Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Public can access file notings, rules Gujarat State IC

In a landmark precedence-setting judgment, Gujarat’s Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) R N Das has ruled that ‘‘file-notings’’ are part of ‘‘information’’ under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, directing the Urban Development Department (UDD) here to let public have access to the notings.

Complete Article

RTI Effect: Nudged by RTI, Jharkhand government acts

A newspaper's persistence in RTI compels the State's Law Department to move on a file
pending for 40 odd months.

The Manorma Trust was established in 1968. It had huge immovable properties including land called Bawan Bigha at Deoghar and two houses at Kolkata. Three sons of the founder of the Trust claimed it as their private property. But the Bihar Hindu Religious Board appointed the DC of Deoghar as trustee of this trust. The three sons moved the Patna and then Kolkata High Court. But they did not get relief. After the creation of Jharkhand, they approached Mr. RN Shahdeo, the Chairman of Jharkhand Hindu Religious Board. He declared the whole property as private property of the sons. This decision was given under section 43 of Hindu Religious Board Act. This was an illegal decision. But the Law Department was silent due to some well-known reasons. When Vishnu Rajgadia from Prabhat Khabar visited to the Law Secretary to get his version, he replied as if he knew nothing regarding the matter. Vishnu Rajgadia filed an Right to Information (RTI) application to get information. He got it after 8 months. It was surprising that though state cabinet had told the law department to conduct an inquiry into this matter, it was casually dealt with. To pursue the matter Mritunjaya Sharma from the RTI team of Prabhat Khabar again filed an application. He asked why the law department did not take lawful action. This
application compelled the department to wake up. After silence of more than 40 months, the Law Department declared that the judgment by Board Chairman was completely illegal.

As posted by Vishnu Rajgadia on Humjanenge yahoogroup

ARC suggest amendment in RTI

Central Administrative Reformation Commission has suggested that Union
Government should amend existing rules to check misuse of Right to Information
Act, said its Chairman and former Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: Teachers in private schools in Vadodara underpaid

The recent row between teachers and management of city-based Nutan Vidyalaya has starkly elicited how little control the state government and its education department have on self-financed primary schools. It has been long known that self-financed and private schools underpay their teachers. The education department has however not taken action against any school.

This means that an estimated 2,500 primary teachers working with around 193 schools of the city are underpaid.

Complete Article

President exhorted to protect RTI Act

Members of Burning Brain Society and other concerned citizens, met the president today (Sep. 30, 2006: 4:45 P.M.) and discussed some important issues relating to RTI which have long term ramification. Every issue was discussed point by point and in full detail. President was very keen on all the RTI concerns and we had over 30 minutes to discuss things in detail.

Hemant Goswami

Complete Memorandum

Monday, October 30, 2006

RTI axe falls on former MC official

The Division Bench of Rajan Kashyap, the Chief Information Commissioner, took serious note of the matter and imposed the penalty. The Information Commissioner has also recommended disciplinary action against Singh.

Jaswant Singh has been posted out as Commissioner, MC Patiala. The Commission remarked that though Singh has been posted out, his negligence in committing such an an offence cannot absolve him of the liability.

The Commission finally imposed penalty today as no information has been provided to Jain till date and the officer has not responded to the Information Commission’s instructions either.

Complete Article

Save Right to Information Act, Kalam urged

In contrast to the encouraging stories, of workability of RTI Act, those are coming from different part of India; mine reflects the amount of work still needed to be done specially in West Bengal. I submitted an application under Rti Act 2005 to the IPO School Education Department, West Bengal on 24 July 06, seeking reasons behind the beholding of my salary and perks since I joined as assistance teacher in a high school aided by the WB govt. on 1 April 05. I also demanded to know the reasons for such a delay and the names of the officials supposed to handle my case and have not done so and also the likely action that can be taken and by when. On this the IPO gave me a very incomplete as well as wrong answers on 28 Aug 06, which I challenged in an application to the first appellate authority of the same department dated 04 Sep 06, and this application is submitted to the WB Information Commission since there was no appellate authority designated for that department. Now after waiting for more than 40 days, I got a letter from the WB Information Commission that my application is being forwarded to the referred department on 13 Oct 06. Just imagine the state information commission takes 40 full days only to forward the application under RTI Act! This only defeats the purpose of the Act.

As posted by Zeeshan Ghani on the RTI Orkut community

Complete Article
Social activists, NGOs and citizens at large have urged President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to invoke Section 14 of the Right to Information Act (RTI) that empowers the President to institute an enquiry into the functioning of the Central Information Commission (CIC) and prevent the Act from getting diluted.

"The CIC is meant to be the protector of the RTI Act for the people of India. Left to the CIC, the Act will be killed by its own custodians. We look up to you to prevent that from happening. Let the ray of hope lighted by the RTI Act survive and shine brighter on our democracy. Your Vision 2020 ... presupposes free availability of information through inter-connectivity at all levels of the government. The direction that the CIC is taking would never allow realisation of this vision," they said in a signed appeal to the President. They said they were concerned about the CIC's functioning.

Complete Article

Sunday, October 29, 2006

RTO official in Goa penalised

Assistant Director of Transport, Margao, Manuel Afonso, who is a Public Information Officer (PIO) under the RT Act, would lose Rs 2500 from his salary next month. Reason: The Goa State Information Commission has penalised the PIO for avoiding his responsibility to furnish information and unnecessarily subjecting a citizen to mental agony while trying to get information. The Commission also ordered the Director of Transport to pay a compensation of Rs 1000 to the complainant under section 18(8)(b) of the RTI Act.

Complete Article

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Man told to pay 1.22 lakh for info under RTI

Manoranjan Joshi was shocked when he was asked by the department of rural development here to pay Rs 1.22 lakh for accessing information under the Right to Information Act.

Joshi had applied for information on the status of projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and low-cost repair of roads taken up by the department in Balangir district.

Executive engineer of the department here, P K Senapaty, said it could have happened due to a misunderstanding between the applicant and the PIO. "I will look into the matter," he added.

from the times of india
27 Oct, 2006 Times News Network]

Maharashtra SIC cracks whip at defaulting PIOs

The state information commissioner recently levied a fine of Rs9,750, to be recovered from the salary of SP Sangane, divisional joint registrar, co-operative housing societies, for delaying information sought under the RTI.

In another case, social activist Gaurang Vora sought information regarding MMRDA projects that required trees to be chopped or replanted, through the RTI Act. The information was delayed by 29 days. SR Nandargikar, superintendent engineer
and engineering and information officer, MMRDA was fined Rs7,250 (Rs 250 per day of delay).
Complete Article

National RTI helpline ... a memorial for Manjunath

Friends of Manjunath Shanmugham have thought of an innovative memorial for him on his first death anniversary. On November 19, the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust will launch a national helpline that will help people across the country in using the Right To Information Act.

Complete Article

Conspiracy to hijack ODPs in Goa?

After the final Regional Plan for Goa 2011, there now seems to be an alleged move to hijack the planning process for cities, whose Outline Development Plans (ODPs) are presently in the revised-draft stage. Experts fear that efforts are already on to conceal information from the general public by confining data for inspection to the respective PDAs. Interestingly, no information is being provided under the Right to Information Act.

The People’s Movement for Civic Action (PMCA) had sought to photograph the draft ODP for Panjim displayed at the office of the PPDA. Thereafter, the PMCA applied for a copy of the draft plan under the Right to Information Act which was surprisingly denied on grounds that it (revised ODP) was put on display ‘only for public scrutiny’ between 10.00 am and 12.30 pm.
The PMCA, contemplating filing an appeal on the matter, has already brought the issue to the notice of the Chief Secretary.

It is also feared that like the Regional Plan 2011, ODPs of large areas — ranging from forest, agriculture, orchard to settlement and commercial — within the city may be subjected to changes. Further, analysis of the final Regional Plan 2011 shows that more than 1,480 hectares of land have been converted to settlement area.

Complete Article

Editor uses RTI to get investigation report

Niyama Sameeksha editor D.B. Binu is planning to move the State Information Commission (SIC) against the Home Department's rejection of his request for a copy of the report of Inspector General B. Sandhya's investigation of former Public Works Minister P.J. Joseph. However, Mr. Binu said, he would make one more attempt with the Home Department's appellate authority before approaching the commission.

He said there was no ongoing police investigation into the issue in Kerala, though there was one in Tamil Nadu on a private petition by the woman victim.

Complete Article

Friday, October 27, 2006

Final decision on UPSC case on November 3: information panel

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has set November 3 as the date on which it is likely to announce its final decision on a complaint filed by aggrieved candidates of the Civil Services Preliminary Examination 2006 conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

On Wednesday, the candidates — who call themselves Transparency Seekers — filed a fresh appeal with the UPSC and a simultaneous complaint with the CIC as per the Commission's directive.

omplete Article

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Transparency Seekers files fresh plea

In pursuance of the CIC's directions, Transparency Seekers on Wednesday filed a fresh appeal - having the same demands of sharing cut-off marks in each subject and category, individual marks and model answer sheets - with the UPSC and also a complaint with the CIC in this connection.

"The CIC had asked us to file a second appeal with the UPSC which had earlier rejected our application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It had also directed us to file a simultaneous complaint with the Commission. It was not a general appeal," said Don Sunil, a member of Transparency Seekers. He further clarified that the CIC had given the direction in order to expedite the final decision in the case

Complete Article

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

RTI Effect: Road gets facelift

Hi Mr Malik

The RTI that I had filed with the PMO (your idea!) for the condition of roads/sewers/railway link road street lights has borne fruit. 40 days after I filed the RTI, the road outside my house was built today within a day's time. Just today I received the copy of the letter that the Chandigarh office of HUDA had fwded to the Municipal Corp of Faridabad, and just as I was reading the letter, I also got the news that the road was back in shape!

Of course I had to pursue the PMO/Chandigarh office/Haryana PRO through Speed Posts/Faxes/emails and phone calls, but at least it worked!

Now I wait for a formal response to my queries thru the RTI. Thanks for your guidance!


[as sent by email by Mr Veeresh Malik to the Humjanenge yahoogroup]

No Diwali 'baksheesh', just dole out RTI copies

Times of India, Ahmedabad

Come Diwali and along with sweets, lights and celebrations, another tradition is
observed - that of giving 'Diwali baksheesh'. Giving 'baksheesh' to domestic help is akin to the bonus we get for Diwali, so that's not an issue. But when it comes to public servants and government employees, whether foot soldiers like postmen, telephone repairmen or the safari-clad ones, it's a different ballgame.

If you are giving 'baksheesh' or gifts to keep them in good humour, with the hope that this would ensure prompt attention and service, don't. This would be tantamount to aiding, abetting and indulging in corruption.

Right to Information (RTI) has now empowered citizens. RTI has some fundamental
objectives - accountability, transparency, informed citizenry - that are essential for a healthy democracy and to contain corruption.

The master can now crack the RTI whip, to demand accountability. So, if a dead phone connection, even after complaining, refuses to ring, file an RTI application with Rs 10, demanding to know why and who is responsible. Thissimple form of protest is enough to get your phone repaired. Businessmen, whose payments are stuck with public authorities, use RTI to get things done.

RTI has great power it is convenient, the fee is reasonable, and it works!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reluctance to part with info dogs RTI cases

The Right to Information Act (RTI) continues to face stiff opposition from the powers-that-be. Recently, state health department officials refused to provide information about former minister Surupsinh Naik's medical report. Naik allegedly exploited the air-conditioned comforts of J J Hospital's private ward following his arrest in May 2006.

RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi filed a query on May 26, asking for detailed copies of medical and ECG reports of the minister during his course of stay at J J Hospital. "But the public information officer of the hospital refused to divulge any information," Gandhi said. He then went for a first appeal on June 2006. But the first appellate authority rejected his query on the grounds that it was personal information.

"The appellate authority slyly invoked Clause 8(1) J, which states information cannot be revealed if it does not hold any public interest," said Gandhi.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: Modi govt returns riot rehab funds, minority panel says victims suffer

Coming down heavily on the Gujarat government's reluctance to help 5,703 riot-affected Muslim families resume normal lives in their original homes, National Commission of Minorities (NCM) chairman Hamid Ansari today said that "the findings of our team which visited Gujarat this month are quite explicit and show an abdication of Constitutional responsibility on the part of the state government with reference to victims of the 2002 riots who are living in barely human conditions."

The NCM, which received a request from The Indian Express under the RTI Act to explain the fate of the riot compensation money that Gujarat returned to the Centre as unspent, said the Commission wrote to the Prime Minister, asking that the unspent money be given as "enhanced grant to the families of the 1169 persons who were killed during the riots or may be given as an additional grant for houses of the victims".

Complete Article

Monday, October 23, 2006

For PM's men, RTI - Right to Intimidate

Twenty minutes before the PM was scheduled to arrive at the Vigyan Bhawan on 15th October 2006, his security staff arrested me and literally threw me out of the venue and handed me over to Delhi Police officials from Tuglaq Road police station. They had wanted me to take off my shirt and show me what was printed on my t-shirt. I refused. Their demand was illegal and amounted to intimidation (Right To Intimidate –RTI), insult (Right To Insult – RTI), and violation of my dignity and human rights.

As sent in by email on various yahoogroups by Rakesh Agarwal of Nyayabhoomi

Sunday, October 22, 2006

RTI in Bengal buried in bureaucratic tangle

Four months after the office was set up physically, there’s no sign of when the state Chief Information Commissioner’s office will begin functioning. In fact, there’s no signboard either, to direct citizens lost in the maze of government offices at Bhavani Bhavan while seeking to dig out information from the bureaucratic bowels of the Left Front government.

So far, in the four months of its functioning, the state CIC’s office has handled 150 cases, including some appeals that were filed because the department concerned did not bother to reply. The computers are idle under their covers, and are not connected to the internet. In fact, the commission does not yet have its website. The government-owned NIC has been asked to build one.

Complete Article

Rs 50 as appeal fee? Officials have no info

When Natubhai Barot of Prantij wanted to file an appeal before the District Development Officer (DDO) of Sabarkantha because he had been denied the information he had sought, the DDO asked him to pay Rs 50 as ‘‘appeal fee’’. That was on October 10.

The incident is not a singular one. There are other instances, too, where information officers have demanded Rs 50 as ‘‘appeal fee’’ whenever a member of the public has approached them for filing an appeal against information denial. But the rules framed by the State government for the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has not laid down any provision for ‘‘appeal fee’’

Complete Article

Saturday, October 21, 2006

RTI Effect: Hutments gone, Police official transferred!

Ajay Marathe had requested information on citizenship of Hutment dwellers staying at
Vashi, Sector-4, Navi Mumbai. During the final appeal proceedings the ACP argued that there are no huts at all near the place I was referring to. Mr Marathe argued that saw those huts every day. SIC Dr. Joshi did not annunce his decision immediately during / after the hearing.

A few days after the hearing, He received a letter from office of the CP(Commissioner of Police) that there is one person from West Bengal staying in those huts. After that, he have received an order from Dr. Joshi's office that there are no huts at the place, hence his appeal was rejected.

He had, in parallel, asked NMMC (Navi Mumbai Municial Coporation) about the huts. They are also confirming about the presence of huts. So he filed a request for review of the SIC's decision which he is still awaiting.

Despite the SIC decision and no information being provided by the police agencies, the effect of RTI has been felt. The hutments have since disappeared and more importantly the In-charge of the concerned Police station (Sector 4, Vashi) has
been transferred.

Yet another example of "RTI works"!

[based on information sent in by email Mr Ajay Marathe on the Humjanenge yahoogroup]

Gujarat SIC Diwali Dhamaka: Rs. 21,750 fine imposed!

A penalty of Rs 21,750 was imposed on public information officer (PIO) and deputy collector of stamp duty valuation office in Rajkot for failing to reply to a city resident's queries.

While imposing the fine, state chief information commissioner R N Das also directed the revenue department to take immediate steps to publish an updated manual prepared by superintendent of stamps and make a proactive disclosure of it. This would benefit employees and citizens and enhance training of the employees on the right to information Act. It will also promote transparency and accountability in the working of the department and minimise the risk of imposition of penalties.

Times of India, Ahmedabad

High Court slaps compensation on defaulting PIO

In a case first of its kind, the Delhi High Court has imposed a penalty on the MCD for misleading an applicant who sought certain information about an unauthorised construction under the Right To Information Act (RTI).

Allowing a petition filed by one Ram Avtar Yadav, Justice S Ravindra Bhat directed MCD to pay Rs 30,000 to the petitioner within six weeks and also asked the civic agency to recover the money from the erring officials who had deliberately avoided giving proper information to the petitioner.

Complete Article

Now RTI in Maharashtra school textbooks

It was Maharashtra's law that served as a model for what is today the Right To Information Act. No wonder the state is now leading the way to introduce this sunshine legislation to the younger generation.

Come June 2007 and the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education will become the first to include RTI in the school curriculum. Civics textbooks for class VI will include a section on RTI, its uses and benefits, while class X students will get to familiarise themselves with the practical aspects of preparing RTI applications as a part of their annual project work.

Complete Article

Thursday, October 19, 2006

RTI Effect: Historical Victory for RTI in Jharkhand

Manorma Trust was established in 1968. It had huge immovable property including Land called Bawan Bigha at Deoghar and two houses at Kolkata. Three sons of the founder of the trust claimed it as there private property. But Bihar Hindu Religious Board appointed the DC of Deoghar as trustee of this trust. Three sons moved to Patna and then Kolkata High Court. But they did not get relief. After creation of Jharkhand, they approached to Mr. RN Shahdeo, the Chairman of Jharkhand Hindu Religious Board. He declared the whole property as private property of the sons. This decision was given under section 43 of Hindu Religious Board Act. This was an illegal decision. But the Law Department was silent due to some well-known reasons. When Vishnu Rajgadia from Prabhat Khabat visited to the Law Secretary to get his version, he replied as he know nothing regarding the matter.

Vishnu Rajgadia from Prabhat Khabar, filed an RTI application to get information. He got it after 8 months. It was surprising that state cabinet had told the Law Department to conduct an inquiry in this matter, but it was casually dealt. To enquire further, Mritunjaya Sharma from RTI team of Prabhat Khabar again filed an application He asked why the Law Department did not take the lawful action. This application compelled the department to wake up. After silence of more than 40 months, the Law Department declared that the judgment by Board Chairman was completely illegal.

Vishnu Rajgadia
via email

Arunachal brought under RTI act

Arunachal Pradesh was brought under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2005 with the swearing-in of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and three Information Commissioners here on Thurdsay.

Governor S K Singh administered the oath of office to N Yongan, a former Rajya Sabha MP, as CIC and Bani Danggen, H Payang and Nipo Nabam as Information Commissioners at Raj Bhavan.

In a brief speech prior to the swearing in, the Governor reminded the Information Commissioners of their responsibilities to ensure that the people get information which they seek out of the state for the sake of transparency.

Complete Article

CM's pet subject goes to school

It all began with an essay competition in a school. And now, in its bid to bring about greater transparency about the government and its functions, the Delhi government will soon include 'Right to Information' (RTI) as a subject in schools.

"We plan to have a chapter on RTI and work to include it in the school curriculum has already begun. It'll be part of the Civics syllabus for students in the IX or X class. At this point of time, I wouldn't be able to say exactly when we'll start with it, but, it'll definitely be soon," says Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit.

Complete Article

RTI Act: CIC levies penalty against BHU registrar

Days after receiving flak for restrictive use of the penalty clause, the Central Information Commission on Thursday levied maximum penalty under RTI Act against registrar of Benaras Hindu University.

The commission found the Public Information Officer (in this case the registrar) guilty of denying information to the applicant Dhananjay Tripathi, who sought the inquiry report into the death of his friend Yogesh Roy. A penalty of Rs 25,000 has been imposed.

Complete Article

CIC seeks UPSC reply on giving out individual marks

The Chief Information Commission (CIC) today issued a directive to the UPSC to decide within seven days the appeal by civil services aspirants seeking subject cut-off and individual marks of the 2006 preliminary examination.

The CIC will, meanwhile, also decide on the complaint pending before it, by October 23. A full bench of the CIC heard the matter today after over a hundreds applicants had lodged RTIs in the matter. The aspirants had also lodged a complaint with the CIC alleging that they did not hope to get a fair hearing from the UPSC. A single bench would decide on this complaint within next week

Complete Article

Information Rites

Most of the well-known right to information campaigners have boycotted the government's one-year-of-RTI celebrations in the capital. It is a telling comment on Bharat sarkar's engagement with RTI. First, the legislature and the executive tried to stall the Act.

Once the Act was in place following pressure from people's movements, attempts were made first to blunt its radical edge and later, to appropriate it. When babus recognised the subversive potential of the Act, they decided to join the show. It is by design that most of the information commissions, independent appellate authorities, are packed with retired bureaucrats even though the Act has provisions to include professionals and representatives of civil society groups in its commissions.

Complete Article

Saturday, October 14, 2006

'The bureaucracy is threatened by RTI Act. My objective is to ensure no one takes it as a threat’: Habibullah

Over the past year, many people have felt that the Act is a damp squib. But I would like to believe there is great confidence in the Commission. And the confidence has also increased. Before the Act came into force, you needed a month before an appeal could be made. We started getting 10 appeals, and by May, we received 700. In June alone, we had around 500. Now we have 4,000 appeals and complaints taken together.

I am also a believer in the philosophy of ahimsa. I think it is the means of bringing over all sections of the society to one cause and the cause in front of me is the right to information. The bureaucracy is threatened by this Act. They think this a disciplinary Act. Even though they are the largest users of this Act! My objective is to ensure that this Act is not taken as a threat. Under section 4, the law mandates that all my records are accessible on the website.

Complete Article

Denial of access to file notings under RTI shocking: Alexander

The proposed amendment to Right to Information (RTI) Act to remove file notings from its ambit was a "shocking development" and would mark the beginning of the end of the Central Information Commission (CIC), former Maharashtra Governor P C Alexander said today.

Terming the proposed amendment as "dangerous", the Rajya Sabha MP said, "This will defeat the purpose of having such a revolutionary and wonderful act which came into existence with the sole aim to provide information to commoners".

Urging RTI activists to step up efforts to stall the move, Alexander said "the corrupt officers in the system feel shaky from the very idea of their file notings becoming public." He said it was only the corrupt officials and politicians trying to stall implementation of the Act.

Complete Article

PC Alexander for strengthening RTI implementation

Stressing the need for a personal hearing of complainants by the Central Information Commission, Rajya Sabha MP P.C. Alexander Saturday said that it was the fundamental right of the petitioner to get speedy justice. "There was a necessity to give a personal hearing to the appellants before the Commission," Alexander told a convention on Right To Information (RTI) in the capital.

Complete Article

Friday, October 13, 2006

Activists protest on RTI anniversary

On the first anniversary of the Right to Information Act protests were held in the capital. The protests held ironically to sack the Central Information Commissioner for going soft on officials denying vital information to citizens. After President APJ Abdul Kalam finished his speech on the first anniversary of the Act, over a dozen RTI activists suddenly stood up, silently unfurling banners, asking for a hearing. Not a word was uttered by the activists from different NGOs. All they did was hold aloft banners, asking for the Central Information Commissioner to be sacked.

Complete Article

J&K Reluctant To Share Information With Public

The identity of Jammu and Kashmir as a State that refuses to share power with people or devolve authority to the grassroots democratic institutions of governance can be seen in the regional and sub-regional dissension. Over a period of last two and half years Jammu and Kashmir has assumed yet another unique identity –a State that refuses to share information with people.

Complete Article

RTI activist detained for protesting against CIC

The police also detained RTI activist Manish Sisodia, who staged the protest to do away with Central Information Commission (CIC) during President Kalam’s address at Vigyan Bhawan here on the occasion of one-year of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Manish Sisodia, through silent protest, was trying to draw the President’s attention towards alleged non-functioning of the CIC, whose office was constituted with a great hope to make the Right to Information (RTI) Act really effective in meeting people’s aspirations.

Complete Article

Activists boycott RTI Act's one year celebrations

Appalled by indifferent functioning of the Central Information Commission (CIC), Right to Information (RTI) activists led by social activist Aruna Roy have boycotted the three-day convention to celebrate one year of the RTI Act.

According to Madhu Badhuri of NGO Parivartan, which has been in the forefront of the awareness campaign on RTI Act, the working of the CIC and the way it has drawn a "most objectionable" programme to mark the first year of the implementation of the RTI Act has shocked the activists

The entire programme was drawn without consulting the Steering Committee. The only organisation that has been invited to give a presentation at the CIC Convention is the Delhi Development Authority. "The DDA is internationally acclaimed as the most corrupt institution .... On the other hand, institutions like Bhillai Steel have done commendable work in implementing RTI in its own offices. The District Magistrates of Bareilly and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh are also doing commendable work in implementing RTI in their respective areas. Why have they not been asked to make presentations ...."

Complete Article

Thursday, October 12, 2006

1 year of RTI - Anna Hazare lashes out

A mass movement is the only answer if neither the government nor the information commission is interested in effective implementation of the RTI Act.

It is evident now that the government never was honest in bringing in the piece of the legislation. It is proving to be an eyewash. That is obviously the reason that persons with bureaucratic background were appointed on information commissions. Both the central and the Maharashtra governments call themselves progressive and yet have done nothing in ensuring strict enforcement of the RTI Act. Maharashtra government has stopped taking any interest, while the central government even planned mauling the Act and depriving it of its very soul.

Information Commissions have also not been imposing penalty as prescribed by the Act on defaulting Public Information Officers. This, apart from lowering the success rate, has increased their burden. PIOs and Appellate Authorities have begun taking things for granted. Fear or the respect for the Act has eroded.

States report card on RTI all red

A report published by Centre for Civil Society (CCS), a Delhi-based think tank, found that three-fourth of the states and the Union Territories do not provide even half the information they are obliged to under Section 4 of the RTI Act.

The Duty to Publish Index: Report card on RTI compliance of states published by CCS shows that on an average the state provides less than a third of the information required.

Madhya Pradesh and Uttaranchal earned the distinction of being the most accessible providing 87 and 76 per cent of the required information, respectively. Chandigarh (62) and Delhi (54) stand first and second respectively amongthe Union Territories. Ironically, Rajasthan, the home to movement for the Right to Information, is at
the bottom providing only 11 per cent of the information they must. Assam, Jharkhand and Sikkim are among the states where the RTI was yet to be implemented.

Complete Article

Complete Report

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Forms filed sans receipt, show us proof: dept

It's a common complaint in Juhapura, where residents file RTI applications but get no receipt, and therefore no proof that they ever filed one.

When Nazinbanu Sharifbahi, a labourer living in the Juhapura area got fed up with the stench of garbage that had gathered in her area and decided to file an RTI application with the help of the Mahila Patchwork Co-Operative society, an NGO working on a campaign called the 'Pucho Sawal Abhiyan', she was denied a receipt from the Information officer of the Vejalpur Nagarpalika for her application

HK Patel, Incharge Deputy Municipal Commissioner of the newly formed West Zone office, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, says, "I will definitely take stock of the situation when I get all the details and give people the required information."

Complete Article

Can’t make RTI effective by threat of penalty: Habibullah

Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah has said levying penalties on public servants found deliberately withholding information is "not the only way" to make them comply with the Right to Information Act. He is of the view that there are other ways of ensuring that they part with information that is due to citizens under the law enacted a year ago.

"I believe in ahimsa (non-violence) in not merely turning the other cheek, but converting someone peacefully to the cause, so all types of citizens come to accept the RTI as being beneficial to them," he said and added that if penalties, especially monetary, were imposed aggressively, too much resistance would develop. "Let's not railroad and end in a crash. The principle objective this year has been to win over all sections of society."

He said penalties would prompt the bureaucracy to get more defensive and therefore develop many more defence mechanisms to shield itself against the new law. The Chief Information Commissioner said "confidence was slowly building up" in how the Act benefited all.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: RTI Plea Reveals Vessels Unavailable Before Floods

a recent application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Gujarat government had floated tenders to acquire air boats in May. This was three months before the floods caused damage worth Rs 22,000 crore by the government's own admission.

The tenders were suddenly cancelled after a technical committee of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) realised that such boats were ineffective in rescue. The irony however does not end here. GSDMA had itself procured air boats for Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot municipal corporations between 2003 and 2004. They were never used because they had weak engines. But when asked in the RTI application, GSDMA denied having acquired any air boats in the last two years.

Times of India, Ahmedabad

One year on, activists feel RTI has a long way to go

A year after the Right to Information (RTI) Act came into effect, RTI activists in the city feel the Act has only been a partial success, it would not bring transparency in governance unless it is implemented in letter and spirit.

``There are problems with the implementation of the RTI Act. Public Information Officers (PIOs) failing to provide information are not being penalised and there is no fear of the law in their minds. Moreover, the number of appeals pending is staggering. This defeats the purpose of the Act,'' said Shahid Burney.

Vijay Kumbhar feels public awareness about RTI has increased but the PIOs and appelate authorities are not willing to part with information. ``People filing requisitions under the RTI are treated like enemies of the system by the babus. Appellate authorities do not penalise such PIOs. Moreover, the pendency of appeals is also affecting implementation of the RTI,'' he said.

Vivek Velankar observed the same treatment.``PIOs are hesitant to reveal information but are not penalised. Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi has disposed off 375 appeals but fines were imposed in only seven to eight cases. Moreover, a large number of second appeals are pending with the information commissioner. If these problems are not addressed, the Act would remain a paper tiger,'' he said.

Maj Gen SCN Jatar (Retd) feels RTI has delivered some results although the appelate authority has to take stringent action against PIOs violating the norms.

Complete Article

RTI law 'disappoints with mixed grades

Free flow of information is still a distant dream despite efforts by the government. On Thursday, the federal Right to Information Act - billed a watershed in administrative transparency and citizens’ empowerment - will be a year old. But a pre-birthday jog down the performance lane rates it as “more of a disappointment than a weapon of mass empowerment” as envisaged by the National Advisory Council that drafted the law.

Even members of the Central Information Commission including chief information commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah and information commissioner O.P. Kejriwal admit that it has been “partially successful”. “We may not have been able to tap the potential of the Act,” Kejriwal said.

A nationwide survey by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS), released on Tuesday, explains the reasons why the Act has failed to deliver. Most of the 19 states in which the survey was conducted have only two information commissioners housed in temporary offices with very little fund and manpower. States like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra have only one information commissioner.

Another deterrent is the high processing fee charged by some states in violation of the Act, which stipulates Rs 10 for an application. States like Haryana and Tamil Nadu charge Rs 50, whereas Maharashtra and Orissa charge Rs 25 for an appeal. Andhra Pradesh scores as it charges no fee at the village level. The mandals and the district-level organizations charge a slightly higher amount.

Another reason why the Act has been ineffective is the information commissioners’ reluctance to use the penalty clause against officials providing wrong or no information.

Complete Article

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

State Info Commission bows to judiciary on RTI Act applicability

While the RTI Act completes one year of existence on Thursday, no apparatus for dissemination of information under the RTI Act, 2005, has yet been created by the Bombay High Court. The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, applies to the judiciary. Even the Supreme Court of India has designated its own public information officer (PIO) and the appellate authority (AA) to process requisitions filed under the Act seeking information from the judiciary. A Solapur citizen, therefore, failed to receive any information from the judiciary and the State Information Commissioner dismissing his appeal has avoided any confrontation with the judiciary.

Dr Suresh Joshi, chief information commissioner of Maharashtra, has powers to direct the high court to expedite framing of rules and setting up of the apparatus in all district courts for dissemination of information under the Act. It is already late by a year. Joshi, however, apparently decided to play it safe and avoid a confrontation with the judiciary.

Complete Article

CIC wants security

The commission has demanded security from the government after a dissatisfied information seeker from Delhi wrote to it threatening to misbehave with the commissioners in protest against an unfavourable decision. Fortunately, the threat-giver did not turn up for the hearing and execute his intent.

The five member commission, headed by chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, operating from a building borrowed from another government department near Jawahar Lal Nehru University (South Delhi), does not have a single security personnel at its disposal.

Complete Article

Former Goa CM want CAG file notings

The leader of the Opposition, Mr Manohar Parrikar today said that he would approach the appellate authority against the refusal to provide information by the local cell of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, about the source with the help of which CAG passed strictures on the erstwhile BJP government, as regards the organisation of International Film Festival of India 2004.

Navhind Times, Oct 9, 2006

CIC decision over file notings after RTI meet

A full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) will take a decision on whether to allow file notings to be made public after the national convention on the Right to Information (RTI) Act later this week.

"Till such time, file notings will be made public and there is no confusion on this count," said Rita Sinha, secretary, CIC.

Complete Article

RTI Effect: RTI missive gets missile money

Narhari Mavalankar, the youngest son of GV Mavalankar, the first speaker of the Lok Sabha, had to use the Right to Information Act to make the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Hyderabad fork out around Rs 10 lakh after a 15-month delay. And that too after the RTI application was addressed to the office of President Abdul Kalam.

Mavalankar's engineering firm Genest manufactured the carbon composite impregnator plant for the defence laboratory, a technology used in high temperature chambers of missiles. The project was assigned to the firm in February 2002 and was to be completed by January 2003. However, due to the inordinate delays in payments and design approvals by the ministry, the trials were carried out in March 2005.

But the RTI application hastened matters in the ministry. Payments were cleared within four weeks and the money reached Mavalankar in September this year. Mavalankar has now approached the defence ministry again under RTI to know the reasons for the delay so that he can claim damages.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: Hobnobbing of IDBI officials with Natwarlals of Mumbai

IDBI Patna sanctioned more then 20 crore rupees loan to start 3 factories in Tupudana Industrial Area of Ranchi, in 1998. Two factories never been completed. Third was closed just after starting. IDBI is ignorant for this huge public money. The land allotted for industrial purpose is lying futile. All promoters are absconding. Vishnu Rajgadia from Hindi Daily Prabhat Khabar filed a RTI application to IDBI, Kolkata for getting facts regarding the dues. But he has been denied on the ground of section 8(d) of the RTI Act. The reply is not satisfactory and process of file an appeal is going on.

[Source: Email from Mr Vishnu Rajgadia on the Humjanenge yahoogroup]

Customs rejects RTI query on its staff

It’s a question of who will bell the cat. The customs vigilance department is refusing to divulge information pertaining to officials working in its own department under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The reason given: the information would hamper investigations and amount to an invasion of privacy.

The application filed under the RTI act was rejected by the Additional Director General of Vigilance, who in a written reply stated that the information sought was “an unwarranted invasion of privacy’’ and would “impede the process of investigation.’’

But Darak has now gone in for an appeal questioning the validity of the decision to deny the information. In his query, he had not even asked the names of the officers; it was in the nature of a general application regarding the number of complaints received against vigilance officers, date of commencement of inquiries, date of completion of inquiries and the status of inquiries.

Times News Network

RTI Effect: Armed with RTI, Juhapura residents demand better life

Juhapura, a minority ghetto with a threelakh strong population, is
using the Right To Information (RTI) Act with a vengeance to change the status
of being a neglected area for years. Residents want better basic amenities like
health and sanitation facilities and roads and they are using RTI for it.

Zareena Sheikh, a local resident, has also used the camp to ask why the
government has not started any health centre in the area and why there are only
two government schools in Juhapura, despite the area being thickly populated

Times of India, Ahmedabad

Monday, October 09, 2006

Release of CCS’s Study: On compliance with duty to publish

The Centre for Civil Society is organizing a Press Conference for the official release of its report “Duty to Publish: Compliance with section 4 of the Right to Information Act by the Education Departments of the States and UTs” on 11 October, 2006, at the Press Club of India in New Delhi from 12:00 to 13:00.

Enshrined in the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI’05) is the government's Duty to Publish information. Section 4 of the act outlines the information that the government must release to the public on its own initiative, without public prompting or explicit demand.

The public will now know which state education ministries are more progressively releasing more information and which are procrastinating. It also provides the Right to Information movement an opportunity to establish bold standards which all government agencies will have to adhere to.

771 applications in 12 months @ B'lore Dev Authority

Unauthorised apartments, unplanned layouts, building and zonal violations and frauds in sale of property are all characteristics of a City succumbing to unbridled growth. The only shield to gullible property buyers risking a hasty buy, as the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) claims, is the Right to Information Act.

A staggering 771 RTI applications were received by BDA in the last 12 months. Says BDA Commissioner M K Shankarlinge Gowda, “BDA has designated 14 officers as Public Information Officers to answer queries pertaining to land acquisition, land compensation, award, notification, de-notification, plan sanction, change in land use, Site allotment, registration of sites, among other issues. We have also voluntarily disclosed much of the information on the list of authorised and unauthorised projects, housing projects, allotments etc. on the website.”

Complete Article

Need for contempt clause in RTI Act: Habibullah

Underlining the need to strengthen the Right to Information (RTI) Act, chief Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Mr Wajahat Habibullah has suggested that a clause providing for contempt proceedings in case of non-compliance of the CIC directions be included in the law.

"Though some NGOs are doing a wonderful job in documentation and spreading awareness, an autonomous body is being suggested by CIC to the government for this purpose," Mr Habibullah said.

Complete Article

Karan Thapar quizes Chief Information Commissioner

The Right to Information (RTI) Act is all set to mark its first anniversary. How effectively is it functioning? Karan Thapar quizes Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, on Devil's Advocate.

Complete Article

RTI Effect: Silent majority uses RTI to cut red tape

For a year, Rasila Rathod of Anjar used to wait outside a school to attend to her physically challenged daughter during school hours. The reason was known to all — Mayuri’s classroom was on the first floor and she had to be assisted every day to her class.

Rasila’s repeated pleas before the principal, the MLA and district education officer (DEO) to provide easy access for Mayuri fell on deaf ears.

But recently, it took a simple application under the Right to Information Act by Rasila to make bureaucrats wake up to the issue of ‘access to classrooms’ for hundreds of differently abled children. Even before the DEO could respond to her queries on the rights of a physically challenged child to education, the administration sprung into action and immediately ordered Mayuri’s class be shifted downstairs and ran a survey across Kutch’s schools to identify 300 differently abled students, who were in a similar situation. People in small towns and villages across Gujarat have used RTI to fight corruption and bureaucratic hurdles.

Complete Article

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Maharashtra SCIC cracks the whip

Maharashtra SCIC cracks the whip( finally!) on Cooperation department – imposes penalty of Rs. 9,750 on the PIO in the office of the Divisional Registrar- Co- Op Housing Societies , Malhotra House, Fort for delaying the information by 39 days. Also orders that the information asked for, be provided free of cost to the applicant.

Please see the case no 2006/11/02 ( page no 131 of 161, of the PDF file available on the web)– Applicant Sh. Tarun Ghia @ Andheri Mumbai

-Ajay Marathe


We are glad to invite you for “Puccho Sawal campaign to be held from 7-12th October 2006, at ‘Juhapura – Sankalitnagar Area’ of Ahmedabad. To promote and encourage citizen’s of Juhapura to ask question by using RTI. Campaign will be held every day from 10:00 to 4:00 pm at Sankalitnagr (B- Ward), Juhapura - Ahmedabad.

The team of the organization and other volunteers will counsel the visitors on the RTI act and other civic rights. The theatre team of the organization will perform street plays on the issues of Right to Survival and Right to Development in the area and talk with experts on the same issues will be organized in the evening time.

It has been envisaged that the campaign will influence the community to raise their voice and to speak out for their own problems. They will be taught to file the application under the RTI act and how to and whom to submit it.

(Mahila Patchwork Cooperative Society)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quietly & responsibly, but DU wanna know

There is a quiet revolution on in DU as students flood authorities with right to information applications. Their bid: To make the system more transparent.

Where protests and bandhs failed, the right to information may work. And especially when it is a tool in the hands of Delhi University students. According to the GenX, knowledge is power and they are pursuing it in right earnest.

Caught in the middle of it is the assistant registrar, DU, Harminder Singh. He has already received hundreds of applications filed under the Right To Information Act, which have been filed by DU students. And what are students demanding?

They want to see photocopies of their checked answer sheets, the model answers given to examiners, the criteria of evaluation, the tabulation of marks and the names of the examiners among other things.

Complete Article

RTI meeting on 7th and 8th Oct in Lucknow

A two day people's convention of activists leading the movement of RTI in UP is planned on 7th and 8th Oct in Lucknow. The programme schedule is as follows.

7th Oct
I session: 11am to 2pm: Taking stock of RTI campaign in UP - Challanges and problems
II session: 4pm to 7pm: Review of State Information Commission - both State Information Commissioners and Secretary Administrative Reforms will attend people's hearing anchored by NDTV

III session: 9.3oam to 12pm: Panel discussion on RTI and strengthening democracy
Shriram Arun - On Police Reforms and RTI
Subhasini Ali - RTI and Indian Polity
Amod Kumar (DM Faizabad)- Lokwani and RTI
Adv Prashant Bhushan - RTI and constitution
Sandeep Pandey - RTI and people's movements.

Gandhi Bhavan Library, Opp Shahid Smarak, Lucknow

Contacts: Arundhati Dhuru: 9415022772, Dwarapuri: 941516484

We hope you will join us to strengthen the movement.

In solidarty
Arundhati dhuru, S.R.dwarapuri, R.K Sharma, and friends from RTI movement

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Three months later, query gets only partial response

Times of India, Ahmedabad

Three months, three applications and endless hours of haggling with babus was not enough to get Jagat Parikh, a local yarn merchant, the information he sought. His query, filed under Right to Information (RTI) Act, was seeking a list of properties mortgaged by Ahmedabad's municipal authorities to fuel Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project as also why the municipal authorities refuse to take loans from financial institutions offering lower interest rates.

Even after a long wait, only a part of his query was answered. The 'delayed' answer was that Rs 253.33 crore worth of prime property had been mortgaged by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Limited (SRFDCL) to take a loan of Rs 550 crore from Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO). The list of properties that have been mortgaged against the HUDCO loan include 500 square metres of SRFDCL reclaimed land near Subhash Bridge, which is being valued at Rs 7 crore. The other properties include 9,395 square metres of two plot super structure area worth Rs 18 crore in Ellisbridge area, one 1.13 lakh-sq m municipal plot in Probodh Raval bridge area worth Rs 28.3 crore and one 1.10 lakh-square metre commercial plot in Ellisbridge area.

The authorities, however, desisted from answering a controversial query posted by him which sought the names of financial institutions that were offering loans at a lesser interest rate than HUDCO. The authorities put off the query for months labelling it as a 'top secret' that may benefit vested interests.

Workshop held for info on RTI

Times of India, Ahmedabad

A workshop on Right to Information Act (RTI), to educate taxation lawyers and public at large about it, was organised here on Tuesday by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Income Tax Bar Association.

Chief information commissioner R N Das and Rahul Mangaonkar, prominent resource person on RTI were the speakers. GCCI president Pankaj R Patel and Association president Snehal Thakker were present among others.

Das said, "The Act gives the ordinary citizen the right to ask anything she/he wants to know from the government. There are provisions to take care of delay, if any, in providing information. Also, penalty is imposed on public information officers (PIOs) if they are found guilty of withholding information." Indicating the widespread use of RTI Act, he said that applications have been received even from districts like Bharuch and the Dangs. Mangaonkar stressed that no legal expertise is needed to exercise the right to information under the Act on any issue, except the ones which are in the exempt category. The workshop concluded with a question answer session.

CIC Decisions searchable online

The website of The Central Information Commissioners http://cic.gov.in/ has been updated and currently is an improved, quick, searchable database. Please click on "Search" and type the key words for the decisions required. For example for decisions on file notings type "decisions on file notings" and click on "search this website" and then search. All decisions will appear. Please try different key words for same information. For example search for 'examination papers' alternatively a search can be done with key words 'answer papers' for decisions on the issue of disclosure of exam papers.

Reshmi Mitra
Right to Information Programme
The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

RTI use for exam data gets thumbs-up

"Show them (the students) the evaluation, not the evaluator." That's the verdict of the vox populi when they were asked if students have a right to see how their answer sheets are evaluated and who did it.

Under the "It's the Question of Your Answers" campaign, students can now ask the Public Information Officers (PIOs) to furnish information about the examination that they have taken. The campaign seeks that the students know about the criteria of marking, their marks break-up, reasons for delay in examination and results, model answers and even the name of the examiners and tabulation sheets submitted by these examiners.

Complete Article

Monday, October 02, 2006

Delhi HC builds the great RTI barrier

If you thought only babus try to hide information, you are in for a shock. The reluctant Delhi High Court was brought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 but has managed to notify rules that help in blocking information from applicants.

The first hindrance is the application fee. The court charges a whopping Rs 500 per application — 50 times the fee prescribed under RTI Act 2005.

This is not all. Get ready for some more damage to your pocket if you happen to file an application seeking information that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the authorised person. After a month, the authorised person would return your application and forfeit the application fee.

Complete Article

GOACAN RTI Week from 12th to 18th October

The Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) will observe a Right To Information Week from 12th to 18th October. The week long program being organised on the occasion of the first anniversary of the enactment of the Right To Information Act 2005 seeks to address the need for awareness on RTI as well as to petition the Goa Govt. to fulfill its duties with respect to the Act.

Consumers are requested to send copies of their complaints/suggestions by post to GOACAN RTI Assistance Cell, Post Box 187, Margao Goa 403 601 or by email to during this week.

RTI Effect: When RTI brought culprits to book

The RTI Act can be tapped not only to get justice for oneself, but also to nail the guilty, as Samudra Devi Passi, 64, a slum dweller from Andheri(E), found.

Passi spent 12 days in prison without knowing why and without being produced in court. When several missives to the MIDC police and the Andheri civil court went unanswered, Passi, with the help of RTI activist Sheeba Nair, filed an application enquiring about her arrest.

Within 20 days, Passi received a reply from the police saying her son had borrowed Rs1.56 lakh from a certain PK Chaudhary and had disappeared soon after. It was for this misdemeanour that she had been taken in for interrogation.

It is still not clear why the police kept Passi in custody and why it did not file an FIR, said Nair. But the fact that they were instrumental in bringing the culprits to book by merely asking for information is of some consolation, she says.

Complete Article

Wanted: 40,000 data churners in Maharashtra

It’s almost a year since the Central Right to Information (RTI) Act came into existence, and the State Information Commission is finally planning to train 40,000 public information officers (PIOs) to cope with the flood of RTI applications. In a decisive step, it is also considering issuing orders in languages other than Marathi to make the act user-friendly.

“Ideally, the PIOs must read the request for information within a few hours. If it is a mere case of copying the document, it should be dealt with quickly. The PIO’s efficiency is crucial in making RTI successful.”

Complete Article

Do not hold back, CIC tells babus

In a stinging commentary on the approach of the bureaucracy towards sharing information, the Central Information Commission has asked public authorities to use their minds and judiciously apply exemption clauses.

The immediate provocation for the observation was the Union Home Ministry’s refusal to reveal a fax sent by it to the West Bengal government on handing over investigations into the Purulia arms-dropping case to the CBI. The ministry refused to part with the information, saying the case was “highly sensitive” from the security point of view and it would not be possible to classify any part of the case as “non-sensitive”.

The Commission junked this argument, observing that the message had not even been classified under the Official Secrets Act.

Complete Article

Storm in DU as students weild RTI

Does a student have the right to check how his answer sheets have been evaluated in an examination or who evaluated it?

That's the question haunting the academic fraternity in the national capital for the past week after as many as 300 Delhi University students filed applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, demanding to see copies of their answer sheets, tabulation sheets and seeking to know the breakup for evaluation of papers and also names of the evaluators.

Comple Article

Govt keeping Dadri facts under wraps: Cong

The State Congress on Sunday accused the Mulayam Singh Yadav government of concealing facts about the gas-based power project of Reliance Energy Limited at Dadri. The Congress said secret pact between the Yadav government and the REL was not at all in the interest of the State.

Talking to newsmen here on Sunday, UPCC spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh, who had sought details of agreement between the government and the REL under right to information, said that the State Energy Department had refused to provide the information.

The special secretary (energy) Raj Kamal Gupta in reply to Singh’s request said that it was not possible to make the provisions of the agreement public. Gupta quoting the provisions told Congress leader that he could move appellate authority on the issue.

Complete Article

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