Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pune citizen to use RTI to ensure implementation of bio-parks

The Baner citizens' forum, which managed to save the hills from further constructions, is now gearing up to execute its plan of setting up bio-diversity parks (BDPs) on the hills. "We wrote innumerable letters to the state and civic officials and held campaigns which finally bore fruit in the form of the government's approval to the BDPs. We are now ensuring that the BDPs are actually executed and we will not sit quiet till that is done," Thombre said. The members have now sought information from the PMC under the Right to Information Act regarding implementation of the BDPs. "Different surveys have being conducted with respect to the hill area measurement. We are trying to ascertain whether the surveys are correct," Thombre said.

Complete Article

RTI plea exposes technical glitch in I-T department

Thanks to the Right to information (RTI) applications filed with the Income Tax (I-T) offices in Pune and Patna, the technical lacunae in the regional and the national server systems of the department came to light. Avinash Murkute, a city-based business development manager, had to undergo a Herculean task to get his tax refund from the I-T office at Pune.

Maharashtra Herald Pune
Pune, Jan 15, 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

State's water resource details sought under RTI

City-Based activist Rohit Prajapati has sought details of the state's water resources from the water resources minister and the state department through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. He said groundwater pollution due to rising concentration of pesticides and receding water level has badly affected 14 of the 19 districts and 74 of the 184 talukas in the state. Prajapati has now sought a nine-point demand under the RTI on the total quantity of water available from all the water bodies in the state and their use or misuse. He has also sought a list of the bore-wells owned by the government and the private bodies in the state and the quantity and quality of the water discharged as domestic or industrial effluent, whether they are released treated or untreated into the river, estuary or the sea.

Complete Article

Rural Indians Do Not Benefit From Information Act

People in rural India have a tough time in accessing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from government departments and some even face retribution, a new study released Tuesday said. The study conducted by Participatory Research in Asia (Priya), a civil society group, in eight states last year, found that 75 percent of the respondents say that no directories of Public Information Officers (PIOs) are available in their district.

Complete Article

Monday, January 28, 2008

RTI a powerful instrument for people`s empowerment: Manipur HRC

Justice W A Shishak, chairperson Manipur Human Rights Commission called the RTI Act "a powerful instrument in democratic nations, a light to dispel the darkness". Releasing the pamphlet on RTI at a People`s Campaign to Protect and Promote Citizen`s Right to Information today at the Manipur Press Club, the Justice said, "If we are aware of the purposes for which this law is enacted, it will be very powerful and useful. This is not an ordinary enactment."

Complete Article

Bihar SIC asks officials to give info

State Information commissioner P N Narayanan has asked the public information officer of the finance (audit) department to furnish information regarding a bill to one Pashupati Nath Prasad latest by January 31. He fixed the next date of hearing of the case on February 4 and also stated that if the state information commission’s order was not complied with, then clarification would have to be given by the finance department as to why fine should not be slapped on the officer concerned with effect from October 30, 2007, till the petitioner is supplied with the information sought by him.

Complete Article

Punjab SIC issues notice to Admin Reforms Dept

In response to the activists raising objections over the RTI Rules, notified recently by the Punjab government, a full Bench of the Punjab Information Commission has issued notice to the Secretary of Administrative Reforms department asking it to reply to the issues raised in this regard. A complaint under Section 18 of the RTI Act had been filed on the issue by Capt Navdeep Singh, a high court lawyer, in which it had been averred that Punjab RTI Rules 2007 framed by the state government were in direct contravention of the Act.

Complete Article

Punjab rules contradict RTI Act, claim activists

The Right to Information Rules, 2007, notified by the Punjab government last year has a section of rights activists and legal experts up in arms on the contention that the rules contravene the very provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which they are supposed to implement. The rules, circulated to all departments recently, make seeking information a tough task and provide grounds for rejection of RTI requests which go beyond the provisions of the Act and complicate the process for obtaining information, they claim.

Complete Article

Haryana to organise two-day seminar Right to Information

Haryana State Cooperative Development Federation (Harcofed) will organise a two-day seminar on the Right to Information Act, 2005 on 29th and 30th January at the Regional Institute of Cooperative Management, Chandigarh.

Complete Article

BSE resists RTI Act scanner

The Bombay high court will soon decide whether a citizen can seek trade information from a stock exchange under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has challenged a June 2007 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC), which held that stock exchanges are ‘public authorities’ and hence covered under the RTI Act.

Complete Article

Kerala RTI activists hold satyagraha

A satyagraha was held in front of the Martyr’s Column at the Fort Maidan on Republic day by the activists of the Peoples Initiative for the Right to Information, Kerala demanding more transparency in the functioning of the Commission for the Right to Information (RTI) and for making it more democratic. The satyagraha was organised jointly by the Jana Jagratha samithi, Munottu and Solidarity. Jana Jagratha Samithi president P.S.Panicker inaugurated the satyagraha.

Complete Article

RTI exposes Irregularities in Dow plant sanction

Environmental clearances issued to Dow Corning India Pvt. Ltd’s Ranjangaon plant in 2005 by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) were based on a site map of the company’s plant in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (US), and on incomplete emission data.
Interviews with activists, environmentalists, people responsible for policy, and a review of documents obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) Act suggest this is yet another instance where appraisal committees have accorded environmental clearances without scrutinizing documents.

Complete Article

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Set up system to process RTI in passport offices: CIC

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Centre to set up a regular system of processing Right to Information applications filed in the regional passport offices within a month. The CIC's direction to the Ministry of External Affairs came on a recent order where the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Delhi was found negligent for losing track of an RTI plea of one Deepankar Jain, who had sought to know details about daily progress made in respect of his passport application.

Complete Article

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No disclosures please, we're the government

Angered by the government's persistent failure in implementing a key clause in the Right to Information (RTI) law, a citizens' group in Pune is working on taking the state to court. Section 4, at the heart of the two-year-old law, directs state departments to ensure easy access to information about a large chunk of government activity.

Attributing the dumping of the clause to "a lack of will", Information Commissioner for Pune Division V. Kuwalekar said: "Departments have had enough time to put in place systems that follow this clause, but they continue to make excuses." Since the law came into force in October 2005, the Commission has written to successive chief secretaries in the government, citing "umpteen complaints" from citizens and asking them to ensure their officials follow the rulebook.

Rathe said he would like citizens to contact him if they have had similar problems in accessing information which should be public under the clause. "We would like to add their experiences while petitioning the court," he said.

Complete Article

HP CIC asks officials to ensure smooth implementation of RTI

Himachal Pradesh Chief Information Commissioner P S Rana today asked officials to provide information under Right to Information Act in a time-bound manner. Addressing a meeting of officials here, the CIC asked the head of the departments to appoint Informatin Officers and Assistant Information Officers for smooth functioning of RTI. He told officials that information sought has to be provided within 30 days failing which the IO would be penalised

Complete Article

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Netaji was killed in aircrash: Official documents

As the circumstances surrounding the death of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose remains shrouded in mystery, official documents declassified by the government say the revolutionary leader was a victim of an aircrash on August 18, 1945. Bose, whose birth centenary is on Wednesday, was sitting next to the petrol tank of a K-21 heavy bomber aircraft when it lost control and crashed, according to documents made public by the Union Home Ministry following a Right to Information (RTI) application.

Complete Article

Jinnah House dispute: Wadias get no help from CIC

The full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has provided little succour to the Wadia family in its battle over the Jinnah House as it tossed the matter back to the first appellate authority of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The CIC, however, said that the MEA should try to divulge information on the Jinnah House within 15 days if it feels the revelation does not affect relations with Pakistan. It said that it is for the MEA's first appellate authority to decide which "sensitive" information should be disclosed.

Complete Article

Monday, January 21, 2008

Poor facilities irk Goa state information panel

Although the government vows by the Right to Information Act, it is neglecting the guardian of the Act, the Goa State Information Commission. By guarding the citizens’ use of the RTI, the commission is proving to be a thorn in the side of many government departments. But it neither has proper premises for its functioning, nor adequate staff to meet the workload. Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’ today, the chief information commissioner, Mr A Venkataratnam said the commission has many grievances but the main problem is lack of staff. For instance, while the commission makes it mandatory for all other departments to appoint public information officers and assistant public information officers, the commission is not in a position to appoint its own PIO or APIO. It simply does not have the staff. In the absence of the PIO or the APIO, the commission cannot furnish information about its own functioning.

Complete Article

SC declines PIL seeking uniform court rules

The Supreme Court has declined to entertain a petition seeking uniform rules for all the High Courts for dealing with the RTI applications. The court did not agree with the contention that different rules adopted by the High Courts was defeating the objective of the Right to Information Act which aimed at bringing out transparency in state's functioning. "We cannot give general directions to the High Courts for framing rules in this regard. It is the prerogative of the High Courts to frame rules," a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said. ''We do not have supervisory jurisdiction over the High Courts," the bench, also comprising Justices R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari, said, adding that "each High Court is an individual body and you cannot have a wholesale direction". The PIL filed by an NGO, Public Cause Research Foundation, had contended that rules framed by the High Courts were not in consonance with the purpose of the Act.

Complete Article

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Feuding couples taking RTI recourse to settle scores

Right to Information (RTI) Act is certainly the route to be taken when you feel you are short changed on information, but if you think you can gain access to people's private lives, you are mistaken. A divorcee, wishing to know how much alimony she could demand from her estranged husband, took recourse to RTI only to be turned down recently. But in what income tax department officials say is becoming a disturbing trend, there have been five applications from couples in marriage wrangles asking for
their spouse's assets in the last month alone. Referring to one such case, where such details were sought by a spouse on her way to divorce, a central public information officer (CPIO) with I-T, said, "Seeking personal information under RTI, not in public interest, is equivalent to invasion of privacy. Her request was turned down by the commission as it was invasion of privacy of the assesses."

Complete Article

Saturday, January 19, 2008

DGP Assam asked to provide information on surrendered militants

In a landmark order, the Assam Information Commission has directed the Director General of the State Police (DGP) to furnish information to TL Baruah, a former Home Commissioner of the State on a number of issues concerning the surrendered militants during 1998-2004. The DGP’s office and the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of the Police Department had earlier denied information to Baruah on the number of weapons deposited by the ex-militants during the period, total amount of compensation paid for the weapons and the totals amount of rehabilitation assistance paid to them.

Complete Article

The biggest users of RTI are Government employees: Kejariwal

The Government officials file the majority of applications received by the Central Information Commission (CIC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The cases of promotion, salary, transfer and related matters come in huge number before the Commission for hearing. These facts have been made public by O. P. Kejiriwal, member, Central Information Commission, New Delhi. "Eighty per cent of applications filed before the CIC are from Government officials, either serving or retired", said the Central Information Commissioner.

Complete Article

Halim Khan appointed as Secretary of Central Information Commission

Mohammad Halim Khan has been appointed as the new Secretary of Central Information Commission (CIC). An IAS officer of 1977 batch from UP cadre, Khan will succeed current CIC Secretary Rita Sinha. Prior to this posting, Mr. Khan was a Joint Secretary and Additional Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Defence.

Complete Article

RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay,

Secretive government officials who stand in the way of your right to information should gear up for penalties being deducted from their salaries. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the finance ministry to recover fines levied on officials by cutting it from their salaries rather than wait endlessly for departmental heads to do their job. The commission has imposed penalties to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the two years the law has been in place. But an audit report revealed that the CIC has been able to recover only one-fifth of the fines it has

Complete Article

No random use of secrecy clause: RTI

State information commission of Punjab has put an end to indiscriminate use of a secrecy clause of Right to Information Act by rejecting a plea of the forest department not to part with information on the ground it was more than 20 years old. The commission has held that information which is more than 20 years old cannot be simply withheld by any office or authority on the pretext of provisions under sub section 3 of section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Complete Article

RTI petition yields no information in Sethusamudram case

As the wrangling continues in Court, shipping companies have not answered whether they would use the controversial Sethusamudram Channel after completion. While the ruling DMK is spearheading the project, a state-owned shipping company has refused to entertain an RTI petition on this in Tamilnadu, giving credence to the view that the project may not be economically viable. Even a Shipping company owned by the Tamil Nadu government seems to have not made up its mind on using the Sethusamudram Channel after its completion. On a petition filed under the RTI, the state owned
Poompuhar Shipping Corporation has no answer on possible savings in distance, time and fuel by their vessels sailing from the West to the East coast of India.

Complete Article

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Maharashtra refuses to answer RTI query on CM's fund

Maharashtra Chief Minister's relief fund is under the scanner for refusing to give details about its finances, despite repeated RTI applications. This comes even when most other states are publishing details about their Relief Funds on their websites.
Despite that, RTI applicant Shailesh Gandhi's efforts to find out simple details – such as who are the beneficiaries of the Fund or even how much is there in it – have not come to fruition. On its part, the state has decided to throw its weight against Gandhi's application. "The state of Maharashtra had no one but an Advocate-General to argue a case against a simple citizen like me," said Gandhi.

Complete Article

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Paying to use a WR toilet? It should be free

Have you been paying to use a public toilet at any Western Railway station apart from Churchgate, Bandra Terminus, Nallasopara and Virar? If you have, here is startling news: The fee you are paying is lining the pockets of various private individuals and officials, since contracts worth Rs 50 lakh for the maintenance of these toilets were terminated a year ago. When Newsline sought details under the Right to Information Act (RTI) about the maintenance contracts for the WR stations' toilets, the information received was factually incorrect. The response, dated July 2007, to an RTI query showed that contracts were still in place. Asked why faulty information had been provided under RTI, Chandrayan said: "I will have to check this."

Complete Article

Workers with private contractors can raise a toast, courtesy RTI

The Right to Information (RTI) Act was intended to bring transparency in governance, but its effective use has enabled employees of private contractor executing work of Pune Municipal Corporation get their financial dues as per labour laws. In addition, the State Information Commissioner in a significant order that is likely to have implications on all local civic bodies has ruled that PMC is a “principal employer” for all its work carried out through private contractors as per the law and has to keep records of the workers with the contractor carrying out its work.

Complete Article

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Need to have penal provisions for misusing RTI Act"

In view of growing misuse of the Right to Information Act by citizens for ulterior motives, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has expressed the need to amend the law to incorporate penal provisions against such information seekers. In probably a first order of its kind, the CIC directed a government functionary to ignore RTI pleas of school teacher Ramesh Chandra who along with his wife Uma Kanti made every possible effort to use the pro-people legislation to harbour revenge against his department.

Complete Article

Mere mention of corruption can't bring intelligence under RTI

A mere allegation of corruption not backed by credible evidence would not be sufficient to direct the country's intelligence organisations to reveal information under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held.
The Right to Information law that has categorically immunised certain security and intelligence organisations from disclosure of information is specific that in cases of alleged corruption or human rights violations against them, they could be asked to open up.

Complete Article

West Champaran DM fined

Justice Shashank Kumar Singh, Chief Information Commissioner, Bihar has imposed a penalty of Rs. 250 per day with effect from January 7 on West Champaran District Magistrate. It was found that in-spite-of the direction of the Commission the District Magaistrate had not provided complete information to the petitioner Ravindra Pal Singh Chawla.

Complete Article

RTI axe on IAS officer's salary

In the first instance of its kind the salary of an IAS officer, the secretary health and family welfare, Punjab, KBS Sidhu, has been cut as a penalty for providing inadequate information to a complainant under the Right to Information Act. While Rs 12,500 has been cut from his January's salary another Rs 10,000 is scheduled to be deducted from the next month's salary.

Complete Article

Use RTI to avoid adulterated food

Civic activists have urged citizens to check the record of adulterated food materials with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to avoid consumption of adulterated food items. In a press release here, right to information (RTI) activists said that the municipal corporation is not in position to announce the list of adulterated brands because of legal compulsions. So the companies continue to sell adulterated material. “It is necessary that the common people approach the PMC and seek the information to avoid use of adulterated material,” said RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar.

Complete Article

Friday, January 11, 2008

RTI Cell at Visvesvaraya Towers

The government is planning to open an RTI cell to faclitate people to make applications at Vikas soudha and Vidan soudha . Currently ,both are out of bounds to members of the public owing to security reasons. The RTI cell will function from vishweshwaraya towers in the city. It will receive applications from citizens and will forward it to the departments concerned at both the soudhas. Even though RTI applicants have welcomed the move, they have suggested that the RTI cell be in MS building where DPAR department and Karnataka Information commission (KIC) are housed, so that people would not have to move to different locations just to file an RTI application.

posted by Mr Vikram Sinha on the HJ group

Court Martial proceedings a public activity,CIC to Defence Min

private activity, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Defence Ministry to consider revealing details of court martial proceedings against an army officer. In a recent order, the Commission has turned down the Ministry's plea to seek exemption from revealing to one Lt Col Harish Gulati information about inquiry proceedings initiated against him on the grounds that divulging such details would serve no public interest.

Complete Article

RTI breaks 13-year deadlock

He could not get his legitimate work done even after a marathon battle of 13 years, but he was able to get it done within one month after exercising his right under the Right to Information Act. The 75-year-old retired instructor in carpentry Peer Ahmed, working at the Khadi and Village Industries wing of the District Industries Centre of the Industries and Commerce Department here, had been running from pillar to post to get back his missing credits of General Provident Fund (GPF) installments for 13 long years. His marathon correspondence with the department has had little impact. Accidentally, he came in to contact with the RTI activist Shaikh Shafi Ahmed who advised Peer Ahmed to make an attempt by resorting to the RTI Act. With his help and assistance Peer Ahmed made an application to the Accountant General Office, Bangalore, on December 1, 2006. He got an acknowledgement from the said office on the receipt of the application. To his utter astonishment, Peer Ahmed, even before receiving the necessary information got a cheque for Rs 9,483 within a month from the AG office!

Complete Article

CIC pulls up Delhi CM, NCW for no replies

The Central Information Commission pulled up the office of the chief minister of Delhi and National Commission for Women for not responding to applications for information under the Right to Information Act. In two separate cases, the public information officers of both the offices have been asked to show cause as to why they should not be penalised for not replying to the applications.

Complete Article

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ambedkar Udyan hearing deferred

The State Information Commission, on Wednesday, deferred the hearing of the Ambedkar Udyan case till January 24. The commission was hearing the case on an application filed by the Right to Information Task Force. The full bench at the Right to Information directorate took cognizance of the fact that the construction agencies like the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam (UPRNN) had not provided details of the elephant court proposed to be constructed inside the memorial.

Complete Article

Noida Police updates itself on RTI

The Noida Police recently organised a workshop on the Right to Information Act at Police Headquarters in Sector 14A. Circle officer (I) J. Ravinder Gaur, who coordinated the event, says: "We routinely hold such workshops to sensitize our police force. The event was attended by all circle officers, police stations in-charge, station officers, officials dealing with the RTI and other police officials. It was organised to keep the police force updated with the latest developments and know how they can help people while carrying out their duties." The workshop held in the evening lasted two hours. The presentations were given by Lokesh Batra and Baibhav, RTI activists. They informed the police about the various acts of the RTI and how it would be helpful in serving society. It was followed by discussions and queries by the police officials. Literature about the RTI was distributed.

Complete Article

Monday, January 07, 2008

RTI Act only on paper: Survey

Not a single public authority in Chandigarh has displayed in its office the 17 proactive disclosures which are a must under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Required to be physically displayed at all offices within 120 days of the passing of RTI Act on October 12, 2005, the disclosures under Section 4 I (b) are yet to happen. The situation is such that even the office of the UT administrator doesn't have these disclosures or even a formal system of receipt of RTI applications.

Survey Findings:
All 70 public offices do not display mandatory disclosures.
In 76 percent cases, offices dont accept RTI applications.
PIOs not accessible in 40 percent cases
In 90 percent cases employees do not know who the PIOs are

Complete Article

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Railways to introduce IT-enabled system for RTI applications

In an effort to bring transparency and better monitoring in handling RTI cases, the Railways have undertaken steps to introduce an IT-enabled system. "A web-based software is being developed for an effective monitoring of RTI cases," said a senior railways official. "Now the RTI cases registered in any railway zone in the country will be centrally monitored for speedy disposal."

Complete Article

Review suggested amendments to RTI Act’

Members of the National Coordination Committee on the Right to Information (RTI) Act held their first meeting here today. The committee, appointed by the Central Information Commission, has been mandated the task of reviewing the suggested amendments to the RTI Act as well as coordinating suggestions made by various state information commission on how to make the Act more effective. The committee would submit its report within six months.

Complete Article

RTI acctivists to grill PMC

Perturbed over increasing instances where the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has failed to provide information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act just because the PMC could not find the relevant documents in its records, a group of RTI activists will now verify whether the corporation has a proper system to maintain all its records. The process of verification of documents is being done under the provisions of the RTI Act. The inspection will start from next Monday wherein RTI activists led by Vijay Kumbhar, Vivek Velankar, Sandeep Khardekar and Vihar Durve will visit various departments including the municipal commissioners office.

Complete Article

J&K RTI: Governor forced to sign weak RTI ammendment bill

Criticized and ridiculed by RTI crusaders across the country, Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Amendment Bill-2007 has been assented to by Governor S.K.Sinha for implementation in the state, under intriguing circumstances. Official sources confirmed that the assented bill has been received by the law department on Friday for being notified in the official gazette.

Complete Article

No, Minister, you may not travel abroad: PMO

As many as 37 requests for trips overseas from Union Ministers — including from powerful allies NCP’s Sharad Pawar and DMK’s A Raja — and several Secretary-level officers were turned down by the Prime Minister’s Office since the UPA Government came to power. According to a detailed disclosure by the PMO, in response to an application filed under the Right to Information Act by The Sunday Express, the curb on foreign trips “is part of the overall economy/expenditure management measures adopted by the Government from time to time.”

Complete Article

Saturday, January 05, 2008

CIC wants its own purse

The Central Information Commission has asked the government to snap the umbilical cord that ties the young transparency watchdog to the personnel and training ministry. In a set of recommendations submitted to the Centre, the CIC has asked for an independent budget instead of the present practice of allocating funds under the ministry. It has sought similar autonomy for state information commissions from the state personnel departments.

Complete Article

Friday, January 04, 2008

RTI on oxygen tank repair: PGI files incomplete reply

It’s been over two months and the PGI, Chandigarh, has not responded to the appeal filed by a local resident K Garg under the Right To Information act (RTI). Garg had sought information about the repair work undertaken at the liquid oxygen tank at the Advanced Paediatric Centre (APC) on the institute premises.

In his application addressed to Prof Vinay Sakhuja, Head of Department, Nephrology, and Appellant Authority, PGI, Garg has sought information regarding details of allotting tenders for the repair work at the liquid oxygen tank. He also asked why the period of tender was extended, asked for a copy of the bid, and also questioned why the cost of repairs was accelerated without fresh floating of tenders. Garg had also sought the account statement of the contractor and complete copies of the bills.

Complete Article

Bid on to expedite RTI replies: Dasmunsi

The Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry is working to expedite the process of answering queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, said the I&B minister, Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, while addressing an interactive session organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BNCCI) in the city on Wednesday.

Complete Article

RTI application forces payment of dues

In a classic case of government authorities subverting the law, a former woman Sarpanch in Rajasthan was made to run from pillar to post for nearly a decade claiming the money she spent on the construction of a 1-km-long road in her panchayat. When the Sarpanch, Mohini Devi, tried to use the much talked about Right to Information Act to know the status of the outstanding amount of Rs.75,000, she was compelled to withdraw her application. The former Sarpanch was paid the dues recently after she agreed not to press for appeals under the RTI Act.

Complete Article

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Five sworn in as Haryana Information Commissioners

Haryana Governor, Dr. A.R. Kidwai administered the oath of office to five Information Commissioners in a simple but impressive ceremony at Raj Bhawan here on Thursday. Those who were inducted as Information Commissioner included former IAS officer Mrs. Asha Sharma, Lt. General (Retd.) J.B.S. Yadav, Mr. Ashok Mehta, Mr. M.R. Ranga and Mr. Premvir Singh.

Complete Article

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

SGPC information officer summoned

The Punjab Information Commission has summoned the SGPC public information officer (PIO), Amritsar, on January 16, for replying to the complaint of chairman of the Malta Boat Tragedy Probe Mission Balwant Singh Khera. Khera had filed a complaint against the SGPC public information officer for not providing information on trusts constituted by the SGPC since its inception under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

Complete Article

Activist seeking info under RTI jailed after a tiff, released on bail

A Right To Information (RTI) appeal proved costly for Tukaram Bansode, a disability activist. While he went on a hunger strike for one day, he was jailed for 24 hours and was slapped a fine of Rs 3000 on the New Year’s day. Bansode’s two-month long battle to seek information on various projects in the disability sector under RTI Act came to a boil last week when he approached the Disability Commissioner, RK Gaikwad.

Complete Article

75 days after moving RTI, PMC is still compiling data on conservancy staff deaths

It has been 75 days since some basic data about its conservancy staff has been sought from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) under the Right to Information Act (RTI) Act. The PMC has not only expressed its inability to furnish the details but has informally asked for Rs 30,000 as charges as it needed to sift information from 15,000 pages. When confronted with alarming figures pertaining to deaths of 227 conservancy staff in 30 months as revealed by The Indian Express in October, the PMC had gone into a denial mode. The civic administration had claimed at the time that 159 class IV employees had died in 24 months and of this only 108 were conservancy staff.

Complete Article

Lok Satta urges AP to implement RTI Act effectively

Lok Satta Party President Jayaprakash Narayan today urged the Andhra Pradesh Government to implement the Right to Information (RTI) Act effectively to curb corruption, as suggested by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB). In a statement here, he alleged instead of implementing the law in a proper way, the government was harassing people who sought information under it.

Complete Article

R in RTI now means redressal

The Right To Information Act, in its second year, can well be christened the Redressal Through Information Act. For, in an unrecorded trend, the 2005 law, meant to empower citizens with details of Government decisions, is now being increasingly used as a means of redressal of grievances.

Complete Article

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