Andhra Pradesh State Legal Services Authority,
High Court Of Andhra Pradesh,
Hyderabad. February 20, 2008
Appeal For Legal Services Towards Filing A Public Interest Litigation To Call Attention To Maladministration Of The AP State Information Commission, The Office of the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh and to seek a remedial writ.
Further to our meeting on February 15, 2008, I thank you and Shri T Venkatesvara Reddy, Administrative Officer, for giving me a kind and patient hearing and useful advice on the course to follow to avail the invaluable services of the APSLSA.
I wish to state the following regarding my experiences with AP State Information Commission and later with the Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh State Information Commission:
Since I was not familiar with the RTI Act 2005, and since I am not very intimate with our legal processes, I fixed an appointment and met with Shri Radhakrishna, PS to State Information Commissioner Shri CD Arha and on his advice met Shri Mohan Krishniah, Secretary (Law), SIC on Oct O4, 2006.
I drafted my request for information with Shri Krishniah’s advice and his office kindly typed my petition, which met with his approval.
Shri Ramakrishna, then called and fixed an appointment with Ms Soodamani, Dy Secy, GAD at the Secretariat and advised me to hand my petition to her in person.
However when I went to the Secretariat, I was told that the Dy Secy had left and that I could not enter the Secretariat to hand my petition to anybody else.
Two weeks later, on October 23th, after daily telephone follow up by me, I was once again asked by Shri Ramakrishna to meet the concerned officer at the secretariat.
While I was allowed to meet the officer on this occasion, once again she refused to accept my petition, I was made to walk from one corner of the secretariat to the other in the hot sun, taken to the Chief Secretary’s office by another officer of the GAD and this office also refused to receive my petition.
No grounds were offered for the rejection of my petition.
However I left a copy with the tapaal section, and got my petition date stamped.
In this condition, I once again met Shri Krishniah. He advised me to file a complaint, under section 18(1) of the RTI Act which once again was typed by his office and submitted immediately.
Along with the complaint I also submitted a copy of one of my previous emails to the then Chief Secretary Shri Mohan Kanda as reference to my petition for information.
I later learnt that, under the RTI Act 2005, there was no need to do this. There was no need to disclose the reason for my request for information.
Summoned to meet with State Information Commissioner:
Despite calling the PS to SIC on several occasions, I found that he could not provide me with any further information on the progress of my case.
Sometime in late November 2006, the Private Secretary to the Chief Information Commissioner suggested that the Commissioner had expressed a desire to meet me.
When I arrived for my appointment, he informed me that the Commissioner was busy and that he had advised me to meet Shri K Mangapathi Rao, IAS Secretary - Administration.
Shri Rao spoke to me about various general, unrelated subjects, and but did not answer my query regarding the status of my case.
I shared with him all the information in the public domain, regarding the apparent duplicity of the former AP government and the apathy of the present government and the consequent nearly ostracizing effect on the lives and liberties of myself and my family. (This is detailed in “Excellence Vs Perversity” in the appended current file.
A shocking judgment from the Chief Information Commissioner:
It can be seen that the judgment is draconian and does not carry even a bare pretense of the RTI Act 2005.
Standing section 19(5) regarding onus of proof, on its head, the CIC proceeds to plead for the erring PIO.
He does this by concocting a baseless allegation of lack of specificity and insists; repeatedly and in a most outlandish fashion, that I surrender my right to not reveal the reason for requesting the information or any other personal details (Section 6(1) and 6(2).
When I refuse, repeatedly, to gratify his clearly illegal and illicit demand for information, that has no relevance whatsoever for the adjudication of my case, he proceeds to punish me by dismissing my lawful complaint, drafted by his own legal adviser.
Request for information from APSIC dismissed on dubious grounds:
It can be seen that my application dated November 6, 2007, regarding all information, inputs, and advices on the final disposal of my appeal has been dismissed on spurious grounds.
Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh:
On July 18, 2007, I once again sent a request for information to the Chief Secretary.
|From Application To Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh.|
This request is identical in content and wording to the earlier request faulted by the State Information Commissioner on grounds of lack of “specificity”.
As can be seen, this time “specificity” or the lack of it was never an issue – thus conclusively establishing the falsity of the Commissioner’s allegation.
|From PIO (GAD)s 1st response|
However, my requests for information have, despite clear evidence of the Chief Secretary’s intervention in the matter, been responded to by a series of false and misleading responses.
My appeals to the appellate authority have been rejected.
My requests for an appointment with the Chief Secretary have not been entertained.
My request for clarifications from the Chief Secretary, filed as a fresh petition under RTI Act 2005, has also been rejected.
Persona Non Grata for my loyalty to the rule of law:
The Supreme Court of India was recently forced to chastise the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the alacrity and doggedness with which APGOV sought to release prisoners serving life sentences after conviction of heinous crimes.
The duplicity with which I have been treated (as described in “Excellence Vs Perversity”) appears to be the other side of the coin of lawless predatoriness that unfortunately appears to have gained force and currency in India today.
My innocent quest to abide by the idea of the rule of law and thus preserve my life and liberty has turned into a virtual struggle for survival.
I have been unable to earn an income since the past two decades. I do not possess a bank account.
In this totally unprovoked contest, I have only been supported by my mother, Smt Kanti Rajan MA BEd – who retired after nearly two decades of service at the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet and who since the past 12 years has been conducting a Preschool in the Begumpet area.
It is evident that even her enterprise has been seriously hobbled by our family’s unwillingness to conform to the prevailing “kickback culture”.
Under the above circumstances, I appeal for support from your esteemed authority, in order that I receive the satisfactions that I am due under the law.
Divakar S Natarajan
Esteemed readers may click on the documents displayed on the slide show to reach the album. Here the documents are displayed in the right size. The album also has a magnifying glass facility on the top right.