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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PM

Dear Pradhan Mantriji,

I understand that the outgoing Chief Information Commissioner, A K Mathur, has


being appointed as the first Lt Governor of Ladhak.

I see it as an act rewarding treason, nothing less.

He, along with other information commissioners, has subverted the Right to
Information Act which had sought to promote transparency and accountability in the
working of every public authority. The preamble to the Act has rightly highlighted
that democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information
which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold
Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.

There are two forms of corruption- one visible, where bribes are openly demanded
and taken and the other is not so visible- nepotism or favoritism in some form of
other.

The Bar Council rules have sought to contain the latter by forbidding relations of
judges appearing in their courts as advocates. It is a different thing that even this has
been violated with impunity.

In an order dated 26 Nov 2010, a bench of the apex court had made the following
observation:

“We do not mean to say that all lawyers who have close relations as Judges of
the High Court are misusing that relationship. Some are scrupulously taking
care that no one should lift a finger on this account. However, others are
shamelessly taking advantage of this relationship”. Defending this
observation the bench of judges Markandeya Katju and Gyan SudhaMisra
made another great observation: the reputation of an institution is damaged
and its image sullied when some of its members pass shocking orders and
behave in a totally unacceptable manner.

But way back in 2004 itself, Binod Kumar Roy, Chief Justice of the Punjab and
Haryana High Court, had identified this problem and he had issued an administrative
directive wherein he had identified a dozen judges whose relatives were advocates
and forbade them from appearing before any of these 12 judges. This ensured that a
judge cannot help even a fellow judge's kin.

Within a month of this directive, the SC Collegium recommended his transfer to the
Patna High Court.

See ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Judge Dread’ at


https://www.outlookindia.com/magazine/story/all-in-the-family/225626 and
http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Judge-Dread/225624 both published on 08
Nov 2004.

Given the extent of networking within the society, especially among organized
employees, retired bureaucrats should have been seen to be most unsuitable for the
post of information commissioners. But it seems that the RTI Act was actually
intended to only pull the wool over the eyes of the public. (Not surprising, since even
the Constitution seems to have been drafted with no different aim by Nehru and his
courtiers!) The status of CEC, EC and Chief Secretaries given to these commissioners
has ensured that they remained lucrative sine cures for those retiring from regular
employment. Without going into details here I shall invite your attention to a series
of 5 articles on ‘RTI: Exposing the traitors among public servants’ at

http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4626
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4627
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4628
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4629
http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4630

There was a report a few months ago about an amendment to the RTI Act that would
change the status and duration of employment of information commissioners.
Nothing has been heard of its implementation till date.

There is no denying the fact that a lot of good work has been done under your guard.
But the sad fact is that nothing appears to have been done towards making the
government responsive to public needs of governance. Lack of transparency and
accountability and corruption and favoritism continue to rule the roost. While
examples can be given aplenty, this appointment of AK Mathur, would suffice for
now.

Yours truly,

P M Ravindran
raviforjustice@gmail.com
29 Oct 2019

Save RTI Campaign-Mission Statement:

Save Right to Information. Use Right to Information Act.


Get information or......Expose at least three idiots/traitors* among public servants!
1. THE PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
2. THE FIRST APPELLATE AUTHORITY (AND THE HEAD OF PUBLIC AUTHORITY WHERE THE
HEAD OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY IS NOT THE FAA!) AND
3. THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
* An idiot is one who does not know the job s/he is getting paid to do and a traitor is one
who knows it but does not do it. Provided that even an idiot can be branded a traitor based
on the consequences of his/her action