Delhi High Court has directed the Central Information Commission to maintain daily order sheets following complaints that while appellants contentions were agreed upon during hearing, these were dismissed when final orders are passed by the transparency panel.
“Since the CIC is a quasi-judicial body, this Court was also of the view that its records must reflect a true and correct state of affairs. Even the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Fruit Merchant Union vs Chief Information Commissioner and Others…had directed the State Information Commission to maintain daily order sheets,” Justice Manmohan said in his order.
The CIC which had been resisting the move agreed to maintain daily order sheets, but sought time to evolve a procedure on which the High Court gave it six months.
The order came on a plea of activist R K Jain who had complained that during hearing his appeal was allowed, but in the order which was passed by CIC after a long delay, the appeal was dismissed.
“The said Writ Petition also brought out such allegations against the CIC by other appellants. The CIC has been resisting the maintenance of the Record of Proceedings despite the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Fruit and Merchant Union vs CIC,” he told PTI.
Jain said the latest order of Delhi High Court shall bring in transparency and stability in the working of the CIC.
He said it is hoped that the CIC shall place such daily order sheets on its website as is being done by other Tribunals including CAT, National Green Tribunal, Telecom Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Competition Appellate Tribunal and Armed Forces Tribunal.
RTI activist Subhash Agrawal welcomed the decision saying it will stop the practice of reversing position of CIC during the hearing and in final order.
“There are number of instances faced by me when former CIC … agreed on something during hearing but in the orders issued six-eight months later changed the position completely. This was happening inspite of noting being made at three places — intern, Commissioner himself and steno of the Commissioner,” he said.
( Source – PTI )