Sunday, December 20, 2009

GIC Housing moves High Court on RTI obligation

GIC Housing Finance (GICHFL) has moved the Bombay HC against an order of the Central Information Commission (CIC), which held that the housing finance company is obliged to respond to information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it is a “public authority”. A “public authority” means an institution or body established under the Constitution of India or a law enacted by Parliament or State Legislature or a government notification. A Delhi resident, V Shekhar Avasthi, had in April last year sought certain information from GICHFL under the RTI which the company did not respond as it did not consider itself a public authority. Mr Avasthi then filed an appeal before the CIC.
Complete Article
This story got published in Economic Times of December 21, 2009, Page number 18, and it actually shows how difficult it is to seek justice in this country. I applied for some information in April 2008 from GIC Housing Finance (as to why there home loan rates are too high as compared to the market). Then, there was an endless chase at Central Information Commission, New Delhi…The final hearing took place in April 2009, but they passed the order in October 2009 (six months to pass an order!)…The ordeal did not end here, though the case pertained to Delhi, information was sought (and denied) in Delhi, complainant (that is, myself), belonged to Delhi, and this was decided by CIC in Delhi, to harrass me, GIC HFL filed an appeal in Mumbai…I went to the extent of representing myself in Bombay High Court on Nov 23 from Delhi (at a one day notice), but despite the merits and written submission, Court directed me to file a notorised reply on Green Ledger paper (which I did) date was December 14 - on which hearing did NOT happen and I wasted Rs 5600/- that I had spent on booking advance ticket to Bombay on that date. God knows when will the next date of hearing be - ask me how tough it is for anyone to et justice - in our country, Justice is not only delayed, but also denied. Got bless helpless people like me…  
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