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Pushed for info,UPSC,SEBI prefer to go to court

Recruitment authority Union Public Service Commission and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India have gone to courts challenging most of the orders

Written by Shyamlal Yadav | New Delhi |
February 26, 2013 3:24:28 am

Recruitment authority Union Public Service Commission and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India have gone to courts challenging most of the orders the Central Information Commission has passed against them.

Satyanand Mishra,Chief Information Commissioner,had noted in one of his orders against UPSC last year that repeated denials of information by UPSC “create an extremely wrong idea about the public authority in the minds of citizens”. An official with the CIC said,“SEBI and UPSC opt to challenge almost every significant order we have passed against them.”

In response to an RTI application filed by The Indian Express,the UPSC said it has challenged more CIC orders in high courts and the Supreme Court than it has actually implemented since the enactment of the RTI Act. The UPSC says it challenged 13 CIC orders in the Delhi High Court,followed by special leave petitions on four of them in the Supreme Court after the high court ruled against the UPSC. All four are pending in the Supreme Court. In contrast,the UPSC has carried out only nine CIC orders. Queries the UPSC has most commonly opted not to answer relate to disclosure of answer sheets of the Civil Services Mains exam.

Said O P Mehra,a railway official and one of the appellants whose queries the UPSC challenged in court ,“First,they quoted wrong documents to deny information. When the CIC issued them a direction on my appeal,they approached the high court against it.” He had sought information relating to penalties in UPSC rules.

The SEBI says nine of its appeals against CIC orders are pending before the Bombay High Court. As per a RTI reply by CPIO Anil Kumar Sharma,queries whose answers were denied and then challenged in the high court include information related to insider trading and copies of the assets and liabilities of the SEBI chairman.

The SEBI says it does not keep a record of information about orders it has carried out. UPSC’s CPIO Neeraj Sachdeva said the organisation has 31 CPIOs and only four keep such information.

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