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Articles by: Dr Madabhushi Sridhar

RTI never harms judicial independence

RTI never harms judicial independence

The Supreme Court decided its appeal. The Constitution Bench of five judges settled its own doubts by declaring that the judiciary as such is a public authority and hence answerable under Right to Information Act, on 13th November 2019. This is special because it was deciding the appeals filed by its own officers. One can also criticise that Supreme Court[Read More…]

Central authority to manage rivers

Central authority to manage rivers

Another Bill that gives more powers to bureaucrats at the Centre over interstate river basins is going to become law. Here the Chief Ministers of States of 13 river basins will advise. Another Bill that gives more powers to bureaucrats at the Centre over interstate river basins is going to become law. Here the Chief Ministers of States of 13[Read More…]

21st Century Belongs To People Of Vision

21st Century Belongs To People Of Vision

 ‘No matter what views one may hold, the 21st century shall belong only to a people of ‘vision’ and those who care for future,’ wrote Satish Chandra Seth, (1932-2009) the futurist and former civil servant. A science education administrator, Satish is internationally known for inventing a method of assessing the futurist thinking, called Satish-Harva method of scenario building. He was[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Interstate River Water Dispute Bill 2019: More Centralisation Of Centre’s Power

Interstate River Water Dispute Bill 2019: More Centralisation Of Centre’s Power

‘Though water is a State subject, inter-State rivers and river valleys fall under the Union List to ‘the extent to which such regulation and development under the control of the Union, is declared by Parliament by law to the expedient in the public interest’. Parliament can make law, but with an objective to expedite dispute resolution. Such a law, the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Three Water Bills Threatening Federalism

Three Water Bills Threatening Federalism

The federalism of Indian Constitutional governance is facing serious challenge from an unexpected front this time, i.e., the river front. Three Bills are presented by the Centre in the recently concluded session: a) River Basin Management Bill, 2019 proposing 13 River Basin Authorities for various river basins in our country, b) River Water Disputes Bill, 2019, to have a dispute[Read More…]

Controversy about degree of Pokhriyal :  ‘Education’ is not third-party information

Controversy about degree of Pokhriyal :  ‘Education’ is not third-party information

A poet and literary personality, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, present Minister for HRD authored around 60 books in Hindi. During the 90s, the Open International University (OIU) of Colombo conferred a D. Litt for his contribution in literature. Prior to that also he received a D. Litt degree from the same university for contributions in the field of science. It[Read More…]

Can Press Council defend media blackout?

Can Press Council defend media blackout?

If there is any weapon that protects democracy, it is freedom to express a critical opinion. Every democratic Constitution must facilitate, declare and protect the people’s right to tell, write, represent, petition and challenge constitutionality of a policy that curbs expression en bloc. The fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) is not only exercised by journalists and TV anchors. En mass[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Abrogation of Article 370: A Legal Fiction

Abrogation of Article 370: A Legal Fiction

It is not just Article 370, the President’s Order has also amended Article 367, changing the substantive character of an important provision besides abolishing the entire Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir. Article 370 is meant for preserving autonomy for Jammu & Kashmir, leaving decision-making power regarding relationship with the Centre to the State’s Constituent Assembly. It is a serious limitation[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Why did three Chief Ministers support the RTI killer Bill?

Why did three Chief Ministers support the RTI killer Bill?

Why three Chief Ministers- Biju Patnaik (Odisha), K Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana) and Y S Jaganmohan Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) have shown greater loyalty to NDA than the NDA Chief Ministers in helping the BJP to push through the controversial RTI Amendments Bill 2019, is a big political question. (See open Letter to  three CMs below.) Why three Chief Ministers- Biju Patnaik[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Strategy of resignations to pull down government

Strategy of resignations to pull down government

(Karnataka Assembly meets agai on July 22, Monday, to continue discussion on Confidence Motion moved by the Chief Minister. This was written before the discussion commenced. ) For those in power it is easy to bribe and being bribed without any fear of legal action. Rulers need not worry about rule of law. Defection-engineers in Karnataka no more ask MLAs[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
An Affront to Right to Life and Federal Character:  Forest Bill can kill tribal rights

An Affront to Right to Life and Federal Character:  Forest Bill can kill tribal rights

A draconian draft forest law of NDA is about to hit federal character of Indian Union. It will be an affront to the federation and threat to right to life of forest dwellers. Forest Act, 1927 is claimed to have aimed at protection of forests. In that name, the Forest officers have assumed higher powers over the forest dwellers and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Reject Information, Eject Tribals From Forests

Reject Information, Eject Tribals From Forests

There is an easy way of denying rights or declaring a rightful tribal an encroacher : Just deny him the information within time. There is an easy way of denying rights or declaring a rightful tribal an encroacher. Just deny him the information within time. He is evicted from the forest where he was dwelling for generations. Delay the order[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Right to Analyse Gandhi and Appraise Godse

Right to Analyse Gandhi and Appraise Godse

Right to worship is an exclusive fundamental right. It is also part of freedom of expression, to praise anybody or criticise. Citizens have every right to point out defects of Gandhi and endorse reasons given by Godse for his act of elimination of Gandhi. We, the people are variety of desh bhakths. We love and worship, whomever we like. Perhaps,[Read More…]

Massive mandate & damage to Opposition

Massive mandate & damage to Opposition

Is opposition becoming extinct in India? With the kind of politics we are witnessing, one wonders whether the Opposition will be ‘extinct’ from the field of political bio-diversity? While decisive results ensured the YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh and BJP (NDA) at the Centre steer the destiny of people for the coming five years, we find the Opposition in[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
A police officer stands guard in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) head office in Mumbai April 17, 2012. The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates on Tuesday for the first time in three years by an unexpectedly sharp 50 basis points to give a boost to flagging economic growth but warned that there is limited scope for further rate cuts. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)

RBI should give up its contempt for RTI

‘King can do no wrong’ days have gone, and the RBI is not a king. Despite noticing wilful defiance of the RBI, the apex court was very kind to it in contempt cases, but if the later does not withdraw this anti-transparency policy again, it might face the ire of people and courts. The RBI should explain why it wants[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Sexual Harassment as Constitutional Embarrassment?  Let law take its own course, My Lords!

Sexual Harassment as Constitutional Embarrassment?  Let law take its own course, My Lords!

Highlights A class-III court staff’s allegation of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India has shaken up the apex court’s elite leadership. A class-III court staff’s allegation of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India has shaken up the apex court’s elite leadership. People are wondering whether institutional reaction reflects due process or heavy imposition on the victim[Read More…]

Is CBI unconstitutional organisation? | Madabhushi Sridhar

Is CBI unconstitutional organisation? | Madabhushi Sridhar

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is at the centre of serious controversies in pre-election 2019 dynamics of political decisions. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is at the centre of serious controversies in pre-election 2019 dynamics of political decisions. It’s uses if not abuses, by the party in power, now or in past, is harming its credibility. Its ‘independence’ is no[Read More…]

 Madabhushi Sridhar – “Centre’s amendments will ‘completely finish’ RTI Act ”

 Madabhushi Sridhar – “Centre’s amendments will ‘completely finish’ RTI Act ”

(This is the last in a series of six articles published on RTI by Madabhushi Sridhar.) Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, who recently retired as Central Information Commissioner, is one of India’s most resolute advocates for transparency, and for strengthening citizens’ right to information. Acharyulu, 65, was a professor of law at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
A police officer stands guard in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) head office in Mumbai April 17, 2012. The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates on Tuesday for the first time in three years by an unexpectedly sharp 50 basis points to give a boost to flagging economic growth but warned that there is limited scope for further rate cuts. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)

Madabhushi Sridhar: How was Das appointed RBI Governor? ‘It is official secret’

As per transparency law, the people have the right to know the details of appointment to a public position, from the President to an ordinary clerk in a government office As per transparency law, the people have the right to know the details of appointment to a public position, from the President to an ordinary clerk in a government office.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Madabhushi Sridhar – RTI : Large number of vacancies in SICs across India, Defunct in AP, inadequate in Telangana

Madabhushi Sridhar – RTI : Large number of vacancies in SICs across India, Defunct in AP, inadequate in Telangana

The reading of Sections 7 and 19 of the RTI Act makes it clear that the RTI Act is a time-bound legislation for effectively exercising the Fundamental Right to Information guaranteed in Article 19 of the Constitution of India. However, the CIC and SICs which are the final appellate authorities under the RTI Act, and are the guardians of the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Apex court opposes amendment to RTI

Apex court opposes amendment to RTI

Prof  Dr M Sridhar Acharayalu, who retired as Central Information Commissioner on 20 November 2018. RTI Act is the best enactment, but it is not giving best results in securing the access to public records. Why? The problem is that neither the Central government in respect of CIC nor the State government in respect of SICs, are filling the vacancies[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
‘Government, Regulators are Intimidating CIC by Filing Writ Petitions’ 

‘Government, Regulators are Intimidating CIC by Filing Writ Petitions’ 

  Prof Dr M Sridhar Acharayalu, who retired as Central Information Commissioner on 20 November 2018, wrote an open letter to Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India. In this letter, Prof Acharyulu has raised serious questions on how the government itself had filed almost 1,700 writ petitions against orders passed by information commissioners under Right to Information (RTI) Act.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Attempt to Annex Information Commission

Attempt to Annex Information Commission

The Union government proposed setting up of two committees – one to receive and decided on complaints against the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and the second one for complaints against the Information Commissioners. (Madabhushi, former Central Information Commissioner, wrote a series of articles on attempts by governments, at the Centre and in States, to subvert RTI. This is one of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
Right to know about criminal contestants

Right to know about criminal contestants

These Trinity of Telugu personalities gave voters the right to information about contestants: They are petitioner Professor Trilochan Shastry of Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), eminent advocate Padma Bhushan PP Rao and renowned justice of Supreme Court P Venkatram Reddy (with other distinguished colleagues) These Trinity of Telugu personalities gave voters the right to information about contestants: They are petitioner[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled India
A police officer stands guard in front of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) head office in Mumbai April 17, 2012. The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates on Tuesday for the first time in three years by an unexpectedly sharp 50 basis points to give a boost to flagging economic growth but warned that there is limited scope for further rate cuts. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS)

Sovereign public shall know about wilful defaulters

The CPIO, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), stated that as RTI application was not filed before the PMO, first and second appeals were also not filed before it, the order of CIC directing the PMO to provide action related information on former RBI Governor is not tenable. “…No notice or other documents relating to this case have been received in the[Read More…]

Why should our children die because of tests on the medicines of an American company?

Why should our children die because of tests on the medicines of an American company?

Why should our children die because of tests on the medicines of an American company? Why don’t our Babus bother about ethics and norms in permitting them to conduct such fatal tests, and thus allow US pharma companies to earn millions? It is so strange that none bothers even to compensate the death of children.   Doesn’t it amount to[Read More…]

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

Poor Indians turning guinea pigs for greedy pharmaceutical firms

“ A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) used dignified language to explain the criminality of an American company and support to it by corrupt Indian officials. “They are murders. But we call ‘deaths’ before enquiry and ‘killings’ in conclusion.  Most surprising is we do not even give exact number of children killed, we simply say some deaths. This is trivialisation of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Attempts to dilute RTI Act

Attempts to dilute RTI Act

The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2018 attempts to dilute the independence of Central and State Information Commissioners (ICs) besides giving undue powers to the government of the day to appoint Commissioners with uncertain term and salary. The Bill intends to defeat very purpose of RTI Act 2005 besides an affront to federalism enshrined as basic feature of Indian Constitution.[Read More…]

Darker side of private hospitals

Darker side of private hospitals

( “ If a heart patient knows the actual cost of the cardiac stent, he will realise how much the hospital looted him. He should be strong enough to withstand the shock.  We don’t know how many suffered heart attack after knowing this exploitation. One small lawyer has to fight against this injustice. Where are the great doctors? Don’t they[Read More…]