JUSTICE CORPS

Action group for judicial transparency, justice reforms and human rights.

Archive for January 15th, 2007

feedback to the open letter: SC not exempt from RTI

Posted by justicecorps on January 15, 2007

The responses that we got from common citizens, activists and people working in the judicial system have only reaffirmed our faith in the path that we have chosen. We are grateful and hope that this contentious issue would be debated at a broader level. The SC must take cognisance of the peoples voice, with immediate effect.

 

See letter:
https://justicecorps.wordpress.com/2007/01/10/sc-must-acknowledge-rti/

Some of the responses are as follows:

 

I am in agreement with your letter. Please send us more information about your organization and working.

Rajesh Tyagi
Advocate, Supreme Court of India
rajeshtyagi66@rediffmail.com

Contact: 9810081383


International Human Rights Organization too condemns the SC attitude towards the RTI Act.

D S Gill
Chair IHRO

ihro.india@gmail.com

 

 

 

Superb

I really liked it? I respect you guys and wonder some time weather you are the same guys who were studying with me.

I always thought you are doing some thing but never ever expected such work with great foresight and dedication.

Please let me know if I can contribute some how. Again congratulate you for all your work

Take care and all the best
Bye. Take care and keep me in loop

Sachetan

 

I sincerely wish that the media publish your above letter which I doubt. Due to reasons not known the media is
not seen supporting RTI fully. They are not giving adequate coverage in support of RTI

With warm regards

Col N R Kurup
colnrkurup@gmail.com

 

Compliments for the bold and candid as well important and timely stand taken on SC shying away from RTI. I fully support your point.

Jugal Rathi

I find your petition to be unjustified in light of the constitutional separation of powers. The Supreme Court is the highest authority in terms of interpreting the laws of the country. If you want a decision of the Supreme Court to be appeal able by the CIC you are rewriting the constitution.

The CJI’s comments are within the purview of the constitution. If you want a decision of the CJI of he SC to be appeal able to the CIC, where then shall an appeal from the CIC lie?

This just results in unnecessary bureaucracy that results in burdening a legal system where justice is always delayed. Cheers!!

Prashant Kamalapuram

kamalapuram@hotmail.com

 

REPLY

Dear Mr. Prashant,

I think you have read the letter in a hurry and have also missed the news reports that have appeared in the press about SC recommending to the government to amend the RTI Act so as to exempt the SC from it partially.

Additionally the SC has suggested that an amendment be made so that the decision under RTI being taken by it should not be appeal able to CIC.

We are not saying that the judicial decisions should be appeal able to CIC. Please understand the difference between judicial decisions by SC and RTI decisions by SC. Judicial decisions by SC are taken by SC judges, whereas RTI decisions are taken by the Public Information Officers and there is vast difference in the same.

Best regards

Ronald L. Rebello

 

Very interesting. Thanks. you are most welcome to post directly on the “Hum Janenge” board that concerns the transparency law.

Regards

Prakash Kardaley

 

 

Dear Sir,

I strongly support the view and acknowledge my support. RTI is a major major tool for bringing accountability and reducing scope of subjectivity and baises in the public offices.

Keep me informed.

With warm regards,

Subhash C. Vashishth
subhashvashishth@yahoo.com

Advocate
Delhi High Court

 

 

Dear Sir,

Greetings!

Thanks for your mail and valuable campaign information. I appreciate for your action. We must condemn the double speaking of the Supreme Courts on RTI Act. Obviously judges are not Lords provided with any special exemptions. They are public servants meant to serve the public and are very much accountable to the people.

Thanks. Regards.

Gladson Dungdung

gladsonekta@yahoo.com

General Secretary
National Coalition for Human Rights
Kokar, Khorha Toli, Mission Colonly,
Kokar, Ranchi – 834001 (Jharkhand)

 

 

The language is harsh.

There also appears to be some misunderstanding. It is not clear as to what you mean by “SC has recommended that a decision by CJI under the Act should not be subjected to further appeal before the CIC” . Under the scheme of the RTI Act, CJI cannot take any decision under the Act at all. Presuming that an aggrieved appellant files a petition before the SC against the order of the CIC, decision of the SC therein has to be final and cannot certainly be a subject of appeal before the CIC again!

Regards,

Sandeep Thakur,
Mumbai.

REPLY

We do not think our language is harsh, though striking.

I think you have read the letter in a hurry and have also missed the news reports that have appeared in the press about SC recommending to the government to amend the RTI Act so as to exempt the SC from it partially. Additionally the SC has suggested that an amendment be made so that the decision under RTI being taken by it should not be appeal able to CIC.

We are not saying that the judicial decisions should be appeal able to CIC. Please understand the difference between judicial decisions by SC and RTI decisions by SC. Judicial decisions by SC are taken by SC judges, whereas RTI decisions are taken by the Public Information Officers and there is vast difference in the same.

Best regards

Ronald L. Rebello

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Minutes of the fourth official meeting

Posted by justicecorps on January 15, 2007

MINUTES OF THE FOURTH OFFICIAL MEETING OF JUSTICE CORPS

Day: Saturday  

Date: 6th January, 2007

Time: 12 noon to 2:25 pm.

Place: Rationing Kruti Samiti office, Mumbai Central

Members present: Sanket Kashid, Ganesh Sodaye and Ronald L. Rebello,

* Hemant was indisposed; Shabana had gone to Delhi and hence could not come. Ramesh cannot come on a Saturday.

Agenda of the meeting:

  1. Review of previous meetings’ minutes
  2. Action to be taken during the month
  3. Whether to hold a massive demonstration on judicial reforms?
  4. RTI applications to be made
  5. Networks established
  6. Updates on Proposal submitted to funding agency.
  7. Exposure visit to Raigad/ Sarvahara Jan Andolan

 

1… Today’s agenda was decided as soon as the meeting began. There was no pre-decided agenda. Previous meetings’ minutes were reviewed. Enquiries about a bank account for Justice Corps are still going on. In the meanwhile, Hemant has prepared an excellent website on www.justicecorps.wordpress.com. The group is very grateful to him.  

2… Re: Action to be taken during the month by JC:

a) Supreme Court has hosted its annual report (2005-06) on its website. This needs to be printed and studied as it contains important details about disposal of cases, E-petition procedure introduced during the year etc. Ganesh has taken responsibility to print the same from TISS.

b) It was suggested by Ronald that since the SC has also put up the SC holiday calendar on the SC website, this must be studied, analysed and a letter (appropriately an appeal) to all SC judges must be drafted bringing to their notice the futility of long summer and winter vacations and requesting them to give it up voluntarily. Instead of commenting on the court calendar at the end of the year, we must do it in advance. Ronald will draft the said letter. Sanket will similarly find out details of Bombay HC calendar.

c) Re: Bom HC and RTI: Sanket will acquire the HC and District court RTI rules from Govt. Press and hand over to Ronald. Ronald will then draft a protest letter to CJ of Bom HC regarding the rules framed under RTI Act. This is to be done quickly as rules were made in November 2006 and still we haven’t been able to comment on it. Earlier JC’s campaign was against the non-implementation of RTI Act by the Judiciary in Maharashtra, but now it is against the obstacles in the rules framed. Some of the rules that create obstacles in accessing information are:

– Charging applicant Rs. 10 per Xerox copy when central rules keep it to a reasonable Rs. 2,

– Not providing info if it already exists on website, therefore making it difficult for computer-internet illiterate applicants to acquire information, etc.

3… It was suggested by Ronald that JC should have a demonstration at Azad Maidan in June to demand for various judicial reforms. Unless we come out publicly in large numbers, just by writing letters and appeals, we are not going to get the desired results. The group therefore unanimously decided to take up a morcha/public demonstration at Azad Maidan. The date decided was June 04, 2007 as we also need to have enough time for preparation, information gathering through RTI applications and study, mobilization of various groups and student volunteers etc. The basic minimum reforms that JC will demand during this demonstration are:

      • Two shifts in all lower courts in Maharashtra, especially criminal courts.
      • Increase in the strength of number of judges
      • Family Courts in all districts of Maharashtra
      • Computerisation of district courts
      • Citizens Charter for judiciary
      • Proper seating arrangements for litigants in courts
      • Witness Protection Programme
      • Abolishing unnecessary Court holidays
      • Proper and reasonable implementation of RTI Act by courts
      • Information about laws should be disseminated in very simple language on rickshaws, busses etc.

The team also identified probable partners who can be contacted for support. These are Sarvahara Jan Andolan, National Alliance of People’s Movement, Huku-ke-Niswa, Nirbhay Bano Andolan, Apnalaya, Kashtakari Sanghatna, Nav Maharashtra Yuva Morcha, Mahilla Rajsatta Andolan, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights. It was also suggested that some MLAs/MPs should also be contacted for support. Neelam Gore, Shiv Sena MLC who has worked on women’s issues, Mrinal Gore, Dr. S. P. Sathe, Principal of Indian Law School etc. can be invited to speak to the masses and express support.

Ganesh bought to the notice of the team that PUCL of Rajasthan had conducted a Jan Sunvai (Public hearing) on delayed justice. He said that we also need to study their report on the same to learn from it. Ganesh and Ronald will attempt to acquire the same.

Ronald suggested that we write to the Governor, Chief Justice, Secretary of Law and Judiciary Department and Home Department giving them notice of the demonstration and requesting them to give an audience to the group and partners.

We also need to send letters to all social movements in Maharashtra requesting them to identify people in their areas who have been victims of justice and mobilize such groups to come and speak during the demonstration.

4… In order to press for our demands strongly during the June demonstration and in order to study judicial reforms, we need to have sufficient data in our hands. One of the methods of acquiring this could be through various RTI applications. It was decided by the group that following RTI applications will be made to appropriate authorities:

a) Application to Law and Judiciary dept on number of family cases pending all over Maharashtra.

b) Application to Law and Judiciary dept. on whether there is a witness protection programme/ policy of the state.

c) Application to appropriate dept on policy on computerisation of courts.

Ronald will prepare drafts of above all applications and circulate to groups before sending the same to the relevant authorities.

Ganesh also bought up the issue of studying and analyzing the budget for judiciary, legal education and legal aid to poor. Team requested him to acquire info on the same through RTI and other means. Ganesh has agreed to follow-up the same.

Sanket, informed the team that he already has two applications pending before the Bombay HC on number of cases pending in Maharashtra.

5… Re:- Networks: Ronald informed the team that Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari after conferring on him the Sane Guruji Yuva Puraskar had co-opted him on their legal committee and also expressed support to Justice Corps. Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari has extended support for use of their office resources such as printing, posting, Xerox etc to Justice Corps after Ronald bought to their attention that JC has no funds. Therefore JC members will be able to have access to their office. Ronald will try and arrange the next team meeting of JC over there, including with some team members of Yusuf Meherally Biradri.

6… Project Proposal has been submitted by Sangeeta to Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust. Ronald and Sangeeta will soon follow-up the same and report back to the group. Project proposal copy is sent to team members by email.

 

7… The team was informed about an exposure visit to Adivasi hamlet, Keladh organized by students of Nirmala Niketan in association with Sarvahara Jan Andolan. TISS students, NN students will participate in the same and one of the resource persons will be Ronald who will speak on RTI, letter-writing, judicial transparency and right to food. The exposure visit will be held from Jan 11 to Jan 13. JC team members are also welcome to participate in the same. During this time, it may be also possible for JC team members to identify some students to act as volunteers for the JC team. Sanket said he will try to come. Ganesh confirmed his participation in the meeting itself. Hemant will be informed by Ronald.

 

8… Afternoon was dedicated to field visits in the court. Ganesh and Sanket after meeting went to visit the courts.

 

Minutes written by Ronald Rebello

Hosted on Website by: Hemant Morajkar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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