Mr. Rebates

Monday, May 24, 2010

CIC exceeding its powers: Delhi High Court

New Delhi, May 21, 2010

The Delhi High Court on Friday came down heavily on the Central Information Commission (CIC) and its chief on its order against the DDA Vice-Chairman after he failed to appear before it with regard to an RTI matter, saying they had exceeded their powers.

“This is a case where the Central Information Commission and Chief Information Commissioner have travelled beyond their boundaries of power and have thereby transgressed the provisions of the very Act which created them,” said a Division Bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Veena Birbal.

The Bench set aside the CIC’s September 2009 order against the senior-most officer of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and said “no adverse inference could have been drawn for the absence of Vice-Chairman, DDA.”

The Bench said CIC “is a creature of the statute and its powers and functions are circumscribed by the statute.”

It could call any person to be present in the hearing before it for the purposes of giving evidence—oral or written or for producing any document.

“The Vice-Chairman, DDA was not summoned for either giving oral evidence or written evidence or to produce any document or things in his possession. He was directed to be present for other reason, that power is not there with the CIC,” the Court added.

The Court also set aside the Commission’s order appointing an enquiry committee to go into the details of servicing of the RTI Act by all wings and sections of DDA.

On September 22 last year, the CIC had formed the Committee comprising Director Ministry of Urban Development Shujata Chaturvedi, Dunu Roy from Hazards Centre and Pankaj KP Shreyaskar, Joint Registrar, and sought a report within 45 working days from the date of order.

The CIC order had come after Secretary DDA V M Bansal was not able to clarify various points raised by the Commission while hearing the plea of an RTI applicant Sarbajit Roy who had complained of poor implementation of RTI Act at the Authority.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Respite for hubby who was asked to pay Rs 2L to wife

 May 23, 2010

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has quashed an order of additional sessions judge asking a man to deposit Rs 2 lakh in the court for granting a stay on the trial court order that asked him to pay an equal amount to his wife as compensation.

A single-judge bench of justice Arun Choudhari quashed the order passed by the additional sessions judge on February 18 in a criminal appeal ruling that it was 'clearly faulty and cannot be called a judicial order'.

The high court found the sessions judge's order of asking the hubby to deposit Rs 2 lakh as his wife had demanded Rs 4 lakh as compensation 'surprising'.

"The trial court jumped to the conclusion without discussing anything or giving any reason or analysing anything in respect of the materials on record," justice Choudhari said.

The high court judge also observed that the appellate court while making the order failed to pay attention to this aspect of the matter and just mechanically directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 2 lakh by way of a condition to grant stay.

"At any rate, since the petitioner is bound to pay Rs 5,000 per month towards maintenance, there is no need to make an order of a compensation of Rs 2 lakh even by way of an interim measure," justice Choudhari mentioned.

He however made it clear that the petitioner will have to clear all arrears within three months from the date of the high court's order as a pre-condition for hearing of the appeal before the district judge.

During arguments, the wife's counsel vehemently opposed the petition and argued that there is nothing wrong on the part of the appellate court in asking the hubby to deposit Rs 2 lakh and at any rate no prejudice could be caused to him.

The high court ordered that the proceedings of criminal appeal will be decided by the appellate court as expeditiously as possible and it shall be ensured that the petitioner is not in arrears of maintenance till the date of hearing of the appeal.