is to inculcate “in the mind of India’s youth, commitment to the ideal of a democratic and secular society for its entire populace without any distinction as to religion, caste or creed and to awaken India’s youth to participate in activities that promote the foregoing objective”.

As this has nothing to do with journalism, it is unclear why Young Indian is acquiring the huge assets of a newspaper company for its activities.

As per the Notes to Accounts for the period ended March 31, 2012, a public limited company started by Jawaharlal Nehru with 5,000-odd shareholders has effectively become a private firm managed by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, using funds from the AICC. The legality of a political party giving a loan to a private person to set up a private firm remains questionable.

In fact, many aspects of the deal are problematic. The Notes to Accounts (II.1) states that in pursuit of its objects, “the Company acquired loan owed of Rs 90,21,68,980 by The Associated Journals Ltd (‘the said Company’), presently engaged in achieving a recast of its activities so as to have its main object congruent to the main object of the company, for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh”.

It continues, “As a part of restructuring exercise of the said company, the said loan was converted into 9,02,16,898 ordinary shares of Rs 10 each fully paid. Since said acquisition is treated as application on the objects of the company (and accordingly, treated in the financial statements of the company), the same has not been reflected as an investment in shares. Besides, even if the shares were to be treated as an asset (‘investment’), having regard to the fact that the net worth of the said company is negative, recognising the entire cost as “diminution in value” would result in an equivalent charge to the Income & Expenditure Account.”

This statement has been signed for and on behalf of the Managing Committee by Pradeep S Shah, Partner, Chandrakant & Sevantilal Chartered Accountants, Suman Dubey, director, and Moti Lal Vora, director.

It is pertinent that the official address of Young Indian is 5A, Herald House, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Delhi, 110002, which is also the official address of publications owned by The Associated Journals Ltd, the registered office of which is Nehru Bhawan, 1 Bisheshwar Nath Road, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Prima facie there seems to have been no general body meeting of shareholders to discuss and approve this huge disbursal of public property to a private firm. The records show that Moti Lal Vora, chairman, The Associated Journals Ltd, informed the Board of Directors in their meeting held on February 26, 2011, that 9,02,16,898 equity shares of Rs 10 each be allotted to Young Indian in consideration of the extinguishment of the amount of Rs 90,21,68,980 due to Young Indian under loan facility availed by the Company from All India Congress Committee.

Resolution No. 3 continues that this loan facility and all the benefits thereunder was approved by the board in the board meeting held on 21.12.2010 and by the shareholders by a Special Resolution in the Extraordinary General Meeting of the members held on 21.01.2011.

Vora requested the board to approve the allotment of 9,02,16,898  equity shares of Rs 10 each to Young Indian.

This is simply unprecedented and by far surpasses the generous loans extended by DLF, a private sector corporate house, to facilitate the staggering acquisitions of Robert Vadra (now reputedly holed up in Dubai).

The AICC loaned and wrote off the amount of Rs 90 crore plus to Young Indian, but Young Indian paid only Rs 50 lakhs for the entire transaction and became owner of the immense properties and estates of The Associated Journals Ltd.

Then, the objectives of Young Indian have nothing to do with journalism, which is the sole reason why the then Government allotted prime land to the publishing house. It stands to reason that if the publications are defunct and cannot be made viable, then the trust managing the same must be dissolved and the land returned to the Government.

If Rahul Gandhi has no intention of starting a new newspaper or magazine, or re-launching the National Herald and allied publications – which his staff reputedly asserted when asked by journalists who learnt that something was afoot in the trust – why has he acquired The Associated Journals Ltd and all its assets?

It may be pertinent to note that in The Associated Journals Ltd’s List of Shareholders and Debenture Holders 2008, the name of Rahul Gandhi has been inserted by hand at Page 49, with no shares or debentures allotted, and no other particulars given. In the List for 2011, Young Indian figures as the last entry, with the address N-125 Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-17, and the shares allotted are 9,02,16,898. Moti Lal Vora has signed this document in his capacity as managing director.

The whole thing reeks of crony capitalism and seems prima facie illegal. A public trust cannot be made private in this surreptitious manner.

http://www.niticentral.com/2012/10/sonia-rahul-convert-trust-into-property.html

Col Thakur Singh | 31 Oct 13:41 2012
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Re: A new political set up for India.

Dear Col jayakaran and All,


Brig Chhikara has given a realistic suggestion although yours ia an innovative idea but it would take lot of efforts to form committees and unite the ESM who are already associated  with other  Pol Parties (corrupt) .

I attended  a pgm conducted by Sw. Ram Dev at Haridwar, where he is forming the village /District committees which I found a very difficult task.

Therefore I also feel , that Infact we need to tie up with the suggested honest leaders so that the ESM particularly participate in the forthcoming Gen Elections by showing our solidarity . 

while forming village committees , I tried to persuade people to support and  file nominations in HP  for VS / MLA Elections on behalf of, " Jansangh Party"** but for paucity of time as also the people having been aligned with BJP / CONGRESS , most of them declined support to a new org, hence I had no choice but to  drop the idea.

But need NOW - to strengthen ESM and others for GEN  ELECTIONS.

Kindly give your comments and authorise some one on behalf of the ESM ASSOCIATIONS  to liaison with Sw. Ram dev, Anna &Gen VK Singh / Kejariwal.

** Pol Party already Registered  with election commission of india, in 2009 by Wing Cdr Jai Sing,   is called "Jansangh Party" it has its branches in Gujrat & Andhra AND IN HP I am  creating it 

Wing Cdr JaI Singh's contact No:  Mob No is --919161754456

Warm Regards

Col Thakur Singh
9873379995


On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 8:53 PM, Mahesh Khera <mkkhera-/E1597aS9LQAvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org> wrote:
Brig Chhikara has given an excellent suggestion. We need to try out this new political and democratic set up under a new leader. Like the rest of the country, the ESM community can strengthen the hands of the established, capable, proven, very strong and selfless leader.

Jai Hind

Col Mahesh Khera

From: rs chhikara <chhikarars1940-/E1597aS9LQxFYw1CcD5bw@public.gmane.org>
To: "HumJanenge-/JYPxA39Uh5TLH3MbocFFw@public.gmane.org" <HumJanenge-/JYPxA39Uh5TLH3MbocFFw@public.gmane.org>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012 7:23 PM
Subject: Re: [HumJanenge] Re A new political set up for India.

Dear Jayakaran and friends

Our nation has lacked a strong and nationalistic leader . A leader who can inspire the nation and fix he crooks.
I feel that Narendra Modi is the only such leader in India today. Tried and tested.  Negative publicity spear headed by the Congress not withstanding. There are people within the BJP and part of RSS who also oppose his leadership because of their personal bloated  interests. Kejriwal, Anna or Ramdev will find it difficult to control the newly elected parliamentarians in the absence pf political experience .

There will be other communal interests which will try to work on the Muslim vote bank to corner their votes. 

Yet if he takes up he leadership challenge and is fully supported by Anna, Kejriwal, VK Singh, Ramdev and all of us he can save India from  our own band of  4000 thieves. I believe Anna and VK etc will agree. Providing him with candidates from among ESM and others is a good idea. There are others in the present lot of parliamentarians also who can join him regardless of their present affiliations. P A Sangma and Rajiv Chandra Shekhar are only two examples.

Will Modi rise to the Challenge ? It may be worth trying. Personally , I think he will. He can even purge the BJP just as Indira Gandhi did to the Congress in 1969. 

 Kindly consider this for what ever you think it is worth.

Regards

Brig R S Chhikara



From: Israel Jayakaran <israel-Vd11Ai91PsKaMJb+Lgu22Q@public.gmane.org>
To: HumJanenge-/JYPxA39Uh5TLH3MbocFFw@public.gmane.org
Sent: Tuesday, 30 October 2012 8:44 AM
Subject: [HumJanenge] Re A new political set up for India.

Randhir,
 
        I have said so many times and I am repeating it here.  A. Hazare's mission of eradicating corruption through Lok Pal bill will not work at  all.  Our politicians are  experts at finding loopholes in any  law and make the law non-operational. If there are no loop holes,  they could also create a couple and completely kill the bill putting the country back in square one..
 
            I feel in ther  present scenario, the only way to clean up the dirty stables is to win the elections  with a thumping majority and run the land with a clean administration and  with clean people.  More Defence service oficers and others need to join politics.
 
        If Anna and Gen V.K.Singh and their team,  travel the length and breadth of the country promising the voters a selfless government,  a completely selfless one, people will believe them because Anna has a halo round his head. .  The current atmosphere is such that people are fed up both with the Congress and BJP.  They are looking for an altenative. But where is it? Anna, I believe, is that alternative.  He could be a father figure and need not enter politis himself.
 
      Will some 100 odd Defence people get together and persuade Anna to form a party - I have suggested the name HONEST PEOPLE'S PARTY and fight the 2013 elections.  My forecast is that HPP could easily win 500 odd seats.  Then Anna's party  could run the country according to its policies. Will you please think it over and take the initiative in this regard.  I am too old (86 yrs) to take any active part in this mission. However, I could provide the think tank.   
 
      Do respond to this mail.
 
      Regards,
 
                             Israel Jayakaran, Colonel (Retd), Signals, veteran, Chennai.  (1947 batch)
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2012 11:35 AM
Subject: Re: [HumJanenge] Inida against corruption - a new approach

the idea is laudable
 
let us create a team /representatives of like minded people , to start with, all those who have given their views , and make a determined effort to convince Anna and Arvind to forget the differences, bond and take the lead and extricate the nation from the muck we are in today 
 
bubbles 

On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM, devinder chopra <ddchop47-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org> wrote:
It seems and appears that each one is a "pithoo" of some other, in the political field and out to protect his/her one flank or the other.

What and how much can we protect ourselves from the murky leadership all over corrupt or UN-corrupt?!
dev chopra
***


On Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 6:41 AM, Joyprakash Chhetry <take_off_team-/E1597aS9LQAvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org> wrote:
Dear Israel.,
This is a wonderful method. However, Anna has cocooned himself. I had written similarly many times to IAC for Anna to come out and field his candidates before its too late. People are looking for alternatives. Kejriwal will corner some seats but thats not enough. Further, he's silent about Sharad Pawar, which gives signal that perhaps he is being financed by him. We must find a very reliable person to go to his address and council him for a week. Then see what he says. Same with Baba Ramdev. he's a willing horse.
Bregs.
Joy.
 

To: aswal.ps <at> gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, 21 October 2012 4:53 PM
Subject: [HumJanenge] Inida against corruption - a new approach

Dear friends,
 
          Will the method adopted by Kejriwal work? How many corrupt politicians is he going to expose?  Won't it take him decades to deal with thousands of thieves.What would be the result anyway. Exposure inpublic will bring about nothing. Will they get punished?  Who will punish them?.  True, their image will be tarnished.  But they couldn't care less about it.  They need money and they have it.
 
          The present method followed by IAC will not put an end to corruption.Never.  IAC is only barking at a dry tree.  I feel the only method is for Anna Hazaare to enter politics, fight the next 2014 election with him as the chair person., capture power  all by himself and clean the stable.  He can deal with the corrupt according to his way then.
 
            I am sure he can corner around 500 Lok Sabha seats if he travels the length and breadth of the counry in the next two years or so promising the people a clean and corruption free  administration  and make the quality of life of every citizen to a top order.An Indian will enjoy his rights as a citizen.  No one could rob it from him. Thisis what he needs to promise in his political speech all over theland. There are more and will be revealed later. Every Indian will feel proud then.  Today, we as Indians are a nobody.  We cannot excercise any right; for that matter we don't even know what our rights are. This should be assured to the people.  People will believe him because he has a halo round his head.
 
           He is worried about the finance.  I had suggested that anyone wanting to join his party, which may be called HONEST PEOPLE's party(HPP) would have to become a member by paying Rs. 50 per year. He must start on a recruitment drive and it won't be difficult to muster around 10 lakh members to start with;  the servicemen and exservicemen would be the prime members and his backbone as well.  The service personnel will gladly join.  His first round of collection may go up to Rs. 10 crore which is enough for his team to travel round. Remember, this is how NT Ramarao overthrew the giant congress in AP and  came to  power with absolute  majority some 30 years back. Why can't such a revolutionary wave take place on an all India basis?  The voters are fed up both with ther  Congress and BJP.  They are looking around for an alternative.  Where is that alternative?  HPP would be that party.
 
         I had made this suggestion to Anna but I wonder if his team had  put up my mail to him.  Certainly not. Would you please try and persuade him to lend his name for a political upheaval. He needs to be the father of the party and not head it as a future prime minister.
 
        Let us goad Anna to come out of his shell and form the party.  This is a better tool to fight corruption ad eliminate it than the one being followed now. 
 
        If you agree with my suggestion, please go ahead and set the ball rolling. You are welcome to exchange notes with me.
 
                              Israel Jayakaran, Colonel (Retd), Signals,  Veteran, Chennai. 
 









IAC INFO | 31 Oct 09:40 2012
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Haryana land boom

Haryana land boom

Rise of BPTP

Countrywide Promoters (BPTP) with roughly 1,635 acres was the single largest beneficiary, followed by Ansals (1,540 acres), Intime Promoters (1055.84 acres), Omaxe (903 acres), Unitech (830 acres), Parsvnath (716.56 acres), Ireo (651 acres), Vatika (631 acres), DLF (568 acres), Emaar-MGF (514 acres), Vipul (214 acres), Sonika Properties (Rohtak) (381 acres), Ambience (318 acres), Ramprastha (298 acres), Bestech (208 acres), Uddar Gagan Properties (Rohtak) (229 acres) and Baderwals (105 acres). Sonika and Uddar Gagan are subsidiaries of the Suncity Group owned by Zee.

Builders like BPTP, Omaxe, and Parsvnath have made huge gains in Haryana since 2005. Ireo, which belongs to a close relative of an influential BJP politician, and Bestech, which is owned by one Dharmendra Bhandari, have also become big brands in Haryana overnight. Countrywide Promoters (BPTP), incorporated as Rainbow Promoters Pvt Ltd in 1996 by Kabul Chawla, was an unknown builder till 2005. From a Najafgarh Road residential address, Mr Chawla now lives on Delhi’s ultra plush Amrita Shergill Marg in a property said to be valued in the region of Rs. 300 crore.

Baderwals, along with DLF, is also now in the public eye for having given unsecured loans to Mr. Vadra, according to publicly available balance sheets of his companies.

Other companies like Microtek (which makes inverters) and DD Motors (which owns several Maruti showrooms in Delhi) appear to have obtained licences without any expertise in construction. According to an amendment to an April 24, 2007 memo issued the very next day by the Haryana Town and Country Planning Department (TCP), a reputed coloniser eligible for the grant of licence is “one who has already obtained licence under the Haryana Development & Regulation of Urban Areas Act, 1975 for setting up of a colony and in case of collaboration agreement with a private developer not being licensee of the Department and who is applying for obtaining the licence for the first time.” This amendment helped to widen the eligibility criteria, ensuring that lack of construction expertise would not be a deterrent in obtaining licences.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/behind-haryana-land-boom-the-midas-touch-of-hooda/article4048394.ece

IAC INFO | 31 Oct 09:53 2012
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Link to DVS's barb that Arvind Kejriwal's family are RSS

Bhanwar Meghwanshi is a noted social activist from Bhilwara, Rajasthan. He edits the Hindi monthly ‘Diamond India’, a journal that deals with grassroots’ social issues. Having for many years been associated with the RSS, he parted company with it and is now associated with the Rajasthan-based Mazdoor-Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), working on issues related to Dalits, Adivasis and nomadic castes.

http://www.countercurrents.org/meghwanshi050911.htm

When the BJP recently failed in its attempt to topple the government, it suddenly remembered its favourite hero Anna Hazare, and, accordingly, so it seems, Hindutva forces decided to achieve their objective by creating this movement ostensibly against corruption. For this purpose, activists of the RSS’s students’ wing, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, floated an outfit called ‘Youth Against Corruption’. At the same time, Arvind Kejriwal, who was running an organization called Parivartan, got together with flag-bearers of ‘soft Hindutva’, men like Baba Ramdev, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and other such religious leaders, and established a group that called itself ‘India Against Corruption’. It seems that both these organizations, with very similar-sounding names, were established in accordance with the RSS’s plan of unleashing a countrywide agitation ostensibly against corruption.

Accordingly, the RSS instructed its volunteers, a huge number of people spread all across India, to wholeheartedly participate in this movement. This explains why the overall ethos of Anna Hazare’s agitation at Jantar Mantar was no different from that of the RSS shahkhas—the same image of Akhand Bharat being displayed in the form of ‘Bharat Mata’! The only difference was that she held the Indian tricolor in her hand instead of the Hindutva bhagwa-dhwaj. RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat’s call to the youth of India to join the people’s movement against corruption and the presence of top RSS leader Ram Madhav at Anna’s dais at Jantar Mantar raise the very real possibility that the entire movement was engineered and directed in accordance with the agenda of the RSS. When some people raised questions about this, the men behind the movement became alert and felt it imperative to be a little less indiscreet. And so, at Hazare’s dais at the Ram Leela Grounds instead of well-known Hindutva leaders Ram Madhav and Uma Bharti, another RSS activist, Kumar Vishwas, was present throughout the thirteen-day fast, and even handled the task of managing the dais.

Can ‘Team Anna’ deny that the RSS had sent the same Kumar Vishwas to manage the dais in the very same Ram Leela Grounds during the recent agitation led by Baba Ramdev? The Hindutva hand behind the movement does not stop here, though. Top VHP leader Ashok Singhal is on record as having thanked the volunteers of the RSS for making Anna’s movement a success. He revealed that members of the Dharamyatra Mahasangh, a unit of the VHP, ran food stalls at the Ram Leela Grounds, where some 20, 000 people were fed every day.

In accordance with the RSS’s plans, vast numbers of people were mobilized to come out on the streets to support Anna Hazare. Top RSS leader Bhaiyyaji Joshi declared that RSS volunteers were fully active in Anna Hazare’s movement. The BJP youth leader Tejinder Pal took up the task of gherao-ing the residences of Congress MPs, while BJP MPs Anant Kumar, Gopinath Munde and Varun Gandhi made their appearance at the Ram Leela Grounds. One day before Anna went on his fast, MG Vaid, top RSS leader, issued a statement indicating that the RSS had given its full support to his movement. And that explains why and how RSS activists present at the Ram Leela Grounds as well as in other parts of India where Hazare supporters had gathered kept raising their favourite slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, and in that same style and with the same sort of fervor as they are wont to in their shakhas. This is clear indication of the massive presence of RSS activists in the movement.
Sarbajit Roy | 31 Oct 04:12 2012
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DOPT: Suo moto disclosure of travel of Minsiters & babus

Somehow we missed this on this list.

http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02rti/1_8_2012-IR-11092012.pdf

3. 	No. 1/8/2012-IR 11/09/2012 	
Suo motu disclosure on official tours of Ministers and other officials.

Sarbajit Roy | 30 Oct 19:49 2012
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Babus in black robes

Babus in black robes
The Supreme Court once again asserts judges' place in tribunals
M J Antony / New Delhi Oct 31, 2012, 00:31 IST

http://business-standard.com/india/news/m-j-antony-babus-in-black-robes/491154/

The angst over the imagined collapse of Right to Information (RTI)
commissions following the recent Supreme Court judgment is still
persisting. The government has filed a petition to review that
judgment in the case, Namit Sharma vs Union of India. The fear is that
a seat for judges in the RTI commissions will erode the independence
of these panels.

On the contrary, the Supreme Court thinks that judges’ presence is
necessary for the sake of independence of judiciary. In a judgment
delivered earlier this month, the Supreme Court has asserted once
again the judges’ role in tribunals, in the case, State of Gujarat vs
Gujarat Revenue Tribunal Bar Association.
Despite a series of well-reasoned judgments over the years, it seems
every quasi-judicial tribunal is destined to undergo teething troubles
with the same symptoms. The nagging issue in every law setting up
tribunals is the weight given to retired civil servants by draftsmen
in the ministries, elbowing out judges. Since tribunalisation is the
current trend – there are some 60 such panels – this has become a
recurring issue.

Civil servants argue that these tribunals, set up under Chapter XIV-A
of the Constitution, deal with technical subjects like electricity and
telecommunications and require expert knowledge not found in the
judicial fraternity. The answer given by judges several times over is
that deciding disputes is an adjudicatory function for which they are
more competent than bureaucrats. Judges claim a pedigree of deciding
highly specialised disputes involving patents (the Supreme Court has
been hearing the Novartis cancer medicine case for two months),
intricate financial scams and even religious doctrines.

In the RTI judgment, the Supreme Court asserted that lack of judicial
expertise in the commissions may render the decision-making process
“impracticable, inflexible and in given cases, contrary to law”. It
cited more than a dozen leading judgments to emphasise the need for
judicial talent in adjudicatory bodies.

The latest judgment in the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal reiterates this
viewpoint. The Government of Gujarat, in exercise of its power under
the revenue tribunal rules, appointed the secretary to the state
government as the president of the Gujarat Revenue Tribunal. The
appointment was challenged in the high court by the bar association on
the ground that being a “judicial office”, it could not be usurped by
a person who had been an administrative officer all his life. The
validity of the rules was also challenged.

The high court held that the tribunal was, in the strict sense, a
“court”, and that the president, who presides over such body could,
therefore, be only a “judicial officer”, a district judge or a person
with judicial background for whose appointment concurrence of the high
court is necessary under Article 234 of the Constitution. The state
government, therefore, appealed to the Supreme Court without success.

The Supreme Court went into the history of the law. In 1939, the
president of the revenue tribunal was selected from the judicial
cadre. An amendment in 1941 continued with the emphasis on judicial
experience. It was only in 1957 that the bureaucrats nudged out the
judges — the new rule provided that a secretary to the state
government could chair the tribunal. No prize for guessing who
introduced this quiet but substantial change without giving any reason
for upsetting the hoary tradition.

Upholding the high court’s view, the Supreme Court reiterated its
well-known stand. “Adjudicatory functions,” it said, “should be left
to those with judicial background. It is indisputable that courts
belong to the judicial hierarchy and constitute the country’s
judiciary as distinct from the executive or legislative branches of
the state. Judicial functions involve the decision of rights and
liabilities of the parties. An enquiry and investigation into facts is
a material part of judicial function. The legislature, in its wisdom
has created tribunals and transferred the work which was regularly
done by the civil courts to them, as it was found necessary to do so
in order to provide efficacious remedy and also to reduce the burden
on the civil courts and further, also to save the aggrieved person
from bearing the burden of heavy court fees etc.”

Since almost every law setting up tribunals suffers constitutional
birth pangs of this kind, and the law-makers look askance at the
Supreme Court judgments, an amendment to Chapter XIV-A of the
Constitution might be necessary to avoid future tug of wars. That is,
if there is a functioning Parliament.

The story of the administrative tribunals, the Competition Commission
of India and the National Tax Appellate Tribunal, are typical of the
draftsmen creating unnecessary litigation up to the apex level. The
government and administrators must spend their energy more on creating
adequate infrastructure and working conditions for the tribunals (some
of them have functioned from Ambassador cars and guest houses) instead
of tweaking rules to wear a judicial hat after retirement.

Sarbajit Roy | 30 Oct 19:16 2012
Picon

IMPORTANT: Re: Message distribution: Authorization denied

Dear HJ members

Those of you who post to this list have been recently getting a
confusing message saying "Authorization denied".

The message is coming from our backup group which caters to
public servants and which got blocked recently by the Government.
In any case we have corrected that problem.

So be assured that your messages are still getting through and
distributed to the HJ-GG group, so keep posting away..

Sarbajit

On 10/30/12, SYMPA <sympa@...> wrote:
> Your message for list 'humjanenge' (attached below) was rejected.
> You are not allowed to send this message for the following reason:
>
>  Message distribution in the list is restricted to list subscribers.
> If you are subscribed to the list with a different email address, you
> should
> either use that other email address or update your list membership with the
> new email address.
>
>
> For further information, please contact humjanenge-request@...


Gmane