Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

"Will Benefit Students" : CIC Directs Bar Council Of India To Publish Inspection Reports Of Law Colleges On Website

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
7 Jun 2022 4:54 AM GMT
Will Benefit Students : CIC Directs Bar Council Of India To Publish Inspection Reports Of Law Colleges On Website
x

The Central Information Commission has directed the Bar Council of India to publish on its website the inspection reports of law colleges. The CIC observed that the disclosure of the inspection reports of the law colleges in the public domain will benefit the student community at large.

The Information Commissioner Saroj Punhani passed the order in an appeal filed by one Prasoon Shekhar challenging the refusal of the Public Information Officer of the BCI to provide a list of law colleges which were found unfit after BCI inspection or had their affiliation cancelled from 2016 to 2020.

The BCI's PIO said that such information related to colleges was in the format of agenda and minutes and was voluminousness. The appellant was told that he could verify the documents physically from the office.

The First Appellate Authority upheld the decision of the PIO. Aggrieved, the appellant approached the CIC.

Before the CCI, the FAA submitted that the BCI website is in the process of being upgraded and eventually all suo motu disclosures would be available there. He added hat BCI does not upload/place the inspection report of colleges in the public domain because it might "create unnecessary confusion and speculation amongst the stakeholders as the fact finding committee/inspection committee only renders its opinion on the question of approval etc. but the final decision is based on the findings of the Legal Education Committee and it is this final approval that is placed in the public domain indicating the status of the colleges".

The CIC observed that as far as the information sought for in the RTI Application is concerned, no infirmity lies in the reply of the CPIO in as much as the Appellant was provided a factual reply while also being offered an inspection of the available and relevant records.

The CIC also took note of its 2017 decision in HN Pathak v. PIO, BCI , in which the BCI was directed to update information on its website periodically.

"..the disclosure of the inspection reports of the law colleges in the public domain will benefit the student community at large and will significantly reduce the burden of RTI Applications filed in this regard. For the said reason, the Commission directs the FAA to place this order before their competent authority to ensure that action is expedited with respect to the upgradation of the BCI website while also incorporating the stipulations of the Commission in the H N Pathak case (supra)", the CIC stated.

The CIC also took strong objection to the "disdainful conduct" of the FAA during the hearing before it and the frenzied arguments the FAA had with the appellant.

"The FAA burst into frenzied arguments with the Appellant for bringing up allegations of lack of transparency and for insisting on non-compliance of earlier Commission's directions. The Commission took exception to the disdainful conduct of the FAA and closed the hearing proceedings," the order noted.

Case Title : Prasoon Shekhar v CPIO, Bar Council of India

Click here to read/download the order


Next Story