Friday, June 30, 2006

4 wings of UP Police out of RTI purview

In another move that may trigger a controversy, the cabinet on the occasion also decided to keep four wings of the UP police - intelligence, security, PAC and the STF - out of the purview of the Right to Information Act.

However, for cases related to human rights violations and corruptions, RTI provisions would remain in force, said the CS.

Complete Article

Drive against bribe begins today!

A bank manager who refuses to accept a ration card as residential proof; a policeman who hints at a bribe to expedite an investigation or a passport officer who keeps your application in deep freeze. These are only a few faces of the red tape and corruption one encounters every day. Instead of succumbing to the corrupt, exercising your right to information can help you deliver them a body blow.

For the uninitiated, the right to information (RTI) is a part of fundamental rights under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution. The Right to Information Act 2005 empowers citizens to ask any questions from the Government or seek any information; take copies of any Government documents; inspect Government documents; Inspect Government work and even take samples of materials of Government work. All one needs is the resolve to take the corrupt on.

Complete Article

Book on RTI released in Ranchi

The book on Right to Information 'Soochanakadhikar Naya Loktantra, Naye Patrakarita, (RTI- New Democracy, New Journalism) was released by Nannu at Prabhat Khabar Auditorium today. The book is co-authored by Arvind Kejriwal and Vishnu Rajgadia. Nannu before releasing the book shared his experiences as how filed his application and how the concerned Officials immediately responded to his RTI application. Speaking on this occasion the Chief Editor of Prabhat Khabar emphasized on the importance of the Right to Information, he added saying that the RTI is a weapon
for transparency and good governance. He told that this tool is for new democracy. Retired Professor Dr. R. K. Jha presided the program. It was released just before the eve of Anti Bribe Campaign beginning from 1st July.

-Vishnu Rajgadia

Thursday, June 29, 2006

RTI act empowers common man

The Right to Information campaign kicks off across the country on July 1. Ordinary people now refuse to cower down before the system and have used the act to fight back.

Nanu, a daily wage labourer, was thrown out of the food and supply office when he tried to get a ration card made.

A 70-year-old rickshaw puller from Madhubani in Bihar struggled for five years to get a home under the Indira Awas Yojana. The officer in-charge asked for Rs 5000 just to process the application.

These are just some of the names of people across the country who refused to be bullied by a corrupt system. When pushed to desperation they fought back with the Right to Information Act.

Complete Article

Ludhiana MC official pulled up for ignoring RTI query

The Punjab State Information Commission has summoned the Public Information Officer (PIO), Municipal Corporation, for witholding information to the Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees for over four months.

The park management had asked for information under the Right To Information Act on February 13. According to the rule, information for an RTI query has to be provided within 30 days or a fine worth Rs 250 per day can be imposed. The maximum fine is Rs 25,000.

The PIO of the civic body is Dr Jaswant Singh, joint commissioner. As per the state commission’s letter, he has to appear for a hearing on July 10 before the commission personally or through an authorized representative.

Complete Article

Gujarat activists to fight bribery with RTI Act

Rights activists in Gujarat will launch a 15-day anti-bribery campaign July 1 to urge people to use the Right to Information Act (RTI) to get their grievances addressed instead of greasing the hands of corrupt officials.

Seminars and discussions will be held at Kochrab Ashram in Paldi area here from July 1 to 15, said Harinesh Pandya, coordinator of the Right to Information-Gujarat Initiative, an NGO.

Complete Article

Support pours in for the Drive against bribe with RTI Campaign in Delhi

Dear All,

Today in the morning a meeting was held between Chief Minister of Delhi Smt. Shiela Dixit and the Delhi Campaign Group.The Chief Minister has agreed to extend her support to the Campaign in the following ways:

1.Deputing three to four officials from Delhi Government for receiving the RTI applications on the spot.

2. The Chief Minister has also promised to issue an office order similar to the order issued by Central Goverment (DoPT).

3.The State Vigilance Commission is likely to set up a desk during the campaign to educate citizens about how they can file a complaint in State Vigilance Commission.

Following are the other developments that have taken place in Delhi:

1. The Delhi Doctor's Association is joining the campaign and will support us by taking up one desk for helping applicants in drafting the RTI applications.

2. The New Delhi Bar Association is also extending its support to the campaign and has agreed to take one desk.

3. The IIT Alumin Association is also likely to join the Campaign.

All the Best

Saurabh Sharma (09811872752)
Suchi Pande (09811333041)

Coordinator Delhi Group

RTI Effect: Just 20 Hours for cleaning the streets!

Ranchi : Shashi Kumar a student of PKIMS had filed application under RTI for to the Municipal Corporation of Ranchi. He sought answer for few questions like the number of drainages of Vardawan Compound, Ranchi and when and how the Municipal authority does the cleaning. He asked about the wastes lying for the last six months in the areas and also asked when it would be cleaned up. He filed his application on 28th june 2006 at 2.00 P.M. Surprisingly, he saw one dozen workers of Ranchi Municipality were cleaning the streets, on the very next morning at 9.00 A.M. just within 20 hours of filing of the application. This area was never been cleaned for more than six months. This success could only be achieved because of RTI and the Anti-Drive Campaign launched here.

-Vishnu Rajgadia

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Andhra Info commissioner calls for compliance report

Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) C.D. Arha has directed officials of the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) to file a compliance report by first week of August on pending petitions before it under the Right to Information Act.

"Officials who fail to fall in line will be penalised. Officials have no right to question the locus standi of the citizen seeking information"

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This RTI helpline drives people to empowerment

The helpline has helped hundreds of people like Prajapati since it started
functioning a month back. The helpline works between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm
everyday and in the last one month, it has received about 900 calls.

The helpline was started with the objective of empowering people by helping them
in how to exercise their rights under the Right to Information Act. Officials of
the organisation say a majority of the calls they receive come from places ike
Junagadh, Porbandar and Surat.

Complete Article

Don’t grease their palms - use RTI

Starting July 1, a nationwide campaign against bribery -- “Drive Against Bribery with Right to Information” -- is being launched by the Hindustan Times along with other media houses and NGOs.

People will be asked not to pay bribes. Instead, help centres will be opened in 42 cities across the country where volunteers will help people file RTI applications.

A helpline (09250492504) will also be open to answer basic queries. SMS rti (city name) to 6833 to get information regarding a workshop in your city.

Complete Article

Monday, June 26, 2006

RTI Expose: RTI finds beer bars, toddy shops owe BMC Rs 50-lakh

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to recover a whopping Rs 50 lakh as ground rent from beer bars, toddy shops and permit rooms running on municipal lease.

The amount, accumulated over the last two years, assumes significance after the civic body formulated a policy to charge extra ground rent for permit room, beer bar and toddy shops a decade ago.

Complete Article

BSNL rapped for seeking fee for information

The Central Information Commission has issued a show cause notice to a BSNL officer for demanding a fee of Rs 9,810 from an applicant to provide certain basic information sought by the latter under the Right To Information Act (RTI).

Applicant Kailash Mishra had on June 17 sought information from the BSNL Bhopal Circle about the projects completed by its Switching and Installation Wing. The BSNL wrote back asking him to deposit Rs 9,810 which included Rs 9,732 for the man hours "required" to collect the information sought.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: 18 officers in service sans verification

Eighteen officials—ex-servicemen from the Armed Forces—have joined the Customs Department since 1990. However, 16 years later, the department does not know much about them, even that their said qualifications are genuine, as the documents of a majority have not yet been verified.

The verification is conducted by the office of Commissioner of Customs (General)
based in Mumbai at New Customs House, Ballard Estate, as the commissioner is the
cadre-controlling authority in Mumbai.

Complete Article

AIR's RTI awareness series in Maharashtra

'Tila Tila Daar Ughad' — a 30-minute programme designed to provide people of how to get information from the administration — has been aired on All India Radio since January on every Saturday. The programme has been scripted by experts from Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada).

Complete Article

Book on Right to Information in India

Prabhat Khabar has published a book on Right to Information on the eve Drive against the Bribe Campaign. Arvind Kejriwal and Vishnu Rajgadia are the co-author of the Book. The Book is called 'Soochanadhikar- Naya Loktantra, Naye Patrakarita' (RTI for New Democracy & New Journalism). The term 'Soochanadhikar' has been coined for the first from the words 'Soochana Ka Adhikar' meaning Right to Information. This book is unique in many ways. It contains the experiences of RTI of the entire country.
Another important feature of this book is that first time it provides the instances of use of RTI for journalism purpose as well. Many new ideas, thoughts and concepts have also been included. This book also contains RTI Act in Hindi. The book has 112 pages. The price of the book Rs. 65/-(for Paper Back) and Rs. 225/-( for Hard Bound.
To obtain the copies, please contact Mritunjay Sharma on 09334438196 or 09431104424. email - mritunjay442000@yahoo.co.in

with regards
Prabhat Khabar Team

Saturday, June 24, 2006

800 RTI appeals pending in Maharashtra

The Chief Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi said, “Since October 2005 when I took charge, we have received about 5,000 communications including appeals, complaints and general correspondence. The number of appeals has increased since January this year and we have about 800 pending disposal. I have taken up the matter with Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who has agreed to provide four more commissioners by the end of the year.”

Complete Article

Friday, June 23, 2006

CNN IBN start RTI feature

CNN IBN has started the Citizen Journalist Initiative in which citizens can post their success stories related to the Right to Information act. Citizens can also write in queries, suggestions or grievances related to RTI.

CNN IBN RTI Feature

Flunked, RTI can tell you why

The Central Information Commission, while hearing a plea of an examinee, averred that details of marks and basis of evaluation should be disclosed. However, the Act can't reveal the ranks of unsuccessful candidates.

Compelte Article

Thursday, June 22, 2006

RTI law turned on its head

A combination of intimidation and mindless application of the letter of the law threatens to dissuade citizens from putting the RTI Act to use. And politicians are only happy to offer solutions that further dilute the law's purpose. Suman Sahai and Swati Gola note examples from Chhatisgarh that point to the need for a program for rights literacy.

Complete Article

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Goa information panel starts functioning

The Goa State Information Commission has started functioning at Ground Floor, ShramaShakti Bhavan, Patto Plaza with Mr A Venkatratnam as State Chief Information Commissioner and Mr G G Kambli as State Information Commissioner.

Complete Article

RTI Effect: PMC office-bearers get notices for misuse of vehicles

Municipal secretary Sharad Samel has sent notices to at least 12 former and present office bearers asking them to provide details of the use of the vehicles provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) outside the city limits. This has come after civic activist Major S C N Jattar sought details under the Right To Information Act (RTI) regarding the official and unofficial use of vehicles by the office bearers.

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

RTI or RIP

This is amazing. For something useless we waste a lot of money but on something that is crucial and which is needed in the state is ignored. Consider the Right to Information Act where with great fanfare, Goa announced the implementation of the Right to Information Act last October 12, 2005. Former chief secretary Kiran Dhingra, headed a task force, which was set up by the Government to oversee the implementation of the new Central Act in the State. As per the plan of action, the State administration had been gearing up to put in place the necessary infrastructure, software, database, and the required forms for the implementation of the Act. In addition the Government was to ensure that all departments appoint information officers and assistant information officers to oversee the dissemination when asked for by the public. Has all that been done?

Complete Article

Monday, June 19, 2006

Compliance level good: Mohandas - Kerala CIC

State Chief Information Commissioner Palat Mohandas has said that the compliance of Commission's orders by State Government officials was quite good. There was no resistance as such to the disclosure of information.

In an interview with The Hindu , the Commissioner said that hardly any Government official, however, was observing the time limit of 30 days for providing the information requested by the public.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Govt agency contracts not confidential: CIC

In an order that could have far-reaching consequences, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that a contract with a public authority cannot be categorised as confidential.

Government agencies are loath to give information regarding contracts. Government transactions are often kept away from public view under the garb of confidentiality, especially in cases related to defence and national security.

Complete Article

Why your train commute is STILL so miserable?

Borivli-resident Devraj Roy filed a Right to Information plea after he was fed up of reading about new railway projects and seeing no results whatsoever. What emerged is that Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation in charge of these projects has not completed a single one of them, despite deadlines having long passed, and has spent crores of rupees allotted to these projects in ‘research’. Mumbai Mirror brings you the sorry state of affairs.

Complete Article

Delay in implementing RTI Act in Tamil Nadu

Procedural uncertainties, lack of awareness among Public Information Officers and inadequate infrastructure have caused unnecessary delay in successful implementation of Right to Information Act 2005 in the State, according to some civil society groups that recently launched the Tamil Nadu Right to Information Campaign (TNRIC).

Complete Article

7 months on, bus owner still denied right to info!

‘Even Right to Information (RTI) Act can’t guarantee information sought in total compliance with rules under RTI, Act.’ True enough. Who will know better than Sudesh Kalangutkar, a bus owner, who has been struggling to get information during past few months from the Department of Transport under the RTI, Act, and has been denied the same by officials, who pledge secrecy.

Complete Article

Friday, June 16, 2006

RTI expose: Goan properties sold without RBI approval

When residents saw that in the last few years many of these houses were being bought over by foreigners, they filed for information under the Right to Information Act.

The results were shocking. Most of the transactions not only in Assagaon but in rest of Goa as well were illegal. Residents like Rajan say that they have found over 400 illegal sales just in North Goa.

Complete Article

Anti Bribery Campaign effect: PIOs appointed in Dhanbad

Bhai Arvind ji
Good news for all. The Deputy Commissioner of Dhanbad (Jharkhand) has passed order to designate PIOs and APIOs in all govt. offices immediate. This is only due to our Drive against Bribe. In spite of the instructions from State level, Information delivery system in districts and blocks is very poor. This was also felt in Dhanbad. But when the D.C. of this district came to know about our campaign through a news item published in Prabhat Khabar, she was compelled to respond. It is clear that this drive has forced the administration to act. Even before starting the campaign, its nice to report such achievement. Thanks to the designers of this campaign. We are happy to see the response for this campaign. We are getting calls regularly from various NGOs and citizens and a lot of enquiries has already been made. Several organizations are also joining hands with us. Fortunately, we have a batch of 25 Trainee Journalists also. We have mobilized them to use of RTI and they will be engaged in our camps.

With regards
Vishnu Rajgadia

Anti Bribery Campaign Home

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It happens only in bangalore.. or does it?

Article in TOI, Bangalore
15.06.2006

BANGALORE: It happens only in Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. Paying Rs 10 lakh to a contractor for a road not asphalted! And patting him too for "satisfactory execution of work."

The case in point is a perfectly good Rama Iyengar Road, perpendicular to the famed Food Street in South Bangalore. But BMP prepared an impressive sounding detailed estimate for — "depression filling, levelling coarse for camber correction, applying bituminous tack coat at Rs 2.5 per 10 sq metres, brushing and cleaning the road surface..." at a cost of Rs 10,76,808.

The road has not seen any asphalting. But the contractor was paid his dues. This fraud came to light thanks to S R Venkataram, president of residents' welfare association, Suprajaa.

Using the RTI (Right to Information Act), he procured details on the non-work. Explains Venkataram: "I have lived in this area all my life and no one can bluff to me about the work.

So I asked for technically and administratively sanctioned copy of the estimate, tender rates and copy of the duplicate bill. I was shocked when the papers claimed that this road has been asphalted for Rs 10 lakh...

What is happening to the tax-payers' money?" The executive engineer at Basavanagudi under whose jurisdiction this road falls, has declared: "Certified that the measurements were checked by me and found correct."

The contract certificate, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of India, reads: "Certified that the contractor has executed the work satisfactorily and the work is as per schedule.

Certified that the contractor has removed all the debris from the work spot." The contractor has been paid Rs 10,67,808 vide cheque No. 037508. Venkataram has forwarded all the documents to the Lok Ayukta.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Karnataka Info Commission slaps Rs.1,000 fine on Mysore City Corp.

In a landmark ruling by the Karnataka Information Commission under the Right to Information Act, Mysore City Corporation (MCC) was levied a fine of Rs.1,000 for harassing an applicant who requested information under the Act.

However it is surprising that the person accused in the present case of giving wrong information and delaying unduly was let off without punishment or even a warning.

Complete Article

RTI effect: Paid just Rs 4 per day under rural job scheme, widow moves Gujarat HC

A widow from Sabarkantha has filed the first petition in Gujarat High Court against irregularities in paying minimum wages under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(NREGA) scheme. The court is likely to hear it on Friday.

In her petition filed on Monday, Mashurben Makwana, of Balisana village in Prantij taluka, has said she was being paid Rs 4 per day instead of the Rs 60 stipulated under the scheme. She said she was also asked to get her own digging implements, for which she had to sell her jewellery.

Complete Article

RTI Workshop in Andheri East, Mumbai

Dear friends,

Praja Foundation is organising a series of workshops on RTI to help citizens understand the act and use it in an effective manner. Details of venue and scheule are below. This workshop is open to all. Please spread the news. For more details, please contact Sachetan Gharat at the Praja office on 2380-0071.

Sincerely,
Yazad Jal
Praja Foundation

Date: June 17, 2006
Time: 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Venue: Asha Handicrafts Association, Asha House,
28 Suren Road, Andheri (E),
Mumbai 400 093

Program schedule
Registration and welcome 1.30 to 1.45
Introduction to RTI historical perspective 1.45 to 2.00
Basic rules and regulations will include application procedure, penalties and charges, appeal rules and ground realities and salient points.( A PowerPoint presentation) 2.00 to 2.20

Sharing of Case studies about the RTI applications made 2.20 to 2.30

Presentation of case studies on RTI and Issues and concerns 2.30 to 2.40

Tea break 2.40 to 2.50

Use of RTI as a potent tool for good governance. 2.50 to 3.00

Questions and answers 3.00 to 3.45

Vote of Thanks 3.45 to 4.00

RTI clinic to discuss RTI applications, appeals, and individual cases 4.00 to 5.00

PSUs will have to disclose staff salaries under RTI

Public agencies are under obligation to reveal their employees' salaries, the Central Information Commission (CIC) ruled recently.

Under section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the public authority must not only provide a directory of its officials to public but also the amount of remuneration given to them. The information should be published and put on the departmental website, the commission said.

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Centralised RTI Cell at Bangalore Muncipal Palika Head Office

Dear All,

BMP has opened a Centralised Computer Cell for receiving all the applications of Right to information Act, pertains to all the offices of the BMP (East, West & South Zones) with an Office Manager and Assistants to receive and provide information to all the applicants under RTI.

Please recall the KIC order which was posted on the board and letter written to the BMP Commissioner from Katte to impliment the same.

This order was given by the Karnatak InformationCommission in the case of Mr. Ravindranath Guru & BMP and Mr. C.N.Kumar regarding discontinuance of APIO's in the same office in respect of BDA.

Once again congradulations to Mr. Ravindranath Guru & Mr. C.N.Kumar for this achievement.

With regards,
Anil

Handwritten requests are valid, says CIC

Government officials under no circumstances should insist on type written applications for providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as mere handwritten requests are valid for the purpose, the Central Information Commission has ruled.

Taking exception to an official's refusal to part with certain information on the plea that the application was in a handwritten form, the Commission directed the Director (Housing-II) of DDA and Public Information Officer (PIO) J P Aggarwal to appear before it to show cause as to why a penalty upto Rs 25,000 should not be imposed on him for defying the act.

Complete Article

Monday, June 12, 2006

A life devoted to RTI

Shailesh Gandhi insists that one need not pay bribe in this country to get information. His reason: It is easily available through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which is a legally-enforceable citizens right to acquire information about government and semi-government bodies and their functioning.

An IIT-Powai graduate, this 59-yearold is so driven about the RTI Act that he sold his successful business to devote himself fully to it.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 11, 2006

UP State CIC has no office

Without an office and a proper staff, the state Chief Information Commissioner, Justice (retd) MA Khan has been working from his home at 12-A, Gautam Palli. He has not visited the Indira Bhawan office — which was alloted on May 22 — even once. Files were sent to his home for perusal. Tiles were being put on the floor on Thursday in his office — room number 651, Indira Bhawan, according to his staff.

Complete Article

RTI effect: 5 custom officers transferred

Newsline reported how 10 officers in the Directorate General of Vigilance, Customs and Central Excise in Mumbai, were continuing in their posts after completing their tenure, despite an official circular disallowing the same.

Now, following a Right To Information (RTI) application filed by a city activist, five of the 10 officers are being transferred for completing their tenure in the department.

Complete Article

TN Info Commission pulls up Pallavaram Municipal Administration

The Commission, comprising S. Ramakrishnan, Chief Information Commissioner, and G. Ramakrishnan and R. Rathinasamy, Information Commissioners, conducted the enquiry following a petition from S. Chandrasekharan, president of the Federation of the Civic and Welfare Associations of Pallavaram Municipality.

Mr. Chandrasekharan, in his letter to the Chief Information Commissioner, said that on March 10 this year, he had sought information from the Pallavaram Municipality under Chapter Two and section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act on hike in monthly charges by the local body.

Complete Article

Friday, June 09, 2006

ARC submits first report on RTI to PM

The second Administrative Reforms Commission Chairperson, Shri Veerappa Moily today submitted the first report on 'Right to Information - Master key to good governance' to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Recommendations of the Commission include repealling of the Officials Secrets Act, 50% of Information Commissioners should be from the non-Civil Service background, roadmap for effective implementation of RTI Act in the Legislature and Judiciary at all levels.

Complete Article

RTI Effect: RTI gets widow her pension

We had applied through our welfare assn. for widow pension in the name of Smt Sanjeevamma, to the Bangalore South Taluka office in 1999 forwarded the file, nothing happened again we filed in 2004, same story. We filed in May this year under RTI asking to inspect the file of 1999,and 2004. Within four days the Revenue Inspector got widow pension sanctioned, Smt. Sanjeevamma got her first pension this month. We have filed a complaint to SIC under sec.18, for not receiving any reply about 1999 and 2004 files.

-Vincent George

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Villagers can access information soon

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah is not satisfied with the pace of disposal of complaints. Habibullah wants a regular office for faster disposal of complaints. The CIC is aiming at making the right to information (RTI) more easily accessible to rural people. To this end, the commission is working out a strategy in collaboration with the Panchayati Raj Ministry.

Complete Article

RTI Effect - A success story from Bangalore

Friends, recently, I took up just one item of BMP's many works, namely Asphalting of Roads in my ward – 50, and decided to collect all the documents pertaining to a particular order under RTI Act. The response to my request from BMP was unbelievable, I got all the copies of the documents I had asked for, with in 11 days and they were delivered at home!! That is the success part of RTI. Kindly read further.

The Name of the Work order was: *Asphalting to Middle school road, Rama Iyengar road, S.B.Road and its cross roads in Ward 50.* I had asked for a)Technically and Administratively sanctioned copy of the estimate, b)Tender rates, c)Copy of the duplicate bill.

Total value of the order was Rs. 10,67,808. The contract certificate dated 31.03.05 was prepared certifying that the measurements were taken and recorded on 31.03.05 and the work was satisfactorily executed. Payment was made to the contractor vide cheque no.037508 dated 10.07.05. The shocking news is that Rama Iyengar Road is not asphalted at all!! The corresponding cost of asphalting Rama Iyengar road is whopping Rs.3,60,650. I have just handed over the papers to Lokayukta for investgation.

If this inspires any of my friends, I will be more than happy. We need to be real watch dogs if we have to fight corruption.

Regards
S.R.Venkataram.
Bangalore

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Madhya Pradesh Official fined Rs 18,000 under Info Act

In the second incident of penalising an erring officer under the Right to Information Act in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) T N Shrivastava fined Morena District Woman and Child Development Officer (DWCDO) Sajan Aluna for failing to provide information sought under the Act within the time limit and not abiding by the appellate officer's order.

The CIC imposed the fine of Rs 18,000 after not being satisfied with the explanation given by Mrs Aluna, who was earlier given show cause notice on the second appeal by Mr Balwant Singh Haihayavanshi, who had sought certain information from the department on December 31 last year.

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Finally CIC penalises PIO under Section 20

In the case of Shri Ajay Kumar Goel vs MCD, the CIC had found that the PIO Deputy Commissioner Shahdara (South) Zone, Delhi, had not supplied some of the information sought by the applicant and by evading his responsibility to provide the information sought, also obstructed the complainant's access.

The CIC had asked the PIO to show cause as to why he shouldnt be penalised. However the PIO failed to appear before the Commission on the due date and time, despite a telephone reminder. Hence he was penalised Rs 250/- for every day from which the information became due, i.e. 18/12/'05, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000/-

CIC Decision

Monday, June 05, 2006

RTI Helpline in Gujarat (9924085000) received 432 calls in 5 Days

Student volunteers from Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Journalism department are mobilized to support the helpline along with team Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel and panel of experts. .

In five days of time, we have received 432 calls. Out of which 63% are form
common citizens, 25 % are from Business peoples and 12% from government Officials.

Out of 432, 314 cases have difficulties while using RTI act.

More Details

Babu penalised for delaying tactics

In the first instance of CIC enforcing Section 20, it recommend disciplinary action against Mr. Chaubey under service rules. CIC hauled up Chaubey because, as general manager (personnel and administration), he was found to be actually responsible for the delay in providing the required information to Rehman. Though the penalty contained in CICs order is milder, it is worrisome to the bureaucracy because, while attributing responsibility, it went beyond the hierarchy of officials appointed under the RTI to give information. CIC spared the public information officer and the appellate authority of South Eastern Coalfields as it accepted their plea that the seniority and promotions related information sought by the application, Mujibur Rehman, was not in their custody.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Baichung Bhutia to campaign for RTI

India’s football captain Baichung Bhutia will launch an awareness campaign on the Right to Information Act in Nagaland, the organisers said Sunday.

‘Baichung Bhutia is huge celebrity here. And we could not have thought of a better person than him to spread awareness on the Right to Information Act,’ said Pusuka Hwomi, president of the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), the apex body of all Naga student unions of the country.

Complete Article

Saturday, June 03, 2006

In UP, RTI Act in place, but still no information

The Right to Information (RTI) Act may have been implemented, but it is still difficult to obtain official information in Uttar Pradesh. No wonder then that in less than two months of starting his Court, State Information Commissioner Justice M A Khan has received over 1,000 complaints alleging that queries filed under RTI Act have gone unanswered.

Complete Article

Friday, June 02, 2006

Officials see need for more awareness

A woman wanted to know why she was not given relief under the Apathbandhu scheme, while a few others sought names and addresses of lecturers who did revaluation of their answer papers. Another person asked why his son was not given a job on compassionate grounds.

These and hundreds of similar requests received by officials dealing with the Right to Information Act reflected the lack of awareness among people about the utility of the statute which was notified on June 15 last year.

Almost 70 per cent of the applications received all over the State under the Act concerned service matters and individual grievances, Information Commissioners - R. Dileep Reddy and A. Subba Rao - told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

Complete Article

Manipur Info Commission soon: CM

Chief minister Ibobi Singh said today that the state government is taking steps to set up an State Information Commission under the Right to Information Act and the state Cabinet has already approved the appointment of a state chief information officer.

The CM added that with the implementation of the Right to Information Act in the state, the government has already designated 142 information officers and 401 assistant information officers. He reiterated that the State Information Commission will come into existence in the state soon.

Complete Article

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Despite right, little access to info

If you thought the Right to Information Acts had brought about transparency in the functioning of Delhi government departments, well, think again.

Four years after the Delhi RTI Act came into force and a year after the Centre notified its own legislation, 75% of applicants seeking information from city government organisations are denied access to it.

Complete Article

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