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Sent: RTIs to 7 national law schools for accounts, reports, pay scales & more

This bunny likes transparency
This bunny likes transparency
Legally India has today filed right to information (RTI) requests with India’s seven oldest national law schools, seeking full financial accounts, council meeting minutes and other information.

Today RTIs were submitted via email to the public information officers (PIOs) at NLSIU Bangalore, Nalsar Hyderabad, NUJS Kolkata, NLIU Bhopal, NLU Jodhpur, GNLU Gandhinagar and HNLU Raipur, which were founded between 1987 and 2003 and were the seven most popular colleges in the preferences of Common Law Admissions Test (CLAT) takers in 2011.

Couriered hardcopies of the application with enclosed payment of Rs 150 each will be dispatched tomorrow.

Each RTI requests details on and copies of “any investigations, inquiries or reports conducted or prepared at the college in the last 10 years under the university’s governing statute, or at the behest of the university’s chancellor, any judge, or any statutorily appointed body”.

For the past five years, the RTIs also request:

  • full sets of financial accounts of the colleges,
  • copies of correspondence between the college and the chancellor,
  • a list of contracts of the college with outside contractors,
  • funds allocated to each student committee,
  • pay scales of teaching staff and minutes of meetings relating to it, and
  • dossiers of faculty and staff of the university.

Legally India specifically asked for a copy of the NLSIU report of May 2009 created by the School Review Commission headed by Justice KT Thomas, and reported by the Times of India in January 2011 as evidencing decreasing standards and an increase in drug use amongst students.

No enquiries for judicial reports were made of Nalsar, which last week provided a full copy of its first judicial inquiry.

The youngest colleges proved to have been the most transparent and RTI-application-friendly so far.

GNLU and HNLU have both published comprehensive information in their RTI compendia, including the latest income and expenditure statements, a detailed list of faculty and more [download GNLU compendium / HNLU RTI compendium]. HNLU went even further and provided additional details on expenses, allocation of funds to committees and more.

NLU Jodhpur’s publicly available RTI information was the weakest, with the RTI contact details buried in the “Administration” section of its website while not providing any email address.

The four other law schools all made it reasonably easy to find RTI sections via their websites, although they did not publish reports as detailed as GNLU and HNLU.

Legally India will regularly publish updates on responses received, or not, and hopes to make all information supplied publicly available.

If this pilot project is successful, Legally India will make similar applications to younger national law schools and other non-national government colleges.

Please provide ideas for more detailed RTI requests below in the comments.

Photo by Harald Hoyer

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