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Prakash Yedhula (Lawyer)     13 August 2007



1) The Central Information Commission has held that a committee functioning under the directions of Supreme Court is a public authority and is obliged to provide information under the RTI Act.

""The Supreme Court of India itself is covered under the RTI Act, and has repeatedly submitted itself to enquiry by this cannot be argued that a Committee functioning under its directions sees itself outside the purview of the Act,"" said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

The direction came after appellant Poonam Sharma, who sought information on the criteria adopted by the State Fee Committee to fix the fees of self-financing institutions from Deputy Director of Higher Education, Delhi, moved an appeal saying that she received a reply that the Director's office is not competent to divulge information on proceedings of the Fee Committee.

In its response, the Department of Higher Education said that since the sought information pertains to the State Fee Committee, the matter had been referred to Justice Usha Mehra, (former Judge of Delhi HC) , Chairperson of State Fee Committee, to obtain prior permission to supply the required information.

The Chairperson returned the file saying the panel does not fall under the purview of RTI Act as it acts as per directions of the Supreme Court.

Rejecting this contention, the CIC said that when the Supreme Court itself is covered under the RTI Act, and has repeatedly submitted itself to enquiry by the Commission, it cannot be argued that a Committee functioning under the directions of a public authority sees itself as outside the purview of the Act.
[align=justify]2) CM Narendra Modi has suggested setting up of a special Lok Adalat to resolve disputes in service matters of Government employees. Speaking at the inaugural function of the fourth general Lok Adalat in Gandhinagar on Sunday, Modi said this would ensure qualitative improvement in services. Justice C K Thakkar of the Supreme Court inaugurated the Lok Adalat and said that Gujarat has shown the way to provide speedy justice through Lok Adalats and evening courts. He also launched the special issue of Nyaypath, a magazine dealing with legal matters.[/align]
[align=justify]3) MAJLIS-E-ITTEHADUL Muslimeen legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi was booked for threatening to kill Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen even as the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission termed the recent attack on the exiled novelist as a flagrant violation of hu man rights on Sunday. [/align]
A case was registered against Owaisi, MIM floor leader in the Assembly, on Saturday night under Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, DCP (West Zone) Madhusudan Reddy said here.

[align=justify]4) Following several hurdles and hiccups, Delhi will at last have an elite law school on par with other law colleges in the country, coupled with a National Mediation Centre, at Dwarka. [/align]
The project will take at least three years to be operational, it is learnt.
The foundation stone of the integrated complex at Dwarka was laid by the then Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal on July 22, 2006, but following a controversy over the set ting up of a mediation centre at Tis Hazari, the project was stalled.
The project got a nod when the Delhi Judicial District's oldest Bar Association at Tis Hazari protested CM Sheila Dikshit's proposal of decentralisation of courts and opening of district courts at Dwarka, Saket and other districts


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