Who should public approach with graft complaints? asks CIC
Delhi's Lt Governor, Chief Minister and Union Home Minister must clarify to the public within two months their powers, jurisdiction and procedures to handle graft complaints, CIC has held, noting that the current "ambiguity" will discourage people from taking on corruption.
New Delhi: Delhi's Lt Governor, Chief Minister and Union Home Minister must clarify to the public within two months their powers, jurisdiction and procedures to handle graft complaints, CIC has held, noting that the current "ambiguity" will discourage people from taking on corruption.
Hearing the case of RTI activist Vivek Garg, who sought to know the powers of Anti-Corruption Bureau of Delhi Government, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said in view of the "ambiguity and confusion" regarding the extent of the powers of GNCTD and Centre, which are embroiled in legal wrangling over the issue, there is a "genuine need" for clarification.
"When the GNCTD and Union are parties before the judiciary to know the limits or extent of their power to investigate corruption charges, an advocate?applicant cannot expect 'information' in the form of interpretation and judgment from PIO or the head of public authority through an application under RTI by paying Rs.10," Acharyulu said.
He said after perusing all questions raised by the appellant in three of his applications on fight against corruption, it is clear that there is a lot of confusion among minds of the Delhi people reflecting the questions raised by Garg who himself is a lawyer and well aware with the issue.
"The Commission would like to reiterate what Parliament said through RTI Act that the public authority has a duty to inform the citizen where to complain against corruption and which has proper authority to receive and act on such complaint so that people can question widespread corruption in different public department," Acharyulu said in the order.
He said as both the Centre and Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) have made categorical commitments to fight corruption, it is their duty to inform in general as part of administrative law, and statutory obligation under Right to Information Act in particular, where the citizen need to complain against corruption.
"Ambiguity in the process of complaining and about who has power or jurisdiction to investigate complaints against bribery will directly facilitate it and discourage complaints against corruption," he said.