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SC seeks CVC status report on ‘whistle-blowers’

Posted by ekavi on October 6, 2006

SC seeks CVC status report on ‘whistle-blowers’

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2100453.cms

NEW DELHI: More than two years ago, a direction from the Supreme Court on a PIL had forced the Centre to come out with an ordinance making the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) the ears for whistle-blowers, in the wake of the murder of Satyendra Dubey.

And now, a Supreme Court Bench, comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal and Justice C K Thakker, hearing the same PIL filed jointly by NGO Parivartan and Dubey’s father, has asked for the balance sheet from the ‘watch dog’ on the complaints received against corrupt officials.

In April 2004, the court as an interim measure, had agreed to the Centre bringing an ordinance to protect those raising their voice against corruption.

The ministry of personnel came out with the Public Interest Disclosures and Protection of Informers Resolution, 2004, under which CVC was the designated authority to look into complaints on corruption.

After hearing petitioner’s counsel Prashant Bhushan, the Bench asked CVC to prepare a report on the number of complaints it has received from whistle-blowers till date, and the action taken on them.

Bhushan then shifted focus on the CBI probe into the murder of Dubey, an IITian who was working as deputy general manager in National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), and supervising the Aurangabad-Barachatti sector of the Golden Quadrilateral project.

The NGO had alleged that he was shot dead in broad daylight in Gaya because he had written a confidential communication to PMO on November 11, 2002, alleging that trans-national companies bagged the highway projects at high costs and then sub-leased them to local contractors at low prices.

Counsel said the CBI chargesheet terming Dubey’s murder as a case of simple robbery draws suspicion of the common man, as to whether the reputed investigating agency conducted a shoddy probe, or is trying to hush up the matter.

After hearing his arguments, the Bench asked CBI to conduct an independent verification of the contractors who were engaged in National Highway Authority of India work on the Aurangabad-Barachatti sector, at the time of Dubey’s tenure.

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20 Responses to “SC seeks CVC status report on ‘whistle-blowers’”

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  2. A.SIDDIQUI said

    Sir,
    After disclosing the information to CVC unde Public Interest Disclosure Resolution the Department of Telecomm.(DOT), a department of Govt. of India) could be able to recover the several crores of Rs. losses to the department but inspite of this I am being victimised on the ground that I have disclosed the illegal routing of the ISD calls at BSNL, Allahabad.After disclosure of the information the net increase in the income of the department on the disclosed point was Rs. 1365 Crores in 2006-07.Inspite of several request CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) has till not taken any initiative to protect me from the victimization by the acts of the officers involved in this matter.
    This is too much discouraging and painful for me.

  3. Dr Rajinder K Singla said

    Where is Whistleblowers’ Protection in India?
    Seeking Information under RTI led to termination of service

    I had desperately been waiting for the enactment of an Act that could help us Indians have an access to what we are not entitled to, otherwise. This interest emanated while being inside a premier public renowned historical legacy of the British Empire called The Lawrence School, Sanawar (HP). I detected a large number of irregularities (academic, examination & financial) and qualified meritorious teachers living a life of slavery which Indian slaves might not have lived in the Cellular Jail of Andaman & Nicobar in the pre-independence era. I could not speak anything against this all because of being an employee of the institution. Outsiders don’t speak as they don’t know what exactly prevails inside Sanawar as entry within the school premises is strictly prohibited. Hence, arose for me the need of a law that could help even outsiders to find out and what exactly prevails inside the system.

    But, did RTI work when I took support of it?

    On 28th December 2006 I had submitted an RTI application to CBSE Regional Office Panchkula to seek certain details on the said school which is permanently affiliated to this Board. On the 5th day of my application, the School Headmaster terminated my services, with immediate effect. He got so scared from the information I had sought that he gave me three months salary in advance in lieu of notice period. CBSE-PIO too denied the information. My suspicions got strengthened, leading to a dispatch of large number of RTI applications against both, the School as well as CBSE.

    Resultantly, acting on one of my RTI applications, Himachal Pradesh Government served upon the School Headmaster a show cause notice under HP TCP Act, 1977 for undertaking unauthorized constructions. The constructions were stopped with immediate effect. Central Vigilance Commission of India registered a complaint against CBSE to find out how the said school came to possess thousands of blank answer-books (and what purposes) which are otherwise the property of CBSE. Etc. Etc.

    Many other RTI applications are in process and the results are awaited.

    Of the many RTI applications, one against school and CBSE was listed for hearing in the office of the Central Information Commission (by Hon’ble IC Dr O.P. Kejariwal) on 3rd of January 2008. I, accompanied by my teacher, also attended the hearing. The decision is pending. But, Sanawar Headmaster alongwith his associates and some members of the Board of Governors have now started mounting pressures on my present employer either to force me withdraw my complaint from the office of the CIC or to remove me from service. The truth remains: “Howsoever high the law may be, certain people in India are certainly above law”.

    I feel extremely indebted to media, both print and electronic, who had come to my rescue in my crusade against injustice and highhandedness of schools as well as the affiliating board, i.e. CBSE Delhi.

    Dr Rajinder K. Singla
    (Introduction:By profession, I am a College Lecturer. By qualification, I am an M.Sc., Ph.D., LL.B. from Panjab University, Chandigarh.)

  4. Dilip Kumar said

    Dear Dr Rajinder K. Singla,
    Lawrence school, Sanawar & Lawrence school,Lovedale are ‘Public Authority’ under RTI Act 2005. Both these schools run under the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India. Unfortunately, Employees of both schools are not covered under CCA rules.
    Congratulation to you for your hard work and getting justice from CIC.

    • Lawrence school Lovedale & sanawar is owned by the Government of India. Board Members are appointed by HRD Minister. High officals from the Ministry of HRD & Defence holds posts in both these schools. Headmasters are appointed by the Ministry officials. There was an advertisement given by MHRD for the fillig of Headmaster post at Lawrence school (Sanawar & Lovedale). Pay structure of both these schools are approved by MHRD, Govt of India.But this is not a Public Authority. Teachers are not govt employee.
      Secretary Ministry of HRD. school is the ex-officio chairman of the school. However, If Minister likes some retired IAS he can become the chairman.

      • Dilip said

        Good news.
        Sanskrity school, New Delhi is a Public Authority under RTI Act, helds High Court.
        Now, This is the turn for Lawrence School Sanawar & Lovedale.
        Congratulation Rajendra K Siglaji

        Dilip Kumar
        Sanskriti School answerable under RTI, rules court
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        New Delhi The monetary grants of Sanskriti School — which had sought to wriggle out of accountability under the RTI Act — came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court on Thursday. And noting that there was “opaqueness” in the way government departments funded the elite institution, the court held it to be a “public body” answerable under the RTI Act.
        The school had filed an appeal against a 2006 order of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), declaring it to be under the purview of the RTI Act.

        The CIC had passed the order in 2006 after one Manju Kumar sought particulars about the funding to the school — run by the wives of elite administrative service officers — by various government departments and the details of children of Central government officials from IAS, IFS, IRTS and Defence admitted there without entrance exams.

        The school had refused to part with the information, claiming it was a private body unaided by government.

        Kumar had subsequently moved the CIC. Aggrieved by the CIC order, the school claimed in its appeal to the High Court that only initial amounts were received from Central government departments and the Reserve Bank of India for constructing the school. Further, it was self-financed and did
        not discharge any public law functions, it contended.

        While adjudicating the petition, Justice Ravinder Bhat’s attention was drawn to a Rs 24-crore grant the school received without being under any obligation to return it. “There is opaqueness about these grants,” the court noted. “Interestingly, the Ministry of Human Development did not sanction the grant and individual ministries and agencies (such as the Customs Department, Reserve Bank of India) etc. sanctioned monies apparently from their budgets. By all accounts, the grants — to the tune of Rs 24 crore — were given to the school without (placing) any obligation (on it) to return it. A truly private school would have been under an obligation to return the amount, with some interest.”

        Critical of the basis on which these grants were dished out, Justice Bhat said: “Another interesting aspect is that the departments or agencies (or at least some of them) imposed a condition that the wards of their officers will be given admission. There is nothing on record to suggest any Central government policy to prioritise education of children of its employees through donations to private schools — even on a one-time basis.”

        Apart from several grants given by various public bodies, the records further brought to light a letter from the Customs Department, dated April 26, 1996, whereby Rs 3 crore was sanctioned to the school. A condition was imposed that during admissions, preference had to be given to children of Customs and Central Excise Department officials. Also, seven seats were to be reserved for the nominees of its chairman.

  5. It is a pity that the State government officials are yet to get any kind of whistle blower protection.

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  15. Dilip Kumar said

    In a letter dated 01. September, 2008 written by Dr.G.L.Jambhulkar, Deputy Educational Adviser, Ministry of HRD, Govt of India to The Headmaster, Lawrence school, Lovedale has accepted that
    1. The Lawrence school, Lovedae falls within the ambit of definition of “Public Authority” as defined under section 2 (h) (d) (1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
    2. The school came under the management of the Lawrence school, Lovedale Society ith the Secretary (Education) Govt of India , among the signatories.

    Dilip Kumar
    Former Teacher,
    Lovedale

    • Dilip Kumar said

      Reply :- Reply to the RTI application was given by CPIO, Sch-3 on 18.10.2013.

      Copy of the reply given by CPIO is as below:

      File No. 2-7/2013-Sch-3
      Government of India
      Ministry of Human Resource Development
      Department of School Education & Literacy

      Please refer to your RTI Application dated 21.08.2013 seeking information regarding Board of Governors for Lawrence School Lovedale Society etc.

      It is informed that as per the Memorandum of Association, Secretary (SE & L)or any other nominee of the Govt. is the Chairman of the BOG of Lawrence School Lovedale. The Financial Advisor (MHRD) and Joint Secretary (SE) are the members of the Board.Members of BOG have been appointed with the approval of Minister of HRD.

      For further information your RTI application has been transferred under Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act to Head Mistress Lawrence School Lovedale. You may contact her at the below mentioned address.

      Yours faithfully

      (Dinesh Kumar)
      Under Secretary to the Govt. of India & CPIO

      Copy to: Ms. Sangita Chima, Head Mistress Lawrence School Lovedale, Nilgiris, Ooty, Tamil Nadu-643003 alongwith the copy of the application with the request that the information may kindly be sent to the applicant under intimation to this Department.

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