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Shrawan

Where should the buck stop? Is RTI Act limited to Grievance redressal like getting passport, voter ID, EPF?

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gmphadte

All the delay in getting the information brings about frustration to the info seeker. There should be a machinery to check the denied information provided by the PIO and decide their untruth, periodically. This machinery should have penalizing powers. It is not very difficult to do this. Certain detouring replies that do not provide the info like 'no record available' should be provided for with proof. This provision should be made in the RTI act.(high hopes0

 

Every babu should have a work log and should enter everything he does over a day. Are u thinking this is additional work. Just visit any office 1 hour before close. Most are doing nothing. (With sorry to the faithfuls)

 

Why does a PIO reply to an RTI query on the last day. Does it mean he is very busy? The PIO should be made accountable for many tricks he plays to discourage RTI.

 

The babus are employed and I doubt they are ever trained for anything.

 

Not all babus play tricks but the method he adopts is learnt from the surroundings.

The seniors get the training and they mostly adopt it to save their skin by following the rule, like reply should be given in 1 month etc. and play tricks with the uninformed.

 

In my opinion, the erring and tricky PIO is a big hurdle on RTI and can be rectified by IC, who is unfortunately also an erring RTI employee, who is highly reluctant to the penalty clause.

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rkshukla

In several comments it is said that PIO or AA are reluctant to provide information. It is not correct. PIO and AA are working under some department and are not in possession of information asked for. They rely on the information provided to them by concerned sections/branches and these branches first get approval for passing the information to PIO from their bosses . if information is sensitive enough to catch hold of bosses they pass it in ambiguous languages. So penalty to PIO is not going to help to get information.there is a need to see the process of flow of information among custodian PIO and recipient

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gmphadte

Let us make RTI known to many

 

Can someone initiate the distribution of emails with RTI website or something interesting about RTI, like those that u have to forward to 10 persons otherwise/and... blah blah

 

write an interesting mail

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Shrawan

May I draw attention to posters here. We are not talking about improvement of CIC/IC/PIO here or correcting the machinery of implementation of RTI here. There are many other threads where such issues are discussed, I request you all to focus on the issue of this topic.

 

@Dr. Known

 

Seems your point has some thought provoking ideas. Are you suggesting that every decision of the Government, a copy should be marked to say 'RTI Division'?

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rkshukla

I could not understand why a PIO should stop information .It is his counterparts who stops . The person incharge of having information (as he may suffer if information is revealed) stops the information to PIO. PIOs are not senior officers and they can not question senior officers hence what ever is provided they only pass it on

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rajyadav017

The buck should not stop . AS THIS IS THE ONLY ACT which has provided the common man to question the govt, this questioning gives him sence of belonging to the system as the democracy is for the people ,by the people. After having this act now its really a democracy other wise there has been a helplessness all around. This is the only act which can change the way of governance of the country. Now the challenge lies how to educate the common man to use this weapon to assert his rights, in this fight process ,the country will become the strong. It is evident from the successes stories how this act has become the driving force for common man to get his job done. My views is that this act should be made more powerful. The question is using it for personal use or public use does not arise ,laws are very clear to help the common man, Its the executives who take undue advantage of the power given to them on the name of God to help the country. If Comman man become Strong than country will become strong. We should not keep the common man out of the system.

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rkshukla

Yes RTI section should receive decisions.Moreover ,the deparments are not taking proactive approaches they are only replying .

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gmphadte

Coming to where the buck should stop.

 

e.g. I have a case here.

 

I have received the information from the city corp, that a shop has been run by MsX without license. Now all I have to do is file a case against the corp for not following its rules or file a case against MsX. Everything leads to the court.

 

But then, if the act was not there, I would have no means to know even that.

 

There is no point in just getting the information if the false will not be corrected. I would suggest to involve media. Many who can, should make public, their findings of public interest. If the media does not publish it free, pay for it and publish, in the newspapers. Let the public decide the further course of action. One should just start the fire.

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Bimal Kumar Khemani
Hello everyone in the RTI Community,

 

I have come across an interesting story. I would like to share this with all of you. The National Consumer Protection Commission has upheld the Mysore District Consumber Protection Commission in the matter between Dr. S. P. Thirumala Rao v/s Mysore City Municipal Corporation wherein it was held that an Applicant u/s 6(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 is a "consumer" of "service" of seeking information by paying a fee. Hence the act of the Public Authority not furnishing the information withoiut giving reason or false information is furnished to the Applicant amounts to "deficiency in service". An order to pay Dr. Rao Rs.500=00 towards harassment and cost of Rs.100=00 for the litigation was passed. Karnataka State Consumer Commission had dropped the district forums order but the same has been restored by the National Commission. This is one more tool in addition to section 19 and 20 of the RTI Act, 2005 to fight the corruption and those who mindlessly shield it. Happy information seeking to all in 2010.

 

 

Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi has in revision petition No. 1975 [in appeal No. 244/04 relating to complaint of Dr. S.P Thirumala Rao v/s Municipal Commissioner, Mysore] has decided on 28-05-2009 that applicant under RTI Act is a consumer and that non submission of information by public authority amounts to deficiency in service under The Consumer Protection Act 1986.

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nayudu

I understood many interesting facts, in my 4 cases with govt institutions they got resolved at FAA level. But every time I feel even for simple information , like Office timnings of perticular GOVT offices , who is PIO of the office , some the documents for public usage such as application format from Municipal corportions for road cutting , Permission letter from Water dept etc Most of the public are not aware of the existence of these forms which provides exact charges for various jobs that need to be done by govt bodies

 

The end result is public is forced to get the work done through middle men who charges atleast 1000 times to get the job done officially. One can like me can get this information /procedure/process but takes at atleast 30 days

 

need patience and continued efforts

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Atul Patankar

Karira Sir,

 

Thanks for bringing the discussion from philosophical level to ground level. You are not a black sheep. I am absolutely convinced that a mass rti moment (Many applications on a single, tiny, personal issue) will do more good than a dramatic revelation which fades from head lines in a couple of days.

 

The reporting by media makes a 'common man' think that RTI is only for big fellows like Anna Hazare, and for big issues like missing bulletproof jackets.

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vnatarajan

Dear All,

 

Shri Karira's write-up is marvellous. He has made a realistic presentation and brought out the real issues into focus.

 

The administration often has remarked on my/ my friends' RTI applications, "that they are being used as a grievance redressal mechanism"

 

We have not bucked in!

 

All those who are interested in the RTI Act 2005 and its important developments may go through this Judgment!

 

RTI Order on Other Access Laws

 

Maj Navdeep reports in the Indian Military Service Issues/ Benefits Blog site:

 

QUOTE:

"Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gen Grover pronounces another important path-breaking decision on the RTI Act

Regular readers may have read about Lt Gen P K Grover on this blog earlier.

 

Besides the Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF) which had listed the General as one of the best Information Commissioners in the country, the Hindustan Times had also declared him as a Hero of 2009 on 30 December 2009.

 

Gen Grover has pronounced a path-breaking order which shall go a long way in settling the law in this regard. Gen Grover and Mr R I Singh, Punjab’s retired Chief Secretary, as members of a division bench of the Punjab State Information Commission, have ruled that when there is a way other than the RTI Act to access information, it is the prerogative of the citizen which road to choose and that Public Authorities have no right to dictate to an information seeker as to which method he or she should select.

 

The ruling comes as a great relief to those information seekers who have faced this problem when asked by Public Information Officers to apply for documents or information under separate procedures prescribed by a particular office, organisation or establishment with a separate fee structure. The Commission has again reiterated that the RTI Act would override other laws governing this aspect"

 

My observations:

When the Public Authorities are resorting to MASS DISPOSAL ACTIONS ON OUR PENSION GRIEVANCE APPLICATIONS/ APPEALS, AGGRIEVED PENSIONERS SHOULD RESORT TO MASS RTI APPLICATION SYSTEM SO THAT EACH AND EVERYONE WILL AT LEAST HAVE A PROOF THAT HE HAD APPEALED AND CAN USE IT TO GO TO COURTS FOR THE FINAL BATTLE!

FOR THE CRITICISM THAT RTI IS BEING USED AS A TOOL TO SET RIGHT MY GRIEVANCE IN REPLY TO MY LATEST RTI APPLICATION- TODAY I HAVE SENT THE APPEAL TO THE FAA WITH THE QUOTATION FROM THE ABOVE JUDGMENT " it is the prerogative of the citizen which road to choose and that Public Authorities have no right to dictate to an information seeker as to which method he or she should select".

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dillip kumar mohapatra

It is true RTI act is not for self grievance redressal but common man is compelled to use RTI.When the RTI application reaches the blocked file moves smoothly that means resources are available to do the job at right time.Govt. should analyze the and do the need job.Passports,Voter ID cards etc. must be issued in the stipulated time.Some body should review the system is running smoothly or not.If RTI application reaching for passport etc. then the concerned person should be taken action not to repeat in future. Govt. has passed the RTI bill and sitting as a spectator.Govt. should see why the PIO or FAA cannot provide information where as CIC orders to give information in many cases. In this cases the concerned PIO's should be punished. Govt. should think about the problem of a common man.Till the RTI application is for self problems goes Govt should know that it not functioning well.

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Shrawan

Let me take one example:

IT Refund

 

Very broadly, the IT department does two parts 'Processing' and 'Scrutiny' as far as IT returns are concerned. Most of the returns are stuck up at the level of IT Processing. Multiple application at ward or at Accessing officer might not yield desired results due to sheer magnitude of application and consequently leading to favoritism and other un-desired effect.

 

If you consider this as a case study, filing multiple RTI application may solve problem for few but not the systemic problem affecting all.

 

If at all we come to know that IT Department has created four computerized Central Processing Center (CPS) for return processing and refunds in India, that even paper filing of returns are now been accepted as an outsourced model for few state as Goa, Karnataka and others, that IT department are in the last stage of finalizing compulsory e-filing directly by citizen or by outsourced model where citizen file the return manually and the data is captured by third party and transferred to CPS for processing, and that infosys has been given tender and awarded the work by empowering them with Processing powers under Jurisdiction of Act which allow the infosys to accept the IT return, process it and do the IT refund via 'refund bankers scheme' without involvement of IT department, that now IT Officers are going to focus on their core issue such as Computerized aided Scrutiny Selection (CASS), wont it help in better appreciation of the system.

 

If I get this information generally or otherwise through RTI, I would have been equipped to lead people to take the advantage of the newer system, or may be help spread the awareness to motivate people to do e-filing of IT returns, so that they automatically get the IT refund through 'Refund Bankers scheme' into their bank account.

 

Further, if we as citizen would be informed and inspired this would allow IT Officials to do more of scrutiny work, less of processing and catch hold of defaulters more strongly.

 

When I quote above example, I transpire to expands the horizons of RTI Act. You can discard it as wishful thinking proven by concrete facts of impossibility, but I want to give it a chance, won't you too!

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karira

Kushal,

 

Why has the IT department not publicised this under Sec 4(1)© ?

c. publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public;

 

The citizen has no way of knowing what the IT department is doing behind closed doors. You are privy because you are plain lucky or are at the right place at the right time. If I knew either myself or any citizen was informed this in reply to a RTI application, the matter would come into the public domain. And then citizens would have had patience.

 

The same thing was done by one of the previous Provident Fund Commissioner (computerisation) and you can read the results here:

 

In 2006: The Hindu Business Line : Provident fund computerisation by '08

And fast forward to 2009: CRISIL News : Provident fund board approves Rs 96 cr for computerisation

 

Funnily, when I read about outsourcing of Passports to TCS, I was suggesting to many posters to wait and see if situation will be come better: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1098-passports-available-three-days.html (these are posts from 2007).

 

Kushal, as per latest statistics:

 

65% of India's population is below 35 years

50% is below 25 years

35% is below 15 years

 

All these people are growing up more literate, more aware, more knowledgeable and more educated than our previous generations. They will demand and unfortunately they have the habit to demand everything "instantly".

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Greenpeace

1. At First i would like to say ,getting things done in a government office ,or any other office is a huge task for a comman man.

 

2. Still I hope the RTI have not reached most of our population.

 

3. Government should provide a software which will simplyfy the filling compliants and requesting for detials.

 

4. And making use of any of our ID card Number typing in to the software should be considered as the digital signature of the user.

 

5. any request or complaints must be strictly time bounded and failling to it the government or the concern office should pay fine to the user.

 

6. the RTI website should contian most of the detials in their website ,so that complaints and request rising will reduce.

 

7. Software , Mobile software, SMS services ,And letter services .all the citizen in india should be ensured atleast being under any one of these services of RTI,which i expect to be constructed.

 

8. Any illitrate man should be covered under an NGO or VO ,for raising his request and services.

 

9. There should definitly be a public participation in ,Knowing about higher level Bureaucrats, politician participating in this country, because the public has only the source of politician who speaks on stage and not to his performance.

 

10. The Good Politicians and Good Bureaucrats, must be awarded by RTI and Bad should be immediately thrown away from the system to save the billion population.

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vnatarajan

Thanks to Dr Kushal's post at sl no 90. HIS SUGGESTIONS ARE VALID AND MUST BECOME TRUE SOON.

 

Ideal arrangements OF COURSE will take a long time.

 

IT Department must rationalise the POLICY as being described by DR Kushal.

 

(Currently, even many branches of many of the Banks which have been authorised to deduct IT under TDS or even for accepting IT Advance payments are not properly "synchronised" with the IT Dept. and therefore such deductions/ payment transfers manually effected do not get into the IT Payer's account in time. Same case with the Post Offices. When one files the return in E-mode, linkage with IT advance payments made/ IT deductiuons made through manual operations do not get LINKED up or SYNCHRONISED with the result REFUNDS CLAIMS have become difficult to get attention in time at the IT Departments/ Refund Processing Centre etc! For this perhaps they have evolved another parallel procedure - and this also complicates the system and an average IT Assessee/Payer with least computer knowledge is not able to get refund in time or the refund may not be done at all if the linkage is not established due to the "e-communication gap"!

 

AS A RESULT, when some approach me for some advice on the e-filing system- I ADVICE THEM TO TAKE CARE NOT TO OVER-PAY I-TAX AT ANY COST- AND BE PRECISE OR LESS THAN PRECISE SO THAT THEY AVOID GOING IN FOR REFUND CLAIMS.

 

My Revised IT Return e-filed for AY 2008-09 for a refund of Rs 6000 or so is a acid test for me and I am keenly awaiting the outcome! (Original was also e-filed- Over-payment was due to the PO deducting the I/Tax on Interest on the SCSS Deposit without informing me - as I was away on a holiday! This happened in spite of my giving them a 15H well in advance) i AM THINKING OF USING RTI MODE TO ENQUIRE ON THE VERY MODUS OPERANDI OF "SYNCHRONISATION" "LINKAGE" ETC.)

 

ONCE DR KUSHAL'S IDEAS GET INTO A WORKING MODE AFTER HIS "RTI" PROBE YIELDS RESULTS , I THINK EVEN THESE TYPES OF "I/TAX" PROBLEMS WONT COME UP!

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karira

ONCE DR KUSHAL'S IDEAS GET INTO A WORKING MODE AFTER HIS "RTI" PROBE YIELDS RESULTS , I THINK EVEN THESE TYPES OF "I/TAX" PROBLEMS WONT COME UP!

 

InshahAllah !

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Balu A

Dear Dr.Kushal Pathak.

Vannakkam. I was not able to contribute for a long time due to some unavoidable drawbacks. RTI Act is not limited to Gtoevamcesredressal like getting passport, voter ID EPF. It is a good weapon which is waking up the courrupt Officials to mend and do things and removing the not of red tapinsm, of course slowy, but steadily. Himalayan size mistakes are being commenced to rectification. Possitively such blunders would be arrested and avoided gradually.

For the Policy makers the following few suggestions an be given.

1. The first appellate authority should be fixed in the same department whein the Central/State Public Information Officer is designated, since the SPIO gains time (45+30) days to furnish information sought. If a seperate Official from other department is fixed the information could be obtained within a maximum time of 45 days.

2. Certain Ofiicials return the application or first appeal without receiving the tapal violating the provision of the Act, 2005. Penal clause has to be insisted and incorporated in the Act to punish them so as to enforce the Act properly

Balu A.

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nk agarwal

Corruption, misfeasance, malfeasance is very deep rooted and the fine ability to cover up is the main cause.

RTI Act-2005 is attempting to bring transparency and accountability in governance at all levels.

Use of RTI ACt-2005 is exposing this wide spread cancer in our society at miniscule levels of an individual as well as on mega level s.

As a result scrutiny of process of decision making is becoming available with a option of corrections.

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gmphadte

If the higher ups want it to happen, it can happen, but....

In this democracy, many were afraid of many things during emegrency.

So fear is the key, sometimes...

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taurus

Fear is the reason for many ills in the society, no doubt. But moral courage is the vital requirement to have a corruption free society.

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Bimal Kumar Khemani
Fear is the reason for many ills in the society, no doubt. But moral courage is the vital requirement to have a corruption free society.

 

The corrupt people does not have any moral courage, who ever he may be.

So we should not affraid of these corrupt and anti National elements

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Balu A

Dear Members/Friends,

Vannakkam.

I is a naked and acceptable truth that by passing the RTI Act,2005 the Republic of India has got sanction a SECOND INDEPENDENCE. We are duty bound to enlighten our common public to be aware the merits and usage of the provision of the Act,2005, to achieve the goal of clean Society.

Definitely 'WE WILL WIN'

Balu A.

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