Posts Tagged ‘Parliament

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“As the examining bodies have not been exempted, and as the examination processes of examining bodies have not been exempted, the examining bodies will have to gear themselves to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act,” a Bench of Justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik said. The apex court made the observations while directing the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to reveal “standard criteria” relating to moderation, employed by it, for the purpose of making revisions to a candidate.

“The RTI Act does not bar or prohibit the disclosure of question papers, model answers (solutions to questions) and instructions if any given to the examiners and moderators after the examination and after the evaluation of answerscripts is completed, as at that stage they will not harm the competitive position of any third party,” the court said.

No burden

The bench rejected the contention of ICAI that it would burden the examination body with extra work. “Additional workload is not a defence. If there are practical insurmountable difficulties, it is open to the examining bodies to bring them to the notice of the government for consideration so that any changes to the Act can be deliberated upon.”

“Examining bodies like ICAI should change their old mindsets and tune them to the new regime of disclosure of maximum information.

Public authorities should realise that in an era of transparency, previous practices of unwarranted secrecy have no longer a place. Accountability and prevention of corruption is possible only through transparency. Attaining transparency no doubt would involve additional work with reference to maintaining records and furnishing information,” the court said. The bench also noted that the Parliament has enacted the RTI Act providing access to information, after great debate and deliberations by the Civil Society, and in its wisdom, has chosen to exempt only certain categories of information from disclosure and certain organizations from the applicability of the Act.



Congress nervous over Hazare’s fast: Team Anna

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Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Sunday faced fresh attack with Congress saying he should first clarify “serious” findings against him of a Commission that probed graft charges while Government said his move was “undemocratic” and “unacceptable“.

Hitting out at the Gandhian who has planned to go on an indefinite fast in Delhi from Tuesday, Government also said the right to protest does not mean right to protest at the place of your choice.

The Government rejected the contention by the social activist that it was crushing his Constitutional rights by not allowing his protest at a desired venue and said the demand itself was unconstitutional and the protest at this time was an “affront” to Parliament.

“The right to protest does not mean right to protest at your choice. There is no right to protest at place of your choice and convenience,” Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said.

Addressing a news conference in Delhi,Mr. Sibal and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni slammed Mr. Hazare for his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, saying the language used in the letter is not Gandhian from any point of view.

Claiming that the “moral core” of Mr. Hazare has been “ripped apart” by the Justice P B Sawant Commission, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said, “The fast from August 16 has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill.”

The Commission had probed corruption charges levelled by Hazare in 2003 against four ministers in the then Maharashtra government.

“The fast from August 16 has nothing to do with either the issue of corruption or the Lokpal bill. If that was the case Hazare would have first clarified the grave charges.

What is his clarification about the serious findings…The nation wants to know,” Tewari said, adding, “I think Hazare and his associates will need to answer conclusions of Sawant Commission.”

“Challenging Parliament”

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the social activist was challenging the constitutional authority of Parliament and asserted there is no third authority to make law.

He trained his guns on Mr. Hazare saying nobody can compel that it has to draft the law as per his desire.

“It is for Parliament to decide. What Anna Hazare is doing, he is challenging the constitutional authority of Parliament, which is not acceptable,” Mukherjee told reporters in Kolkata.

“So far the Constitution is concerned, it is not given to any individual. So far the laws made under List I of the Constitution, Parliament and Parliament alone is the competent authority to make law. So far the List II and concurrent list of the Constitution are concerned, it is the state assembly who are to make the law, there is no third authority to make law,” he said.

Asking if Anna can give a “guarantee” in writing that one instrument like Lokpal will end corruption, Soni said,” “people are being misled that corruption is out as soon as Lokpal is in.”

Reacting to Mr. Hazare’s allegation that the government was putting impediments in his proposed fast, Mr. Sibal said, “the right to protest does not mean right to protest at a place of your choince. There is no right to protest at place of your choice and convenience.”

He also cited judgements of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High court to support his stand.

“The protest is thoroughly unconstitutional…It is an affront to Parliament” he said questioning the purpose of the fast and alleging that there are some “other powers” behind all this and it has a different purpose.

Accusing Mr. Hazare of attempting to bring instability in the country, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari was also critical of Mr. Hazare for the tone and tenor of his letter to the Prime Minister and accused him of crossing all limits of decency and decorum.

Keeping PM under Lokpal ambit not advisable: PM

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Bringing the office of Prime Minister under the ambit of lokpal would “not be advisable”, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Sunday. Singh, who had earlier stated that he was not against the office of the Prime Minister being brought under the lokpal’s purview, told reporters that the government has taken the decision after “taking all factors into account”.

“Well, our government has taken a view taking all factors into account. It would not be advisable to bring the Prime Minister within the purview of the lokpal, except when he demits office,” Singh said on the eve of Parliament‘s Monsoon Session. The lokpal bill would be introduced in Lok Sabha by August 3.

On Anna Hazare‘s threat to go on a fast from August 16 to protest a “weak” lokpal bill, Singh said the lokpal bill’s fate will be decided by Parliament.

“As you know, we are ready with the lokpal bill. Lokpal bill’s fate will be decided by Parliament. In a democracy, Parliament is a sovereign body, it should be allowed to function and discharge its duty,” he said.

At the July 28 Cabinet meeting which cleated the lokpal bill, Singh had insisted that his office should be brought within the ambit of the legislation, but the Cabinet decided otherwise.

His comments came a day after finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said bringing the Prime Minister under the lokpal would result in “institutionalised permanent instability” at the Centre.

Written by THE LAWFILE

July 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm