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In strange decision, RTI officer says RGNUL need not supply annual reports electronically because too difficult

It is apparently too complicated for a national law school to digitise its annual reportsIt is apparently too complicated for a national law school to digitise its annual reports

As RGNUL Patiala remains one of several national law universities (NLU) that still do not publish their annual financial statements online, one right to information (RTI) applicant approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) against the law school.

The applicant had asked to see electronic copies of its annual reports in June. RGNUL responded to the request by stating that it currently maintained only physical records of annual reports and since they are too voluminous to send by mail to the applicant, the applicant should visit its campus and inspect the records on-site.

The applicant filed a first appeal before RGNUL and eventually approached the CIC on the ground that it was mandatory under the RTI Act 2005 for the law school to maintain its annual reports in electronic form and that the applicant would be greatly inconvenienced by having to travel from a different city to Patiala to inspect those records.

RGNUL registrar and first appellate officer for RTI in his 10 October order directed RGNUL to compute the total cost for mailing the physical records of the annual reports to the applicant and to provide the records to the applicant on their payment of that cost.

The registrar also ruled that RGNUL had not violated the RTI Act by failing to maintain electronic copies of the annual reports as the law school had a resource constraint in doing so and the Act provides for this exception.

Nalsar Hyderabad, NUJS Kolkata, NLU Jodhpur, GNLU Gandhinagar, RMLNLU Lucknow and NLIU Bhopal have all published annual reports on their websites for several years at least until 2015-2016, under the RTI section of their official websites, though some of those are more complete than others.

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By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.
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Like +14 Object -0 RGNUlalumni 26 Oct 18, 17:36  interesting  top rated
RGNUL admin is not transparent at all. Even the student body at RGNUL has limited power and access to information. Staff and Faculty recruitment at RGNUL is not at all open and transparent. Full of nepotism.
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Like +8 Object -0 NoTW_Rothfuss 26 Oct 18, 19:11  interesting
I am aware of a list - delineating the nepotism in recruiting by pointing out the relationship many current faculty members shared with the VC and the Registrar including how some were family friends of the Registrar and how some had given tuitions to the daughter of the VC at AIL, Mohali - that was circulated among the students and was part of a supposed petition raised before the Punjab & Haryana HC by an aggrieved applicant who had responded to apply as faculty but was turned down despite being more qualified than some. Cannot say anything about the veracity of it all, but the last I'd heard, it was that the VC had used his influence at the HC to get that petition quashed and presented the list from being made public.

Perhaps the list could be provided to LI to verify the veracity and make it public.
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Like +4 Object -0 Anon. 999 26 Oct 18, 20:42
I have that list. Someone uploaded it on a Facebook group that I'm part of.

Yeah, it was taken down out of pressure put.
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Like +0 Object -1 NoTW_Rothfuss 26 Oct 18, 21:10
@Kian, can LI look into it? If the VC can boast of MPL rankings of RGNUL, he should in the same vein be distraught at such news being investigated and publicised by LI.
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Like +9 Object -0 Anon. 999 26 Oct 18, 20:35  interesting
There is no student body.
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Like +11 Object -1 RGNUL-ite 26 Oct 18, 18:10  interesting
So RGNUL has the financial resources to build a Rose Garden, but not enough to comply with its statutory obligations? Forget about the Annual Reports, not even the financial reports are accessible! We have no idea how much of our and the taxpayers' money is being systematically drained.

HNLU, NLIU, NLU-Assam et. al. have taken stands against arbitrary excesses by the administration, and RGNUL should take inspiration from the same. It's sad that RGNUL's patriarchal administration which outrightly discriminates between girls and boys, ands its arbitrary decisions are not in the public.

There seems to be an environment brewing for protests within RGNUL, and I think the time is ripe for Legally India and Lawctopus to take an interest in RGNUL and its happenings. A media account of the excesses in RGNUL will go a long way in expediting the confrontation with the administration.
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Like +11 Object -0 Jackal 26 Oct 18, 19:07  interesting
As an alumnus,let me commend your spirits, and bring you some tales from the distant past. The revolutionary spirit was always there amongst the students of RGNUL, only to be ruthlessly put down by an archaic administration. In fact, there was one Shankar who wished to be the wind of change, and led many a battles (in or around 2010-2012) to bring about exponential changes re: curfew timings, mess committee, transparency on faculty recruitment, establishment of SBA, more power to the student body, etc., only to find his soul, and his friends' stuff, thoroughly crushed. Thereafter, the students decided to take advantage of the locational advantage of Punjab (and proximity to Himachal) to channelise their energy towards higher ends. But you go, be the change you wish to see, and keep some money aside (as you shall be detained the following semester).
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Like +7 Object -1 CharasFookoandBhuljayo 26 Oct 18, 20:24  interesting
Who needs excellent research and academic standards when you have Malana and 'Red Ice' to placate you. Funny how the two have acted as necessary evils for the administration to the detriment of the students.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon 9000 26 Oct 18, 21:07
Dislike galti se ho gaya :p
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Like +1 Object -0 Kaliya 26 Oct 18, 21:18
Pratika being Pratika

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Like +6 Object -0 RGNUlalumni 26 Oct 18, 20:24  interesting

And there is one SP Singh..current RGNULites can say more....wait they (RGNUL) are also expert in IP blocking.
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 27 Oct 18, 09:57
Some say the VC will head to NLUD or NUJS.
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Like +1 Object -0 NoTW_Rothfuss 27 Oct 18, 19:19
The man will be buried alive. No way the students over there will be amenable to such a tyrannical despot. Hopefully he leaves with his cohorts too.

P.S.: For all the freedom NLUD's Ranbir Singh provides at his university, he doesn't mind rubbing shoulders with RGNUL's VC and providing the tacit approval to his methods. You'd think him being a part of the Executive Council will lead to some mentoring, but alas!
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Like +0 Object -0 Guest 27 Oct 18, 20:14
He isn't coming to NUJS, that's for certain.
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Like +1 Object -1 AAAAA 27 Oct 18, 11:10
RGNUL students have no guts to protest.
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Like +3 Object -0 Jackal 27 Oct 18, 15:35
No, they have just realized that there's no cause worth fighting for, brother. They know that if one Shankar couldn't do it (read above), some Shambhu wouldn't be able to either.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon. 999 31 Oct 18, 13:54
Shankar couldn't, Shambhu can't, but anonymous can
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Like +0 Object -9 Proud of RGNUL 28 Oct 18, 09:04
This is motivated and mischievous reporting by Legally India. You are trying to make RGNUL the next battleground for protest but in fact the students have no problem. There is full unity among students and administration. It is one of the best NLUs in terms of facilities and student satisfaction. The faculty is among the most experienced. There is also lot of support and goodwill from government. I request readers not to form any adverse opinion.
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Like +5 Object -0 Guest 28 Oct 18, 10:59  interesting
I won't question your view and accept it as the truth. However, is the financial statement made available in electronic form on the website? If it is, can you kindly provide the link (I couldn't find it)?

If out isn't, then this doesn't seem like a case of mischievous reportin. It might be motivated, could you kindly explain what the motivation might be?
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Like +1 Object -0 RGNUL 28 Oct 18, 23:29
Possibly no student frm RGNUL will attest to this. The administration does a great job of being distant from the requirements and feelings of the students. Would not come as a surprise if you write this on behalf of the administration and not the students. Perhaps if the administration does any job of being open to the students this comment would not have been made.
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Like +0 Object -0 Anon. 999 29 Oct 18, 03:05
Is this a reply by the RGNUL Administration?
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Like +0 Object -0 RGNUL 29 Oct 18, 17:53
Since it's very hard to find such defence coming from any sane student, one can reasonably presume so. It isn't below them, to be honest. After all, if they can lie in RTIs twice (circa 2015 and now), nothing will be surprising.
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Like +4 Object -0 RGNUL Alum 30 Oct 18, 11:57
No surprises here. RGNUL is notorious for its lack of transparency and rampant nepotism. Request Kian to do a story on the grievances of the students specifically on lack of quality teachers, lack of sufficient funding for moots and competitions, arbitrary marking system, blocking of websites, chilling effect on speech (through threats of detention and targeting), differential timings for men and women, and issues with the administration and its leadership (tyrant named SP Singh).
While these issues are there, the foundation of the university is strong. I honestly feel that with the right administrative mind-set (of facilitating and helping students instead of curtailing their spirit) and high quality faculty, RGNUL has the potential to become one of the best institutions in the country. Certain key indicators are the quality of their student run journal, regular TEDx events, moot performances and wins in both national and international competitions (Oxford Price Media, Stetson, Nani Palkhiwala, Anand and Anand and Leiden Sarin Air Law to name a few) and other academic and co-curricular achievements.

Apologies for the long post.
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Like +0 Object -5 Guest 01 Nov 18, 21:54
The false impression about the institution must be avoided, no one should be allowed to give any false impression about our own institution.
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Like +0 Object -5 Guest 02 Nov 18, 06:13
Some foolish students are making comments defaming RGNUL administration. The truth is that facilities and infrastructure is top class and among the top 5 NLUs which you cannot deny. A tiger is a tiger. You cannot make a tiger a goat just by calling it a goat.
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Like +0 Object -0 RGNUL Alum 05 Nov 18, 00:01
Your assertion and reasoning doesn't quite add up since you respond to my allegation of administrative issues by saying that the facilities and infrastructure is top class? I have no qualms with the infrastructure and I am in full agreement with you. However, the people maketh an institution and not bricks and mortar.
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