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sngupta

Proactive disclosure under section 4 of RTI Act 2005

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sngupta

As in section 4 of RTI Act 2005 it is written that every public authority must disclsoe the informations with 120 days. The PIO BSNL Jaipur having intention that the disclosure only required for CPIO level not on the level of PIO or APIO. Any one may send me views that proactive disclosure at the level of PIO or APIO is not necessary.

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karira

sngupta,

 

It is the PA which has to disclose under Section 4.

How do the CPIO, PIO, APIO get into the picture... ?

The disclosures under Section 4 need not be from any particular person.

 

Probably, you are asking that whether only BSNL Head Office (in Delhi) needs to pro actively disclose under section 4 and NOT the regional office in Jaipur ?

Is that correct ?

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sngupta

Yes Karira

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karira

sngupta,

 

I faced a similar situation once and asked the PIO of a "zonal office" or "regional office" the same thing.

His explanation was that in most cases, it is the Head office of the PA which lays down all the procedures, functions, etc for the complete PA. Therefore , it should be the Head office that should disclose under Section 4 of the Act.

That sounded convincing to me, so I left it at that.

But worth giving a thought about it.

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sngupta

How we may improve the working of offices of the level of state, Districts or subdivision level. The real execution is being made by these offices and corruption is only available in these offices. I think meaning of every public authority means having his own office. This is very important issue to discuss.

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vashisthvivek

Yes. Subsection 2 of S.4 makes it clear that that every public authority should disseminate as much information as possible, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of the RTI Act. Therefore, the PA should disseminate information at every level.

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sngupta

The respondents from all the states pointed to poor implementation and non-compliance with Section 4 of the Act, the proactive disclosure section, which is considered to be one of the most important.

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abhijeet

I had also the same experience. One of my friend submitted application as per 1(d) of section 4, but the SPIO did not bother at all. I don't know why they are always very much interested to avoid furnishing proper information and that way helping the corruption to save the corrupt persons.---- Abhijeet

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karira

abhijeet,

 

Thanks for bringing this up !

 

Section 4(1)(d) is avery important part of Section 4 and has been overlooked by many citizens.

 

There have been many arguments on this forum about the possibility of asking for "reasons" and everyone seemed to agree that you cannot ask for reasons. Then the discussion went to the "correct" framing of the application so that the applicant can know the "reasons".

 

In ALL my cases where I have wanted to know "reasons" I have used Section 4(1)(d). ALL PIO's have told me that they had never been approached by anyone using this section....in fact a few PIO's frankly told me that they were not even aware of that section because they (like all of us) felt that Section 4 is only for the PA to proactively disclose and did not read it in depth.

 

Please ask your friend to appeal to the First AA.

 

I had kept quiet all this time with this "information" waiting for the right occassion to come up and highlight it on the forum.

 

All members are requested to note that if you are the person affected by a administrative decision or a quasi-judicial decision of a PA, just make a one line RTI application to the PIO:

 

"Under Section 4(1)(d) of the RTI Act, please inform me the reasons for your.....................decision in regard to................."

 

I have used it 6 times till now (personally and helping others) and each time I have been able to get the PA to "reverse" its decision...obviously because the decision was wrong in the first place.....however none of the applications were replied to....but the purpose was achieved.

 

Please read the act again and again and again and again and again........each time you will find a nugget buried deep inside, which you either never noticed before or can find "new" uses for that bit in the act.

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vashisthvivek
abhijeet,

 

Please read the act again and again and again and again and again........each time you will find a nugget buried deep inside, which you either never noticed before or can find "new" uses for that bit in the act.

Thanks for this very practical suggestion.

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abhijeet

Thank you all for taking interest in the point raised by me regarding section 4(1) (d).

As Karira suggested to go for 1st appeal, but there lies a peculier difficulty, as the reporting SPIO is a Senior officer than the 1st AA, so there is no possibility of any proper response from him. This is my experience , attending 3 previous appeals in this Dept. So should I go for complaining as per 18 (e) to the SIC ? ---- Abhijeet

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abhijeet

Thank you all for taking keen interest in my above raised discussion. i had submitted a few application as per 4(1d) , but the result were not at all encouraging. SPIO is very much reluctant to expose the corrupt activities of his colieague. As suggested by Mr Karira I may submit 1st Appeal, but the point is in this Dept the concerned SPIO is Senior to the AA, in this peculier situation, should I go on complaining to the SIC (Section 18 e? )-Abhijeet

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vashisthvivek
Thank you all for taking interest in the point raised by me regarding section 4(1) (d).

As Karira suggested to go for 1st appeal, but there lies a peculier difficulty, as the reporting SPIO is a Senior officer than the 1st AA, so there is no possibility of any proper response from him. This is my experience , attending 3 previous appeals in this Dept. So should I go for complaining as per 18 (e) to the SIC ? ---- Abhijeet

The AA can not be a junior officer than the SPIO. If this is the case, you need to challenge the appointment / designation of the AA. In such circumstances, you need not to file the first appeal with the AA and you can file the appeal directly with the SIC. Please note that you must also mention in your appeal that the AA is junior to the PIO and hence you are filing appeal with the commission directly. In the relief portion also, you shoul pray for direction that the present AA should be removed and new AA should be appointed.

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vashisthvivek

Dear Abhijeet.

In this regard kindly also see my thread:

The o/o Advocate General directed to re-designate PIO and AA .

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sngupta

Dear Karira,

You emphasized to use section 4(1)(d). I am sorry to say that public authorities are not supplying the supporting rules regulations which was used to discharge the function. CIC and public authorities are allowing the information which is availbale with public authorities. If any public authorities has been done something wrong he is unable to provide rules and regulations and non of is supporting. The day we will be in position to ask reason of action and CIC will support to provide the reason the day will be first step of "Ram Rajya"

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karira
Dear Karira,

You emphasized to use section 4(1)(d). I am sorry to say that public authorities are not supplying the supporting rules regulations which was used to discharge the function. CIC and public authorities are allowing the information which is availbale with public authorities. If any public authorities has been done something wrong he is unable to provide rules and regulations and non of is supporting. The day we will be in position to ask reason of action and CIC will support to provide the reason the day will be first step of "Ram Rajya"

 

Sorry, I cannot understand clearly.

Section 4(1)(d) is very clear and there is little or no scope for the PIO or the "concerned" officer to deny the reasons.

Can you please give a specific case or example ?

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sngupta

Dear Karira,

The suggestion given by you is appreciable but neither public authorities not CIC is favouring to provide reasons for action. Even public authorities are not supplying the rules regualtions supported the discharge the function. We may hope that there will be a day when public authorities will be bounded to provided the reason of his action. At present we may try to make implemented the section 4(1)(b)(v).

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ganpat1956

Please read the act again and again and again and again and again........each time you will find a nugget buried deep inside, which you either never noticed before or can find "new" uses for that bit in the act.

 

Sound advice & good work on this sub-section, Karira. Keep it up.

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sngupta

Dear Karira,

There is two things 1. Rules regulations supporting the action of public authority. 2. Reason for action.

We are not getting support of PA and CIC to provide rules regulations then how PA will agree to give answer of any querry asking the PA for his action. If you know any decision supporting to section 4(1)(d). Please give me a link.

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karira

First Appelate Authority

 

abhijeet,

 

The ACT is very clear. The AA has to be a higher officer than the PIO. "Higher" does not mean "same level or equivalent" nor does it mean "lower level or junior". You must complain either directly to the SIC or even to the "Administartive Head" of the public authority.

If you complain to the head of the PA, then please add the following sentence at the bottom of your application:

"Under the RTI Act 2005 I have the right to seek information on the day to day progress of this complaint and the final decision taken in this regard."

To this complaint, please attach a copy of the CIC/SIC order for the case pointed out by vashisthvivek (The o/o Advocate General directed to re-designate PIO and AA).

 

(Abhijeet, please continue reading about your case further down..after the citation below)

 

===========

The RTI Act speaks only about the "designation" of a PIO in a PA. As per my reading, nowhere is it mentioned about the "designation" of a First Appelate Authority. The only thing mentioned is that the applicant has a right to make a First Appeal to a officer "higher in rank" to the PIO.

(Section 19(1): .....such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority)

Some PA's now have boards specifying the names of APIO/PIO/AA.

PIO's are also supposed to inform the applicant about their right for First Appeal and the details of the AA.

 

I was under the misconception that this has to be informed only when the case falls under Sections 7(3)(b) or Section 7(8)(iii).

 

But, for the last few months I was wondering as to how in other situations (besides the two situations mentioned above) can a applicant find out who is the First AA ?

 

Thanks to Abhijeet, who started this thread, I did some homework over the weekend and found a decision of the CIC (http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_31072007_07.pdf) which states that:

 

1. "He has faulted the CPIO for not providing him the name and the designation of the Appellate Authority, which, allegedly, forced the complainant to approach the Commission in second appeal without first filing the first appeal before the Appellate Authority (AA)."

 

2. "

There is no doubt that Section 7(8) of the RTI Act enjoins the CPIO to indicate to a petitioner the name, the designation and the address of the Appellate Authority whom the petitioner can approach in first appeal. It is true that the CPIO in the present case failed to provide to the complainant the information regarding the AA. The CPIO’s contention that this information was available on website, where the petitioner could have accessed it, is wholly without merit. The CPIO is obliged under law to indicate the name, the designation and the address of the AA and no amount of circuitous reasoning will assuage his default. "

 

3.

However, it is also noteworthy that Section 19(1) provides that an RTI-petitioner aggrieved by a decision of the CPIO, within 30 days of the receipt of such a decision "prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the CPIO in each public authority".

.......The wordings of the above Section make it possible for an RTI-petitioner to file his first appeal before any officer, who is senior in rank to the CPIO, in the public authority. A petitioner is free to use this provision in case he finds himself without any direction about filing of first appeal due to failure of the CPIO to indicate the name of the AA in the decision made by him and transmitted to the petitioner.

 

(All emphasis are mine to higlight the main points).

 

In summary:

 

1. PIO is supposed to inform the details of the AA to the applicant

2. First Appeal can be made to any officer higher in rank to PIO, if the PIO has not informed the applicant about the details of the First AA.

 

Full decision is attched to this post.

===================

 

Abhijeet, in view of the above, if you really want to play hard, and are sure that the First AA is junior to the SPIO in your case, just walk into the PA and submit your First Appeal to "any officer higher in rank to the SPIO".

Please be forewarned that it will require lots of guts and efforts to do this, but if you are willing to do that, please be rest assured that I and other members of this forum will back you up fully, with facts and citations.

 

Best of luck !

Decision_31072007_07.pdf

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karira

Section 4(1)(d)

 

I forgot to add one more important point in connection to this section

If any applicant is invoking this section, he must state in his application that he is a affected person.

Although this is contravention of Section 6(2) of the RTI Act, but that is the way it is.

In one of my cases, the PIO infact denied information because he said that only one application has been filed and Section 4(1)(d) mentions "affected persons" (in plural).

 

So, the next day, I made 20 RTI applications, got them signed by 20 different "affected persons" and resubmitted them to the PIO asking for information under Section 4(1)(d).

 

Think Smart, Act Smarter !

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sngupta

Means the what, how, why may only be asked by a group of persons.

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karira
Means the what, how, why may only be asked by a group of persons.

 

No, not necessarily.

Depends on how smart the PIO is.

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karira

sngupta,

Recently, after the IC's conference in Delhi, CIC made some recommendations and the first part deals with disclosure under Section 4.

Item 3 of session 1 suggests penal provisions against the PA for not complying with Section 4.

You can see them at:

http://cic.gov.in/Conference-2007/Recommendations.pdf

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sngupta

Chief Information Commissioner once again reiterated to comply the provisions of section 4 in a interview with Rajasthan Patrika Jaipur.

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abhijeet
Sorry, I cannot understand clearly.

Section 4(1)(d) is very clear and there is little or no scope for the PIO or the "concerned" officer to deny the reasons.

Can you please give a specific case or example ?

Sir,

You don't have any idea of the SPIOs of our West Bengal. We had submitted at least 6 application asking reason of not taking proper action against one corrupt officer. No response received . 1st appeal, no hearing of that ' GREAT' Co operation Dept ( most non co operative, one Ex Secretary mentioned that ' the dept has become a---" Dept of CORRUPTION ". As an honest and upright IAS officer he was ' nicely removed" ) 2nd appeal/ complaints lodged to SIC,when SIC instructed the PIO to submit his comments/ views at the earliest/ within 15 days. But thereafter 40 to 65 days spent by the "MOST POWERFUL" PIO without providing any communication. Reminders on the 2nd appeal submitted. No response.

The cprrupt officer retired nicely without any pinishment.

I really don't know why they are so much intersted to help the corrupt persons.

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