Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nagpur divison IC asserts jurisdiction to hear cases against IAS officers

(The Hitavada Dt.09-12-08)

In an important ruling Vilas Patil, the information commissioner for Vidarbha regionhas held that the Regional info.commissioner has every right to hear a matter pertaining to RTI Act against all India Services officers. When one Sunil Mishra had sought info pertaining to assets owned by former Municipal Commissioner Lokesh Chandra and his IAS wife Abha Shukla the Info Commr. had directed the State govt. and
particularly the General Administration Department to disclose the assets to applicant who has sought it under RTI Act. The Govt. had taken a plea that info is submitted by IAS officers in a sealed envelope to GAD and as such Public info officer or even the appellate authority had no access to such info.

Lokash Chandra had moved the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court against the decision of the Regional IC stating that the same was passed without hearing him..Since the info so sought was personal in nature and and hence the IC ought to have rejected since it pertains to third party.He had also questioned the jurisdiction of the regional IC to hear matter against IAS officer and claimed that his matter ought to have been heard by Chief IC

The High Court while setting aside the earlier order ,had directed the regional IC to take appropriate decision after hearing all concerned. The Regional IC Vilas Patil after hearing both the parties cited decision in case of Mohinder Singh Vs Election Commission to explain the concept of multy member authority. Besides the RTI Act has not precluded the Regional IC from hearing cases pertaining to All India Service Officers ,he held. Adv. Pathan appeared for Lokesh Chandra and Abha Shukla while Sunil Mishra appeared in person.

[posted by Diwakar Sarpotdar on the Humjanenge group]
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