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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Compensation to be paid if info not provided under RTI

PNS | Bhubaneswar

The Right to Information Act would be followed in a more stringent way in the State. If any department fails to provide the information as sought by the public, the department would be liable to pay compensation to the person. Earlier, the concerned official was only liable to pay the penalty. 

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level high level meeting on Implementation of RTI held at the State Secretariat on Friday. While the Chief Secretary presided over the meeting, the State Commissioner Jagadananda attended the meeting. Secretaries of all the department all attended the meeting.

It was decided that a special cell would solely be created whose basic job is to provide the information to the public. This scheme has already been introduced in the Bihar and it has been a huge success.

Information and Public Relation (I&PR) Department would act as a nodal agency. All the departments will provide the information to the department on a monthly basis. By the end of May 31, a detailed annual report would be prepared.

Steps would be taken to provide information to the people under the RTI in the tribal areas without any charge. So far action has been taken against 145 officials for not imparting information under the RTI

Saturday, May 30, 2009

RTI will be made more accessible: Chavan

30 May 2009, 0116 hrs IST, TNN,prtpage-1.cms

NEW DELHI: The government will study practices in other countries before establishing a separate directorate for prosecution, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions Prithviraj Chavan said. Chavan, who took over formal charge on Friday, said that various systems will be taken in to consideration and the proposition of setting up a directorate of prosecution will be put up before Cabinet soon. 

"We are studying the practices in other countries and will bring the proposal to Cabinet soon,'' Chavan said. Prosecution is currently under the CBI that is overburdened with more than 8,000 cases under investigation. 

The minister added that efforts would be made to make Right to Information Act more accessible. Replies to RTI queries on the Internet and filing of RTI on phone were facilities that were being looked at. "We have already kickstarted work on setting up a call centre so that people can ask for information on the phone. The system is already operational in Bihar and we will introduce some refinements before introducing it in some states. The facility is likely to start in Delhi soon,'' he said. Chavan however refused to specify any deadline on these plans. 

Denying that CBI was under any political interference, Chavan admitted that there was a public perception that the agency worked on the direction of its political masters. "This perception exists and we must change it. The government will work towards making CBI a more effective and efficient agency,'' Chavan said. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

RTI Query Forces Jamia to Set up Panel to Probe Allegations Against VC

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: May 29, 2009; Section: Times City; Page: 4

Jamia sets up panel to probe allegations against Hasan

New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) has set up a committee to probe allegations against vice chancellor Mushirul Hasan that he misused his office during appointments and naming some buildings on the campus. The inquiry committee will be headed by retired judge of Delhi High Court S K Aggarwal.

    Hasan, whose term as VC ends on June 9 this year, is alleged to have misused his office in the appointments for AJK Mass Communication and Research Centre (AJK MCRC) and the newly established dental institute. Questions are also being raised over the naming of the history department block after his father Mohibbul Hasan.

    Complainant Mohammad Shadab Sami filed an RTI after he was not allowed to join the varsity despite being appointed as lecturer by Jamia committee.

    Said Sami, ‘‘I had received an offer letter from Jamia’s selection committee, stating that I was appointed as a lecturer of still photography at AJK MCRC. However, I was not allowed to join despite completing all formalities. I was supposed to join by April 13, 2009. I just wanted to know if there was a valid cause for the inability of the VC to issue my joining letter. I sent him letters regarding the above enquiries and got no reply. In the mean time, candidates who got the appointment letters for other departments assumed their duties.’’

    While Iftikhar Ahmed, director, AJK MCRC refused to comment on the issue, Hasan said: ‘‘I have nothing to say as I have acted according to the statues and ordinances.’’ However, a senior faculty of AJK MCRC commented: ‘‘There can’t be smoke without any fire.’’

    Sami also said according to HRD regulations, no VC of central universities can either appoint or hold any appointments two months prior to his last date of tenureship. Rakhshanda Jalil, director, media and culture, JMI, said an inquiry committee was constituted once it was brought to the notice of the VC that the complainant was the nephew of the then registrar. Jalil said: ‘‘During the last few months we had to hold selection committees in AJK MCRC and the Faculty of Dental Studies. We informed the secretary, human resource development, about it vide a letter dated April 9, 2009.’’

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

48-hour Jail Experience of RTI Activists: Part I

Mumbai: RTI activists waiting in the lobby of SIC for the police to arrive and arrest them! 

How we landed in Jail – a brief account

Dear friends,
Since our release last Thursday after 48 hours in police and judicial custody, we have been repeatedly asked: “What exactly happened? Why were you charged with trespass, rioting, assault etc? Did you go on a rampage in Dr Suresh Joshi’s office or courtroom? How can singing Jana Gana Mana get somebody into so much trouble?”

People also ask, “How did it feel to be in jail? How are you feeling now? Aren’t you ashamed of being branded as criminals?”

On behalf of our small group of jailbirds, who proudly call themselves the Jana Gana Mana group, let me put the facts on record. I shall write this in three parts:

Part I: What exactly happened at Maharashtra State Information Commission on Tuesday, 19th May? Why did we get arrested? Why did CSIC Dr Joshi lodge an FIR with the Police?

Part II: What were the events in the earlier months that built up to this incident? Were we very aggressive or did we misbehave in earlier meetings? What put Dr Joshi into his negative / angry / vindictive frame of mind?

Part III: How did it feel to be in police lockup, taken around in police vans, marched barefoot to the Magistrate court, and sleep among 130 assorted inmates at Arthur Road jail? How was the food, and how were our conversations with undertrials and hardened criminals?

Today, I shall write only Part I.

What happened on the afternoon of 19th May

Dr Srikant Prabhu, a 67-year-old veterinarian, had a second appeal hearing before Dr Suresh Joshi at 4.30 pm. He was accompanied by G R Vora and Mohd Afzal. They completed that hearing before the other activists arrived one by one at the State Information Commission.

In fact, we were not one homogenous group. Two groups and some individual activists pursuing their own cause were together at this meeting to press for clean implementation of the RTI Act.

·  Krishnaraj Rao, G R Vora, Mohd Afzal and Sunil Ahya comprise one group. They had been following up Dr Suresh Joshi for proper implementation of RTI Act since November 2008.

·  Another group consists of Mukund Parikh, Dr Srikant Prabhu, Sanjay Ghatalia and K N Singh.

·  Vijay Chavan is a social activist who had been pursuing a number of second appeals, and successfully got several PIOs penalized.

·  Ravi Kiran Haldipur was an appellant who had recently become interested in our cause and our methods.

Our group – the first one -- submitted a letter (Pl scroll down to view the letter) to the inward department. The letter warned that if Information Commissioners implemented penal provisions of RTI Act in an arbitrary or mala fide way, then Sec. 217 & 218 of the Indian Penal Code would be applicable. They could be hauled to court and jailed for such action. Attached to this letter were relevant judgments of High Courts and Supreme Court.

Having submitted the letter, we spoke to Dr Joshi’s Executive Assistant Kalpana Gavas, and asked for a time to see Dr Joshi. She said that he was too busy to see us, as he had a doctor’s appointment at 5.30.

So we said we would go inside and observe his court hearings. (This is something that we have been doing a couple of times every month, in groups of varying sizes.) Again, she consulted Dr Joshi and said that only five of us could go inside at one time. We decided to disregard this.

We entered, stood or sat at the back, and observed one hearing. After the hearing was completed, we requested Dr Joshi (who had a band-aid on his forehead) for a brief meeting to submit our letter personally. He granted us five minutes and asked us to come to the front. Dr Joshi said that he would henceforth meet us and other activists only on the first Monday of every month. We told him that this was unacceptable, as the list of things that he had promised and had not implemented was growing longer, requiring more frequent meetings.

Suddenly, a well-known social activist who had come with us for the first time, stood up and announced that he always began this kind of meetings by singing the National Anthem in order to invoke a patriotic spirit. (He had earlier sung the National Anthem at the office of Dr Patangrao Kadam, Maharashtra Housing Minister.) He then unilaterally started singing Jana Gana Mana. The rest of us joined him in chorus. Dr Joshi remained seated for the initial three lines, and then shook his head in dismay, got up and left the room by the back door which leads to his chamber.

After we finished singing, we waited a few minutes for him to return, and then someone went outside to find that Dr Joshi was leaving. Standing in the lobby, he said loudly that this was not the way, and he was calling police. We said that if that was indeed the case, they we would wait for the police to arrive.

When we asked Ms Gavas again whether we were required to wait any longer, she asked us to wait. Approximately an hour after Dr Joshi’s departure, around 15 policemen arrived, took the statements of Ms Gavas and other office staff, took the group to Marine Drive Police Station in a police van and told us to sign us the arrest/surrender form. We were put in police custody at Azad Maidan Police Station overnight. Next day we were produced in Court and granted bail on a surety of Rs 20,000 per head. As we could not produce this at short notice, we were sent to Judicial Custody at Arthur Road Jail.

We were charged with the following offences:

Section 143- Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six month, or with fine, or with both.

Section 145- Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse- Whoever joins or continues in an unlawful assembly, knowing that such unlawful assembly has been commanded in the manner prescribed by law to disperse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 146- Rioting- Whenever force or violence is used by an unlawful assembly, or by any member thereof, in prosecution of the common object of such assembly, every member of such assembly is guilty of the offence of rioting.

Section 448- Whoever commits house-trespass shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine or which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 452- House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint- Whoever commits house-trespass, having made preparation for causing hurt to any person or for assaulting any person, or for wrongfully restraining any person, or for putting any person in fear of hurt, or of assault, or of wrongful restraint, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 353- Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty- Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person being a public servant in the execution of his duty as such public servant, or with intent to prevent or deter that person from discharging his duty as such public servant, or in consequence of anything done or attempted to be done by such person in the lawful discharge of his duty as such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Dear friends, many of us agree that the Jana Gana Mana singing was unnecessary and distracting. It happened in an unpremeditated way, and was not to our liking… but once someone in our large group started singing, we felt that the only gracious thing to do was stand at attention and join in.  We could not stop him midway by poking his ribs or kicking his shin, could we?

 Our conduct as a group may at worst be described as inappropriate or unruly. However, does this justify the serious charges levelled against us viz. assault, rioting, house-trespass etc? Does this justify the police harassment?

The response by Dr Joshi and the police was out of proportion... a bit like throwing someone into jail for crossing the road when the light was red. Don't you think so?

98215 88114
Source: Yahoogroup: [rti4empowerment] 




Dr Suresh V Joshi,

Chief Information Commissioner,

New Administrative Bldg., 13th Floor,

Opp. Mantralaya, Mumbai – 400032.




We wish to bring to your notice that your non-adherence to the RTI Act while conducting hearings and passing Orders on Second Appeals and Complaints, making a mockery of the Act and aiding and abetting corruption amount to an offence that may attract imprisonment, fines or both.

The very purpose for which this Act was enacted was to bring about transparency, accountability, better governance and reduction of corruption. Your Orders lead to the exact opposite. Your filibustering tactics are causing other SICs in Maharashtra also to shun transparency. This is clearly reflected in their Orders.

Being a retired public servant and an IAS officer, you may be aware of the below provisions of Sec. 217 and 218 of Indian Penal Code under which you are punishable.

IPC Section 217.  Public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment...
“Whoever, being a public servant, knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is conduct himself as such public servant, intending thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or subject him to a less punishment than that to which he is liable… shall be punished with imprisonment… for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

IPC Section 218. Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment…
“Whoever, being a public servant… charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment… shall be punished with imprisonment… for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”


Please consider this as a final warning and mend your ways. Otherwise we shall be constrained to file FIR and move the judiciary to pass strictures against you, dismiss you for dereliction of duty, non-implementation of laws and award you imprisonment and fines for aiding and abetting corruption.

We are already initiating legal action against you under these sections, and recent orders of High Courts and Supreme Court (copies attached) in favour of mandatory penalty under RTI Section 20 and reasoned Speaking Order.

If you improve your functioning subsequent to receiving this letter, kindly inform us of the same with evidence. We hope you will not face the ignominy of being dismissed from service, and/or being jailed at the end of your career.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

G R Vora        Mohd. Afzal  Sunil Ahya      Krishnaraj Rao

CC: Chief Justice of Bombay High Court


1)      Recent Delhi High Court Order on RTI Penalties

2)      Order of Punjab & Haryana High court on Mandatory Penal Provisions

3)      Supreme Court on the importance of reasoned Orders by appellate authorities


Another bureaucrat for information panel raises hackles

HT Correspondent, Chandigarh : May 26

WITH ANOTHER bureaucrat on the verge of being appointed as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), a host of citizen groups, civil society organisations and legal activists have come together to condemn the move.

Punjab Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh is tipped to take over as CIC, with the government reported to have already got the mandatory approval from the Leader of the Opposition.The top IAS officer is expected to take premature retirement for the purpose, as he is otherwise due for retirement only in October 2009.

Speaking at a press conference here today, many social activists said the appointment would be in violation of the spirit of the RTI Act and the Constitution of India.

Vowing to fight against the “brazen and illegal action tooth-and-nail”, Hemant Goswami of the Citizens Voice said that under the RTI Act, for the appointment of a commissioner, a committee had to be set up to deliberate on all applications received for the post.

As per the Act, members of the Information Commission were supposed to be eminent personalities with wide experience in law, science, social service, management, etc.

However, in Punjab most information commissioners were from government background.

Goswami said that in this case, the government had not even advertised the position or set up any committee for the selection.Applications sent in by social workers were not even considered. “The government has moved the file for the Chief Secretary even while he is in service. This in itself is against IAS service rules,” he added.

Advocate H.C. Arora said even the present commissioners from bureaucracy were not performing their job satisfactorily.

Most of them attended to work only 20-30 hours a month. “Except for General P.K. Grover (retd), none of the information commissioners appear to be serious in the discharge of their job,” he alleged.

Earlier, several social activists and organisations have sent a joint representation to the Punjab Governor, the Chief Minister and the Leader of Opposition against the appointment of another bureaucrat in the commission.

“We are even contemplating criminal action under Sections 166, 217 and 219 of the IPC against some of the information commissioners,” Goswami said. The representation to the Chief Minister read, “…none of the commissioners holds hearing for more than six hours a week…. Each commissioner costs the exchequer at least Rs 1.50 lakh a month. The new appointment seems nothing more than reward for sycophancy.”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anna Hazare says, “Get jailed in large numbers!”

“Good work, boys!” said Anna Hazare to us -- the 10 activists jailed for 48 hours on false charges of rioting, assault and trespass by Maharashtra CSIC Dr Suresh Joshi.

See video-clip of our conversation with Anna yesterday at Sahyadri Guest House:

“I was told about what you fellows did. Going to prison isn’t a bad thing,” Anna laughed. “Remember, our Freedom-fighters did lots of that. I too was sentenced to three months imprisonment, but they kicked me out after only 8 days when things got too hot to handle for the State government. It rocked the government. We must organize in large numbers to have lots more of this sort of action and really shake these guys to their senses,” he said, soon after his meeting with Chief Minister Ashok Chavan.

We thanked Anna for inspiring us, and assured him that we would stay aggressive for the cause of proper RTI implementation.

Posted by Krishnaraj Rao on on Sun, May 24, 2009 at 2:38 AM
98215 88114

MPs' Expenses controversies in UK

Our press and media has been pre-occupied with with election related news. During the same period, there have been fascinating and dramatic developments in UK. Records obtained with the help of Freedom of Information law and other sources revealed massive misuse of public money by Members of Parliament. 

Daily Telegraph had deployed 10 journalist to probe into records, which revealed blatant misuse of public money by MPs. This is an ongoing political scandal following the disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament. It involves the disclosure of widespread alleged misuse of the permitted allowances and expenses claimed by Members of Parliament. There was an attempts by MPs to exempt themselves from Freedom of Information legislation. Ultimately information had to be revealed and was given extensive coverage in press and media. 

There is genuine concern among MPs that Parliament has never been held in lower regard by members of the public. Even MPs who have done nothing wrong are reported to be considering quitting as they are considered "crooks" by the public. 

There are several important lessons for India: 

(A) RTI /FOI law leads to effective public accountability.

(B) Beneficiaries of corrupt practices try to avoid transparency. Transparency is essential to prevent misuse of public money.

(C) Press and media can make good use of information revealed with the help of RTI/FOI laws. It is also their social responsability to educate the readers/audience.

Posted by Dhirendra Krishna on on 
Sun, May 24, 2009 at 1:26 PM

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eleven RTI activists held for rioting

Viju B, TNN
20 May 2009, 0132 hrs IST,
MUMBAI: It was supposed to be a peaceful meeting with state chief information commissioner Suresh Joshi for addressing the grievances of RTI activists. But 11 prominent RTI activists ended up getting arrested by the Marine Drive police for rioting and forceful entry. 

The RTI activists-Krishna Raj Rao, Gaurang Vora, Mohmmed Afzal, Sunil Ahya, Mukund Parekh, Vijay Chuahan, Sanjay Ghadalia, K N Singh, Ravi Haldipore, Dr Srikant Prabhu and Pramod Kadam met Joshi to apprise him of various issues that had been plaguing the RTI Act, on Tuesday evening. 

Chauhan said he wanted to sing the National Anthem. "Joshi went out of the room after we sang the first line. This is punishable under the Constitution,'' he added. 

They then found out that Joshi had lodged a police complaint. A State Information Commission official said that this was not the way to register a grievance.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chew on this, RTI brings lost cow home

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, May 11, 2009

Unhappy with the police for failing to act on your complaint? Well, the Right to Information (RTI) Act can come to your rescue.

Gobind Dubey, a resident of north Delhi’s Metro Vihar, was recently surprised to find a couple of policemen at his door. They had Dubey’s stolen cow with them.

All they wanted was for him to withdraw his RTI application.

A few months ago, Dubey had complained to the police that the cow, his only source of income, had been taken away by one Raju Tyagi, a dairy owner.

The police refused to register a case, saying Tyagi had bought the animal and had the documents to prove it.

On a friend’s advice, Dubey filed an RTI application, seeking details of the action taken on his complaint.

“About a week after I filed the application, policemen came to my house with Tyagi and returned my cow,” he said. “Tyagi apologised to me and the police requested me not to pursue the case further.”

About 50 km away in Ghaziabad in UP, Mukesh Kumar, too, has reason to thank the RTI Act.

Kumar, an electrician, had complained to the police that a man had duped him. A cheque for Rs 70,000 — that was owed to Kumar — had bounced.

When no action was taken, he filed an RTI application. Within days, the police asked Kumar to come to Ghaziabad and collect his money. “They just wanted me to give in writing that the issue had been settled,” he said.

Magsaysay award-winner Arvind Kejriwal said these two were true examples of people’s empowerment through the RTI Act. About 75 lakh RTI applications were filed last year. “The law was framed to make public servants accountable to people and it is happening to some extent,” said Kejriwal.

© Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

Thursday, May 7, 2009

RTI Query: Delhi HC Ignored Supreme Court Directive for 20 Years!

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: May 7, 2009; Section: Times City; Page: 7

To sit or not to sit: HC notice out

Abhinav Garg | TNN

New Delhi: Caught napping by a public interest litigation (PIL) that exposed how even after more than 20 years of a Supreme Court directive, Delhi High Court has failed to change its rules that could have allowed accused to sit, rather than stand in trial courts, HC on Wednesday issued the notification.

In 1981, SC had directed all HC’s across the country to change the criminal manuals so that accused can sit while attending trial in courts. But it took a PIL by one Awadh Bihari Kaushik, filed earlier this week through lawyer R K Saini, to get HC administration moving. The PIL relies on an RTI plea filed in HC that revealed that no steps were taken all these years by HC to implement the SC order.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice was informed by the HC administration that a notification has been issued while the bench was hearing the PIL. HC then directed the government to publish the notification in the gazette. It will however, come to force after it is published in the official gazette.The notification says all judges should permit an accused to sit during trial proceedings, making an exception only when a judge approaches his seat to start proceedings.

CA exam answersheets under RTI purview: HC

Publication: Times of India Mumbai; Date: May 1, 2009; Section: Times Nation; Page: 14

CA exam answersheets under RTI purview: HC
New Delhi: Students who fail in chartered accountant exams can find out their mistakes by going through their answersheets as the Delhi HC on Thursday directed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to provide a certified copy of the paper to students under the Right to Information Act. Dismissing an ICAI’s plea against a CIC order, the HC said the answersheet cannot be excluded from the purview of the RTI. AGENCIES

Name mole in Indira govt: CIC

Publication: Times of India Mumbai; Date: May 1, 2009; Section: Times Nation; Page: 14

Name mole in Indira govt: CIC
Asks MEA To Lift Veil Over 1971 Indo-Pak War Spy Case By May 6

Himanshi Dhawan | TNN
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the government to reveal the names of the alleged moles in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The decision came after Delhi-based Anuj Dhar sought details of leaks of information relating to national security by a CIA agent.

Information commissioner Annapurna Dixit has asked the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to provide information by May 6. The decision comes at a time when the CIC has chosen not to disclose the Henderson-Brooks report on the Sino-India war.

The infamous 1971 spy case created a furore after it came to light that a senior minister in the cabinet was allegedly leaking crucial information pertaining to cabinet meetings to America’s CIA. Journalist Seymour Hersh in 1983 in his book The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House alleged that late prime minister Morarji Desai had spied for the CIA setting off a major controversy and inviting strong reactions in India.

Dhar, author of the book, CIA’s Eye on South Asia, that compiles declassified CIA documents related to the case, had sought information on people who leaked information to the CIA.

These include records of a meeting between then external affairs minister Swaran Singh and then US secretary of state William Rodges on October 5, 1972, the names and details of people who were in touch with the CIA and leaked details of the proceedings of the Congress Working Committee, details of destroyed or missing records the MEA had on recurring allegations that a minister betrayed India during the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Dhar also quoted articles written in the foreign press on US South Asia policy being guided by a “source close to Mrs Gandhi’’.

The ministry had earlier refused to disclose any material on the plea that the request for information or documents is based on reports of foreign governments, newspapers and books which the government does not take cognisance those are unsubstantiated reports.

The MEA added, “Authorities are under obligation to divulge records or information of only those events which have happened within 20 years of the request being made.’’

Dhar argued before the commission that the information was of great historical importance. He held that disclosure would be in public interest.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Is RTI Act to be blamed for ills of Prof Azis, VC, AMU?

Where did the VC Go Wrong?
The greatest culprits, undoubtedly, are those teachers/Aligs, who empanelled a person as the VC of historic AMU, who has very poor academic record, serious charges of plagiarism in researches, financial bunglings, illegally obtained D.Sc. degree and professorship, all alleged by Prof. V.N.S.S. Pillai of Kerala. These charges were made known through media: Indian Express in November 2006, Outlook in April-May 2007, yet the empanelment. This exposed the connivance, immorality etc of both the Aligs and of Prof. Azis. Common people of Aligarh are cursing those who proposed his name and succeeded in empanelling him.

A large number of Aligs do feel that the VC was under pressure from this very lobby to award them with lucrative administrative positions of AMU. This pressure was further mounted after 17 September 2007, when massive upsurge had taken place. Since then, the group has been pushed aside by the VC. This group is also believed to be desperate to get contracts of construction, and supply of uniforms and shoes (to the Proctorial security personnel), computers, air conditioners and for timber auctions etc. Such contracts, reportedly, used to be obtained by a non-teaching employee-AMU Court Member-EC Member, now a builder-property dealer as well, belonging to this very lobby. [One wonders, why does not he activate the Justice Faizanuddin Committee to investigate into the killings and upsurges of April-September 2007? One also wonders why he put the Justice Mathew Report under the carpet of Inamdar Committee, because action on these Committees/ Report will effectively silence the lobby vexing him. Having illegally recruited/ promoted people in the Media Committee is another big, inexcusable sin of the VC. ]

It was this very group, who, in order to keep the VC its puppet, tried to cash in on very genuine grievances of the teachers for promotions. Unfortunately, the VC mishandled the whole situation, and virtually played into their hands. His stooge in the EC and a former fellow-traveler of the abovementioned lobby, acted like a crass goon to disrupt the GBM of AMUTA. This was very unbecoming of a university campus. This episode put the VC in a wrong box. It turned young lecturers angry against the VC, who maintained a proxy cry of making AMU international, while himself having such a poor academic record, for which his credibility remained under question right since beginning. There was no point in:

(a) being reluctant about holding selection committees,

(b) doing away with screening for non substantive promotion of lecturers to senior scale, more so, when he had to remain reluctant about holding selection committees,

All this happened at a time when VCs credibility dipped further down with outrageously expensive renovation and furnishing of his residence by flouting many rules.

The campaign of the RTI Group [] exposed his many other irregularities. Cutting down teachers legitimate vacations, he and his Registrar kept taking frequent long out-station leaves with high travel bills [a total of which probably go above a crore of rupees, within less than two years of their tenure]. All these wrong-doings washed away his remarkable handling of the law and order situation, and few other good works.

Even tactically it was wrong on his part that when he dissociated himself from the lobby which empanelled him, he should have fulfilled all legitimate demands of the common teachers, rather than using his other stooges in the EC to take recourse to intimidations. His talk of upgrading AMU to an international institution was always laughed out, precisely because of his poor academic standing, and his reported lust for money through construction kickbacks, lodge renovation, income tax scam, travel bills etc.

So, none (except perhaps the RTI Act) has to be blamed for whatever is happening with the VC. Mere legal authorities will not help him run the AMU, he needs moral authority as well, and that has vanished with the reports of enquiry against him, regardless of its consequences.

But the VC, in his 60s, must have turned so rigid in his temperament that he will hardly try to mend his ways. Is it too late for him now?? We must watch this space. The Aligs must look within themselves, why do they allow such lobbies to operate among themselves who empanel such a poor, inefficient and corrupt man as the VC of AMU.


Zafar Khan
H-104, Batla House, New Delhi-25
Source:> Posted on: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:48:09 IST
Mr Zafar Khan can be reached at (please replace >.AT with @)