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J.P.Shah

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A detailed blog on using RTI

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information supplied in language which the applicant does not understand is no information

RTI applicants face the problem of language of reply, especially if the information is sought from other states. I had sought information from BBMP [municipalcorporation] Bengaluru and had requested that information be supplied in English. However, I received a reply in Kannada and I had to email to my relative to translate it. I append below relevant extract from a judgment of High Court of Uttarakhand. I infer that information supplied in language which the applicant does not underst

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Haryana rti rules 2016 - effective 18-03-2016

Haryana Govt has amended RTI rules from 18-03-2016 and revised rules are as under:   HARYANA RIGHT TO INFORMATION RULES 2009 AMEDNDED 2016   [2005 rules replaced by 2009 on 21-12-2009 effective from 01-01-2010] [Again amended on 18-03-2016 –filing fee reduced to Rs.10/-, CD Rs.50 and inspection first hour free and thereafter Rs.5/- per hour or part thereof beyond first hour]   1. APPLICATION:   The rules provide for a format for application under RTI Act called Form-A, which

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Up rti rules 2015

UP RTI Rules 2005 have been superseded. I am attaching new UP RTI RULES 2015 effective from 03-12-2015

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Justification for Reasons for Denial of Information under RTI

Most of PIOs deny information by just quoting sub-sections of section 8.1 of RTI Act, without giving meaningful justification for arriving at that reason for denial. This is against letter and spirit of RTI Act. I attach decisions of CIC and court judgments, which can be quoted in first and second appeals Download the following file to prepare your Grounds of Appeal on -   LINK: PIO to give Justifications & Reasons for Denial of Information under RTI.   JUSTIFICATION

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Extracts from judgements on accountability of public servants

I attach some of extracts from judgements of Hon'ble High Courts and Supreme Court relating to accountability of public servants. After getting information under RTI, citizens need to pursue the matter administratively or legally to fix accountability of public servants who wronged the common citizens. Unless accountability is fixed, public servants will continue to harass common men of India. There extracts may be quoted in petitions to public authorities and also in writs. Non-compliance with

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Information relating to sub-judice matter

Of late, PIOs are denying information sought under RTI Act with the reason that matter is sub-judice i.e. matter is pending with a court of law or tribunal or consumer forum/commission etc. To counter this, please peruse and use attached note.     Attachment link: Information relating to sub-judice matter under RTI Act.

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32 Reasons why Information Commissioners do not impose penality

WHY DO INFORMATION COMMISSIONERS NOT IMPOSE PENALTY? ICs are under the wrong impression that it is their discretion to levy or not to levy penalty at their will. In fact, once the breach of RTI Act is committed and not reasonably explained, the penalty must follow.  ICs are afraid because if they levy penalties, the serving govt officers may dig out their [ICs] misdoings when ICs were in service and ICs may have to face investigating agencies post-retirement. ICs want to fo

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Destroyed Record

Many times, PIO casually replies that record has been destroyed or weeded out by referring to record retention schedule of public authority. In fact the record may not have been actually destroyed despite lapse of specified retention period. In most of cases, record is destroyed after a very long time of expiry of period stated in record retention schedule. For example if a register in a bank is required to be retained say for 5 years from date of last entry, but in practice it is destroyed afte

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PERSONAL INFORMATION SECTION 8.1.j

Personal information of citizens is protected from disclosure, subject to certain conditions, under section 8.1.j which reads as:   “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger

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Information on websites under rti act 2005

Many a times, PIO redirects applicant to website for getting information rather than himself supplying it in hard copy. You can file first appeal based on attachment.   Alternate link to the attachment: INFORMATION ON WEBSITES UNDER RTI ACT 2005

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REFUSAL OF INFORMATION U/S 8.1.d OF RTI ACT

REFUSAL OF INFORMATION U/S 8.1.d OF RTI ACT   Section 8.1.d of RTI Act reads as:   “information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;”   To invoke above reason, information should have following characteristics:   1. Information should relate to third party, inc

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NON-COMPLIANCE OF ORDERS OF CIC/SIC –Administrative Remedy

Of late defiance of orders of Information Commissioners has become rampant. The only remedy with the information seeker is to lodge a complaint with Chief Information Commissioner, who routinely issues another order for compliance that too after a delay ranging from 6 to 36 months depending upon efficiency and pendency of CIC/SIC. Commissions hardly invoke powers of Civil Court vested in it u/s 18.3 to ensure speedy compliance with its own orders. Hence I suggest that if after two months of

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Fiduciary relationship under rti act 2005

Information seekers are facing problem of fiduciary relationship as one of the reasons for declining disclosure. I have prepared attached note which can be used in first or second appeal.

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No PENALTY IMPOSED UNDER RTI? [revised format]

Appellants or complainants have experienced that ICs order supply of information, but they do not penalize PIO or FAA. Under such circumstances I would request aggrieved appellants or complainants to address attached letter to concerned IC. Suitable changes can be made to suit individual case. If large numbers of information seekers address such letters, over a time it will have positive and desired effect. After all in democracy, numbers count. Please also refer http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/

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Non acceptance of envelope containing rti application or appeal by office of pio or faa

Of late, many govt. offices are refusing to accept envelope containing RTI application or appeal under one pretext or other. I suggest following steps:   1. Retain returned envelope and get photocopies of both sides of returned envelope.   2. Lodge complaint u/s 18.1.a to SIC/CIC with copy to PIO and Head of Office or Transparency Officer of public authority, if any designated. Attach photocopies of both sides of returned envelope. Please refer:   HOW TO COMPLAIN U/S 18 [CENTRAL/STATE] ht

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Assistance in Inspection

Assistance in Inspection under RTI Act 2005   Normally PIOs or First Appellate Authorities refuse to permit assistant of choice of applicant during inspection.   Section 7.4 of RTI Act states as under:   “Where access to the record or a part thereof is required to be provided under this Act and the person to whom access is to be provided is sensorily disabled, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall provide assistance to enable

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Clarification regarding Other Charges under RTI

Of late I am receiving messages seeking clarification as to how to calculate period within which information should be received, where other charges are payable. I clarify as under: Suppose an RTI application contains following types of queries: a. Queries which require no other charges: Information should be mailed within 30 days from the date of receipt by PIO. These queries should not be delayed for other charges payment. b. Queries pertaining to other public authorities:

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Consumer forum or information com or both?

01. District Consumer Forums are headed by judicial officers [retired Dist. Judge], while most of ICs are from bureaucracy. Thus there is difference of mind frame and approach and hence results.   02. Decision is taken by 3 member bench of consumer forum. It has two [one male and another female] other members from common citizens, while at CIC/SIC it is single IC. Hence in consumer forum complaint is looked at from common man’s perspective by two members. This improves quality of decisions.  

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