Sunday, May 27, 2012

Delhi HC: Marks obtained in CBSE exams can't be given under RTI

Marks obtained in CBSE exams cannot be given under RTI: HC


NEW DELHI, May 27, 2012

Students are having a last minute preparation for CBSE X exam at a centre in Visakhapatnam. File photo

Students are having a last minute preparation for CBSE X exam at a centre in Visakhapatnam. File photo

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has held that marks obtained by a student in CBSE board exam cannot be revealed under the transparency law as it would "defeat" the purpose of the new grading system.

The court set aside the verdict of a single judge bench and the Central Information Commission, which had asked the Central Board of Secondary Education to reveal marks obtained by a girl in her Class X board examination in 2010.

"We are unable to agree; we feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of 'marks', in the regime of 'grades' have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof.

"The objective, in replacing the marks with grades, as can be gathered from the documents on record, was to grade students in a bandwidth rather than numerically...," a bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

Writing the judgement, Endlaw said the details of marks, obtained by the student in 10th board, cannot be termed as an "information" under the Right to Information Act as its disclosure would defeat the policy of awarding grades instead of marks.

Allowing the plea of CBSE, it said "no weightage can also be given to the plea of respondent (girl's father) that the marks even if disclosed would not be used for any other purpose.

"The possibility of respondent and his ward, in securing admission and for other purposes, using the said information to secure an advantage over others cannot be ruled out."

The apex transparency panel had allowed the plea of the student saying "since, the marks were available with the appellant (CBSE) and since none of the exemptions under the RTI Act were attracted to support the non disclosure thereof, the appellant was bound to and directed to provide the information sought."

Aggrieved by the order, CBSE appealed to the single judge bench of the High Court which upheld the order of the CIC.

The CBSE then filed an appeal against the order before a division bench which allowed its plea that disclosure of the marks would dilute and defeat the grading system.

"We have already held above that disclosure of marks, which though exists with the appellant would amount to allowing play to the policy earlier prevalent of marking the examinees. Merely because the appellant/its examiners for the purpose of grading, first mark the students would not compel this court to put at naught or to allow full play to the new policy of grades," it said.

Anil Kumar Kathpal, the father of the girl, had sought the details of the marks saying "this information will help me to identify her weak areas in studies and take timely action, so that she can pursue her career after Class XII."


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Read FULL Judgment of Hon'ble Delhi HC at:

Read CIC Order dated 27-09-2011 at: 

Also read the Hon'ble Delhi HC Judgment in Image Format

Sources of Hon'ble Delhi HC Judgment at:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

RTI exposes lavish expenses of President and Speaker of LS

பிரதீபா பாட்டீல்.. 12 வெளிநாட்டு டூர், 22 நாடுகளில் பயணம், செலவு ரூ. 205 கோடி!

திங்கள்கிழமை, மார்ச் 26, 2012, 8:26 [IST]

டெல்லி: குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பிரதீபா பாட்டீல் குடியரசுத் தலைவராகப் பதவியேற்றது முதல் இதுவரை 22 நாடுகளில் சுற்றுப்பயணம் செய்துள்ளார். இதற்காக மக்களின் வரிப்பணத்திலிருந்து அரசு செலவிட்ட தொகை ரூ. 205 கோடியாகும் என்று ஆர்.டி.ஐ. தகவல் மூலம் தெரிய வந்துள்ளது.

மொத்தம் 12 முறை அவர் வெளிநாடுகளுக்கு சுற்றுப்பயணம் செய்துள்ளாராம். கடும் முயற்சிகளுக்குப் பின்னர் கிடைத்த ஆர்.டி.ஐ. தகவல்கள் மூலம் இந்த விஷயம் தெரிய வந்துள்ளது.

கடந்த 2007ம் ஆண்டு ஜூலை மாதம் குடியரசுத் தலைவராகப் பதவியேற்றார் பிரதீபா பாட்டில். நாட்டின் முதல் பெண் குடியரசுத் தலைவர் என்ற பெருமை இவருக்கு உண்டு. நாட்டின் எந்த குடியரசுத் தலைவரும் வைத்திராத செலவை இவர் நாட்டுக்கு வைத்துள்ளார் என்ற பெருமையையும் தற்போது பெற்றுள்ளார்.

இன்னும் நான்கு மாதங்களில் பதவியிலிருந்து ஓய்வு பெறவுள்ள பிரதீபா பாட்டீல், இதுவரை வெளிநாட்டு பயணங்களுக்காக செலவிட்ட தொகை ரூ. 205 கோடியாகும். இது முழுக்க முழுக்க மக்களின் வரிப்பணமாகும்.

குடியரசுத் தலைவருக்கான பிரத்யேக விமானங்களுக்காக மட்டும் ரூ. 169 கோடி செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது. பெரும்பாலும் போயிங் 747-400 ரக விமானத்தைத்தான் குடியரசுத் தலைவரின் பயணத்திற்குப் பயன்படுத்தியுள்ளனர். பாட்டீலுடன் பெரும்பாலும் அவரது குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களும் மொத்தமாக செல்வதுண்டு.

தங்குமிடச் செலவு, வெளிநாடுகளுக்குப் போகும் போது அங்கு உள்ளூர் பயணம், தினசரிப் படி, இதர செலவுகள் என ரூ. 36 கோடி வரை செலவாகியுள்ளதாம்.

குடியரசுத் தலைவருக்கான விமானத்தை ஏர் இந்தியாதான் வழங்கும். இந்த செலவுத் தொகையை மத்திய பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சகமே வழங்குகிறது.

ஏர் இந்தியா நிறுவனம் இதுவரை பாதுகாப்பு அமைச்சகத்திடமிருந்து விமான செலவாக ரூ. 169 கோடியை வசூலித்துள்ளது. இன்னும் ரூ. 16 கோடிக்கு பில் பாஸாகாமல் உள்ளதாம்.

குடியரசுத் தலைவர் இதுவரை பிரேசில், மெக்சிகோ, சிலி, பூட்டான், வியட்நாம், இந்தோனேசியா, ஸ்பெயின், போலந்து, ரஷ்யா, தஜிகிஸ்தான், இங்கிலாந்து, சைப்ரஸ், சீனா, லாவோஸ், கம்போடியா, ஐக்கிய அரபு எமிரேட்ஸ், சிரியா, மொரீஷியஸ், தென் கொரியா, சுவிட்சர்லாந்து, ஆஸ்திரியா ஆகிய நாடுகளுக்குப் போயுள்ளார். மொத்தம் 79 நாட்கள் அவர் வெளிநாடுகளில் கழித்துள்ளார்.

விரைவில் அவர் தென் ஆப்பிரிக்காவுக்குப் போகவுள்ளதாகவும் தகவல்கள் தெரிவிக்கிந்றன.

அவருக்கு முன்பு குடியரசுத் தலைவராக இருந்த அப்துல் கலாம், 17 நாடுகளில் சுற்றுப்பயணம் செய்துள்ளார். 7 முறை சுற்றுப்பயணம் போயுள்ளார். அவருக்கு முன்பு இருந்த கே.ஆர்.நாராயணன், 10 நாடுகளில் 6 முறை சுற்றுப்பயணம் செய்துள்ளார். சங்கர் தயாள் சர்மா இருந்தபோது 4 பயணமாக 16 நாடுகளுக்குப் போய் வந்தார்.

இவர்களின் பயணச் செலவு குறித்த விவரத்தை தெரிவிக்கவில்லை மத்திய அரசு. இருப்பினும் இவர்களுக்கு ஆன செலவை விட பல மடங்கு செலவு குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பிரதீபா பாட்டீல் பயணங்களுக்கு ஆகியுள்ளதாக கூறப்படுகிறது.

English Summary: President Pratibha Patil's wanderlust has cost the public exchequer a whopping Rs 205 crore on her foreign visits, surpassing the record of all her predecessors. Since assuming office as the country's first woman President in July 2007, Patil has undertaken 12 foreign trips covering 22 countries across four continents. She has four more months to go for her five-year tenure and a trip to South Africa is said to be on the anvil.


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கடற்படை தலைமையகத்தை பார்வையிட் பிரதீபா வந்ததற்கான செலவு ரூ. 23 கோடி!

வியாழக்கிழமை, மே 24, 2012, 15:35 [IST]

டெல்லி: மேற்கு கமாண்ட், கடற்படை தலைமையகத்தை ஆய்வு செய்ய குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பிரதீபா பாட்டீல் வந்தபோது ரூ. 23 கோடி செலவிடப்பட்டதாக தகவல் அறியும் சட்டத்தின் மூலம் தெரிய வந்துள்ளது.

இந்தியாவின் முப்படைகளின் தலைமைத் தளபதி அதாவது சுப்ரீம் கமாண்ட் ஆக இருப்பவர் குடியரசுத் தலைவர். கடந்த 2011ம் ஆண்டு மேற்கு கமாண்ட் கடற்படை தலைமை அலுவலகத்திற்கு ஆய்வுக்காக குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பிரதீபா பாட்டீல் வருகை தந்தார். இந்த நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு மிகப் பெரிய அளவில் செலவு செய்துள்ளது கடற்படை. கிட்டத்தட்ட 900க்கும் மேற்பட்ட விருந்தினர்களை வரவழைத்து ஆடம்பரமாக செலவிட்டுள்ளது. மொத்தச் செலவு ரூ. 23.24 கோடியாகும்.

எஸ்.சி.அகர்வால் என்ற பொது நல சேவகர் தகவல் அறியும் சட்டத்தின் மூலம் இந்த விவரத்தைப் பெற்று வெளியிட்டுள்ளார். அதன்படி இந்த நிகழ்ச்சிக்காக செலவிடப்பட்ட தொகையின் விவரம் வருமாறு...

குடிநீருக்காக ரூ. 12 லட்சம்

இந்த நிகழ்ச்சிக்கான ஏற்பாடுகளில் ஒன்றாக குடிநீர் வசதிக்காக ரூ. 12 லட்சம் பணத்தை செலவிட்டுள்ளனர். அதாவது, நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு அழைக்கப்பட்ட ஒவ்வொரு கெஸ்ட்டுக்கும், தலா 83 ஒரு லிட்டர் மினரல் வாட்டர் பாட்டில்களை வாங்கிக் கொடுத்துள்ளனர்.

ரூ. 17 லட்சம் பணம், குடியரசுத் தலைவருக்கு வரவேற்பு அளிப்பதற்கான ஏற்பாடுகளுக்காக செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

படிக்கட்டுக்களை சீரமைக்க ரூ. 14 லட்சம்

கமாண்ட் அலுவலகம் அருகே உள்ள ஒரு கால்நடைப் பண்ணையின் வேலிகைளை சீரமைக்க ரூ. 14 லட்சத்தையும், படிக்கட்டுக்களை சீரமைக்க ரூ. 14 லட்சமும் செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

டைனிங் டேபிள் வாங்க ரூ. 26 லட்சம்

30 டைனிங் டேபிள்கள், 60 டைனிங் சேர்களை மற்றும் விஐபி சேர்கள், பிற மரச் சாமான்களை வாங்க ரூ. 26.96 லட்சம் செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

960 விருந்தினர்கள் இந்த நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு அழைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர். இவர்களைக் கவனிக்க ஆன செலவு மட்டும் ரூ. 17.57 லட்சமாகும்.

மளிகை சாமான் வாங்க ரூ. 28.14 லட்சம்

சாப்பாட்டுக்குத் தேவையான மளிகை சாமான்களை வாங்க ரூ. 28.14 லட்சம் செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

ஊழியர்களுக்கான கூலி ரூ. 1 கோடி

பல்வேறு பணிகளுக்கு அமர்த்தப்பட்ட ஆட்களுக்கு சம்பளமாக மட்டும் ரூ. 1 கோடி தரப்பட்டுள்ளது.

விழா நடந்த முல்லா ஆடிட்டோரியத்தில் செயற்கை நீரூற்று ஒன்றை ரூ. 6 லட்சம் செலவில் அமைத்துள்ளனர். அடிப்படைக் கட்டமைப்புக்காக மட்டும் ரூ. 11.67 கோடி செலவிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

கடந்த ஆண்டு டிசம்பர் 20ம் தேதி ஒரே ஒரு நாள் நடந்த நிகழ்ச்சிக்குத்தான் இவ்வளவு செலவு செய்துள்ளதாம் கடற்படை.

English Summary: The Navy has run up a tab of Rs 23 crore for a day's extravaganza for the President. This included a bill of Rs 12 lakh for drinking water and Rs 17 lakh for the presidential banquet, besides spending Rs 14 lakh on alteration of a cattle fence and a similar amount on fixing a staircase. The President's Fleet Review of the Navy, in which the supreme commander of the armed forces inspects the maritime prowess of the force, took place in 2011 and is held once in the President's tenure.


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Pratibha's foreign trips cost nation a record Rs. 205 crore


NEW DELHI, March 26, 2012

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil plays table tennis during a visit to M.J. College in Jalgaon on Saturday.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil plays table tennis during a visit to M.J. College in Jalgaon on Saturday - PTI

President Pratibha Patil's foreign visits have cost the public exchequer Rs. 205 crore, surpassing the record of all her predecessors.

Since assuming office as the country's first woman President in July 2007, Ms. Patil has undertaken 12 trips covering 22 countries across four continents. She has four more months to go in her five-year tenure and a trip to South Africa is said to be on the anvil.

A series of RTI applications has revealed that Air India incurred over Rs. 169 crore on use of chartered aircraft, always a Boeing 747-400, on the foreign visits by Ms. Patil, mostly accompanied by family members. A visit to Bhutan was covered by a smaller jet.

A further sum of nearly Rs. 36 crore has been incurred by the External Affairs Ministry on accommodation, local travel, daily allowance and "miscellaneous" expenses, according to its information.

The RTI applications were filed over three years during which the authorities concerned showed great reluctance to reveal information.

The Defence Ministry, which pays Air India for use of chartered aircraft by the President, fended off RTI queries and provided little information.

The airline has billed the Defence Ministry for over Rs. 169 crore for aircraft used by Ms. Patil. Of this, it has paid nearly Rs. 153 crore.


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Prez's Naval fleet review bled Centre of Rs 23 crore


When austerity is the watch word, RTI response reveals that President Pratibha Patil's review of the Naval fleet at Mumbai on December 20, 2011 cost a whopping Rs 23.24 crore.

Another RTI response reveals Deputy Chairperson of Planning Commission Montek Ahluwalia's global forays between May and October 2011, cost the exchequer a sum of Rs 36,40,140 for four trips covering 18 nights, an average cost of Rs 2.02 lakh a day. Similarly, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar's globetrotting comprised 29 trips in 35 months of her tenure, cost the exchequer around Rs 10 crore .

According to the detailed information provided by Naval Headquarters to RTI activist Subhash Agrawal, the Presidential Fleet Review at Mumbai seas incurred massive expenditure under various heads such as repair of submarines, hiring of vessels, transport and casual labour; maintenance of marine assets, repair and refits of aircraft related stores, etc.

The major component of the cost was incurred on the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure development. This was Rs 11.67 crore, including Rs 1.32 crore spent for external paintings of buildings and roof tops, including repair of some buildings.

Rs 1.2 crore was spent on relaying roads; Rs 41 lakh on the special repairs to the road from Afghan Church to RC Church (near Navy area); Rs 27 lakh for the special repair to heritage wall at INS Angre; Rs 8 lakh on display board on main roads; Rs 49 lakh spent on special repairs to external services and rain beating wall of certain at VIP roads and procurement of light fittings and cable, refurbishment of tower, street and security lights among others, said the RTI reply.

The RTI reply also stated that Rs 26.96 lakh was spent to buy new furniture, including 30 dining tables and 60 dining chairs, furniture for VIP

lounge and for cabin staff. Rs 19.68 lakh was spent on the catering. Of this, Rs 17.57 lakh was spent on the catering for presidential banquet involving 960 people while Rs 2.11 lakh on catering for the Presidential yacht/ship involving 750 people.

During Presidential Fleet Review, President Pratibha Patil, took salute from a flotilla of 81 ships, including four submarines and 44 aircraft of the Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

A separate RTI response shows that between May and October 2011, Montek undertook "four trips covering 18 nights which cost the exchequer a sum of Rs. 36,40,140", an average cost of Rs 2.02 lakh a day. Montek made 42 officials foreign trips and spent 274 days overseas during his seven-year-tenure. Interestingly, out of his 42 trips, 23 were to America. The total cost of his travelling expenses according to RTI response come to Rs.2.34 core.

Meira Kumar during her three year tenure visited 29 countries. RTI responses reveal she led several delegations, mostly to international conferences, comprising several MPS and bureaucrats, costing around Rs 10 crore.

Meanwhile, reacting to Meira Kumar's foreign junkets, Lok Sabha Secretariat on Wednesday in statement claimed that all trips were in her official capacity and "part of official responsibility."

"In her official capacity, the Speaker has to lead Indian Parliamentary Delegations to the Conferences of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), of which India is a member," the statement said.


Also read the related stories

Meira Kumar took trips abroad every 37 days

PTI May 21, 2012, 09.02PM IST

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has undertaken as many 29 foreign trips in 35 months since assuming the high office which means she has gone on a trip nearly every 37 days.

The former IFS officer has visited 28 countries accompanied by MPs belonging to various parties as well as senior officials of the Lok Sabha secretariat incurring a total expenditure of nearly Rs 10 crore, according to information given to activist Subhash Agrawal under RTI Act.

The country most visited by her is Switzerland, which is essentially in connection with Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) work, according to details furnished by the Lok Sabha secretariat.

Kumar, who was elected Speaker on June 3, 2009 has, in all, travelled abroad for 146 days till April 30 this year.

For IPU work, Kumar has undertaken seven visits to four countries - Switzerland four times, while once each to the USA, Panama and, Thailand.

In addition, she visited Trinidad and Tobago, UK, Sri Lanka, Isle of Man, Swaziland, Kenya and Tanzania for the work related to Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the reply said.

Kumar also took parliamentary delegations to Italy, Austria, Mauritius, Bhutan, Hungary, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Mexico, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Iran, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.

In five visits to the USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Isle of Man and Swaziland, she was only accompanied by the officials of the Parliament while in rest of the visits she was also accompanied by MPs.

According to the reply, total expenses on these visits were Rs 9.89 crore. She also gave gifts worth Rs 11.66 lakh to her hosts.


Also read the Clarification Statement by President of India

President's office justifies Pratibha Patil's foreign trip expenses

TNN Mar 28, 2012, 02.43AM IST

NEW DELHI: Caught in a controversy over the President's travel expenses amounting to over Rs 200 crore, Rashtrapati Bhawan spokesperson on Tuesday said that comparisons of the number of foreign visits by various Presidents was misleading. President Pratibha Patil's office also said that the visits were necessary to deepen bilateral cooperation.

A statement by President's Officer on Special Duty Archana Datta also explained that the visits were undertaken after careful appraisal and recommendation by the Prime Minister's Office and ministry of external affairs.

Defending the size of the delegation that have accompanied Patil on 12 trips covering 22 countries, the statement said that the delegation comprised ministers, MPs, senior officials besides "supporting" and security staff. All Presidents have been accompanied by family members and Presidential guests besides media contingent.

The statement also described as "potentially misleading" comparison of foreign visits undertaken by the President with her predecessors.

It said that among her predecessors, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam had visited 17 countries, K R Narayanan (13), R Venkataraman (21) and V V Giri (22).

In a response to an RTI, the government said that about Rs 205 crore had been spent on Patil's foreign trips.


Also read the Clarification Statement by Speaker of Lok Sabha

Speaker's Foreign Visits Official in Nature, Clarifies LSS

PTI | NEW DELHI | MAY 23, 2012

The foreign visits undertaken by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar were part of her official responsibilities and not to holiday destinations, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said today.

Reacting to news reports on the Speaker embarking on a foreign visit every 37 days which cost nearly Rs 10 crore, the Secretariat said in a release that Kumar's visits were part of her official responsibilities.

"In her official capacity, the Speaker has to lead Indian Parliamentary Delegations to the Conferences of the Inter- Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), of which India is a member," the statement said.

It said bilateral exchanges of Parliamentary delegations on goodwill visits have become more regular as parliamentary diplomacy gained ground as a major complement to other diplomatic initiatives.

"The news items and their wording tend to mislead the readers by suggesting that these visits were to holiday destinations," it said.

The statement also said that MPs of all political parties were part of the delegation and often travelled economy class as against their entitlement for first class travel in airlines.

It said that a large number of foreign Parliamentary delegations also visited Parliament in the last three years.

The Secretariat, in response to an RTI query, had said that the Speaker had undertaken as many 29 foreign trips in 35 months since assuming the high office in 2009.


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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