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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DOPT NAILED


DoPT Site - In compliance to directions given to DoPT to remove the
incorrect clarification on “file noting” posted on the website, the
Commission was informed on 02.01.2009 by Deputy Secretary, DoPT that
the entire issue was placed before the Committee of Secretaries for
its consideration and its decision is awaited. The letter dated
09.01.2009 of the Commission to the Joint Secretary (AT&T), failed to
elicit any compliance report from him.

Holding that Dr. S.K. Sarkar, Joint Secretary (AT&T) has obstructed,
and Ms Anuradha Chagti and the DoPT as a Public Authority have
knowingly violated and disobeyed its orders, the Commission summoned
them for personal appearance at 11.00 A.M. on 17-06-2009 and show
caused why they should not be prosecuted for the above offences and
penalised u/s 20(1).


The Commission found it appalling that the Nodal Ministry under the
RTI Act has sought to emasculate the mandate enshrined u/s 19(7) of
the Act which makes the decisions of the Commission legally binding.
The Commission noted that if the DoPT or its functionaries were in any
way aggrieved with the order or directions of this Commission, they
could have challenged the same or sought time for implementing the
Commission’s directions. The Commission directed to forward a copy of
the decision to the Cabinet Secretary, by name.

Comments
Vide Circular No.1/20/2009-IR dated 23.06.2009, the DoPT has now
clarified that File Notings are information and are not exempt from
disclosure. This order may be an eye opener for those PIOs who have
yet to understand the importance of the Act.
 
Mrs. Anuradha Verma
Co-author of the book: RIGHT TO INFORMATION - LAW AND PRACTICE

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