Friday, August 31, 2007

I-T dept puts RTI tasks in juniors' hands

The Right to Information (RTI) Act-perhaps one of the best tools in the hands of the common man-has become a pain to senior officers in the government. If they fail to respond to requests for information under the Act, they are compelled to pay a fine of Rs 25,000. To get around the problem, the income-tax (I-T) department has started
re-designating junior officers to perform the role. Until now, only the chief public information officer (CPIO) could respond to any request for information. In a recent circular, however, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has said that junior officers at the level of assessing officers be assigned additional responsibilities as CPIOs. In the earlier dispensation, CPIOs had to be at least at the level of a commissioner, if not a chief commissioner.

Complete Article

DU students file RTI applications for unexpected B.Sc results

A large number of students from various colleges of Delhi University have filed applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get details regarding their unexpected result of 2007 B.Sc programs. It is worth mentioning that more than 70 per cent of the students of Physical Science, Life Science and Applied Physical Science have either failed or got 'ER' status.

Complete Article

Disclose Cabinet records: GIC

In a significant ruling, the Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) has ordered that material, based on which the Council of Ministers (CoM) takes final decisions, needs to be publicly disclosed.Alpesh Raval of Nadiad had appealed before GIC against the finance department's nondisclosure of reports submitted by the pay anomalies committee and sub-committee of ministers.

Times of India
1st Sept 2007

RTI Exposes Union Minister Sahay

Again an historical victory of RTI. It was impossible earlier to check misuse of power by VIP. But the RTI has made it very simple. You can expose any misuse of power for just paying Ten Rupees. Union Minister of state food and processing Subodh Kant Sahay had misused his power to transfer a CCL officer. This has been exposed through RTI. Based of the information, Jharkhand High Court has stayed the transfer. The court has also issued notice to the minister Sahay to explain his role in such illegal transfer.

(Posted by Vishnu Rajgadia, Resident Editor, Prabhat Khabar, Dhanbad, Jharkhand on HJ group)

Indraprastha Gas under RTI net

Central Information Commission has brought Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) a joint venture promoted by GAIL, BPCL and Delhi government under the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act and has directed it to comply to the mandatory obligations within 30 days.

Complete Article

Thursday, August 30, 2007

RTI reveals report by Panel that picked holes in Mah Govt flood relief

The Chitkala Zutshi committee appointed by the state government has found several lapses in the distribution of aid to those affected by the July 26, 2005 floods. The committee was appointed to study the report of the accountant-general which had conducted a special audit of the relief activities. Ironically, instead of taking action against the erring officials, the state government is protecting them by keeping the report in cold storage, sources said. TOI obtained, under the Right to Information Act, a copy of the Zutshi report which has taken a serious view of a series of lapses committed by MMRDA and district officials and recommended action by the economic offences wing (EOW) of the police.

Complete Article

Officials fined Rs 5,000 for failure to provide info under RTI

The agriculture officer at Bhor and the circle agriculture officer at Nasrapur in Pune district have been fined Rs 5,000 for failing to furnish adequate information in response to appeals filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Pune-based Uttam Baban Kondalkar.

Complete Article

RTI Activist in Mumbai beaten up

Raja John Bunch an RTI Activist from VIRAR a distant western suburb of Mumbai was beaten by Builder of his coop. society building and also by society post holders on 29th August 07 at 6.00 PM. He was admitted to Sanjeevni Hospital with bleeding from the nose, there is hair fracture at nose. Reason behind being that he had used RTI for information regarding additional construction, conveyance and occupation certificate. His wife was also assaulted when she went to intervene and save Raja. Hospital just informed about the assault and didn't give details of depth of injuries to police station, so I believe the case may not be stronger if it is contested. Today myself and Mr. Nangia did go to police station to inquire about the FIR but they have registered as N.C. and have said unless we get the report from the Hospital , we cannot go for FIR. Hope they may take today details from the Hospital. After our visit police told his wife to take medical report from the govt hospital. Mr. Raja has been using RTI to unearth some of misutilisation of land in and around VIRAR by land mafia. Raja John Bunch email is bunch_raja@yahoo.co.in

Posted by Mr Bhaskar Parbhu of Mahiti Adhikar Manch, Mumbai on HJ

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jalandhar resident digs out a scam

Using the lamp of Right to Information (RTI)Act, an applicant has thrown light on discrepancies in the repair of roads, including Mall Road, in Jalandhar Cantonment. The roads were constructed by the Garrison Engineer (East) under Military Engineering Services (MES), Jalandhar Cantonment. While the Commander Work Engineer (CWE) has been investigating the case on the complaint of the applicant, Jalandhar Zone Chief Engineer Ashok Kumar said he would also get the matter inquired. A copy of the complaint has been sent to Chief Engineer, Western Command, Chandimandir, Chandigarh.

Complete Article

Saturday, August 25, 2007

CM to babus: change your mindset

CM Nitish Kumar on Saturday had a piece of advice for bureaucrats: "Change your old mindset and shun the habit of searching an escapist route." He was speaking here at the completion of one year of State Information Commission.

He said some officials have the habit of not doing work and digging out some old rules to block the implementation of development schemes. He also hinted at getting rid of such officials, although in a symbolic way. Nitish particularly referred to the flood relief work and said he was busy removing the bottlenecks in the implementation of various plans. "The old mindset sometimes becomes a big hindrance in implementation of plans," he said.

Complete Article

RTI in jail: Inmates wake up to their rights, living conditions

Inmate Sunder Lal was arrested a couple years back. As the days passed, he lost the count of the years he had been staying inside the prison. Recently, Lal, using his Right to Information Act, wrote to the state Prison Department asking about the number of years he was behind bars. Inmate Avinash Shukla, who was held for a murder case, asked about the sections of IPC he was booked. For the first time, with the help of Right to Information Act, inmates at different prisons of the state have inquired about their term status, section they have been booked, status of state prisons, jail officials and other details.

Complete Article

111 PCMC officers to give RTI related info

THE Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has appointed as many as 70 Public Information Officers (PIOs) and 41 Appellate Authorities to handle applications received under the Right to Information Act, 2005. Though appointed early this month by municipal commissioner Dilip Band, PIOs and the Appellate Authorities will take charge next week after the day-long training session at the Autocluster auditorium in Chinchwad on Friday to provide "right and timely information" to citizens.

Complete Article

Taxi driver's RTI plea reveals that 17 out of 80 illegal loaders

The next time you hand over your luggage to a loader in plainclothes on your way into or out of the airport, think these loaders in plain clothes now operate outside the airport again. That unassuming loader may in fact be a thief or a house-breaker.

These are not our findings, but that of a taxi-driver who had filed a case under the Right to Information Act (RTI) in the Bombay High Court against an illegal loader outfit, Vimantal Hamaal Ekta Sanghatna (VHES). VHES allegedly operates outside the international terminal of the Mumbai airport. The driver, Mohammed Ayub Shaikh, has found that 17 out of the 80 loaders of VHES have criminal records.

Complete Article

Haryana Nyay Manch(Haryana Justice Platorm) working for R.T.I.

Dear All,

Haryana Nyay Manch(Haryana Justice Platform) is working for police reforms, anti corruption and other administrative reforms with the help of RTI Act. The
organisation would like to work with like minded persons and organisations for
reforming the administrative set up. If any person or organisation is working in
Haryana or Punjab, the organisation would be delighted to work in cooperation
with such like minded person or organisation.

Regards,
P.K. Rapria
Advocate,
State President cum Legal Advisor,
Haryana Nyay Manch,
Haryana.
Mob. N.-9896040307

[posted by Mr Rapria on Humjanenge]

RTI act a tool to empower common man: Nitish

Bureaucrats should change their 'old mindset' and provide all information which could be furnished under the RTI act, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today. "I know it will take some time but they will finally yield and provide informtion to the people, the chief minister said while speaking on the occasion of completion of one year of the state Information Commission here.

Complete Article

Delhi’s auto drivers find support in NGO

They are arrogant, non-cooperative and viewed with suspicion by one and all. Delhi’s ubiquitous auto-rickshaw drivers would hardly find any sympathisers given their notoriety to overcharge and break traffic rules with impunity.

An NGO, Nyayabhoomi, however, begs to differ. The organisation is active in the capital working for the auto rickshaw drivers. The NGO, led by Retd Lt Col B B Sharan and industrialist-turned-social activist Rakesh Agarwal believes that "unlike popular perception the auto-rickshaw drivers in the capital are not anti-social, and they are not criminals."

Complete Article

Friday, August 24, 2007

KIC imposes max penalty

Karnataka Information Commission imposed a penalty of Rs.25000/- on a Public Information Officer who not only failed to failed to provide the information but also wilfully ignored the summons issued by the Commission to appear before the commission personally. Mr. Ranganath, Additional Tahasildar of Yalahanka failed to provide the information sought by one Mr. Aswath Narayana Gowda regarding burial ground of Kodigehally Hally Village. Mr. Gowda had sought information on 20.12.2006 and despite adjournment for three times and direction from the Karnataka Information Commission to provide the required information, the PIO wilfully disobeyed the orders. Mr. K K Misra, Chief Information Commissioner imposed a penalty and directed the Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore Urban District to deduct the penalty from the salary of the PIO in five equal instalment of Rs.5000/- This is the first order ever issued by the karnataka Information Commission imposing a maximum penalty of Rs.25000/- under the Right to Information Act.

[posted by Mr Bellur on Humjanenge]

RTI applications, now accepted with court fee stamp too in Goa

Notification DI/Inf/RTI/Bill/05/1129 Read: Government Notification No. DI/Inf/RTI/
/Bill/05 dated 15th February, 2006.

Amendment of rule 3. In sub-rule (1) of rule 3 of the Goa Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2006, after the words "against proper receipt or and before the words "by demand draft, the words by affixing a Court fee stamp of Rs. 10/- or shall be inserted.

[posted by Mr Norohna on Humjanenge]

Watch DDNews at 10:30 on saturday

Please watch DD News at 10:30 on Saturday. In this episode we are carrying two story's...

1. How the the first call centre for RTI - "JANKARI" is functioning in Bihar?
2. Poeple of Bikaner (Rajasthan) have filed RTI to know the works done by their
Filmstar MP Dhramenra .

posted by Mr Dubey on Humjanenge

Blind RTI applicant snub proves costly

In a strong message to all public information officers (PIOs) across the state, Suresh Joshi, the state’s Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) slapped a penalty of Rs 24,750 on the PIO of the Mumbai University Institute of Chemical Technology (MUICT) for delaying information to a blind complainant under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Complete Article

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dead man ‘working’ in Manipur power department

Laishram Ningthemjao got only one promotion in his entire career, and that came 13 years after his death. The Manipur electricity department's belated show of benevolence did not end there. Laishram was allowed to continue "in service" for
another three years before he "retired" gracefully in 2001, just as all honourable people in government service do when they reach the age of superannuation. The catch in this incredible story is that someone other than Laishram's family was enjoying the fruits of his extended, post-death career for 16 years.

The chronological aberrations in Laishram's service record came to light recently when his son, L. Bobo, sought all documents pertaining to his father's stint as an assistant lineman and the financial benefits he and his family were entitled to.

Complete Article

RTI gun on municipal board

The continuing logjam in the Dhubri Municipal Board has led the Dhubri Citizens' Forum to seek all information relating to the board's affairs from 1987 to 2007 under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It decided to submit a memorandum to deputy commissioner G.K. Kalita, seeking an end to the impasse caused by the employees' strike. It also resolved to seek information relating to all activities of the municipal board in the past decade.

Complete Article

Forest dept disputes RTI information

A piece of prime 0.1 hectare (10,763 sq ft) zudpi jungle land worth over Rs 3 crore near Laxmi Nagar Square is not available to the forest department, thanks to the indifference of its own officials. Information sought recently by Abdul Karim Patel, working president, Democratic Secular Party (DSP), under the Right to Information Act, shows that the land is under the control of deputy conservator of forests, Civil Lines, Nagpur, range forest officer, Seminary Hills, and two other officials.

Complete Article

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CPIO penalised after super-annuation / retirement

This is a very interesting and also important decision, because it puts the CPIO on liability even after he has retired, and chances of the Public Authority using its funds and strengths to fight such a decision in the Courts will not be automatic. The message it gets across to the CPIOs is more drastic than anything in a while.

Complete Article

[posted by veeresh malik on HJ]

How can Govt. save Yamuna without its data?

Close to Rs.1,500 crore and a flood of plans have gone into resuscitating the Yamuna. But when it comes to determining the area of the Yamuna flood plains, the Government and its agencies seem quite at sea. This became clear when an employee of a non-government organisation, Tapas, filed an application under the Right to Information Act, eliciting information from various departments about the flood plains. The answers ranged from absurd to elusive.

Complete Article

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Query on toxic data bank moves to-and-fro between depts

After the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) recently admitted to a Right to Information Act query that it had no chemical disaster management plan, another RTI query about toxic data banks in Government hospitals is being bounced from one department to other. The files are being pushed back and forth between GSDMA and the State Health Department, with both saying it has no information about the same.

Interestingly, industrial associations in Vapi, Ankleshwar and Nandesari where chemical industries are concentrated, claim their hospitals are equipped with such data to handle a chemical emergency, a detail that seems to elude the GSDMA and Health Department. Again, it was Vadodara-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) who had requested the information.

Complete Article

Activists cry foul trials of Bt brinjal

In allowing large-scale trials of Bt Brinjal, the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) of the environment ministry may have violated its own June 2007 rule that states that such trials will be allowed only after complete biosafety data has been generated. “The GEAC is shorting the circuits of processes and aiding a company which had not even bothered to follow the conditions imposed on it by the regulators in the previous permissions. Recent information shared by the GEAC under the Right To Information Act showed once again that Mahyco has repeatedly violated the conditional permissions given for trials, including by taking up trials in locations where they were not permitted," Mr Ramanjaneyulu added.

Complete Article

LMC creates 'core area' on its own

Ludhiana municipal corporation (LMC) is in news for wrong reasons. LMC authorities have been sanctioning building plans in several areas of the city under "core area" category for last many years, but state government has not issued any notification declaring these areas as "core area".

According to the information, Yogesh Dewan of city under RTI Act had demanded information from LMC regarding the condition of front-set-back applicable on the plots of Model Town.

Complete Article

Friday, August 17, 2007

NRI's query under RTI Act gets response

Going by the facts revealed under the Right to Information Act by an
official of the State Industries and Commerce Department, the proposed IT/ITeS
Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Hubli by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) seems
like a non-starter.

Complete Article

Scam looms at Maharashtra Diary

A huge scam seems to have been uncovered in Maharashtra's government dairies,
thanks to the Right to Information Act. 32 dairies across Maharashtra have a combined processing capacity of 800 lakh liters every month. From January to April this year, these dairies have only managed to sell a mere 18 lakh liters of milk. But figures show there are huge discrepancies between the amount of milk that has been sold and the salaries that have been paid to dairy workers.

Complete Article

CIC notice to MOIA for delay in RTI response

Complete Article

Centre moots legislation to prevent destruction of government record

The Union Government is seriously contemplating a legislation on Public Records Act to prevent wilful destruction of government records to bring in greater transparency, K K Mishra, Chief Information Commissioner, Karnataka said on Friday.

Complete Article

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Programme on RTI Act held in Goa

PANJIM: The Goa Institute of Rural Development and Administration recently conducted a one-day programme on the Right to Information Act for the heads of government departments at the seminar hall of the Secretariat building.

A similar programme for two days was also held for the police personnel at the police headquarter, Panjim. The speakers were A Venkataraman, G G Kambli, Dr Sairam Bhat from the National Law School, Bangalore, Dr Jorson Fernandes and advocate Amrut Kansar.

posted my Mr Norohna on the GoaRTI group

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Discrepancies mar BADP in Kamjong Sub-Div

Gross irregularities and discrepancies have marred most of the projects being taken up under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in Kamjong sub-division of Ukhrul district in the border areas along Myanmar in. This was observed during the three day long trip undertaken by Border Area People's Welfare Organisation and the Ukhrul branch of the People's Action for Right to Information together with a team of reporters. The team found out that the amount sanctioned for development of an inter-village roads. (IVR) along river banks had been withdrawn without executing the works.

Complete Article

JNNURM: Residents to fix final course of action

The opposition against urban poor housing under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal mission (JNNURM) in Karelibaug is again spearheading with local residents fearing a move to change the plot usage under town planning rules. While one of them has sought information under Right to Information(RTI) Act, a meeting of local residents alongwith BJP MLA Yogesh Patel was held late on Wednesday to chalk out further course of action.

Complete Article

PMO to disclose info on destroyed file on Netaji`s death: CIC

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the PMO to disclose copies of documents relating to the destruction of a file on the probe into the death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The order came on a Right To Information application of Delhi-resident Anuj Dhar, seeking copies of papers concerning the destruction, in 1972, of a PMO file titled "Investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of Sri Subhash Chandra Bose".

Complete Article

NRI seeks info on SEZ under RTI Act

A Non-Resident Indian from Hubli has filed an application with the Indian Embassy at Washington DC, USA, seeking information on the status of Karnataka Government's decision on clearing the proposal of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Hubli under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Complete Article

Govt gives clarification to RTI Act

Based on the experiences of working of the Right to Information Act, 2005, the government proposes to make certain amendments and clarification to the Act, Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday. Government proposes to specifically provide in the RTI Act, 2005, that substantive file notings on plans, schemes and programmes relating to development and social issues shall be liable for disclosure, Minister of state for Personnel Suresh Pachouri said in a written reply. However, he made it clear that it would not make the RTI Act ineffective.

Complete Article

Monday, August 13, 2007

No chemical disaster plan in state

The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority admitted that it has no chemical disaster management plan presently. GSDMA was replying to an Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by a Vadodara-based environmental activist.

Complete Article

Man uses RTI to nail cop

Right To Information (RTI) query has exposed how a senior police inspector (now retired) allegedly favoured one businessman to settle scores with another in a civil dispute case. Trader Jasmine Shah, arrested in a cheating case three years ago, has used RTI to prove that he was illegally arrested by then D N Nagar police station senior inspector M A Shaikh. The information Shah has obtained states that the departmental inquiry, conducted by then deputy commissioner of police (zone IX) Amitabh Gupta, found Shaikh guilty and resulted in disciplinary action against the officer for arresting Shah. Albeit, the department did not initiate any punitive measures against Shaikh as he had retired two years ago.

Complete Article

State fee panel under RTI

The Central Information Commission has held that a committee functioning under the directions of Supreme Court is a public authority and is obliged to provide information under the RTI Act.

“The Supreme Court of India itself is covered under the RTI Act, and has repeatedly submitted itself to enquiry by this Commission...it cannot be argued that a Committee functioning under its directions sees itself outside the purview of the Act,” said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah

Complete Article

Sunday, August 12, 2007

For Dispur’s information, it’s not done

The Assam government has come under fire from the State Information Commission for not providing logistic support to enable it to function autonomously. In its annual report, the commission said it had yet to receive “full logistic” support from the Tarun Gogoi government. “It is functioning in the old secretariat building with the meagre staff made available by the state government as a temporary arrangement,” the report said.

Complete Article

Petition taints Manipur PSC image

No less than 27 candidates who appeared in the Manipur Civil Services Combined Examination, but did not make the grade, have approached legal redressal bodies for annulment of the examination results.

While about 10 of the candidates had formally intimated their apprehension on mark allotment anomaly to the State's Right to Information court praying for production of their respective written test answer scripts and documents pertaining to viva voce, 17 of their colleagues have filed writ petitions before the Gauhati High Court praying for quashing of the examination and for conducting a fresh one.

Complete Article

RTI Act puts library in a quandary

Constitutional expert A. G. Noorani’s attempt to access the ‘Haksar Papers’ in the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has put the institution — with a sizable collection of “closed papers” such as the Edwina-Nehru correspondence which has never been accessed by anyone — in a quandary. According to an expert committee set up by the NMML, categories such as “closed collections” or “restrictive access” have become redundant under the RTI unless they qualify for exemptions provided under Section 8(1) of the Act.

Complete Article

CIC differs with union minister on disclosing file notings

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has differed with a Union Minister's assertion in Rajya Sabha that the denial of file notings under the Right to Information Act is in accordance with law. Minister of State for Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions Suresh Pachouri had said in a written reply in parliament on May 10 that the decision to deny file notings under the RTI act was in accordance with "legislative intent". Referring to its full-bench order of January, the commission said, "the response to the unstarred question submitted to parliament is not in accordance with the RTI act".

Complete Article

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Teachers get sermons on info Act

Schools should become hubs of consciousness building regarding Right to Information Act, advised experts at a workshop for school headmasters, which concluded in the city on Thursday. This four day workshop on RTI Act was being held at City High School. Forty seven headmasters from various schools in Berhampur district attended this workshop.

Complete Article

Thursday, August 09, 2007

BJP digs up dirt on wheat import, sees big scam

The BJP has taken the Right to Information (RTI) route to lay bare what it sees as the ‘wheat import scam’. The party sniffs huge irregularities in the deal and has even claimed that its stand has been vindicated. Armed with the details secured through the RTI, the party on Thursday reiterated its demand for the dismissal of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and wanted a CBI inquiry into the entire episode, which, it alleged, had caused a big loss to the exchequer.

Complete Article

RTI fine slapped on health official

The state information commission has imposed a penalty on the chief medical officer of health (CMOH), Hooghly, for “intentionally” holding up information about a blood donation camp in a hospital. The CMOH, Akhil Kumar Mondal, has been held guilty of withholding information from the panel for 62 days. Fined at Rs 250 for each day of delay, Mondal has been asked to cough up Rs 15,500 by August 10. The official is planning to move court against the order.

Complete Article

PMO to probe alleged misappropriation of PMNRF: CIC

The Central Information Commission has directed the PMO to inquire into suspicions of alleged misappropriation of contributions by employees of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) to the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The order came in light of an RTI application of Chattisgarh resident Mohammad Muzibur Rehman seeking from the PMO information on amounts deducted from salaries of employees at SECL, Bilaspur, for donation towards various natural calamities and disasters.

Complete Article

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Manipur IC issues show cause notice to Ukhrul DC

The Manipur Information Commission has issued show cause notice to the deputy commissioner Ukhrul district for not providing information sought by person returnable within seven days. The ruling of the Commission passed on July 31 against the DC Ukhrul related with the non-provision of information sought by People`s Action for Rights to Information, Manipur, Nagaram. The body sought lists of the beneficiaries and works programme of the MLA`s local area development funds for the year 2005-06 to 2006-07 in respect of Ukhrul district on December 8, 2006.

Complete Article

RTI clinic to be opened in Bangalore

The Karnataka State Chartered Accountants Association will soon be starting an “RTI clinic” where people can obtain help on filing and following up applications under the RTI Act with various government departments.

Association president Mallinath S. Nainegli announced that a chartered accountant, an advocate and an activist would help people at the clinic, which would be open in the mornings on the first and third Saturdays of every month.

For details people can contact the association’s office on S.J.P. Road by dialling 22222155 or visiting the website www.kscaa.com.

Complete Article

Karnataka urged to follow Bihar example

Karnataka would do well to follow the Bihar example and make it possible for citizens to file Right to Information (RTI) applications over the telephone, said Aravind Kejriwal, Magsaysay Award-winner and founder of the Delhi-based NGO Parivartan.

Delivering the keynote address at a public awareness programme on the RTI conducted by the Karnataka State Chartered Accountants Association, Bangalore University and Doordarshan, the well-known activist said the next step forward for the effective implementation of the RTI Act was simplifying the process of application.

Complete Article

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

RTI: Blackmailing, Misuse, Police Complaints, Media Exposure or simply a MESSENGER to Govt?

Vested intrests ( politicians cutting across political lines) & baboos often say that RTI is misused or info sought under RTI is used for blackmailing purpose. Hence to find out veracity of the statements RTI Reqn was filed with Pune Mun Corpn ( PMC) i.e. Wheter any info seeker has blaclmailed PMC officials on the basis of info sought by him/ her. & whether any police complaint has been lodged against him /her ?

I am in recipt of Deputy Comner, PMC ( letter no SAHMAA/704 dtd. 3.8.07 ) that there is no documentary proof/ record/ findings/ etc etc to say that any info seeker has blackmailed any officer.

This is FITTING REPLY to all those who are against the people using RTI.Henceforth, if any politician or baboo ( without taking names of any person) speaks about blackmailing, then PMC's reply would take care of same. Hence, all RTI Appl should be treated as a MESSENGER to Govt.

Regards
Vihar

[from the Humjanenge group]

RTI Effect: Delhi Food and Supply dept forced into action after 110 RTI apps

The Delhi food and supply department is now initiating a crackdown against the public distribution system fair price shops (FPS) after an NGO filed a record 110 applications under Right to Information Act, highlighting the irregularities in the shops in the capital. The Delhi Shramik Sanghatan, an NGO, had recently filed 110 applications under RTI in numerous offices of the department.

The officials acknowledged that the PDS shops are indulging in malpractices and are passing on substandard food materials to the beneficiaries. The department has issued show-cause notices to the PDS shop-owners, asking them to explain the charges levelled in the 110 applications filed by the NGO. On the day the applications under RTI were filed, the people, who had grievances against the shops, brought samples of food grains distributed by them to the food and supply department.

Complete Article

RTI reveals local bodies’ indifference to school education

Information obtained from local bodies across the State has revealed their indifference to elementary education, despite abundant funds available for the purpose. A random sampling of how corporations and municipalities spent their education tax, conducted by members of The Catalyst Trust, an NGO campaigning for education rights, has shown how the local bodies are not using the funds collected for the purpose. Unutilised funds were piling up over the years.

Complete Article

Haksar Papers open to public

After denying Constitutional expert A.G. Noorani access to certain official files marked ‘Top Secret’ and ‘NGO’ (Not to Go Out in official parlance) from the Haksar Papers in its collection, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) has decided to open them to the public.

Complete Article

Monday, August 06, 2007

Act yet to ‘inform’ Bodo belt

Information about the Right to Information Act has yet to percolate down to the masses in the Bodoland Territorial Council-administered districts, thanks as much to lack of awareness among those supposed to implement the legislation as among those meant to benefit from it. The Kokrajhar district administration’s promise to make details of the act available to the people has yet to move from official files into the proposed leaflets.

Complete Article

Drama to make RTI popular

A dying folk art form will be used to raise awareness about an act that has hardly been able to make its presence felt in the remote corners of the state. Daskathia, a form of dance drama which was once popular at village fairs, will now be used to explain the nitty-gritty of the Right to Information Act and ways to use it in rural Orissa. The Orissa Sangeet Natak Academy, in association with the State Information
Commission recently launched a three-day workshop for the Daskathia singers who gathered from around 10 districts.

Complete Article

Ahmedabad sitting on a pipe bomb

Over 40 buildings in Ahmedabad have been built over potentially dangerous oil pipelines, making them extremely vulnerable. With oil corporations having no authority to remove these constructions, the number of structures resting on these danger zones continues to rise with civic authorities turning a blind eye to the problem. Information obtained under the Right to Information Act revealed that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) had
repeatedly sent notices to certain buildings that had pipelines running underneath.

Complete Article

Tumkur University flouts RTI Act

R Vishwanathan of Tumkur submitted an application under the RTIA to the registrar, who is also the public information officer of Tumkur University, asking whether this information had been published and whether at any instance, a staff member had been appointed due to external influence. But the registrar failed miserably to deal with the application and violated the RTIA in all respects.

Complete Article

Saturday, August 04, 2007

RTI Awareness session in Bangalore

Karnataka State Chartered Accountants Association Bangalore in Association with Bangalore University, Bangalore Dooradarshan and Bangalore RTI Activists is organising a Public Awareness Programe on "RIGHT TO INFORMATION -GATEWAY TO GOOD GOVERNANCE on 7th Aug 2007 at Central College campus Bangalore at 4 PM

Bangalore University VC Prof HA Ranganath inagurates- Shri MP Prakash Minister for Home and Law is Chief Guest and Shri Arvind Kejrival will deliver key note address.

The highlight of this programme is PANEL DISCUSSION: Panel consists' Hon'ble Justics Shri Santhosh Hegde Karnataka Lokayukta Shri K.K. Misra State CIC Karnataka, Shri Arvind Kejrival, Dr.Vijay Kumar,Registrar Bangalore University Shri Y.G. Muralidharan, Consumer rights education and Awareness trust, Smt Katyayini Chamaraju Trustee CIVIC. Discussion moderated by Shri Deepak Thimaya Journalist.

Posted By Mahiti Hakku member on HJ group

RTI Effect: RTI stops senior officer's promotion

Ashwin Patel, who is a drug manufacturer himself, had asked whether the promotion of assistant depot manager of the Central Medical Stores Organisation (CMSO) RS Shah can be considered legal or not. Shah was chargesheeted by his own department and a vigilance inquiry too was pending against him. At the end of the exercise, Shah's promotion was withdrawn on Friday.

Complete Article

The reality of right to information

“Madam, yeh jo Nagrik hein na woh sabse bada nuisance hein kyunki woh sarkar ko apna kaam nahin karne deta hein.” This is the considered opinion of my trainee public information officer at the village lev el. He’s had to sit through a whole day listening to me going on about the importance of the new Right to Information Act, open government, fullest disclosure, reducing corruption, helping the poor and he is sure the heat’s gone to my head. But now enough is enough. He thinks I am naïve and wants to set me straight. Damn the citizen. He doesn’t care just as long as they don’t come asking things.

A revelatory session with the officers who are supposed to implement the Right to Information Act.

Complete Article

Govt servant's service record can be accessed under RTI: UP SIC

uttar pradesh chief information commissioner hon. justice m. a. khan while deciding complaint no. S-1 - 1234/c/2007 (sanjay sharma versus secretary, uttar pradesh state information commission) delivered on 13 july 2007 that all service records including personal file notigs, annual confidential reports etc. of a government employee comes within the perview of rti act 2005 and shall be made accessible to a person asking for it under rti. it is neither a third party information nor exempted from disclosure under section 8.

it is a landmark decision, beneficial for those honest government servents who are deprived of their promotion etcbecause they are not paying bribe. it shall also help curb illegal appointments.

Posted By Urvashi Sharma on the HJ group

Informative session on the RTI in Chennai

An informative session on the Right to Information Act will be held at Hotel Sangeetha in Koyambedu on Saturday. A rally will be held on the Marina on Sunday. For details, call 65273056 or log on to www.5thpillar.org.

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State Chief Information panel abolished in Pondy

The State Chief Information Commission (SCIC) in Puducherry, headed by C S Khairwal, was abolished by the Territorial Administration on July 31 on the orders of the Lieutenant Governor. This comes in the wake of a direction from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). According to legal experts, Union Territories cannot have a State Chief Information Commission and therefore the Territorial Administration does not have any power to open the office or appoint a commissioner.

Complete Article

Friday, August 03, 2007

PCMC appoints 41 information officers

Residents of the Pimpri-Chinchwad township can now expect quick responses to their applications filed under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, 2005 as the civic body has appointed 41 new information officers and an equal number of appellate officers. A statement released here on Friday said that the appointments were done by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) commissioner Dilip Band.

Complete Article

Two lower court judges get RTI notices

For the first time, Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) has issued showcause notices to two courts for not complying with the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the metropolitan court (Gheekanta) and city sessions court, Bhadra, have been asked to give reasons as to why they should not be penalised under the RTI. The Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court has designated principal senior civil judge and metropolitan magistrate (Court No. 10) as the PIO's of the sessions and metropolitan court respectively.

Times of India, Ahmedabad
04.08.2007

Fine by UP IC Virendra Saxena

In my complaint no 761/c/2006, information commissioner of uttar pradesh information commission hon. virendra saxena fined
1. commissioner - social welfare department up and
2. principal secretary - social welfare department up both @ Rs.250/- per day
with a maximum limit of Rs. 25000/- in his order dated 26 july 2007.

Posted by Urvashi Sharma on the HJ Board

First ever penalty u/s 20 in West Bengal

After more than 2 years of implementation of the Act, the West Bengal State Information Commission imposed its’ first ever penalty amounting to Rs. 15,500.00 on the SPIO & the Chief Executive Officer of Health Department, Hooghly under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act 2005. The penalty was imposed for an inordinate delay of 62 days made after the stipulated time frame in furnishing the information sought by a Local Club/Organiser of Jangipara, Hooghly.

Posted By Malay Bhattacharyya on the HJ Board

Eating disorder: LU orders 76 lunch packets for 19 officials

If gluttony is a sin, then officials of the Lucknow University's administrative department will pay for it. University heads have noted with concern that at an Executive Council meeting, 19 officials "ate" the lunch of 76 people. The meeting was held on June 10 last year at Vice-Chancellor Professor Ram Prakash Singh's residence in the morning. Similarly, in a meeting of the 100-odd members of the LU's Academic Council, 210 packets of snacks were ordered. Taking strict note of this "overeating" by varsity officials, elected members of LU's court have sought details about the bills under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Complete Article

Thursday, August 02, 2007

64 HC judges cleared 1.3 lakh cases in 2006

Sixty-four judges of Bombay High Court disposed of over 1.3 lakh cases in 2006, with Justice Abhay Oka settling the most number of cases according to the result of a Right to Information (RTI) query. The RTI has made it possible to know, for the first time, how many cases each judge disposes of.

Complete Article

Bt cotton's toxicity data to be made public

The government has agreed to place the toxicity and allergenicity data relating to Bt cotton in public domain. Additional solicitor general Amarender Saran said, during the hearing on a petition calling for a moratorium on GM crops in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, that the government was willing to share the data related to toxicity and allergenicity of Bt Cotton and would also hand over a soft copy of it to all the petitioners. The data would be placed on the website hosted by the GEAC.

According to Bhushan, the documents acquired through RTI applications showed that these states did not have such committees or even know about field trials of GM crops.

Complete Article

RTI makes govt act faster over encroachments

The encroachments on a major storm water drain in Makarpura area will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the Right to Information (RTI) Act. A simple application under the RTI Act compelled the authorities to allocate alternate plot to the Dholikui slum dwellers, who had encroached upon the Masia drain since decades.

Times of India, Ahmedabad
03.08.2007

Trinamul questions varsity appointments

Raising the issue of alleged anomalies and favouritism in the appointments, the TYC today held a demonstration at the NBU vice-chancellor’s office. They submitted a memorandum to the V-C, seeking information on recent appointments under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2005. As alleged, despite the fact that maximum age limit for NBU appointment is 35 years, the university authorities recruited the mayor’s daughter who is 37-year-old as junior assistant cum typist.

Complete Article

Reinstate Registrar by Tuesday, CIC directs IIT Delhi

The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the IIT Delhi administration on Thursday to reinstate its suspended Registrar Col Rajendra Singh within two working days. Information Commissioner O P Kejriwal said it appears the institute director suspended Singh to settle “personal scores”.

Complete Article

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