Sunday, June 24, 2007

Information panel penalises 2 police officers in Goa

The Goa State Information Commission has ruled that it can suo moto initiate penalty proceedings against the public information officer of a department and there is no need for a complainant to move separate application or make specific prayer for imposition of penalty or recommendation of disciplinary proceedings.

Complete Article

RTI applications before CIC to undergo greater scrutiny

The Commission, in a notification passed yesterday, has laid down regulations on complying to a process of scrutiny of RTI applications before they are forwarded to the concerned information commissioners. The procedures as laid down in the Central Information Commission (management) regulations, 2007 states that the CIC's registrar will look into the maintainability of every RTI application. The regulations bring greater delegation of authority to the Commission's registrar to decide on the fate of an information application.

Complete Article

NRI's in US allowed RTI access

Now non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in the US would now be able to exercise the Right to Information (RTI). The Indian embassy in Washington DC has been brought under the purview of the RTI Act, 2005 and a public information officer (PIO) has been appointed.

This does not mean that the embassy's functions alone would be under the RTI Act purview. If NRIs need any information on Government departments in India, they would be able to file an RTI in the embassy, which in turn would send it to the department in India. The information would be given within 35 days of filing of the application.

Complete Article

SPIOs face Manipur IC's wrath

In a series of pronouncements delivered during the last few days, the Manipur information commission has pulled up several state information officers belonging to several different departments for with-holding information sought by a citizen under the provisions of the Right to Information Act.

Complete Article

Frivolous RTI pleas by govt staff burden on resources: CIC

Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked government employees to guard against "frivolous" RTI applications in their own offices to seek personal information.

"A large number of government employees are seeking information for promotion of their personal interest. This is done on pretext of serving the public cause, without realising the extent of distortions that it causes in use of public resources due to putting up of frivolous applications by them for self-interest," Information Commissioner M M Ansari said.

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CIC questions Govt on exempting DRDO from RTI ambit

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Centre to provide reasons to an information seeker on its decision to exempt Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the purview of the RTI Act.

The order came after the department of personnel and training (DoPT) failed to provide the information while responding to an application seeking among other details, the reasons for government's exclusion of DRDO from ambit of the transparency legislation.

Complete Article

Monday, June 18, 2007

AID Fund-raising Concert in San Francisco Bay Area, July 14th 2007

AID is also organizing a concert on 14, July in the bay area to raise funds for
RTI efforts in India. For details visit http://concerts.aidindia.org/indianocean

What: AID Concert for Raising Funds for RTI
When: Saturday, July 14th, 2007 , 5 PM
Where: Chabot Performing Arts Center
25555 Hesperian Blvd.
Hayward CA 94545

RTI Act will keep bourses on toes: experts

The Central Information Commission’s (CIC) decision to bring stock exchanges within the purview of RTI Act will keep the bourses on high alert and ensure that necessary information is made available to the public in cases of manipulation by operators, feel experts. The RTI Act will ensure that stock exchanges reveal information to investors on suspected cases of manipulation,” investment consultant Prime Database’s managing director Prithvi Haldea told PTI.

Complete Article

Prisoners of secrecy

The Right To Information (RTI) Act is two years old this June but the anniversary celebrations need to be put on hold in view of the bureaucracy's attempt to sabotage its implementation and the not-too-subtle manner in which the information commissions established under this law are abetting the officials in this effort.

Like many other great laws that have fallen by the wayside because of a lack of commitment among those who are to implement them, the RTI Act, too, faces the danger of becoming a toothless wonder if the country's political leadership fails to nip the mischief in the bud.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 17, 2007

WB SIC trips on information

The WB state information commission has failed to provide details about itself to a petitioner under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The commission is the apex body in the state to settle all disputes related to RTI.

“I was surprised when the panel’s secretary informed me last month that his department was not ready to furnish the details that I had sought in April,” said S. Khettry, president, RTI Manch, West Bengal. He had wanted to know the number of applications filed in the state under the RTI Act and the number of cases that has been disposed of. “They asked me to visit their office and wade through documents to find out the information that I needed,” said Khettry

Complete Article

Maharashtra may soon have an RTI bank

For those who want to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act but are unaware about procedures, a city-based NGO plans to set up an RTI bank in the state for providing all relevant information under one roof.

"Due to increasing awareness on RTI, there is a growing urge in people to use it. But many are unaware of the process. We are opening a RTI bank which would be a ready reckoner for such prospective applicants," convenor of Mahiti Adhikar Manch (MAM) Bhaskar Prabhu told PTI.

Complete Article

Twelve-year-old pens 150 RTI applications for father’s sake

FOR the past two years, 12-year-old Kumar Laxman Kolekar, has been writing an application to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) almost every week, seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. Kolekar is doing it for his illiterate father, who was denied a job by the civic body’s garden department which claims his application did not fit with the rules.

The Kolekars are Dhangars, a nomadic tribe, living at Jambhulwadi Road in Dutt Nagar on the fringes of Katraj. The father puts his thoughts together and dictates the matter, which Kumar, a student of Chakradhar Vidya Mandir in Dutt Nagar, writes in Marathi and reads it back for corrections

Complete Article

CIC recommends placing of RTI query before LS Speaker

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has recommended that an RTI application questioning among other things the reasons for permitting MPs to draw remuneration even when the house was adjourned should be brought to the notice of the Lok Sabha Speaker.

"We wish to commend C P Rai`s (applicant) conscientiousness as a citizen of the world`s most vibrant democracy, reflected in his concern on the functioning of India`s supreme representative body, the Lok Sabha of India," said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

"We, therefore, recommend that his application with its expression of apprehensions and recommendations be placed before hon`ble speaker, Lok Sabha for his information," Habibullah said in a recent decision.

Complete Article

B.Ed. courses in Punjab to include RTI

The Right to Information Act will be included in the B Ed curriculum from this academic session. An Orientation Programme for Principals of aided and non-aided Colleges in Punjab held at the Dev Samaj College of Education, Sector 36 proposed the inclusion of the RTI in the curriculam.

Dr Kanwarjit Singh, Director Public Instructions (Punjab) said that the RTI act will bring about transparency in issues relating to admission,attendance etc. in educational institutes.

Complete Article

Friday, June 15, 2007

Filing RTI applications from the US

Due to sustained efforts by AID volunteers, Indian Embassy in Washington DC has implemented RTI and it now comes under full purview of RTI act, 2005. Indian Embassy will automatically transfer your application to concerned department if the information you are asking is not pertaining to them. You will get your response with in 35 days or you can file an appeal to Appellate Authority[AA] and later to Chief Information Commissioner [CIC].

Details to file an application

Furnish file notes: Andhra Pradesh SIC

A division bench of the A.P. Information Commission on Wednesday directed the Officers of the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Department, Secretariat, to supply forthwith to O. D. Sharma the copies of the note files for compassionate appointment of his son forthwith after the request was rejected by the principal information officer of the department.

Complete Article

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Convention of RTI crusaders of Orissa

Keeping it in view the need for critiquing both the Government and State Information Commission for their abject failure in living up to the mandates of the RTI Act and for mobilizing the conscious segments of Orissa’s civil society such as media persons, lawyers, legislators, policy analysts, NGOs and PRI leaders to play their role as pressure groups in the matter, Right To Food Campaign Orissa is going to organize the above named State Convention in which a detail stock-taking shall be made of the hitherto implementation of RTI Act in the State of Orissa and memoranda as deemed proper addressed to the appropriate authorities for remedying the dismal scenario.

The Convention will be held at Indian Red Cross on 18th and 19th June ’07. The programme will start at 10 am on 18th June.

Pradip Pradhan
State Convener
Right to Food Campaign, Orissa
M-99378-43482

Complete Text of Invitation

Activist files RTI plea, seeks information on pre-monsoon work

Having demanded the details of water map and city contour map to be made public in the wake of pre-monsoon work in the city, environment activist Rohit Prajapati has now filed an application seeking details under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Vadodara Municipal Corporation authorities.

Filing an application on Wednesday, Prajapati said, ``A contour map of the city/state is very crucial for proper scientific town planning. As per our understanding of road, societies, garden or any other construction must be base on the contour map of the area.’’

Complete Article

RTI Expose: The Phatak Enquiry Farce

On 11 September 2006, a team of MSEB disconnected the electricity meters of the 70 top defaulters in Nagpur. Every month about 2000 connections of defaulters were being disconnected. But on that fateful day the team had the honesty to enforce the rule of law and also disconnected the supply to the servant's quarter of the CM's bunglow Ramgiri. Instead of being congratulated for acting without fear, those implementing the rules were castigated and humiliated because they had made the King appear small (Napolean had acted differently in a similar situation)! This was reported in various media at that time.

I (Shaileshji) used RTI to understand what happened. The letter of the Energy secretary on 13th September, mentions that this weighty matter was discussed in the Cabinet and the CM ordered the Chief Secretary to take strict disciplinary action against the officers responsible for carrying out their duties

Shaileshji's entire email

[posted by Mr Shailesh Gandhi on Humjanenge]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chhatisgarh sets up panel to probe PSC irregularities

The Chhattisgarh Government has set up a high-level committee to probe allegations of large-scale irregularities in the Chhattisgarh Public Service Commission (CPSC) and its selection process. Principal Secretary (Law) T P Sharma and Secretary (General Administration Department) Jawahar Shrivastava have been entrusted with the inquiry.

The decision follows exposure made by Varsha Dongre, a reserved category candidate, back in 2006 using the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Documents secured by her had led to registration of cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act and also to suspension of the CPSC Chairman Ashok Darbari, a former Director General of Police

Complete Article

Back to school, back to its realities

100-odd students, who demanded copies of answer sheets under Right to Information (RTI) Act from Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), scored a victory by making their collective voices count with none less than the additional advocate general being roped in to fight their case. Even though the Gujarat High Court has stayed disclosure, it is worth mentioning that it required courage to question an authority (GSHSEB) and these children have done themselves proud.

Times of India, Ahmedabad
14.06.2007

Information on visa details of foreigner can be disclosed: CIC

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that documents furnished by a foreigner for obtaining visa cannot be exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.

"I hold that the information furnished by a foreigner for the grant of visa, or any other activity, connected with the grant of visa will have to be made public if a citizen seeks that information under the RTI Act," Information Commissioner A N Tiwari said in a recent decision.

Complete Article

Complainants protest at Uttar Pradesh SIC office

The Uttar Pradesh State Information Commission was witness to protests by two Magasaysay Award winners on Tuesday.

Arvind Kejriwal and Sandeep Pandey along with their supporters raised their voice against the pathetic state of affairs at the SIC. They found ready supporters among the many complainants who had lined up in the corridors of the commission to seek redressal.

Complete Article

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

GSHSEB files caveat on RTI pleas

The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) has filed a caveat regarding the HSC answer sheets issue. The vacation Bench had on May 7, issued a stay on a Gujarat Information Commission's (GIC) order that directed the GSHSEB to provide certified copies of answer sheets to more than 100 students who had applied under Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Complete Article

Monday, June 11, 2007

Transparency seeker group for transparency in NPSC

To deliver the right knowledge of the movement for justice to the aspirants of the NPSC as well as the general Naga public, we the Transparency Seekers Group would like to outline a brief history of what, how and why the group came into being and the developments so far. Transparency seekers group was formed by the aspirant candidates (NPSC) right after the (NPSC) prelims result 2007 to redress students' grievances as well as to bring transparency in the system.

Complete Article

UP state info panel turns one: People unhappy with prevalent machinery

Problems have started teething at the State Information Commission (SIC), as it completes one year of it’s formation, following the implementation of the Right to Information Act. People seeking information in the commission feel that they are being given second hand treatment and the Public Information Officers (PIOs) are not punished. This was the outcome of the day-long public hearing on ‘One year of SIC’, organised by the Soochna Ka Adhikar Abhiyan Samiti at the Gandhi Bhawan auditorium on Monday.

Complete Article

Lawyer seeks information on scrapping of PSEB panel

Under the Right to Information Act, a Delhi-based lawyer today sought information on why the earlier panel of PESB, formed for the selection of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation chief, was scrapped and the new search committee formed.

Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) had selected ONGC Director (Finance) R S Sharma on August 30 last year for the top job in the petroleum and gas major but in February this year the Government, in a surprise move, scrapped the choice.

Complete Article

Bureaucrats give thumbs down to the RTI Act

It became the point of a heated discussion at a recent meeting of the secretaries chaired by Chief Secretary Sudhir Mankad, with the top babus giving their thumbs down to the Act. Stung by a couple of orders by the State Information Commission (SIC), which had put babus in a fix, the secretaries called for finding ways to discourage “vested interests” and “activism” from creeping into the system. Such is the anxiety among a section of officials, that some even termed the Act as a conspiracy to “sabotage” governance in the country.

Complete Article

RTI Act can create fair society: Justice Jasti

Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court Jasti Chelameswar today underlined the significance of the Right to Information (RTI) Act by describing it as an instrument that could help bring transparency and accountability in administration, which in turn would create the basis for a more just and fair society. Inaugurating a seminar organized by the Kamrup District Administration in collaboration with Jagriti Mancha, the Chief Justice spoke on the philosophical basis of the Act that came into effect in October 2005, and mentioned that attempts at bringing probity into public affairs had preceded the Act. Referring to a case, he quoted Jeremy Bentham and said, “...Where there is publicity there is justice!”

Complete Article

Unauthorised school let off the hook?

If the Right to Information Act is meant to deepen the spirit of democracy, then both citizens and the authorities should be proactive and go beyond the Act to plug the lacunae. But that doesn't seem to be happening, especially at the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation.

Responding to a query under the RTI Act, after much delay, on the unauthorised operation of a school in a residential colony, GVMC did acknowledge the wrongful status of the school but has not acted upon it.

Complete Article

Stock exchanges come under RTI purview

In a move that could bring in greater transparency in functioning of the bourses, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has brought the country's stock exchanges under the purview of Right to Information Act. Disposing two different applications filed against two stock exchanges, the CIC directed all the bourses in the country to comply to the RTI rules within three months.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Expert Committee Report on EVM's provided under RTI

Finally the expert committee report on Electronic Voting Machine's has been made public for the first time under RTI. The scanned copy of the the Technical Evaluation Report of EVM's can now be downloaded from http://www.esnips.com/web/EVM

It is open to all. Scanned copies of the original reply and the application is
also available on the same link.

[posted by Harikumar P on the Humjanenge yahoogroup]

RTI Act expose in Assam

The arrest of Jagneswar Nath, ACS in connection with the Rs 60 lakh scam committed by him ,while working as the Project Director of DRDA, Golaghat unearthed by the Krishak Mukti Sang ram Samittee(KMSS) by using the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is perhaps the first case of its kind in Assam where activists of RTI Act had been successful in exposing rampant corruption prevalent in implementing schemes such as Indira Awash Yojana(IAY) and Sampoorna Gramin Rojgar Yojana(SGRY) in DRDA, Golaghat.Credit for exposing the scam should also go to the activist Akhil Ranjan Gogoi, Secretary of KMSS for persistently following the irregularities committed in the DRDA, Golaghat by using his right to information as per the RTI Act.

The Assam Tribune, June 7, 2007
www.assamtribune.com

Using RTI for India`s `Purna Swaraj`

The limited success achieved by people in solving their grievances under Right to Information (RTI) act has triggered a mass level awareness campaign across the city to give India "Purna Swaraj" (complete independence).

"The act says it is government responsibility to provide information on RTI. No public department has taken workshops for the people yet. We thought of taking the nation to Purna Swaraj through empowering people with information." Mahiti Adhikar Manch (MAM) convenor Baskar Prabhu told reporters.

Complete Article

Births-deaths Dept chalks out own rules

The Registrar of Births and Deaths, Chandigarh, seems to have different rules for giving information to people under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The department has denied information regarding birth register entries for Kajheri village in Chandigarh, to a city resident stating that the information is personal and cannot be supplied. On the other hand, the department has issued a copy of the birth certificate of a local resident to a person who is not even known to him. The birth certificate is of late Sandeep Aggarwal and was issued to Rashpal singh, a resident of Sector 21, Chandigarh. Newsline has a copy of the birth certificate.

Complete Article

Friday, June 08, 2007

Home Minister, 48 ex-ministers defaulters

Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, brought to light the dreadful revelation that Home Minister M P Prakash, 48 former ministers and seven former legislators have defaulted the State Secretariat to the tune of Rs 1.11 crore in the last few years.

Complete Article

Right to food Activist Alleges threat to her life for seeking info under RTI

A woman activist Rolly Shivhare of Right to Food Campaign filed an application under Right to information to know the situation of Mid day Meal in MP. She filed application on 1st June 07 in the Panchayat and Rural Development Department (Mid day Meal Unit).But On 4th June at 9:25 am she allegedly received a threat to her life on her Mobile by Some Official of the department who claimed to be Development Commissioner. The call was received from the telephone no 0755-2578994 which is one of the telephone numbers of Directorate of Panchayat and Rural Development Madhya Pradesh. She was forced by the official to withdraw the application and to specify the reason for asking the information. She refused to relent and filed a complaint about it with the habibganj police station with a copy to the SP, Bhopal. She also informed to the state information commissioner of Madhya Pradesh. The issue was also shared with media. At last the deppt commisoner said assured her and told her that he will try to give the information in 15 days.


[as sent by email]

`Public have right to seek info on tenders'

Information Commissioner under the Right to Information (RTI) Act R. Dileep Reddy on Wednesday said that the information on the process of tender evaluation must necessarily be in public domain.

Mr. Reddy made this assertion in reference to information sought by S. Basu of Sumeru (India) Pvt Ltd of Kolkata from the public information officer (PIO) of the Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), Kothagudem.

Complete Article

Authority to question HC rules on RTI Act recommendatory: CIC

The Central Information Commission today termed as recommendatory its authority to question rules framed by Delhi High Court on implementation of RTI Act provisions.

"Delhi High Court has the full authority to prescribe the rules, formulated by them, what has been mandated by the law and also any further rules which in its view are in the best interest of servicing the act that are not in contradiction to any of the provisions of the law," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

Complete Article

HC stay on SIC order, students contemplate legal recours

Justice R R Tripathi of Gujarat High Court has granted stay against the order passed by State Information Commission (SIC) directing Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) to provide certified copy of answer sheets within fifteen days if sought under RTI by the students. The SIC had passed the said order on June 4.

Complete Article

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

KMC in line of RTI ire

The civic authorities have been pulled up by the state chief information commissioner for their inability to answer queries of citizens under provisions of the Right to Information Act. On 29 May, state chief information commissioner Mr Arun Bhattacharya reportedly asked officials of the KMC RTI Cell to explain the cause of the delay in answering citizens' queries. Many citizens who did not get answers to their queries within the stipulated 30 days had complained to his office.

Complete Article

Registrar fails to answer RTI petition on birth certificates

The Registrar Births and Deaths, Chandigarh does not seem to know rules and regulations laid down under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.

In reply to a query asking who should be contacted on account of a delay in issuing a birth certificate, the department replied ' No such specific information in record in this regard ". The department took nearly three months to give this 'vague' reply to an application moved under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Suresh Kumar of Sector 41-B, Chandigarh.

Complete Article

Church uses RTI against corruption

It was a regular Sunday mass at Guwahati's St John's Church - only this time, it was a discourse on Right to Information (RTI) as part of the prayer service.
And the reasons for this aren't hard to find.

Says Father Ravi Sagar, "The church is large organisation that can bring a change. It educates the heart and minds of people." Part of the anti-corruption campaign initiated by the Catholic church in the Northeast, the RTI campaign is the brainchild of Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil.

Complete Article

RTI Expose: Forest Dept failed to utilise money meant for lions

Facing the heat of poaching incidents that saw at least eight Asiatic lions dead in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in March, the State Government had decided to rope in the private sector to bring in more funds for the Gir Lion Conservation Society. But a petition under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that money has never been a constraint for the State Forest Department, which has on the other hand failed to utilise the full grants on earlier occasions.

Complete Article

Govt in a spot over Netaji info

The mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose returned to haunt the Union Home Ministry on Tuesday as the Central Information Commission expressed displeasure over its stand of not parting with documents related to his alleged death in a plane crash in 1945.

"Who are you to decide if an information can cause unrest? You have to be accountable to the people of the country as to why an information cannot be disclosed. You must change your stated position and take a reasoned decision," Information Commissioner A N Tiwari said during a hearing by a full bench.

Complete Article

CIC takes on HC over RTI purview

In a crucial ruling on transparency in judicial functioning, the Central Information Commission has rejected Delhi High Court's contention that information on implementation of the Right to Information Act in the high court is outside public purview and therefore not open to scrutiny.

Holding that the "appointment of a PIO is indeed a matter of public interest," chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah observed, "The public has a right to know the procedure that went into PIO's appointment and matters that weighed with the Hon'ble Justices deliberating on the issue," he observed.

Complete Article

BBMP ex. Chief Engineer fined Rs.3,000/-

Dear All,

Sri. C.H. Ram, President of koramangala Srinivagilu Tank Bed Layout(S.T. Bed) residents welfare Association has filed an application to the then Chief Engineer(projects) BBMP & PIO, Sri. A.M. Ranganath regarding awarding of consultancy of project work relating to the re-gradation of roads side drains, culverts and asphalting of roads in S.T. Bed area on 30.08.2006 he had filed 1st appeal and there was no response, he filed 2nd appeal to the Karnataka Information commission. After getting summons from the commission the information was provided on 28.12.2006, during the course of hearing the PIO was repatriated to his parent department, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited and transferred to sharavathy Hydro electric project, as Chief Engineer. This was the third hearing at the commission on the same case, in the last hearing he was asked to explain the delay in furnishing the information, he has cited various reasons for the delay, we countered all his explanation and insisted the Commission to impose the maximum penalty Rs.22,500/- (delay for for 90 days ), but the commission has taken a lienient view and imposed only Rs.3,000/- as penalty to-day.

In another case Mr. S.N. Subramaniya has been awarded compensation of Rs.1,000/- by KIC, the case related for delay in furnishing section 4(1) a information which he had sought from the Joint Commissioner (East) BBMP.

With regards,
Anil
[posted on the humjanenge group]

Monday, June 04, 2007

RTI reveals: 25 pesticides banned in India, others face partial curbs

Some 25 pesticides are banned for manufacture, import and use in India. Two other pesticides and formulations are banned for use in the country but their manufacture is allowed for export, it has been revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

As India grapples with this complex issue at the intersection of agricultural productivity and environmental safety, the government has also acknowledged that there are four pesticide formulations banned for "import, manufacture and use" and another seven pesticides on the "withdrawn" list.

Complete Article

Senior teacher suspended for using RTI act

A senior teacher of Kurukshetra University, who had sought some information from the
authorities under the RTI Act, has been suspended by the university administration.
The reason for the suspension of the electronics teacher, Dushyant Kumar, has not been clarified in the suspension letter. He had also sought some information from the college under the RTI Act which was perhaps resented by the administration, the sources added.

Complete Article

‘Show answersheets to students’ - GIC

Gujarat State Information Commission (SIC) has asked Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Board (GSHSEB) to furnish certified copies of the evaluated answer sheets for the recently announced Class XII (Science) examination results within the next 15 days.

In its decision, announced on Monday, SIC also asked the Board to furnish a certified copy of the model key answers to 103 students, who had earlier sought the same with the copy of their answer sheets, under the Right to Information Act’s life and liberty clause.

Complete Article

SIC seeks clarification from temple

The State Information Commission heard the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust case and issued instructions to the office-bearers to answer the remaining queries of complainant Shatrudra Prakash. The hearing took place in the court of information commissioner Virendra Saxena on Monday. The next date for hearing is July 5. Prakash had sought information on a number of issues related to the Trust and its financial transactions.

Complete Article

HP Governor delivers lecture on RTI

V.S.Kokje, Governor of Himachal today delivered a lecture on Right to Information Act to the participants of 12th Annual Summer Law Programme here today. The Summer Law Programme has been authorized by the Accreditation Committee of American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education. The Participants of the progoramme are drawn from all the Law Universities of United States of America.

Complete Article

Need more hands on deck: Info body

With a whopping 8,000 appeals pending with him, the state Chief Information Commissioner, Suresh Joshi, has asked the Maharashtra government to expedite appointments of three more divisional commissioners and set up voluntary disclosure mode of governance to strengthen the working of the state information commission.

Sources told DNA that Ramanand Tiwari, principal secretary, Urban Development has sought voluntary retirement to join Joshi’s team to head the Konkan division, as he has six months of service left. Similarly, former additional chief secretary Navin Kumar is tipped to head Nashik division, while VN Deshmukh, former chairman MPSC would be heading the Amravtai division of the state information commission.

Complete Article

Sunday, June 03, 2007

RTI meet to look into police posts

The People's Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram held a meeting yesterday to look into the complaints against the recent appointments of personnel for the 3rd Mizoram India Reserve Police battalion. The Mizoram director-general of police has issued a notice where complaints against the appointments can be submitted to the police headquarters till June 14.

Complete Article

Probe report protest

Leaders of Chilika Matsyajibi Mahasangh, a body of over 3 lakh traditional fishermen living around 145 villages located around Chilika lake, today rejected the report of PK Tripathy Commission, which justified the police firing at Sorana in May 1999.

Earlier, the government had refused to make the probe report public, despite directives from state information commission, on the plea that it had not yet been placed in the Assembly.

Complete Article

Hole in mosquito net? Call in CBI

Never use the Right to Information Act to ask how many men it takes the government to spot a hole in a mosquito net. The government would need a committee and a CBI investigation to find out.

The problem confronted the Centre six years ago when 7.18-lakh mosquito nets it had bought for Rs 2.5 crore for the Northeast's malaria zones turned out to be riddled with holes. Mosquitoes are notoriously fast to sniff out chinks in nets, but the
government needed a committee.

It set up one with five experts, one each from IIT Delhi's textile engineering department, Armed Forces Medical Services, National Institute of Immunology, National Institute of Communicable Diseases and the malaria control programme.

Complete Article

Now development projects under public scrutiny

After making it mandatory to display details of development works at visible places by the departments and agencies from June 1, the state government is contemplating amendments to Right to Information Act (RT) to bring more ‘transparency in the system’.

On the instructions of the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Principal Secretary General Administration Department Khurshid Ahmad Ganai issued a circular on Thursday reading: “With a view to inform the members of public about development schemes, projects and works being taken in their respective areas and to bring about transparency in the execution of development process, all the District Development Commissioners, Heads of Departments, Implementing schemes, projects and works are hereby called upon to display at conspicuous places on painted walls or erected boards detailed information, including name of scheme, implementing agency, estimated cost, date of commencement and completion of the work for the information of general public.”

Complete Article

RTI Effect: Widow gets insurance money

A widow whose husband was employed with the Government was entitled to receive Rs. 53,000 under a group insurance scheme after his death. For twelve years (twelve years is a very large period of time in such circumstances), she was battling with the Gujarat state revenue department to get this money. There were some procedural issues with the premium that her husband had to pay, but she was not aware of these details.

Finally, she filed a case under the RTI Act, and the Gujarat Information Commission asked the revenue department to file a reply. Based on this reply, the widow had to pay some amount against unpaid premium, and then she was allotted the insurance proceeds.

Complete Article

Blind girl fights IIM - Student challenges admission process

A visually impaired CAT examinee has challenged IIM Bangalore’s final admissions list, questioning the relative weight given to the three segments of the admissions process.

She now wants the B-school to provide her a copy of the PWD-category admissions list along with the marks each student obtained in the GD and interview. “I also want the weightage assigned to the GD and the interview,” the application says.

With the IIM unwilling to meet her request, Vaishnavi has moved the Central Information Commission.

Complete Article

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Nine-year-old boy files RTI

A nine-year-old boy filed RTI in the Police department when the ASI and SHO did not register FIR on the complaint filed by him and by his mother. Someone stole Pranab's bicycle on 5th April night His parents filed complaint on 100 no, PCR van came and sent ASI from the police station to investigate the matter. His mother narrated the incident and gave a written complaint to ASI. No FIR was registered, than Pranab also sent a written complaint to the SHO but again no FIR was registered. On 22nd April Pranab filed an RTI in the Police department.

[posted on the Humjanenge yahoogroup]

RTI Effect: Top officer in Assam arrested

In November last year, a pro-peasant activist named Akhil Gogoi rode the Right To Information (RTI) Act to unearth a series of rural scams in central Assam's Golaghat district. Seven months later, the law caught up with the man purportedly behind those scams.

The Golaghat police on Friday arrested Jagyeswar Nath, deputy secretary in the Assam Accord Implementation department, on charges of embezzlement in rural developmental schemes. Nath was the Golaghat DRDA project director from January-November last year, the period during which Rs 1.12 crore was spent on non-existent or fictitious beneficiaries.

Complete Article

RTI Brigade meet in Delhi - Youth Task Force

AID delhi , JOSH along with students of IIT delhi hav formed youth task force. We plan to use RTI against corruption in PWD and MCD. Till now we hav filed 46 RTI's against PWD roads .....

Those of you who are interested in joining the youth task force , we will be having our volunteer orientation meet on Monday.

All the new volunteers , please join us for this meet.

Details of Volunteer Orientation Meet

Date : 4th June ,07 ( Monday )
Time: 6 P.M -7 P.M
Venue : IIT Delhi Nescafe (Near State Bank of India)

In case of any difficulties in pinpointing the location , please call Chirag kapoor @ 9899321900 or Saurabh @ 98118-72752

[posted on the RTI Orkut community]

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