Saturday, December 31, 2005

RTI Gujarat – Officers ring up: ask for withdrawal of appeal!!

On 8th November 2005, Harinesh Pandya, Secretary Asked for following information on CD, regarding GR passed by the Gujarat government for allotting wasteland (up to 2000 acres) to industrial houses and big farmers on lease of 20 years.
Village and district wise details of the wasteland tat will be allotted to industrial houses and big farmers and current status of the land. (details about encroachment etc.)
Copy of the application so far received by the government for taking wasteland, details of the decision taken and copies of the resolution passed in this regards if any.
The GR mentions in its first paragraph that, ‘the earlier policy of transforming wasteland into cultivable land has failed’; thus government has decided to allot this land to industrial houses for corporate farming…. How government reached to the conclusion that the earlier policy failed? A copy of the study and evaluation report of the earlier policy. (Note for readers: Earlier policy for the wasteland had provision for allotting these land to cooperatives, women’s groups, land less farmers, on priority bases. Industrial houses were last in the list.)

What is the definition of ‘Big Farmer’?
A copy of the lease contract by which land will be allotted to the industrial houses or big farmers.

Information asked on: 8th November 2005
On 18th November 2005O, we received letter of intimation form the PIO for paying fees of Rs.65. Rs.50 for CD and Rs. 12 for 6 A4 size papers.
Completion of thirty day: 7th December 2005.
31st day, i.e. 8th November 2005, at 6:00 Harinesh Pandya received phone call from the department (PIO) saying that the information is ready and a person from his office will deliver it to us by 7:00 pm.
At 7:00 pm, a senior officer from Revenue department reached to our office and gave us a CD, which contained total six pages. A reply from PIO saying that:
The information, which we have asked, is available at collector level, thus we need to get these details form respective collector of the districts.
The details about the application received so far from the industrial houses and big farmers, are also available with the district collector.
Government has not done any study or evaluation on the earlier policy of cultivating wasteland, thus, which cannot be given.
The definition of ‘Big farmers’ has not been done yet. It will be decided upon the project received by the government from the farmers.

The Issue is:
1. The CD contained 4 pages of lease contract and two pages of the PIO s reply. These 6 pages ere calculated @ Rs. 2 per pages apart from CD charge Rs.50. This means if CD contained thousand pages, I would have asked to pay 2000 Rs.!!
2. The application should have transferred to the respective collectors within prescribed period of time.

We have filed first appeal on 20th December 2005, to appellate authority, Revenue Secretary.
When went for filing an appeal, appellate officer was busy in some meeting and his ‘PA’ said he has strict instruction for not receiving any application regarding RTI!!!
We had to give our appeal to inward office.
21st Harinesh Pandya Received Phone Call from PIO, requesting for withdrawing an appeal, and he has already sent urgent letter to all the collectors for giving information.
He also said that, he had not read RTI Act properly, and did not realize that he had to transfer the application within five day of the application received.
He said he would provide us all the information as and when received by the respective collectors and send to us, but we need not go for appeal.
He said, that if we are withdrawing an appeal, he is sure that he will get penalty of Rs.250 per day, and he will be the first government officer from Gujarat for getting penalty!!


Friday, December 30, 2005

Launching of Mahiti Adhikar Manch

Dear All,

An Invitation to all for the launching of "MAHITI ADHIKAR MANCH" and Information Guide On RTI Act 2005. (a wing of F-South Ward citizen Forum for Right to Information of Act 2005.)

Date : 1st January 2006.
Time : 10.45 AM .
A/31 Royal Industrial Estate,
Mumbai Marathi Grantha Sangrahalaya Marg (Naigaum Cross Road)
Wadala Mumbai 400031
(Opp Sahakar Nagar) (nearest station Dadar and Wadala)
Phone: 24149329.
Contact: Bhaskar Prabhu, Trustee, 9892102424

Your participation will strengthen us and year 2006. Come join this campaign for People's Right to Information.

Centre for Good Governance to implement capacity building project

The Centre for Good Governance (CGG) in Andhra Pradesh has been selected by the UNDP and the Union government for implementing the “Capacity Building for Access to Information” project.The project cost is about Rs 7 crore.

CGG will play the role of the National Implementing Agency (NIA) for capacity building for officials, civil society organisations and peoples’ groups to enable people to exercise their Right to Information.

Complete Article

Use RTI to make healthcare system accountable

Senior Advisor, Planning Commission Meenakshi Dutta Ghosh has advised the rural people to make greater use of the Right to Information Act in making the community healthcare system accountable.

Ms Ghosh was speaking to rural women from across the country who recounted to her all the violations they had experienced at the hands of service providers. They highlighted how state health services were largely denied to the poor, dalit and tribal women and those from marginal communities

Complete Article

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A.N. Tiwari appointed fourth Information Commissioner in CIC

Mr A N Tiwari, a senior Indian Administrative Sevice Officer, has been appointed Information Commissioner in the recently-constituted Central Information Commission (CIC), it was officially announced here today.

Mr Tiwari, an IAS officer of the 1969 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre, has served at several important positions both in the State and at the Centre, the last posting being Secretary in the Department of Personnel and Training in the Ministry of Personnel Public Grievances and Pensions.

Complete Article

Sunday, December 25, 2005

How RTI Act works in a Gujarat taluka

A few young enthusiasts went to the Mamlatdar office at Kalol in Gujarat to ask for details about the RTI Act and the proactive disclosure. They got a quick response: “Who is misguiding you? Did they not tell you that no information is available at the taluk office? You may get information at the District Collectorate”. Soon they were shooed out of the office and asked not to return. The Mamlatdar’s tone was loud, clear and distinctively rude.
The next day this writer went to the same office. The Mamlatdar offered me a seat, water and ordered tea. I congratulated him on being the PIO of his office and also said that this was an important but difficult job. He thanked me but said no such Act would work at the taluk level. I had gone armed with a copy of the Act and the rules. When I showed it to him, he said he did not read English. I handed over a Gujarati copy to him. He flicked through the pages and put it aside.
Stared at my face and with a wry smile, he said, Madam, there are thousands of laws in our country today. Have those changed anything for the people? Why would this law do otherwise? He explained patiently, most people are till date ignorant of the RTI Act. Those that will gather the courage to ask we will simply turn away; and the small minority that will apply in writing will not exactly know what to ask for.
I argued endlessly with him but I knew he had a point. I realised that no system will work till the people push it to work.
A week later, a few people sought information in writing. The same Mamlatdar told them to visit the Collectorate. The next step was sending the application by registered AD and simultaneously a complaint about the refusal to accept the application. The process was long and many people were going to give up midway. I was sure about this.
At Halol too the experience was no different. No fee is required to be paid by a BPL card holder. But when a card holder submitted an application, the officer there asked him for the fee. When he showed him a copy of the rules, the officer replied, “You know all this and still claim to belong to a BPL family?” Be it the office of Mamlatdar, Talati or Panchayat. The answers we got were all the same. Information we don’t have or will not give.
The writer is Project Coordinator, Gujarat unit, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi

Complete Article

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Assam approves RTI rules

Assam cabinet has approved the set of rules and regulations related to the newly adopted Right to Information (RTI) Bill and okayed appointment of a Chief Information Officer and Information Officer in the state.As

Complete Article

Friday, December 23, 2005

Orissa RTI Rules may be amended to make it citizen-friendly

The state government is contemplating to amend certain provisions of the Orissa Right to Information Rules-2005 to make the law more effective and citizen-friendly.
This was disclosed by the chief minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik during his meeting with the Magassasay Award winner and National Advisory Council member, Mrs Aruna Roy at the secretariat here today.

Complete Article

More details regarding the Orissa's citizen unfriendly RTI rules and the fight to correct them. Click Here

Delhiite fights for his right to information

The first public hearing was conducted in Delhi on Friday to find out why a resident was denied his right to information. Sarabjit Roy had asked the Delhi Development Authority or the DDA for information on its development plans and when he didn't get any answers, he decided to fight back.

The arguments between the two parties were conducted in the presence of members of the Information Commission, whose job is to help citizens like Sarbjit get pretty much any information they want from the government.

It was evident from the hearing that it's going to take time for authorities in charge to get used to sharing documents with citizens. But the important part was that the hearing did continue despite glitches.

The Information Commission was polite but firm, advising the DDA to scrap the form that it asks citizens to fill out while requesting material in a bid to make itself more accessible.

The DDA now has 15 days to explain why it denied Sarabjit his rights. Friday's hearing has proved that citizens take the Right to Information Act seriously and plan to use it fully.

Complete Article

Thursday, December 22, 2005

West Bengal Information Commissioner sworn in

Former West Bengal Information Secretary Arun Kumar Bhattacharyya was today sworn in as the state's first Chief Information Commissioner. Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi administered the oath of office to Mr Bhattacharyya at a simple function at the Raj Bhavan here. Later Mr Bhattacharjee told reporters that it would take more than a month to set up the office of the Chief Information Commissioner and frame rules

Complete Article

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tsunami funds: Binoy Viswam moves Kerala CIC

Deputy leader of the CPI in the Assembly Binoy Viswam on Wednesday urged the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) to furnish him with complete information on how the Government had utilised the funds donated by the public for providing relief to the victims of last December's tsunami disaster. He met Palat Mohandas, who took charge as the CIC in the morning, and handed over a letter formally requesting for the information

Complete Article

Summons to PAU for denying information

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been summoned by the Punjab State Information Commission for not disclosing information, sought by a city industrialist who is also a former PAU official, under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
On a complaint by Mr Vidya Sagar, who worked with PAU for over 35 years and has retired as a Senior Draftsman Grade 1 (Architecture Department), the commission has asked the Additional Director, PAU, to appear before it on December 22, 2005.

Complete Article

Kerala gets Information Commissioner

Former Kerala chief secretary Palat Mohandas was on Wednesday sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner of the State before Governor RL Bhatia at a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan here. Though it was a bit delayed, with the appointment of the commissioner, the Right to Information Act, which gives legal rights to people to seek information from the Government and curb corruption, will come into force effectively in the State.

Complete Article

Not getting your gas cylinder in time? Invoke the RTI!

Pune Newsline, The Indian Express, Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Tea Lounge - Vinita Deshmukh

Fed up by the delay in issuance of gas cylinders at his home, Social worker and RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar posed a query under the RTI to the Hindustan Petroleum Company Ltd (HPCL) asking for details of the distribution of a particular gas agency. Within an hour of filing a query, the agency rushed the gas cylinder to his home. Pray, why should the agency know about a query filed to the PIO of the HPCL so promptly? The weapon of the Right To Information (RTI) is indeed a formidable one.

It turns a common man into an influential person. It shakes the inertia of a government department and compels the officer to stir into action, though there may be some exceptions. Best of all, it gives you the power to demand and access information, that was otherwise kept a closely guarded secret.

RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar used the weapon for a domestic reason - he was hassled with his LPG cylinder gas agency, Kankaria gas agency of New Sangvi, not providing him the cylinder in time. This was a consistent and common complaint from his neighbours too. Fed up with this erratic distribution, Kumbhar filed a RTI query on Monday (December 19) to G S V Prasad, chief regional manager, Pune who is also the Public Information Officer for the Hindustan Petroleum Company Ltd, Pune branch.
Kumbhar who filed his application at 1 p m on Monday wanted to know the following answers:

1) How many domestic and commercial cylindergas customers does the Kankaria Gas Agency have? (the period of information that he wanted was between April 1, 2004 to November 30, 2005) and if there have been any fluctuating numbers of customers in any month;

2) the number of domestic and commercial customers having one, two and more than two gas cylinders?

3)Between September 1, 2005 and November 30, 2005, how many gas cylinders did the Kankariya Gas Agency procure from the HPCL (information to be given date wise) and;

4) whether the HPCL has taken action against any gas agency in Pune regarding erratic distribution of gas cylindrs - if so, the names of such agencies.

While the officer is allowed by law to take 30 days period to answer a query, Kumbhar got the first shock when, at 2.45 p m on Monday itself (within two hours of filing his query) his wife called up to say that the dealer has sent the gas cylinder and asked her for Kumbhar's cell number.

Says Kumbhar, ``Just a day earlier, when I had argued with the dealer about not supplying the cylinder in time, he had arrogantly stated that he is very close to the HPCL authorities so we can do what we want. And now, soon after invoking the RTI, the cylinder reaches home so promptly. And that too at a time when he closes his shop between 1 p m and 4 p m.''

That was hardly any reason for celebration, since Kumbhar wonders why should the dealer in the first place come to know of any RTI query in such quick time, when it was addressed to the PIO of the HPCL. Says he, ``How did the dealer come to know that I have filed a requisition within two hours? There is a provision for a third party hearing under the RTI. Which means,in case the PIO of the HPCL wanted to first ask the dealer for an explanation before he gave me an answer, he should have done so through a written communication.''

Instead, the dealer calls up Kumbhar at 5.45 pm the same day and begs him to ``withdraw his complaint.'' Kumbhar adds that, ``the dealer pleaded that henceforth I need not even book my cylinder, I will get it as soon as I call up. What does he mean by me filing a ``complaint'' - I invoked my right as a citizen of India under the RTI and the dealer has construed it as a complaint.''

The icing came from an anonymous caller from a public booth, late on Monday evening. Says Kumbhar, ``The caller, apparently from the HPCL company (no one else besides the dealer would have known about my query and the dealer had already rung me up, so I presumed the caller is from HPCL) told me, now that I have got my cylinder, the purpose has been served and I should withdraw my query. The caller said that the gas agencies do indulge in supplying domestic cylinders illegally for commercial use and that at least 25 per cent are sold thus and nothing much can be done about it.''
Alleges Kumbhar, ``Now, I am starting a widespread campaign against the misbehaviour of the LPG dealers all over the city. I am waiting for the details of my RTI query. Once I have them, I am going to cross check by sending the members of my social organisation - the Surajya Sangharsh Samiti - to each and every household and gather details about the date of their having booked an procured the cylinders.'' Kumbhar alleges that, ``from the preliminary survey that I have carried out, several LPG gas cylinders are illegally selling gas cylinders to hotels and restaurants at a higher rate - around Rs.400 per cylinder and about 25 per cent of the cylinders in the city meant for domestic use land up at restaurants and hotels.''
Do you also suffer from
the whims and fancies of your LPG gas agency? Why not ask a similar query under the RTI and help in Kumbhar's campaign?

Monday, December 19, 2005

The system strikes back

October this year finally saw the enactment of the new Right to Information Act 2005. That is the good news. The bad news is that three months on just about everything that can be done to cripple the working of the law is being attempted from every quarter.

Complete Article

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Civil society groups oppose 'anti-people' RTI Act in Orissa

Various civil society groups under the umbrella organisation of Right to Food Campaign, on Thursday unanimously expressed their objection to the Orissa Government's 'anti-people' Right to Information (RTI) Act. The members urged the Government to implement the Right to Information Act in earnest and sort out several omissions and commissions in the RTI rules.

Complete Article

More details regarding the Orissa's citizen unfriendly RTI rules and the fight to correct them. Click Here

Saturday, December 17, 2005

MC officer summoned for denying information

The Punjab State Information Commission (PSIC) has summoned the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for not disclosing information sought by a local resident under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Following a complaint by the President of the Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees, Mr S.S. Chana, regarding non-disclosure of information, the commission has asked the MC Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma, to appear before it on December 12.

Mr Chana, in a letter dated November 25, alleged that he had written a letter to the local civic body, asking for an important document, but he was not provided the same.

Mr Sharma is the first civil servant from the city to be summoned for non-disclosure of information under the Act.

Complete Article

Officials devise new methods to deter people

Civil society may have won a historic battle with the enactment of the Right to Information Act, but the well-entrenched bureaucracy does not seem to have given up yet. By default or by design, the officialdom in different states and central government departments has created impediments, making it difficult for people to exercise their rights under this Act.

Complete Article

The case of the missing muster rolls

The school teacher-cum-transparency crusader from Satara, Shivaji Raut, had been concentrating on digging up irregularities in the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) with precision use of the Right to Information Act. He had in the past, unearthed muster rolls with bogus names or those with apparently doubtful acknowledgements of wages received.

Complete Article

When you no longer have to bribe govt officials to get your due

The right to information is perhaps the most potent tool to eliminate corruption and improve governance. However, in order that the use of this right is not confined to matters of personal concern, there is need for NGOs to study each major Government department and come up with guidelines for effective use of RTI in larger public interest.

Complete Article

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ropar (Punjab) DC summoned for denying information to scribe

Taking cognizance of the reported denial of information to a journalist under the Right to Information Act, the Punjab State Information Commission has summoned Ropar Deputy Commissioner and Civil Surgeon for failing to provide information requested under Section 6 of the Act.

Complete Article

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bengal Govt appoints Information Commissioner

The West Bengal Government today appointed Information Secretary Arun Bhattacharya Commissioner of the State Right to Information Commission. The decision was taken following a meeting between Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Industry Minister Nirupam Sen and Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Pankaj Banerjee at the Writers' Buildings.

Complete Article

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Unholy nexus between RLA officials and second-hand car dealers

In the first success story related to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, an insurance investigator has thrown light on an alleged nexus between Registration and Licensing Authority (RLA) officials and second-hand car dealers.

Complete Article

Face-off over RTI gag

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might have ordered "limited access" to file notings under the Right to Information Act but three Central Information Commissioners are refusing to toe the government line. Professor M.M. Ansari, O P Kejriwal and Padma Subramaniam, the other two non-IAS commissioners, are also ready to defy the government.

Complete Article

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Central Commissioner writes to PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier this month allowed file notings by bureaucrats to be made public under the Right to Information Act. But the rider was that it was only in the social and development sector. A Central Commissioner overseeing the implementation of the act has now written to the PM saying that bureaucracy is trying to derail the Right to Information Act. He has demanded that notings be made public in all sectors.

Complete Article

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Army to implement Information Act

Army on Thursday said it would implement the Right to Information Act, 2005 and its internal circular asking officers to withhold information on sensitive matters has been withdrawn till a clarification from the Defence Ministry is received.

Complete Article

PM orders changes in RTI Act

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered changes in the Right to Information Act (RTI), which allows disclosure of notings on files related to development and social issues. The order was issued to the Department of Personnel and Training, but some exemptions will stay in force.

Complete Article

NGOs pillory Lapang in fresh scam

The Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government has got embroiled in another controversy, with several Shillong-based non-governmental organisations accusing it of manipulating expenses incurred during construction of the Khyndailad (Police Bazar) rotary and beautification project.

The NGOs spearheading the Meghalaya Movement for Right to Information procured documents relating to the construction of the Khyndailad rotary (traffic island) and the amount spent on expanding the roads adjoining the rotary near the old Assembly complex. The government provided the documents after applications were submitted, as required under the clauses of the Right to Information Act.

Complete Article

How RTI brought the controversial Adtani report to light

State Information Commissioner, Suresh Joshi, has called Pune the Gangotri of Right To Information (RTI) movement in India and on Monday the power of this weapon which has propelled citizen empowerment to great heights in Maharashtra, was aptly portrayed in the case of making the contoversial Adtani report, public.

Complete Article

Dharna against Orissa RTI Rules

Several civil society activists from across the state today staged a dharna in front of the Assembly and burnt copies of Orissa Right to Information Rules alleging that these rules were “ultra vires and anti-people”. They also submitted a memorandum to the Speaker and served copies to the Governor, chief minister and chief information commissioner demanding a complete withdrawal of RTI Rules and introduction of a set of “citizen-friendly” rules in conformity with the parent law — Right to Information Act, 2005.

Complete article

Tangled Orissa RTI rules

Briefly speaking, the Orissa RTI Rules have been designed in such a manner as to whisk away the potential seekers for information from applying or appealing before the concerned authorities under the Act. Secondly, there are so many incorrigible technical incongruities in the Rules that it can't be worked out even for a day.


Problem stares PMC in face

Corporator Nitin Jagtap has lodged a police complaint against 18 top civic officials, including municipal commissioner Nitin Kareer and city engineer Prashant Waghmare, accusing them of favouring mobile phone companies that have erected illegal transmission towers atop several buildings in the city.

Complete Article

How RTI Act can empower ordinary people and enable them to fight corruption

On 17 October 2005, five days after the Right to Information Act came into
force, a public hearing in village Lakshmangarh (Surguja District,
Chhattisgarh) showed how the Act can empower ordinary people and enable them
to fight corruption.

Complete Article

Activists protest increase in cost of seeking information

Mumbai City Right to Information (RTI) activists are up in arms against the quadrupling of the cost of seeking information. Under the new central Act, citizens will have to pay Rs 2 per page of information as compared to the 50 paise in the old Maharashtra Right To Information Act. The National Right To Information Act came into force on October 12 and under the new Act, citizens have to pay Rs 10 to file an application, Rs 2 per page of the reply and Rs 20 per hour for the inspection of a file.

Complete Article

Empowered citizens bare corruption

In a brief period, the Right to Information (RTI) Act has brought to light what everyone always knew but was afraid to say: that where the government is the sole custodian of information, there is corruption. More significantly, wherever corruption has been exposed leveraging information and the RTI Act, it has ended.

Complete Article

About RTI Portal by NIC

Right to Information Act 2005 mandate timely response to citizen requests for government information. This Online Right to Information– RTI Portal is positioned as the Gateway to meet the information needs of a fully engaged citizenry. It aims at extending content directly to citizens and providing faster and improved service.


Information is your right, you shall have it

The much talked about Right to Information Act came into force on October 12. The Union government says the Act is revolutionary, as it opens all official departments across the country to public scrutiny. The government also claims the new law will help it share power with the humblest, and empower the weakest.

But just what is this Act and how does it help you? Here's the lowdown

Complete Article

This quake victim wants 'to know'

"I have the right to know," says this man who was affected by the 2001 temblor. Now that the Right to Information Act has come into force, Dilip Desai, a retired government official, wants to know names of those officials who cleared the construction plan of his building which came crashing down on January 26, 2001. He is the first man from the city to seek information from the government.

Complete Article

File notings can encourage officers to be forthright

Chairperson of the Delhi Government's Public Grievance Commission (PGC), Shailaja Chandra, speaking at a workshop on implementation of the Right To Information Act, 2005, at the Indian Law Institute (ILI) here on Friday, said that in her experience as a former bureaucrat, around 85 per cent of file notings can, and should be made available to the public under the RTI Act.

Ms Chandra said that there were instances where Government officers write very strongly and then get overruled. She said that in such cases file notings would encourage officers to be forthright.

Complete Article

Kashyap sworn in Punjab Chief Information Commissioner

Gen (Retd) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab, administered the oath of office to Mr Rajan Kashyap as State Chief Information Commissioner at a ceremony held at Punjab Raj Bhavan, here today.

Complete Article

Manipur State Information Officers appointed

The Directorate of Information & Public Relations, Govt of Manipur, in a significant step towards enforcing Right to Information Act has appointed information officers of Arts & Culture Department.

Those appointed as State Public Information officers (SPIO) are Joint Secretary of Art & Culture, Director of Art & Culture Directorate, Dy Director of State Archives, Chief Librarian of State Central Library,Curator of Manipur State Museum, Managing Director of Manipur Film Development Corporation and Principals of Govt Dance College and Govt Music College.

Complete Article

Corporation goes ‘techy’ to ensure implementation of RTI

The Guntur Municipal Corporation is getting ready to provide information as per the Right to Information Act.

Municipal Commissioner D Rama Rao has been making efforts to furnish the information in Corporation website. As part of it, the information pertaining to town planning has been fed into the website as per the citizen charter.

Complete Article

Accessing income tax returns under rti act

Suppose your income tax papers is the subject of a Right to Information plea. A petitioner wants to know about the returns you have filed. Would the government go ahead and divulge the information?

No. The government will get back to you and reveal the information only if you are agreeable to it. Right to Information, under a provision in the Central act called ''third party information'', ensures that your privacy is not invaded. If divulging your returns, however, is in public interest and does not harm you, the information officer may divulge the information in spite of your refusal.

Complete Article

Senior IAS officer D N Padhi to join as CIC in Orissa

Senior IAS officer D N Padhi will be the new Chief Information Commissioner(CIC) in Orissa while Environmentalist Professor Radhamohan will act as Information Commissioner. The Orissa government which implemented the Right to Information Act on October 12 last after formulating necessary rules,today announced the appointment of Mr.Padhi and Mr.Radhamohan.

Complete Article

RTI Act: Officials appointed at Police Commissionarate Vishakapatnam

Assistant public information officers, public information officers and an officer to act as an appellate authority, have been appointed under the Right to Information Act (RTI) - 2005, in the Police Commissionarate, Visakhapatnam, limits.

Complete Article

A 'Rising' moment for common man

The RTI Act marks empowerment of the common man. Any information pertaining to the government which affects the ordinary citizen is now within his/her reach. However, the state government is still to set its house in order as far as the appointment of officials and setting up of the office is concerned

Complete Article

RTI Act: Tamil Nadu constitutes State Information Commission

The Tamil Nadu Government has constituted a State Information Commission under the Right to Information Act 2005, and prescribed rules for accessing information under the law, which came into force all over the country on Wednesday.

Complete Article

Gujarat appoints retired IAS as Chief Information Commissioner

With Right to Information Act coming into force all over the country from today, the Gujarat Government has appointed P K Das as the state's Chief Information Commissioner.
An IAS officer of the 1965 batch of the Gujarat cadre, Dr Das had retired from service in 2001. Subsequently, he has been advising the government on various issues, according to an official release here.

Complete Article

Mah appoints Dr Suresh Joshi as 1st Chief Information officer

The Maharashtra Government has appointed Dr Suresh Joshi as the first Chief Information Officer of the state in pursuance of the provisions of Right to Information Act 2005. Governor S M Krishna had administered the oath of office to Dr Joshi, a 1970 batch IAS officer, as the CIO at Raj Bhavan here yesterday in a simple ceremony.

Complete Article

Rajasthan to constitute Information Commission

The Rajasthan government will constitute an Information Commission, and appoint an Information Commissioner as part of the implementation of the provisions of Information Act that came into force today.

Chief Secretary V S Singh said that necessary orders for the implementation of the act have been issued and intensive training will be imparted to information officers in the state.

Complete Article

All that's not right about the new RTI Act

The Maharashtra Right to Information Act (MRTI), 2002, that we have extensively used for little over two years has already been repealed by the state government by an Ordinance. How good will be the changeover, had been discussed in our last week's Express Initiatives. This week, a scathing analysis has been done about its unfriendly aspects, thus nullifying the very reason for its birth - to ensure a people-friendly codified law on the citizens' to right to know.

Complete Article

MP implements Right to Information

Finally, people in Madhya Pradesh will have the right to information. The State Government is all set to implement the Right to Information Act 2005 from Wednesday.

The Government has already appointed a chief information commissioner (CIC) and the officials have also finalised the process of seeking information from various offices. The newly-appointed commissioner TN Shrivastava is likely to take the oath of office on October 14.

Complete Article

Goa cabinet approves setting up of State Information Comm

Goa cabinet today gave a nod to set up Information Commission under the Right to Information Act.

Complete Article

AP State Information Commission yet to be constituted

Three days before the Right to Information (RTI) Act is to come into force, the state government is yet to constitute the State Information Commission (SIC) as part of implementing the Central legislation.

Governor S K Shinde will constitute the SIC after receiving a report from a high level committee comprising the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and a senior Minister.

The SIC will be the highest appellate authority if any citizen is not satisfied with the reply given by the officials in not furnishing the information sought by him.

Complete Article

When citizens use power correctly to effect change

The empowerment of women, Dalits and tribals in this manner bears a special significance. And because every village now has that right to self-governance, all of them have the power to overcome social tension and conflict. And the Right to Information Act of 2005 will guarantee the other essential elements of good governance: transparency and accountability.

So when every Indian realises the power placed in his hands, and begins to exercise it with responsibility, India will grow into the world’s most intense democracy with her people, responsible for living lives of their own choosing, in keeping with their own cultures and traditions of every hue.

Complete Article

Making the RTI Act effective

To make it effective and uniform across the country, the Act needs to be guided by a strong set of rules. The Centre has notified rules on fees and the processing of appeals, but is yet to finalise rules to govern implementation of the Act. These are currently being examined by the Union Law Ministry and will soon be uploaded on to their website. It is imperative that the rules are published for public comment before they are finalised

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Decks Cleared for Wajahat's five member info committee

The UPA government is on the verge of constituting a five-member Central Information Commission (CIC) as mandated by the Right to Information Act. To be headed by Wajahat Habibullah, former Panchayati Raj secretary, it will have four other information commissioners, including present Personnel Secretary Anugraha Narayan Tiwari.

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Govt. appoints first Chief Information Commissioner

The process of setting up a Commission for the implementation of Right to Information Act (RIA) has picked up speed with the appointment of first Chief Information Commissioner of India by the Central Government.

A retired IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir, Wajahad Habibullah has been appointed the first Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), under the Right to Information Act-2005, which will come into effect from October 12, in all States across the country.

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Indian citizens welcome enforcement of Right to Information Act

The Right to Information Act (RIA) - 2005 came into force today in almost all the states across the country, except in quake-hit Jammu and Kashmir, and a majority of the public welcomed its introduction, saying it would help them to understand government functioning better, and reduce misuse official authority in the long term.

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