Picon

Extending e-IPO facility in States accepting RTI fee through Indian Postal Order (IPO)

Friends,


As you aware, Government has facilitated Electronic Indian Postal (e-IPO) to enable Indian Citizens' to purchase e-IPO online for payment of RTI Fee in 2496 Central Public Authorities including 176 Indian Missions/Posts, NCT Delhi and UTs.


This facility is a big boon. As of now I filed 75 RTIs using e-IPO facility.




I am campaigning with concerned departments for extending this Citizens' Service to at least those States where RTI Rules provide Payment of RTI Fee through Indian Postal Order (IPO). 


Activists may like create demand for this facility through&n bsp;their respective State Governments.


Recap: The e-IPO tutorial ....I had posted earlier in April 2014. Click on link below.





Best

Commodore Lokesh Batra (Retd.)
BringChangeNow




__._,_.___
Posted by: Lokesh Batra <batra_lokesh-/E1597aS9LQAvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

Sign my petition on Change.org - Fix Our Electoral System

Dear all,
If you agree with the grounds and the demands mentioned in this petition, kindly sign it and also forward it to your contacts. This is too important and fundamental an issue to be ignored.
regards
Venkatesh Nayak

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: fight disenfranchisement <mail-2UY9nURoaZQdnm+yROfE0A@public.gmane.org>
Date: 27 June 2014 03:57
Subject: Sign my petition on Change.org
To: nayak.venkatesh-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org


Shared with you

Hi —

I just started a petition on Change.org that is about an issue that is very important to me. The more people that sign my petition, the more likely it is to win. Will you help me by signing?

Thanks,
fight

Fix Our Electoral System

By fight disenfranchisement
Mumbai, MH

We are disturbed by prima facie evidence that there were attempts at intimidation of voters and subversion of the electoral process during the April-May General Elections to Parliament in our country. The prima facie evidence consists of the following:

a.    Intimidation of voters that they would be deprived of municipal water supply—a fundamental right—if they did not vote for a certain party and that their voting pattern would be ascertained through the electronic voting machines or EVMs. 

b.    Apparent tampering with the EVMs: Ms Medha Patkar’s letter dated 15.05.2015 to the Returning officer, North-East Mumbai Constituency.

c.     The Supreme Court’s taking cognizance of the modus operandi of making possible the intimidation of voters by resort to ward-wise counting of votes of each EVM

d.    The detention of 1.86 lakh individuals across the State of Gujarat prior to the election to the 16th Lok Sabha

The mischief created by the election schedule, the phasing of voting, the detention of lakhs of electors and the phasing of counting ward-wise must stop. We are not attempting to prove this or that party in the wrong, but feel that the faith of the electorate in the election process has to be restored to the fullest.

(1)  We urge you to use your authority with the Election Commission to stop the   practice of ward-wise counting immediately.

(2)   Once this flaw has been removed,  it is the duty of the Election Commission to make it absolutely clear to the electorate that no one’s vote can be traced.  For the previous election, the large-scale  advertising in the media urging people to vote  had a good outcome. But little was said about voter privacy.  It is high time the Election Commission reassure the poor and the vulnerable that they have nothing to fear. This reassurance will be genuine only after the first reform stated above.   Reassurance needs to be given through public (oral) or loudspeaker announcements after political-parties have finished their round of campaigning in an area, and with the use of posters, media advertisements, etc.  Without this reform, the first will not have the desired effect.

(3) The Election Commission may please be requested to consider the use of bar-coding instead of the usual serial numbers used to seal an EVM after the polling booth closes. To protect the bar-coding system, mobile phones should be prohibited from the polling booth areas.

We urge you, Rashtrapatiji, to ensure that our electoral system retains the respect it has been accorded by the world. It would be terrible if citizens felt called upon to insist on systematic international monitoring. 

Shereen Ratnagar, M S Ganesh, Narayani Gupta, Rudolf C. Heredia, C R Somasekharan, Ajay Dandekar and Venkatesh Nayak.

You're receiving this message because fight disenfranchisement sent you an email through Change.org's petition sharing tool. Change.org has not stored your email address. If you believe you have received this message in error, respond directly to fight disenfranchisement at fightdisenfranchisement-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org.




--
Venkatesh Nayak
Programme Coordinator
Access to Information Programme
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
B-117, 1st Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave
New Delhi- 110 017
Tel: +91-11-43120201/ 43180215
Fax: +91-11-26864688



__._,_.___
Posted by: Venkatesh Nayak <venkatesh-VldVBIePPc7rfyPWP6PaXg+gnn+XHhfY2LY78lusg7I@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

My column in thenewsminute on: As Assembly elections in Maharashtra draw nearer, it’s appeasement ke liye kuch bhi karega


Maharashtra: The abominable politics of reservations, roll backs and appeasements

As Assembly elections in Maharashtra draw nearer, it’s appeasement ke liye kuch bhi karega

By Vinita Deshmukh

June 27, 2014

They say `magnanimity in business and politics is the worst kind of wisdom,’ especially when elections are round the corner! It’s hilarious how the public (read votebank fraternity) in Maharashtra is being overpowered with generosity, in the name of citizen betterment (read, appeasement) and how Netas are trying to make politically right moves!

A few days back, Numero uno politician Sharad Pawar effused a sugary dialogue when he said that if anyone from Munde family stands for the assembly elections from Beed, NCP will not put up a candidate. Kya compassion! Munde, as we all know, was a stalwart leader of the OBC community in Maharashtra and was extremely popular. This clever (read cunning) statement, may have emotionally moved the large voting fraternity of Marathwada and Vidharba, but not for too long. For, a couple of days later, Pawar crowned Sunil Tatkare (allegedly involved with Ajit Pawar in the mega Rs.70,000 crore irrigation scam) as the NCP chief of Maharashtra who incidentally is an OBC. Very obviously, the move is to snatch away votes from the saffron alliance from other constituencies; by `sacrificing’ that one seat of Beed.

At least six months before elections draw near, posters and morchas for reservations by some community or the other is a common sight in cities like Mumbai and Pune, No wonder then, this time, it is advantage, Marathas and Muslims, with 16% and 5% reservations respectively in government jobs and education institutions, over and above the existing 52%; which takes reservations in Maharashtra to 73%! It is being implemented with immediate effect! What efficiency! No. no, it is not religious appeasement of Muslims says CM Prithiviraj Chavan – the criteria is their social and economic backwardness. It is much beyond the Supreme Court’s cap of 50% cried the media. Chavan said, we will explain our stance if required, (obviously not before Assembly elections!)

--
Vinita Deshmukh
Senior Journalist, RTI columnist & activist
98230 36663
Consulting Editor, MoneyLife (www.moneylife.in)
Author of the book `The Mighty Fall' (based on Pratibha Patil post-retirement home scam and Dow Chemicals - success stories through use of RTI)
co-author of the book`To The Last Bullet' (based on Vinita Kamte's expose of the needless deaths of her police officer husband Ashok Kamter along with Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, through evidence she procured under RTI)
Compiled and edited a book on RTI for YASHADA, `Milestone 7: Journey of RTI Act'
Guest faculty in Sri Balaji Society for teaching Conversational English and Communication Skills
Guest faculty in MIT, School of Government for teaching RTI Act
Convener, RTI Forum For Instant Information (RFII)
Convener, Pune Passport Grievance Forum (PPGF)
Convener, Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan
My philosophy: One tree can start a forest; one smile can begin a friendship; one hand can lift a soul; one word can frame the goal; one candle can wipe out darkness ; one laugh can conquer gloom; one hope can raise our spirits ; one touch can show you care; one ACTION can make a difference........ Be any ONE of that today 



__._,_.___
Posted by: Vinita Vishwas Deshmukh <vinitapune-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

Should the Lokpal Selection Committee conduct Business Without the Leader of the Opposition? [5 Attachments]

Dear all,

At least two prominent English language national dailies have published stories today alleging that the Central Government may be mulling over the possibility of recommending candidates to the President for appointment as the Chairperson and Members of the Lokpal without bringing in the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha as a member of the Selection Committee (1st and 2nd attachments). A couple of days ago the Law Minister is said to have remarked that the previous UPA Government made a mess of the Rules notified under the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act (Lokpal Act), 2013. While the Lokpal Search Committee Rules notified earlier this year were in clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Lokpal Act, that is no justification to commit another error. Two wrongs do not make a right. (They do not make a left either.)


When, on 17th May, I wrote on the issue of making appointments to statutory bodies, such as the Central Information Commission, the Central Vigilance Commission, the National Human Rights Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigation, I had indicated that many of these posts could be filled up even without a recognised Leader of the Opposition (LoP) being a member of the respective selection committees. Little did I realize that the remark that an appointment made could not be challenged merely on the ground of a vacancy on the selection committee could be used to subvert the entire selection process. That argument is nowhere in the neighbourhood of any allegedly nefarious design to prevent the proper constitution of the Lokpal Selection Committee. In order to give greater clarity to the entire issue, I have put forth the following arguments based on the letter and spirit of the law and legitimate national interest (meaning- the aspiration of the people of India for a strong and effective anti-corruption mechanism, not petty political shenanigans). The gist of my arguments is given below. The full text of my humble opinion is in the last attachment. 


What is the primary issue?

What is the import of the Section 4(2) of the Lokpal Act which says that no appointment shall be invalid merely by reason of vacancy in the Selection Committee? Does it mean that the Government of the day could so ensure that a position remained vacant on the Selection Committee for the next five years? 

The Selection Committee cannot be constituted lawfully in the absence of the LoP:

The Lokpal Selection Committee comprises of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha; the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India or a serving judge of the Supreme Court as may be nominated by him/her with the Prime Minister chairing it. The fifth member must be an eminent jurist who is nominated by- guess who? – all four members mentioned above i.e., including the the LoP in the Lok Sabha. Nothing in the Lokpal Act says that the eminent jurist may be nominated in the absence of any one of these five members. There is no saving provision which insulates the nomination of the eminent jurist unlike the saving provision for the appointment of the Chairperson or Members of the Lokpal mentioned in Section 4(2). In the absence of the LoP the Selection Committee simply cannot be constituted in the manner described in Section 4(1) of the Lokpal Act. So even if the Government would forcibly constitute the Selection Committee in the absence of the LoP, it would be in complete contravention of the scheme of the Act.



The Search Committee cannot be constituted lawfully in the absence of the LoP:

Without making any reference to the Lokpal Search Committee Rules which are somewhat skewed, it is possible to draw another inference about the logjam that may occur in the absence of the LoP on the Selection Committee. Under Section 4(3) of the Lokpal Act, the Selection Committee has an obligation to constitute a Search Committee of seven individuals for the purpose of shortlisting eligible candidates for its consideration. Selection Committee means- the Committee duly constituted as provided for in Section 4(1) of the Lokpal Act and includes the LoP. Nothing in the Lokpal Act says that the Search Committee may be constituted by only a few members of the Selection Committee and by barring others. There is no saving clause to provide legitimacy or the formation of the Search Committee in the event of one or more of the posts on that Committee remaining vacant.


To the best of my understanding the import of Section 4(2) of the Lokpal Act is limited to a situation where any member of the Selection Committee, after it is duly constituted, may not be physically present at the meeting where the names are finalised for recommendation to the President. Any other interpretation would vitiate the very scheme of the selection process as laid down by Parliament. The BJP had supported this scheme as the principal Opposition Party in Parliament since 2011.



What would the Selection Committee look like in the absence of the LoP?

In the absence of the LoP, the Selection Committee would be dominated by the Central Government – 3:1 with the judicial member being in a minority. Only such names as may be approved by the majority will be recommended to the President, unless through litigation the Supreme Court once again establishes the primacy of the opinion of the judicial member in such selection processes. Surely, this is not what Parliament had intended when it drew up the scheme of the selection process. 


Last year, while deciding a matter relating to the appointment of the Lokayukta in Gujarat, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed as follows:

 

“40. In a democratic set up of government, the successful functioning of the Constitution depends upon democratic spirit, i.e. a spirit of fair play, of self restraint, and of mutual accommodation of different views, different interests and different opinions of different sets of persons. "There can be no Constitutional government unless the wielders of power are prepared to observe limits upon governmental powers".

 

[State of Gujarat and Anr. vs Hon’ble Justice R A Mehta (Retd.) and Anr., (2013) 1SCC (LS)490

 

The current Prime Minister was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat under whose charge that dispute about the appointment of the Lokayukta arose. It is hoped that the Apex Court’s sage advice which is a reflection of the spirit that imbues and pervades the Indian Constitution is taken seriously and the Lokpal Selection Committee is formed in accordance with the letter of the law and the pronounced intention of Parliament. Anything short of this would be illegitimate majoritarianism. The BJP’s election slogan- “sabka saath” (with everybody) was perhaps not intended to exclude the Opposition in Parliament.  

Kindly circulate this email widely.


In order to access our previous email alerts on RTI and related issues please click on: http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=84  You will find the links at the top of this web page. If you do not wish to receive these email alerts please send an email to this address indicating your refusal.

Thanks
Venkatesh Nayak
Programme Coordinator
Access to Information Programme
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
B-117, 1st Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave
New Delhi- 110 017
Tel: +91-11-43120201/ 43180215
Fax: +91-11-26864688




__._,_.___

Attachment(s) from Venkatesh Nayak | View attachments on the web

5 of 5 File(s)

Posted by: Venkatesh Nayak <venkatesh-VldVBIePPc7rfyPWP6PaXg+gnn+XHhfY2LY78lusg7I@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

Fudging and misuse of funds by Greenpeace. Must read

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/23/greenpeace-losses-financial-disarray

Greenpeace losses: leaked documents reveal extent of financial disarray

Emails and meeting notes show group’s finance department has a long history of problems in its handling of the £58m budget
A close-up of the logo on the new Rainbow Warrior ship. Photograph: Alex Milan Tracy/Corbis

The handling of Greenpeace International’s £58m budget has been in disarray for years, with its financial team beset by personnel problems and a lack of rigorous processes, leading to errors, substandard work and a souring of relationships between its Amsterdam headquarters and offices around the world, documents leaked to the Guardian show.

Coming after it emerged that a staffer had lost £3m on the foreign exchange market by betting mistakenly on a weak euro, the documents show that the group’s financial department has faced a series of problems, and that its board is troubled by the lack of controls and lapses that allowed one person to lose so much money.

Greenpeace, which prides itself on being largely funded by relatively small individual donations, apologised to supporters for the loss, claiming that the “serious error of judgment” was the result of a single staff member “acting beyond the limits of their authority and without following proper procedures”. But the documents show that internally the group is worried about the organisational failings that allowed it to happen.

Minutes of a board meeting in the spring this year say: “The board takes this [the £3m loss] very seriously and is deeply concerned that there should be such financial loss at a time of transition – when reserves are stretched and income is substantially lower than projected, and it is particularly troubled by how it happened, ie the lack of strong, coherent processes and controls that prevent the possibility that contracts can be entered into without due authorisation.”

One of the biggest and highest-profile environmental campaigning groups, Greenpeace has more than 2,000 employees globally and thousands more volunteers. It is based in Amsterdam and has 28 offices around the world, which campaign and raise funds independently, including Greenpeace UK, which this year successfully sent six activists to climb to the top of the Shard, Europe’s tallest building, to send a message opposing Shell’s plans for oil drilling in the Arctic.

The leaked material also reveals that:

• the group’s public face and top campaigner, executive director Kumi Naidoo, admits that internal communications are a “huge problem” and staff have “good reason” to be upset at a range of problems;

• staff are concerned at being shifted from Amsterdam on Dutch wages to national offices on lower local wages, as part of a major restructuring effort to decentralise the group;

• the group did not campaign to have one of its three ships, the Arctic Sunrise, released by Russia because the political circumstances would have made it a “wasted effort”.

A sign aboard the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior III during an open day in London, November 2011. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for The Guardian

The Guardian has also learned that one of the group’s most senior executives, Pascal Husting, Greenpeace International’s international programme director, works in Amsterdam but flies between the city’s offices and his home in Luxembourg several times a month.

Naidoo defended the arrangement, saying: “Pascal has a young family in Luxembourg. When he was offered the new role, he couldn’t move his family to Amsterdam straight away. He’d be the first to say he hates the commute, hates having to fly, but right now he hasn’t got much of an option until he can move. He wishes there was an express train between his home and his office, but it would currently be a 12-hour round trip by train.”

The loss of £3m, paid out this year, comes as the group is already dealing with lower than expected income, despite the Arctic 30 incident last year, when dozens of its activists and several journalists were imprisoned by Russia over a protest at oil drilling in the Arctic. Greenpeace International has said it will soon report a £5.4m deficit – which includes the £3m – for 2013.

Mike Townsley, the group’s head of communications, told AP last week of the £3m loss: “Hindsight is 20/20, but we believe if he [the individual who made the transactions] had followed rules and procedures, this wouldn’t have happened.”

However, a strategy document dated November 2013 shows that problems seem to extend well beyond one individual and that Greenpeace International’s senior executive team was aware of widespread problems in its finance department that date back years.

“[The] international finance function at GPI [Greenpeace International] has faced internal team and management problems for several years and the situation did not improve during 2013 despite efforts and support,” the document warns.

“This has resulted in errors and sub-standards in the quality of financial systems, information and support provided to the teams, units in GPI and NROs [national reporting offices], and have on occasions adversely affected relationship between GPI and NROs.”

As the story of the losses unfolded last week after it was broken by Der Spiegel and picked up by international media, Townsley emailed colleagues to say: “This is a bad story for us and the best we can do is be honest and respectful to our audiences.”

The leaked material seems to show disquiet over a continuing major restructuring, aimed at moving staff from Greenpeace International’s base in Amsterdam to national offices across the world to fulfil Naidoo’s goal of better tackling environmental problems in the global south. “This [2014] will be a testing year for all of us,” the strategy document warns.

Some staff are concerned at being moved from Dutch wages to lower, local wages at regional operations. An audio recording of a staff meeting this year includes a male employee telling Naidoo and other senior staff: “One of the biggest challenges is salaries … If I had to identify one problem clearly it’s going to be salaries.”

The audio recording reveals Naidoo telling the same meeting: “On communications … let me just concede that we have a huge problem with the way we are doing communications, I want to own that and take responsibility for that. It’s not where it needs to be.”

He added: “There’s good reason why people actually are upset about a range of things. But when I looked at what the problem was, it was actually a patent lack of communication, not just a lack of communication but not communicating at the right time, and things not clear.”

He later sent an email to staff admitting: “Last Thursday’s staff [meeting] was tough; hardly surprising given what we are trying to achieve and the impact that it will have upon all of us.”

The documents and material also give an insight into internal debates over future actions in Russia following the Arctic 30 last year, which eventually saw the release of all 30 activists and journalists and, earlier this month, the release of the group’s icebreaker, the Arctic Sunrise. The ship is still in Murmansk, Russia, while Greenpeace arranges for people to examine its condition.

“[After the Arctic 30] one of the key debates we need to have is defining the ethical and appropriate levels of risk that we are willing to take,” minutes of the board meeting this year note. The minutes also say: “It was queried why there has been no campaigning to bring attention to the AS [Arctic Sunrise] and gain public support for a successful return of the ship since the safe return of the activists. Pascal [Husting] said that under the current political circumstances launching a campaign to free the ship would probably be a wasted effort.”

Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, which seeks to make NGOs more transparent and accountable, said he saw parallels with thefinancial problems Amnesty International had experienced in recent years.

“The extent of it [the financial problems] was not something I expected [at Greenpeace]. But it’s part of the fact that NGOs keep things very much within the organisation; there’s no culture of accountability. They call on governments to be accountable but they lack this in so many ways, so in that sense it’s not a surprise.”

Two Greenpeace activists display a banner beneath the clock face of Big Ben on the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Photograph: David Bebber/Reuters

He said a shift in culture was required to address the problems. “It requires a cultural change. NGOs tend to see themselves as insurgents. They have now become the establishment but without the structures that are required for such large organisations – they can no longer think of themselves as insurgents but as corporate organisations. That hurts their self-image but there is no other way to avoid the financial meltdowns that can take place.”

Naidoo told the Guardian that changes were already under way to address the handling of its budget. “Greenpeace International’s annual accounts have always been given a clean bill of health by independent auditors. However, there have definitely been ongoing problem with some of the systems and high staff turnover in our international finance unit, no denying it.

“That’s why I hired a new head of finance who has over 20 years’ experience working with international NGOs. We have also strengthened his team. He’s already put checks in place to make sure the problems we have had are a thing of the past.”

He also said the restructuring was not about reducing staff numbers but about redeploying people. “This restructuring is not about reducing the number of people working full time on Greenpeace campaigns; it’s about making sure we have people where we need them, and increasingly that’s not in Amsterdam. The big environmental issues are increasingly in the southern hemisphere, be it Indonesian or Amazonian deforestation, Chinese coal plants or overfishing in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

--
Vinita Deshmukh
Senior Journalist, RTI columnist & activist
98230 36663
Consulting Editor, MoneyLife (www.moneylife.in)
Author of the book `The Mighty Fall' (based on Pratibha Patil post-retirement home scam and Dow Chemicals - success stories through use of RTI)
co-author of the book`To The Last Bullet' (based on Vinita Kamte's expose of the needless deaths of her police officer husband Ashok Kamter along with Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, through evidence she procured under RTI)
Compiled and edited a book on RTI for YASHADA, `Milestone 7: Journey of RTI Act'
Guest faculty in Sri Balaji Society for teaching Conversational English and Communication Skills
Guest faculty in MIT, School of Government for teaching RTI Act
Convener, RTI Forum For Instant Information (RFII)
Convener, Pune Passport Grievance Forum (PPGF)
Convener, Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan
My philosophy: One tree can start a forest; one smile can begin a friendship; one hand can lift a soul; one word can frame the goal; one candle can wipe out darkness ; one laugh can conquer gloom; one hope can raise our spirits ; one touch can show you care; one ACTION can make a difference........ Be any ONE of that today 



__._,_.___
Posted by: Vinita Vishwas Deshmukh <vinitapune-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

condemn foreign funded destructive development promoted by ib [1 Attachment]

Subject: condemn foreign funded destructive development promoted by ib

Regional and National Press Release dated Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Uphold Sustainable Development!

Condemn 'Foreign Funded' Destructive Development Promoted by IB!
 
We, the following organizations and individuals are deeply shocked at the dubious methods used by the Intelligence Bureau of the Home Ministry of India, to discredit many important social activists in this country who have committed their lives in social action for years. For a long time, these activists have consistently questioned the destructive path of development India is following and have demanded a model of sustainable and equitable development which does not harm the environment, local communities, culture and the future generations.

For obvious reasons, the IB has selected activists connected with issues like POSCO, genetically modified food, nuclear energy, etc and branded these as 'development for the nation' and those activists who question the un-sustainability, environmental implications, the impact on livelihood of thousands people and other social costs of such 'proven disasters' have been named 'foreign funded' activists trying to block India's development. We condemn the IB report on the following reasons:

IB report is a calculated character assassination attempt on a large number of credible activists in this country including Admiral Ramdas, Justice P.K. Mishra, Medha Patkar, Dr. S.P. Udayakumar, Achin Vanaik, Praful Bidwai, Prashant Paikray, K.P. Sasi, Dr. Surendra Gadekhar, Babloo Loitongbam, Lalita Ramdas, Late Banwarilal Sharma, Late Fr. Tom Kochery, Aarti Chokshi, M.G. Devasahayam, Aruna Rodrigues, Kavita Kuruganti and others. We understand that Narendra Modi is planning to execute a major corporate agenda of destroying India's land, water and forests and since thousands of crores of rupees have been used from the corporate sector for his election campaign, there is an urgency to sell off India to the corporate interests. Therefore, this slander campaign is only to clear the ground to benefit the Indian and foreign multinational interests.

We strongly oppose the use of the term 'foreign' to describe credible activists of this country. We consider it as only a political gimmick to facilitate the real 'foreign' interests.

Among the issues mentioned is POSCO which is already discredited very badly in India and abroad and this multinational company is investing one of the largest 'foreign' investments of Rs. 54,000 Crores, causing large scale livelihood problems and displacement of tens of thousands of fisher folk, farmers, Dalits and Adivasis. This 'foreign funded' project is also violating all norms of existing laws of protection of the forests under the Forest Rights Act and protection of the coastal lands under Coastal Regulation Zone Notification and many rights of women and children. The draconian project is also responsible for throwing over hundred bombs on the struggling villagers and over 100 people have been shot in peaceful protests. We extend our full solidarity and support of the local villagers against this 'mega foreign funded' project.

Among the other issues mentioned, the people's movement against Koodankulam nuclear plant is noteworthy. Perhaps the IB should check the developments of nuclear plants in Japan, Germany, the United States and other countries and explore the reasons for why they are closing down the operations on nuclear energy due to large scale social and environmental disasters followed by large scale protests of people against such destructive developmental projects even in these 'foreign' countries whose nuclear technology is more advanced than what is there in India. IB should also understand that the immediate effects of radiation due to Koodankulam nuclear plants will be on southern Tamil Nadu, Southern Kerala and Northern Kerala and if the IB officers wish to lead a lead life without cancer and genetic disorders for their children and their own future generations, it is most advisable that they remove their officials from this 'foreign' initiated nuclear plant disposing their outdated technologies with the help of politicians. The IB should have the minimum intelligence to understand that if you have cancer and Down's syndrome due to radiation from any 'foreign' installation like Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island or a nuclear plant in Koodankulam, the health effects and the environmental impacts are similar. We hereby extend our full solidarity to the struggle of the brave villagers of Koodankulam under the leadership of Dr.S.P. Uday Kumar.

The other issue which is mentioned in the report is GM (Genetically Modified)) crops. The hazards of such crops are well known in India as well as abroad. The interests of such development is only for the 'foreign' multinationals like Monsanto. While the IB has assumed all these destructive projects as 'national interests', it has conveniently ignored the objections to GM crops by the Moratorium Orders of Shri Jairam Ramesh, the Parliamentary Standing Committee Report and the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Expert Committee Report (TEC) because they have found that GM crops have little to contribute to Indian agriculture, safe food and food security in this country. We bring to your notice that IB has no business to indirectly facilitate a foreign multinational company like Monsanto and malign the credibility of activists who are questioning the large scale potential disaster to this nation due to GM crops.

The document of IB report which was classified as a 'secret report' was released by the IB itself to the press with an agenda to malign, scandalize and create a character assassination of credible activists in this country. We strongly condemn such dubious methods.

As far as the few NGOs mentioned are concerned, it is clear that the IB has conveniently selected them due to their stands on the above issues and it has nothing to do with foreign fund. The Intelligence Bureau knows that there are over 40,000 NGOs operating in this country and they never objected to the visit of Narendra Modi for blessings to one of the largest foreign funded NGO under Mata Amritandamayi, a well known hub of RSS activists. IB had no problem when even BBC reported that large scale foreign fund was diverted by the NGO called Vanavasi Kalyan Kendra, another hub of the Sangh Parivar, for the brutal murder of over 2000 innocent Muslims in Gujarat. Therefore, it is obvious that the IB is facilitating a political game rather than serving any national interest.

We also would like to bring to your notice that the space for criticisms on any Government is a crucial space which is fundamental to any democracy. What the IB is attempting to do is only to block this important critical space which is against all national interests.

We are aware that thousands of crores of rupees are regularly being spent on the intelligence agencies in this country and such financial resources collected from the tax payers' money in this country is ultimately getting used against the rights of the citizens of this country. The present IB report is a classic example. We demand a drastic cut of such financial resources which are regularly used against the rights of the minorities, Dalits, Adivasis, the people's movements and activists in this country for the preservation and sustainance of democracy. We also demand that all the financial resources used by the intelligence agencies be brought under public audit and be reported to the Indian Parliament so that such institutions also realize that there is a public accountability which rests on them.

We demand that immediate action on all those officials be undertaken for executing such criminal behavior and misusing their official powers.

Due to all the above reasons, we are convinced that the IB report is only a politically motivated instrument of the vested interests in this country. We strongly condemn the public use of IB against activists, people's movements and credible journalists.

We appeal to all members of the civil society to condemn the IB report and strengthen the people's movements for they are the only source and hope for the survival of our future, despite the interventions of irresponsible politicians and irresponsible intelligence departments.

We appeal to all members of the civil society to uphold sustainable and equitable development, no matter what the authorities speak of destructive foreign motivated development as 'national interest'!

We appeal to all members of the civil society to speak up against the suppression of critical voices, without which in the final analysis, freedom of all individuals will be at stake very soon.

01) Prof. Romila Thapar

02) Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, Artist and Activist

03) Mahesh Bhat - Film Director, Producer

04) Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere

05) Vrinda Grover - Lawyer - Supreme Court of India

06) Anand Patwardhan

07) Buddhadev Dasgupta, Eminent Filmmaker

08) Goutam Ghosh (Filmmaker)

09) Prof K.N. Panikkar

10) Aruna Roy

11) Sandeep Pandey, Activist

12) Sadanand Menon, Art Critic, Journalist

13) Dr (Brig) R.S. Rajan (Director, Vivekananda Institute for Leadership Development, Mysore)

14) Dr P.M. Bhargava (Former and Founder Director, Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Former Vice-Chairman, National Knowledge Commission; Former Member, National Security Advisory Board; Government of India)

15) K. Satchidanhandan, Ex Chairperson, Kendra Sahitya Academy

16) Prof. Anjali Monteiro

17) Teesta Setalvad

18) Prof. K.P. Jayasankar

19) J. Devika

20) Kedar Misra (well known Poet and Journalist from Odisha)

21) Ram Puniyani

22) Manisha Sethi, Associate Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia University

23) Ambrose Pinto

24) Sudhir Patnaik, Editor/Journalist

25) Ramdas Rao, PUCL, Karnataka

26) R.P. Amudhan, Filmmaker

27) P. Baburaj

28) Prafulla Samantara

29) B.R.P. Bhaskar

30) Civic Chandran

31) K.R. Mohan, Former Chairperson, Kerala Chalachitra Academy

32) Gopal Menon

33) B. Suresh (Film Director in Kannada and Play Writer)

34) Fr. Jimmy C. Dabhi (Human Development and Research Centre)

35) K.R. Seshadri

36) Syed Tanveeruddin, Environmental/Green, RTI, Human Rights and Social Activist, Mysore, Karnataka

37) G.R. Vidyaranya, Social & RTI Activist, Media Coordinator, Aam Aadmi Party, Mysore District

38) Dr. T.T. Sreekumar, Associate Professor and Chair, Fellows Programme in Management - Communications (FPM-C) Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad

39) Leena Manimekalai, Poet, Filmmaker

40) Amar Kanwar - Filmmaker

41) Dr. Vinod Vyasulu

42) Sampad Mohapatra - Journalist, Odisha

43) Pradosh Pattanaik, Journalist, Ex Editor of "The Samaja ", Premier Odia Daily

44) Bhabani Charan Pattanaik -Freedom Fighter and Ex Rajyasabha Member

45) Rabi Das-Senior Journalist, Odisha

46) Dr. Vijayamma

47) Jagadish Chandra

48) Sohini Dasgupta, Filmmaker

49) Dr. Swarajit Jana, Social Activist

50) Malini Bhattacharya, Ex MP

51) Prof. Mihir Bhattacharya

52) Raja Sen, Filmmaker

53) Sadique Hossain, Yuva Sahitya Academy Award Winner Author

54) Bidyarthi Chatterji, Film Critic

55) S.N.M. Abdi, Journalist

56) Ashok Viswanathan, Filmmaker

57) Subhodip Maitra, Writer, Journalist, Cultural Activist

58) Sunanda Mukhopadhyay, Chairperson - West Bengal Women's Commission

59) Soumitra Dastidar, Documentary Maker, Columnist

60) Sudarshana Chakraborty, Journalist, Documentary Maker

61) Shabnam Hashmi

62) Prof A. Aarx - Writer, Critic

63) P. Sasikumar, Filmmaker, Actor, TV Anchor

64) T.V. Chandran - Filmmaker

65) Prof. Moidul Islam

66) Prof. Barnali Ghosh

67) Arundhati Duru, Activist






__._,_.___

Attachment(s) from Syed Tanveeruddin | View attachments on the web

1 of 1 File(s)

Posted by: Syed Tanveeruddin <emailindian1-/E1597aS9LQxFYw1CcD5bw@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

राजधानी में 58844 व्यक्तियों की आवादी पर 1 सार्वजनिक शौचालय और 43712 व्यक्तियों की आवादी पर है 1 सार्वजनिक मूत्रालय : टीपू की राजधानी में सार्वजनिक शौचालयों /मूत्रालयों का टोटा : आधी आवादी के लिए सार्वजनिक शौचाल =?u

प्रदेश के दूरदराज इलाकों में जब भी महिलाओं के साथ बलात्कार जैसी घटनाएं होती हैं तो उस इलाके के घरों में शौचालय न होने की बात भी सामने आती है l अब इन दूरदराज के इलाकों का तो क्या कहा जाये जब प्रदेश की राजधानी में सूबे के मुखिया की नाक के नीचे ही ऐसा अंधेर हो रहा है l दरअसल मेरी एक आरटीआई के जबाब में लखनऊ के नगर स्वास्थ्य अधिकारी ने सूचना दी है कि लखनऊ नगर निगम की सीमा मैं आधी आवादी के लिए  शौचालय /मूत्रालय की  कोई अलग व्यवस्था नहीं  है और पुरुष और महिलाओं के शौचालय /मूत्रालय एक ही में हैं l जब सूबे की राजधानी में सूबे के मुखिया की नाक के नीचे ऐसा अंधेर है तो प्रदेश के दूरदराज इलाकों के बारे में तो मात्र कल्पना ही की जा सकती है l भइया अखिलेश प्रायः ही किसी न किसी कार्यक्रम में शिरकत करने लखनऊ के रास्तों से जाते रहते हैं पर आश्चर्य है कि आखिर क्यों उन्होंने इस दिशा में कभी सोचा ही नहीं है l अखिलेश को या तो इसकी भनक  नहीं है या हमारे सीएम महिलाओं के मुद्दों के प्रति नितांत ही संवेदनहीन हैं  l मेरा सबाल यह है कि आखिर कब तक महिला सुरक्षा का केवल ढोल पीटा जाता रहेगा और आखिर कब इस दिशा में कुछ ठोस कदम उठाये जायेंगे ?
 
लखनऊ लखनऊ एक पर्यटक स्थल होने के साथ साथ  प्रदेश की राजधानी भी है जहाँ विभिन्न केंद्रीय विभागों, विभिन्न आयोगों आदि के साथ अधिकाँश सरकारी महकमों के मुख्यालय भी होने के कारण प्रायः लोग इन सरकारी विभागों से सम्बंधित कार्यों से लखनऊ आते रहते हैं  l यही नहीं आये दिन होने बाली प्रतियोगी परीक्षाओं, धरना-प्रदर्शन आदि  के लिए भी एक बहुत बड़ी संख्या में लोग लखनऊ आते रहते हैं l 
 
वर्ष 2011 की जनगणना के अनुसार लखनऊ की कुल जनसँख्या 4589838 है l ऐसे में इतनी आवादी के बीच मात्र 78 सार्वजनिक शौचालयों का होना एवं मात्र 105 सार्वजनिक मूत्रालय होना इन जनसुविधाओं की  भयंकर कमी स्वतः ही उजागर कर रहा है l यद्यपि लखनऊ में अन्य जिलों से आने बाले यात्रियों का भी बोझ रहता है पर केवल आवादी के हिसाब से भी देखें तो लखनऊ में 58844 व्यक्तियों की आवादी पर 1 शौचालय और 43712  व्यक्तियों की आवादी पर 1 मूत्रालय है l ये मूत्रालय और शौचालय कितने साफ रहते हैं ये भी हम सबसे छुपा नहीं है l
 
पुरुषों और बालकों की तो छोड़िये, मैंने प्रायः महिलाओं और बालिकाओं को खुले में मूत्र-विसर्जन करते देखा है जो मंगल गृह पर पहुंच रही हमारी सभ्यता की संवेदनशीलता पर एक बड़ा प्रश्नचिन्ह  होने के साथ साथ हमारी व्यवस्थाओं के खोखलेपन भी को उजागर करता है l
 
 
तो अगली बार यदि आप किसी व्यक्ति को अपने घर के बाहर मूत्र-विसर्जन करते देखें तो उसे दोष मत दीजिये l यदि आप कुछ कर सकते हैं तो इन व्यवस्थाओं के कथित  व्यवस्थापकों के कान उमेठने के लिए एक जागरूक नागरिक बनिए और अपनी सामर्थ्यानुसार मुद्दा उचित मंच पर उठाईये l
 
 
आरटीआई और आरटीआई के जबाब की प्रति संलग्न है l


__._,_.___

Attachment(s) from urvashi sharma | View attachments on the web

2 of 2 Photo(s)

Posted by: urvashi sharma <rtimahilamanchup-/E1597aS9LQxFYw1CcD5bw@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

उत्तर प्रदेश की राजधानी लखनऊ में 30 जुलाई 2014 को 'नेशनल व्हिसिलब्लोवर्स डे' मनाने एवं 'मदारी और बन्दर' के माध्यम से शांतिपूर्ण प्रतीकात्मक प्रदर्शन करने के हमारे प्रयास को अपना समर्थन देने की अपील [1 Attachment]

                                                
उत्तर प्रदेश की राजधानी लखनऊ में 30 जुलाई 2014 को 'नेशनल व्हिसिलब्लोवर्स डे' मनाने एवं 'मदारी और बन्दर' के माध्यम से शांतिपूर्ण प्रतीकात्मक प्रदर्शन करने के हमारे प्रयास को अपना समर्थन देने की अपील
 
प्रिय मित्र,
हम सभी भिज्ञ हैं कि उत्तर प्रदेश के प्रशासनिक और पुलिस अधिकारियों द्वारा  राजनेताओं के इशारों पर  कार्य करके निर्दोष जनता को निरंतर ही प्रताणित किया जा रहा है l प्रदेश में अनगिनत आरटीआई एक्टिविस्ट या तो  मारे जा रहे हैं  या उनको भांति-भांति से प्रताणित किया जा रहा है l   इन निंदनीय कृत्यों में प्रशासन और पुलिस प्रत्यक्ष या अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से इन्वोल्व है l ऐसे में मैं   देश के समाजसेवियों और जागरूक नागरिको   का आवाह्न करती हूँ कि वे 'येश्वर्याज सेवा संस्थान' के बैनर तले 30 जुलाई 2014 को राजधानी लखनऊ में 'नेशनल व्हिसिलब्लोवर्स डे' मनाने एवं 'मदारी और बन्दर' के माध्यम से लखनऊ में हज़रतगंज जीपीओ के निकट स्थित महात्मा गांधी प्रतिमा के सामने  एक शांतिपूर्ण प्रतीकात्मक प्रदर्शन करने के हमारे प्रयास को अपना समर्थन दें l
 
विगत कुछ वर्षों में उत्तर प्रदेश में कानून के राज का निरंतर ह्रास हुआ है l प्रशासनिक और पुलिस अधिकारियों द्वारा  राजनेताओं के इशारों पर  कार्य करके निर्दोष जनता को प्रताणित करने के मामले आम हो गए हैं l आज का प्रशासनिक और पुलिस तंत्र भ्रष्टाचारियों और सत्तानशीनों के अतिरिक्त समाज के किसी भी वर्ग के हित संरक्षित रखने में बिलकुल भी तत्पर नहीं है l  संक्षेप में कहें तो आज का प्रशासनिक और पुलिस तंत्र राजनेताओं को अपना मदारी मान चुका है और उनके इशारों पर बंधक बन्दर की तरह नाच रहा है जिसकी परिणति समाज के 'व्हिसिलब्लोवर्स' की हत्याओं और प्रताणनाओ के रूप में भी हो रही है l
 
हम जानते हैं कि मनपसंद और मलाईदार पोस्टिंग को लेकर इन आला प्रशासनिक और पुलिस अधिकारियों की अपनी मजबूरियां हैं पर यदि देश की सर्वाधिक प्रतिष्ठित कही जाने बाली अखिल भारतीय सेवा के अधिकारी भी अपने निजी लाभ के लिए जनता के अधिकारों का सौदा करेंगे और निर्दोष जनता की लाशों से ही  अपनी सफलता की इमारत बनाएंगे तो आखिर समाज  बचेगा कैसे l
 
हम नहीं जानते क़ि हम इस समाज को बचा पाएंगे या नहीं किन्तु  प्रशासनिक और पुलिस तंत्र को आइना दिखाने और इनकी सोयी पडी अंतरात्मा को झकझोरने के उद्देश्य से  एक प्रयास अवश्य करेंगे और उत्तर प्रदेश के प्रशासनिक और पुलिस अधिकारियों द्वारा  राजनेताओं के इशारों पर  कार्य करके निर्दोष जनता को प्रताणित किये जाने के  विरुद्ध  देश के समाजसेवियों और जागरूक नागरिको  के साथ  'येश्वर्याज सेवा संस्थान' के बैनर तले 30 जुलाई 2014 को राजधानी लखनऊ में 'नेशनल व्हिसिलब्लोवर्स डे' मनाएंगे  एवं 'मदारी और बन्दर' के माध्यम से लखनऊ में हज़रतगंज जीपीओ के निकट स्थित महात्मा गांधी प्रतिमा के सामने  एक शांतिपूर्ण प्रतीकात्मक प्रदर्शन  करेंगे जिसकी अगुआई मैं स्वयं करूंगी  l
 
 
हमारे प्रयास को अपना समर्थन देने के लिए आप ई-मेल rtimahilamanchup <at> gmail.com पर या मोबाइल नंबर 9455553838, 8081898081 पर संपर्क कर सकते हैं l
 
आपके समर्थन की अपेक्षा में :
 
उर्वशी
Mobile- 9369613513
 
 
                   


__._,_.___

Attachment(s) from urvashi sharma | View attachments on the web

1 of 1 Photo(s)

Posted by: urvashi sharma <rtimahilamanchup-/E1597aS9LQxFYw1CcD5bw@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

Read my story in thenewsminute on the journalist behind Yadav slum dweller twins who cracled IIT Jee exams

Read full story here: http://www.thenewsminute.com/news_sections/292

Celebs clamoured for ``lights, Camera, publicity’’ in return for help to Yadav twins who cracked IIT-JEE

Ta says he was compelled to knock at the doors of the media, only after he was snubbed by influential people. Pic courtesy- Sanjit Kundu

Vinita Deshmukh| The News Minute| June 22, 2014| 12. 55 pm IST

The Mid-Day story, uploaded on NDTV website on Saturday, June 21, on Mumbai’s Bhiwandi based, slum dweller twins - Ram and Shyam Yadav - who have passed their IIT-JEE exams with flying colours with rankings of 267 and 1,816 respectively, has had a whopping 39 lakh hits until this morning of June 22.

The otherwise untold story of Ram and Shyam’s incredible performance in the country’s most competitive entrance examination, the passing of which is a herculean task, even for a child who has a high IQ and resides in a well-to-do and caring environment, would have probably never surfaced. It was because of seasoned journalist, Vidyut Kumar Ta, who now owns a Digital Media Company under which he creates multi-lingual News APPS and uses social media to highlight unique success stories that he stumbled upon this sensational feat of the twins. He decided to tell the story, but not before tapping for financial help, in order that the twins could pursue their dream of being IIT graduates. In fact, he did not want the attention of media, but wanted to play the role of a silent, Good Samaritan. 

He continues to request me not to highlight him, but to amplify the story of the twins who need colossal support to achieve their dreams. At the basic he says, they need Rs.5 lakh only on IIT college fees between both of them, annually.

Read full story here: http://www.thenewsminute.com/news_sections/292

--
Vinita Deshmukh
Senior Journalist, RTI columnist & activist
98230 36663
Consulting Editor, MoneyLife (www.moneylife.in)
Author of the book `The Mighty Fall' (based on Pratibha Patil post-retirement home scam and Dow Chemicals - success stories through use of RTI)
co-author of the book`To The Last Bullet' (based on Vinita Kamte's expose of the needless deaths of her police officer husband Ashok Kamter along with Hemant Karkare and Vijay Salaskar in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, through evidence she procured under RTI)
Compiled and edited a book on RTI for YASHADA, `Milestone 7: Journey of RTI Act'
Guest faculty in Sri Balaji Society for teaching Conversational English and Communication Skills
Guest faculty in MIT, School of Government for teaching RTI Act
Convener, RTI Forum For Instant Information (RFII)
Convener, Pune Passport Grievance Forum (PPGF)
Convener, Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan
My philosophy: One tree can start a forest; one smile can begin a friendship; one hand can lift a soul; one word can frame the goal; one candle can wipe out darkness ; one laugh can conquer gloom; one hope can raise our spirits ; one touch can show you care; one ACTION can make a difference........ Be any ONE of that today 



__._,_.___
Posted by: Vinita Vishwas Deshmukh <vinitapune-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

A retired Brazilian NRI allegedly cheated by an Indian company

A retired Brazilian NRI allegedly cheated by an Indian company

Today I presented an application at Kakadeo police station, Kanpur for registration of FIR against some officers of Uttar Pradesh Industrial Consultants Limited (UPICO), Kanpur for having allegedly cheated and misappropriated US$ 30289 (approx 18.25 lakh rupees) from a retired Indian Gauri Shankar Prakash residing in Brazil.

As per the application, Gauri Shankar Prakash along with Brazilian national Marco Antonio Torres Carvalho worked for UPICO during December 2008 to April 2009 spending their personal money on the official directions of A K Bhatnagar, then CMD, UPICO. At that time A K Bhatnagar had personally requested Gauri Shankar to come forward and support the UPICo’s Brazil project for the sake of National honour. A proud, gentle and simple man Gauri Shankar Prakash agreed to assist the project and put in his personal resources. He even took some loan to spend on this endeavour.

But at the time of payment of bills, the next CMD Vikram Hans allegedly refused the legitimate claims of Gauri Shankar. Though Commerce Ministry, Government of India released the entire amount for the Brasil project by July 2009 itself, as per Gauri Shankar UPICO swindled his money through forgery in their accounts and the balance sheet.

Gauri Shankar has been pursuing the matter for long but UPICO has so far been blatantly denying his lawful rights, saying that no such payment exists as per their records. Then he contacted me through another Indian, Amitabh Ranjan staying in Brazil and authorized me to pursue the matter. I had personal talks with A K Bhatnagar, Vikram Hans and present MD Praveen Singh and have first hand concluded that Gauri Shankar Prakash, an old and sincere man having put in his money and efforts for the sake of India’s glory seems to have been cheated by some officials of UPICO. Hence I have presented an FIR to SSP, Kanpur and have talked to him and Inspector, Kakadeo who have assured registration of FIR.

I only wish people are more sensitive in such matters and don’t give a bad name to the entire country through their acts of personal greed.

Amitabh Thakur
# 094155-34526




__._,_.___
Posted by: Amitabh Thakur <amitabhth-/E1597aS9LQAvxtiuMwx3w@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___
Picon

An analysis of Procedures for Appointing and Removing Select Regulatory Bodies at the Central Level [3 Attachments]

Dear all,
Just as I had predicted in May 2014, the Central Government led by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has begun to ease out heads and members of statutory bodies appointed by the previous Government under the United Progressive Alliance. Some readers scoffed at my concerns about our polity sliding down to the depths of 'State Capture" which is evident in our neighbourhood where the ruling party/alliance packs all authorities and bodies with its own members or supporters. The process has begun with the easing out of Governors of States and has begun to spread to other statutory bodies at the Central level.

Despite the NDA's promise to change the ways in which Government works, by bringing in innovative ideas and practices during the next five years, it must be recognised that this practice of forcing out appointees of the previous regimes is not a very original idea. The Indian National Congress started this trend several decades ago which the NDA seems to be following without questioning the rationale of such pressure tactics.

I have put together a quick compilation of the procedures for appointment and removal of the heads and members of important statutory bodies at the Central level. This compilation is being circulated to enable readers to understand how appointments are made to such bodies and how their members should be removed. This is also intended to provide readers with a ready-reckoner to assess the new appointments that may be made by the NDA Government against the requirements in law. In deference to the request of readers including my boss, my teacher and several dear friends I have only provided a summary of my findings below (with 15 laws it cannot be any shorter than this). The full text of this compilation is available in the first attachment.


I National Disaster Management Authority established under the Disaster Management Act, 2005:
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has nine members apart from the Prime Minister as its Chairperson. The appointment of other members is completely Government-controlled with the PM nominating them including the Vice-Chairperson. The law does not prescribe any qualifications that a person must possess for appointment as a member of these bodies. Merely being born a human being is deemed enough for consideration for appointment. This Act does not provide any procedure for the removal of members of the disaster management authorities at the National or State level. Under Section 75 the Central Government is required to prescribe the terms of office and conditions of service of the members of the NDMA. To the best of my knowledge, these Rules have not been made till date. Essentially, these authorities are completely under the mercy of the concerned Governments which establish them. Will the NDA Government change this state of affairs remains to be seen.


II National Commission for Women established under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990:
Under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (NCW Act) the Central Government nominates the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) and five members from amongst women. While the only qualification for a candidate to be considered for appointment as Chairperson is a commitment to the cause of women, candidates to be appointed as members must be persons of ability, integrity and standing, with experience in a range iof issues affecting women. The NCW is also completely at the mercy of the Central Government for the appointment and continuation of its members in service. 

III National Commission for Scheduled Castes established under Article 338 of the Constitution:
The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and 3 Members of the NCSC are appointed by the President of India. Article 338(2) empowers Parliament to determine the conditions of service and tenure of the Chairperson and Members of the NCSC. From an analysis of the manner of appointments made to this body since 2004, it appears that the Central Government has the power to recommend all appointments which under Article 74(1) are binding on the President. I hope the NDA Government moots a Bill in Parliament to stipulate the terms and conditions of service of the Chairperson and Members of the NCSC to remove arbitrariness in their appointments and removal.


IV National Commission for Scheduled Tribes established under Article 338A of the Constitution:
The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and 3 Members of the NCST are appointed by the President of India. Article 338A(2) empowers Parliament to determine the conditions of service and tenure of the Chairperson and Members of the NCST. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs notified the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and Members (Conditions of Service and Tenure) Rules in 2004. The Chairperson must be a member of a Scheduled Tribe and at least two amongst the Vice Chairperson and Members must also belong to Scheduled Tribes. They hold office for a term of three years which is renewable only once. The Central Government has the power to recommend all these appointments which under Article 74(1) are binding on the President. 

The President may remove a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Member directly on grounds on some ground specified in the Rules. For all purposes this decision of the President will be based on the recommendation of the Central Government. However a Chairperson may be removed on grounds of misbehaviour by the President only upon receipt of a report of inquiry held by the Supreme Court upon receiving a reference from the President. This procedure does not apply to other Members of the NCST. This procedure for removal is somewhat better than those of other bodies discussed above.


V National Commission for Protection of Child Rights established under The Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005: 
Under The Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 (CPCRA) the Chairperson and 6 Members of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) are appointed by the Central Government. The Chairperson is selected from a panel of names recommended by a 3-member Selection Committee chaired by the Minister for Human Resources Development. The Chairperson and members may serve in the Commission for a term of three years, which is renewable for a like period once. The Central Government has the power to remove the Chairperson on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity and other specified grounds. However the Chairperson or Member sought to be removed must be given an opportunity of being heard.


VI National Human Rights Commission established under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993:
Under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) must have occupied the post of the Chief Justice of India. One Member should be a serving or ex- judge of the Supreme Court and a third, a serving or ex-Chief Justice of a High Court. Two other Members may be appointed from amongst persons having  knowledge of or practical experience in matters relating to human rights. The Chairperson and Members are appointed by the President of India upon the recommendation of a committee headed by the Prime Minister and comprised of The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. The Chairpersons of the National Women's Commission, the NCSC,  the NCST and the National Commission for Minorities are ex officio members of the NHRC. A Chairperson or Member may resign from office or they may be removed by the President on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity upon receipt of a report containing a recommendation for removal from the Supreme Court after a reference is made to it by the President to inquire into any complaint against them. The President may remove them on grounds of being adjudged an insolvent,(by a competent court)  or upon conviction and imprisonment for an offence involving moral turpitude (such as committing fraud, cheating or corruption etc.), or if engaging in paid employment outside of office during one's tenure, or is unfit to continue in office due to infirmity of mind or body or has been declared to be of unsound mind by a competent court. This law provides for some safeguards against the Central Government monopolising all appointments and removals with regards tot he NHRC.


VII National Commission for Minorities established under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992:
Under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992, the Chairperson and 5 Members of the National Commission for Minorities must be persons of eminence, ability and integrity. The Central Government nominates them to the Commission for a period of three years. A Chairperson or Member of the Commission may resign from office. The Central Government may remove them on grounds specified in the Act. However the Chairperson or Member sought to be removed must be given an opportunity of being heard.


VIII Central Electricity Regulatory Commission established under The Electricity Act, 2003: 
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is established under Section 76 of The Electricity Act, 2003 with a Chairperson and three Members apart from the Chairperson of the Central Electricity Authority. The Chairperson and Members must be persons with adequate knowledge of or experience in, or shown capacity 
in, dealing with, problems relating to engineering, law, economics, commerce, finance or, management. A quota system is maintained to ensure that members with diversity of knowledge and experience in the fields mentioned above are appointed. The Central Government may appoint the Chairperson and Members on the recommendation of a committee comprising of Member of the Planning Commission in charge of the energy sector (Chair of the panel), Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board, a representative from a public financial institution as defined in the Companies Act, 1956, head or director of a research, technical or management institution- both nominated by the Central Government and the Secretary of the Ministry of Power. The Central Government may remove the Chairperson or a Member on grounds specified under the Act  A member may be removed from office on the three grounds only upon receipt of a recommendation of removal from the Chairperson of the Appellate Tribunal to whom a prior reference has been made about the case.



IX The Competition Commission of India established under The Competition Act, 2003: 
The Central Government appoints its Chairperson and 6 Members. The Chairperson and Members must be persons of ability, integrity and standing and who has special knowledge of, and such professional experience of not less than fifteen years in fields specified in the Act. The Central Government may remove them on grounds specified in the Act A Chairperson or member may be removed from office by the Central Government on two specific grounds only upon a recommendation received form the Supreme Court pursuant to an inquiry conducted upon a reference made by the Central Government.


X The Forward Markets Commission established under the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952:
The Central Government constitutes the FMC with a Chairperson and between 1-3 other Members. The Chairperson and Members must be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to commerce or commodity markets, and other areas specified in the Act. The Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1952 does not provide any procedure for removal of the Chairperson or Members of the FMC although Rules may be made for determining the terms and conditions of their service. Thye Introduction to FMC on its official website indicates that the Chairperson and Member are serving bureaucrats and experts in the regulation of equity markets.


XI Central Information Commission established under the The Right to Information Act, 2005:
The Chief Information Commissioner and up to 10 Information Commissioners are selected by a committee comprising of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Leader of the Opposition and a Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister. Where there is no Leader of the the Opposition, the leader of the single largest party in Opposition will be a member of the selection committee. The President of India appoints the members of the CIC based on the recommendations received. The Chief and Members of the CIC may be removed by the President on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity upon receiving such a recommendation after an inquiry conducted by the Supreme Court upon a reference received from the President to that effect. The President may remove any Member of the CIC unilaterally, on other grounds specified in the Act. 


XII Central Vigilance Commission established under the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003: 
The Central Vigilance Commissioner and 2 Vigilance Commissioners are selected form a panel of names recommended by a committee comprising of the Prime Minister (Chairperson), the Leader of the Opposition and the Minister for Home Affairs. Where there is no Leader of the the Opposition, the leader of the single largest party in Opposition will be a member of the selection committee. Candidates selected for consideration must be serving or retired members of the All India Services or any other civil service under the Union or who have held an office in a company or corporation owned or controlled by the Central Government. These candidates must have knowledge and experience in vigilance, policy making and administration including police administration. The President may remove them from office on grounds of proved misbehaviour or incapacity upon receiving such a recommendation after an inquiry conducted by the Supreme Court upon a reference received from the President to that effect. The President may remove any Member of the CVC unilaterally, on other grounds specified in the Act.  In such cases the President will have to act on the recommendation of the Central Government.


XIII The Securities Exchange Board of India established under Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992:
SEBI comprises of a Chairperson and 8 Members - all appointed by the Central Government. Two members must be serving bureaucrats under the Central Government dealing with Finance and administration of the Companies Act, 1956. A third member must be an official of the Reserve Bank of India. The Central Government may appoint 5 other members of whom at least 3 must be whole-time. Appointees must be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to securities market or have special knowledge or experience of law, finance, economics, accountancy, administration or in any other discipline which, in the opinion of the Central Government, shall be useful to the Board. There is no provision for an independent selection committee for shortlisting candidates. The Central Government may remove the Chairperson or a Member of SEBI on grounds specified in the Act unilaterally.


XIV The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India established under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997: 
The Central Government appoints the Chairperson and Member of TRAI. The Chairperson must be or must have been a judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice of a High Court. The other Member Member must be a person who has special knowledge of, any professional experience, in telecommunication, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management and consumer affairs. They hold office for a term of five years. A serving bureaucrat will have to retire from service upon appointment to TRAI. The Central Government may remove any Member of TRAI on grounds  specified in the Act. The Central Government may remove a Member of TRAI on two specific grounds only upon receiving such a recommendation after an inquiry conducted by the Supreme Court upon a reference received from the Central Government to that effect. 



XV The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority established under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999:
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (IRDA Act) itself establishes the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). The Central Government only has the duty to notify people about its establishment through the Official Gazette. The IRDA is comprised of a Chairperson, five whole-time members and four part-time members. Candidates considered for appointment must be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have knowledge or experience in life insurance, general insurance, actuarial science, finance, economics, law, accountancy, administration or any other discipline which would, in the opinion of the Central Government, be useful to the Authority. The Chairperson and whole-time members hold office for five years and are eligible for reappointment without restriction. Part-time members hold office for a period of five years only. The Central Government may remove from office a Chairperson or Member on grounds specified in the Act. No Member may be removed without being given an opportunity of being heard.

Discussion:
In a majority of cases the power of the Central Government to appoint and remove members of statutory regulatory bodies is near total without being subject to any checks and balances except that of Courts. However the practice of including opinion from outside of Government is a recent one but not very popular. Nowhere in the laws studied above can the Government compel the members of such statutory regulatory bodies to resign from office. Compelling members of such bodies who have been lawfully appointed, to resign, is not a healthy practice in a democracy underpinned by the rule of law. I hope the NDA charts a course of action different from that of the previous Governments as it has been elected on the agenda of reforming both somnolent and capricious practices in the administration.


Meanwhile I have attached the following documents which are unrelated to the topic discussed above:

1) The 2nd attachment to this email contains the list of topics placed before the Union Cabinet between March 2014 and the last week of May when it stepped down. I obtained it under the Right to Information Act, 2005. 

2) The Press release containing details of financial assets deposited by Indians and other nationals in Swiss Banks which the media reported widely today. I wish the Reserve Bank of India will be as forthcoming in terms of transparency under the NDA which has promised greater transparency and accountability in the administration.

Kindly circulate this email widely.


In order to access our previous email alerts on RTI and related issues please click on: http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=84  You will find the links at the top of this web page. If you do not wish to receive these email alerts please send an email to this address indicating your refusal.

Thanks
Venkatesh Nayak
Programme Coordinator
Access to Information Programme
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
B-117, 1st Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave
New Delhi- 110 017
Tel: +91-11-43120201/ 43180215
Fax: +91-11-26864688




__._,_.___

Attachment(s) from Venkatesh Nayak | View attachments on the web

3 of 3 File(s)

Posted by: Venkatesh Nayak <venkatesh-VldVBIePPc7rfyPWP6PaXg+gnn+XHhfY2LY78lusg7I@public.gmane.org>



__,_._,___

Gmane