Sunday, September 18, 2005

To,

The Hon’ble Governor,

Karnataka.

Sub: Demand For Removal of Shri.KK Misra, Karnataka State Chief Information Commissioner under Section 17 (3) (b) & 17 (3) (e) of the Right To Information Act-2005

Sir,

We wish to bring following acts of omissions during implementation of the Right To Information Act-2005 by Government Of Karnataka:

1. Section 15 of the Right To Information Act-2005 stipulates a minimum qualification for a candidate who shall be appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner, which are as under:

” The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall be Persons Of Eminence In Public Life with wide knowledge and experience in Law, Science And Technology, Social Service, Management, Journalism, Mass Media Or Administration And Governance.”

2. We understand that that Mr.KK Misra who has been appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner vide notification number DPAR 77 RTI 2005 Bangalore Dated 30th July 2005, does not have the required qualifications for appointment as State Chief Information Commissioner.

3. The basic qualification required is of “Eminence In Public Life”. Government of Karnataka has been directed by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka to File criminal cases against Shri.KK Misra and prosecute him as under:

  • Under Sec. 340 of Cr.PC for “Knowingly Withholding Important Facts And Documents from the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka and Making False Statements In The Affidavits Filed In This Court” in the Rs 2,250 Crores Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project Case.
  • On charges of ” Perjury And Withholding “ documents in the Rs 2,250 Crores Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project Case. Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka also directed the Registrar General to file a complaint in this regard under section 388 Cr.PC.

4. A person who Lies And Cheats to Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka as above cannot be called as a Person Of Eminence In Public Life.

5. Shri.KK Misra’s appointment seems to have been made fraudulently violating the stipulated norms as laid down under section 15 of the Right To Information Act-2005, which are as follows:

  • There is no documentary proof in public knowledge that, a meeting of the committee formed for the appointment of State Chief Information Commissioner was held. Hence it seems only minutes were drawn
  • In view of the circumstantial evidence in above Para it can be deduced that List of eligible candidates for appointment as State Chief Information Commissioner was never prepared.
  • Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council were never consulted while appointing Shri.KK Misra as State Chief Information Commissioner, which is the normal practice in any appointments made by government to important positions.

6. It appears that Shri.KK Misra has appointed himself as State Chief Information Commissioner by abusing his position of Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka. It is very brazen attempt to misuse his official capacity as he retired on 31st July 2005 and Appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner on the same day i.e. 31st July 2005

7. A bureaucrat who presided over the state govt administration till recently cannot be considered independent enough to be the final apex appellate authority under the Right To Information Act. There would be disputes regarding requisitioning of information elicited from government functionaries when he was the chief secretary. He cannot legally/morally decide these disputes now as the information commissioner.

8. This principle is followed scrupulously by the judiciary. Judges do not hear cases where any person who was their client while their practicing law figures in, or if there is anyone closely related, closely connected etc involved. The matter is passed on to other judges.

9. Here we have only one chief information commissioner. Even if we presume that such matters will be passed on to the information commissioners, it must be noted that they are subordinate to the chief info commissioner who continues to be the boss and final arbitrator of the decision being dished out by the commission. So we cannot have such a person as State Chief Information Commissioner.

10. His continuation in the post will seriously jeopardize / violate people’s fundamental right to information which has been upheld as an integral part of article 13 (1) of the constitution of India.

11. From all above submissions it becomes clear that Shri.KK Misra is prima facie held to be involved in an offence involving moral turpitude, that too by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka. This as good as conviction, for an institution as important as State Chief Information Commissioner, whose duty is to set up practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

12. From all above submissions it also becomes clear that Shri.KK Misra has developed Other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.

13. Now it is very clear that Shri.KK Misra is:

  • Not a person having Eminence In Public Life, hence not qualified to the office of the State Chief Information Commissioner.
  • Prima facie held to be involved in an offence involving moral turpitude, by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka, which as good as conviction.
  • Has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.

14. Hence we request you utilise the powers vested in your office and your discretion to act under following Sections of the Right To Information Act-2005 and REMOVE KK MISRA FROM THE POSITION OF STATE CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER IMEADIATLY To Save Sanctity Of New Born Right To Information Act-2005 for charges summarized in Para number 13:

Section 17 (3): Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Governor may by order remove from office the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner if a State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner, as the case may be,-
Section 17 (3) (b): Has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Governor, involves moral turpitude; or
Section 17 (3) (e): Has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.

15. The whole nation is anxiously awaiting your action in this regard. The success or failure of the Right To Information Act-2005 depends upon your quick and rightful action.

Yours Truly,

Copy to:

1. The Hon’ble President of India.

2. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.

3. The Hon’ble Chief Minister Of Karnataka.

4. The Hon’ble Dy Chief Minister Of Karnataka.

5. Smt.Sonia Gandhi ji, The Chairperson United Progressive Alliance, The Chairperson National Advisory Council, and President, Indian National Congress, New Delhi.

6. Shri.H.D.Devegowda, Former Prime Minister, National President Janata Dal (Secular) & Member of Parliament.

7. Shri.Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI (M).

8. Shri.A.B.Bardhan, General Secretary, CPI (I).

9. Shri.L.K.Advani, Leader of Opposition, Loka Sabha.

10. Shri.Jaswant Singh, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha.

11. The Central Vigilance Commissioner, New Delhi.

12. The Loka Ayukta, Karnataka.

Advertisements