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Question about RTI application from USA

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uscamtv

HI,

I sent an email and letter requesting for financial information (balance sheet, income expense statement, list of charities served, etc) to Executive Officer of Tirumala Tirupati board but unable to get response. After calling several people on board I got information saying I should ask under RTI act. My question is how can I do it from USA? I read some articles that we can use Indian embassy in US but that was for govt. agencies. Can someone share information? what alternatives I can use about forwardign agency for fee, etc. I am US citizen but have PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card.

 

Thanks,

Madhu

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karira

1. Persons holding a PIO card have the same rights as Indian Citizens, except Political rights and purchase of agricultural property. Therefore you can apply for information using the RTI Act yourself. This is inspite of the fact that the Indian Embassy, Washington DC carries a statement to the contrary. Please see:

 

Embassy of India - Washington DC

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1099-can-public-information-officer-oic-apply-under-rtia-2005-a-3.html

 

2. Technically, the application can be submitted to the Indian Embassy, Washington DC, (or any other Consulate closest to you - probably SF) who should transfer it under Sec 6(3) to the appropriate PIO (in your case the PIO of TTD).

However, the Indian Embassy seems to have a very peculiar interpretation of Sec 6(3) based on some Government (DoPT) circular. Please see: Embassy of India - Washington DC

It can therefore be reasonable assumed that they will not transfer your application under Sec 6(3).

If the information is important to you and you require it urgently, then there is no point in having a long drawn out argument with the Embassy.

 

3. Therefore the best would be to request one of your family members/relatives in India to send the RTI application drafted by you to the PIO of TTD. They can do it under their own name. If it is under your name, please ensure that you include proof of your being a PIO card holder. The RTI Application has to be as per the RTI Rules and Fees for Andhra Pradesh. These are available in the Guide segment of the portal: RTI Guide

The application fee is Rs. 10.00 payable by IPO.

For submitting the RTI application, please see: How to submit a RTI Application - RTI Guide

 

4. There is a link to "RTI" on the TTD homepage: Right to Information Act

but the links do not seem to work. Neither is the RTI Manual containing the obligatory disclosure under the 17 chapters of Sec 4(1)(b) available (link does not open). If it were available, your attempts at seeking information would have been easier since under Sec 4(1)(b)(x) to (xiii) would have given you quite a bit of background to base your application on:

 

x. the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations;

xi. the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made;

xii. the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes;

xiii. particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it;

 

5. Since you are anyways filing a RTI application maybe you would like to also ask the PIO for the following information:

a) Name, Designation, address, email id, Telephone Numbers (mobile and landline) of the officer responsible for updating the TTD website http://www.......

b) Name, Designation, address, email id, Telephone Numbers (mobile and landline) of the officer responsible for ensuring that the website is working correctly along with all links given therein

c) The last known date on which the website and all links were working correctly

d) Copy of guidelines, if any, regarding the website policy of TTD

e) Soft Copy of the RTI Manual of 17 Chapters under Sec 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act.

 

For your reference, the online RTI Act is available at: act.rtiindia.info

 

Some other information that will be useful to you is available here: NOTICE

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uscamtv

Hi Karira,

Thanks for the information. I have got the manuals from TDD website (it was working 2 wks ago). There is some information about income expense statement but there are lot of missing information. For example out of total 600 crores in expenses around 200 crores is under category "Miscellaneous expenses". I have got all the names of officers and all I need now is to write letter under RTI act.

 

I have one more question. My friends/family in India are not willing to put their name in application so I have to do it under my name. I am sure I can email the letter and have someone in India send it in my name but the question is whether "return address" can be in USA? I have a feeling that they might say something about posting to USA.

 

 

 

Please let me know if you have more information on this.

 

Thanks,

Madhu

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karira

I have one more question. My friends/family in India are not willing to put their name in application so I have to do it under my name. I am sure I can email the letter and have someone in India send it in my name but the question is whether "return address" can be in USA? I have a feeling that they might say something about posting to USA.

 

Please let me know if you have more information on this.

 

Yes, you can do that.

Get them to print out the application, attach a IPO of Rs. 10.00.

You can show the address as the USA address.

Don't forget to attach a copy of your PIO Card.

How the PIO gets the information to you, is his job. The applicant need not worry about that.

 

Alternatively, just give a India address and send the application in your name without any proof of PIO card.

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