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Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Judiciary's RTI 'Quota' Fracas

At long last, the Supreme Court has let the cat out of the bag.  

It has broken the conspiracy of silence that shrouded the arbitrary and uneven administration of the Right To Information Act 2005. 'Loyal' bureaucrats being made information commissioners: SC .

Wajahat Habibullah, the first Chief Information Commissioner, is a well known courtier of the Congress party. As was CD Arha, the State Information Commissioner in my state.

I have documented how these sycophants abused their power to violate my RTI and shield the Prime Minster’s and Chief Minister’s office.

They may speak their peculiar Stephanian English and nurse their delusions, but on my evidence, these people are as much thugs and perverts as any making the news today.

The current State Information Commissioner, Jannat Hussain, was Principal Secretary to Chief Minister for six long years. He was a point man for a Chief Minister whose son is in jail, for alleged corruption.

I have met Janat Hussain repeatedly in his former office. He made sure, to not give me any reason to be favourably impressed by him.

He is just another one of those guys, who can sit in front of a person who has single handedly struggled for decades against corruption and pretend to some kind of superior authority.

But the judiciary itself has been consistently hostile to the RTI. I have recorded the depravity of the Andhra Pradesh High Court .

My understanding of the shocking perniciousness of the judiciary was repeatedly underscored by Shri Sailesh Gandhi, former Chief Information Commissioner, the highest possible authority on RTI.

The former Chief Information Commissioner has disclosed how the judiciary has elbowed its way into the territory of the constitutional office.

India’s judiciary, by and large, could use a makeover.

It has been unable to effectively counter serious allegations of corruption.

Recently the columnist Sandhya Jain observed, “In the infamous Nira Radia tapes, there is an open allusion to a particular judge being ‘fixed’ with Rs 9 crore.

When senior advocate Shanti Bhushan submitted an affidavit in the Apex court charging eight out of 16 former Chief Justices of India of having been corrupt; no one demurred and many even said it was an underestimation.”

I recently requested some information from the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The very next day, I received a reply, speed of greased lightning by the shamelessly glacial, life wrenching standards of the judiciary, rejecting my postal money order.

The Court demanded that I pay them more than the sum stipulated by the Act. Also that I had to pay through court stamps. Once again violating both the spirit and letter of the Act.

There is a post office in my neighbourhood. It costs less time and gas to make a money order.

The nearest court house is kilometres away.

Jannat Hussain, could have taken suo moto notice of this egregious violation of the law by the judiciary. He is staying cosy.

So how many layers of corruption and maladministration can you detect in this little sliver of life ?

Of course, I sent in a fresh request.

Two months have passed and I have received no response. Andhra Pradesh High Court has arbitrarily and without showing any reason, refused my request.

Under the law, the Information Commissioner must order the disgorgement of the information that I have sought and fine and penalise the officer who has denied my request.

As State Information Commissioner, Jannat Hussain is the final appellate authority.

If he does not satisfy me, I can appeal to the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

What do you think are my chances ?

Of course, known, corrupt, sycophants are being appointed Information Commissioners in the States and the Centre.

But it is difficult to believe that the judiciary is motivated by any tender concern for the proper delivery of the rights of the citizen.

Its insistence on a quota for judges in the Commission is absurd, pathetic and further shreds whatever little dignity, judges are entitled to in society.

Incidentally, the very first person that I encountered in the Andhra Pradesh State Information Commission was the Member (Judicial). He was a retired district judge.

This narcissism and serial delinquency of constitutional authorities makes life unbearable and dignity impossible for the Non Privileged Indian.

Activists who have earned much fame and fortune for having introduced this “revolutionary”
law, cannot stay oblivious to its destruction.

Alas, they have not been as zealous in holding territory as the poachers.

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