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sidmis

Only one RTI plea per person - Delhi official’s new diktat!

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sidmis

Only one RTI plea per person - Delhi official’s new diktat!

Sep 7th, 2008 | By Sindh Today

 

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) A Delhi government official is openly violating the Right to Information (RTI) Act by letting a person to file only one application a day, allege social activists.

 

‘Whenever we go to the office of A.K. Singh, a public information officer (PIO) in the food and supplies department in northeast Delhi, he doesn’t allow us to file more than one application in a day,’ Santosh, an RTI activist, told IANS.

 

Apparently Singh, an assistant commissioner in the department, started this practice nearly two months ago and since then has imposed this strange diktat on everyone coming to his office.

 

Section 6(1) of the RTI Act 2005 states, ‘A person who desires to obtain any information under this act shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying such fee as may be prescribed to the public information officer.’

 

Santosh alleged: ‘Singh, however, has his own interpretation. He told us that according to him ‘A person’ in the above line is singular, not plural and therefore he will accept only one application in a day from an applicant.

 

‘He is not ready to take any argument against this interpretation of the act. When applicants protested his interpretation, his response was ‘if you are not satisfied then you are free to take your case to the Central Information Commission’,’ she added.

 

‘This is not the end of it. In the last two months, we have filed over 30 RTI applications seeking details about various works of the department, but till now we have not received any response,’ she said.

 

Santosh works with residents on the issue of public distribution system in Nand Nagari, Sunder Nagari and Seemapuri - all in northeast Delhi.

 

A local man, Ramasre, alleged that the ineffectiveness of information commissioners was encouraging PIOs not to take RTI pleas seriously.

 

‘Singh asked us to approach the Central Information Commission as he knows what the fate of an applicant would be if he approaches it with a complaint against him. The applicant will be kept waiting for months and no decision will be taken despite many hearings,’ Ramasre alleged.

 

Echoing his view, Magsaysay award winner and prominent RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal said, ‘This is like killing the RTI Act and it is happening in many places. The PIOs are asking people to go and appeal to the CIC as they know the appellate system has collapsed.

 

‘First, the issue will take months and even after many hearings when the decision will be taken, the information commissioners will not invoke the penal provisions of the act, thereby letting the information commissioners go Scott-free,’ he added.

 

Vijay Dev, commissioner of the food and supplies department in the Delhi government, told IANS he would make sure that the RTI Act was implemented properly.

 

‘It’s good that it has been brought to my notice. We will come down heavily on him and ensure that no one can violate the RTI Act,’ said Vijay Dev.

 

‘It is absolutely unacceptable and I will make sure that the assistant commissioner implements the act properly or faces music. We will obtain instructions to him very soon in this regard,’ Dev added.

 

Only one RTI plea per person - Delhi official’s new diktat! | Sindh Today

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karira

Why hasn't someone shown the RTI Act in Hindi to Mr A.K. Singh, PIO till now ?

 

http://indiaculture.nic.in/hindi/RTI-Act.pdf

 

Image of Sec 6(1) in Hindi is attached.

 

It says: "Koi Vyakti Jo Is Adhiniyam Ke Adhin.........."

 

It does not say "Ek Vyakti......"

 

In any case, where does Sec 6(1) or any other section of the RTI Act mention about "a day" ?

Sec 6(1) Hindi.JPG

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sagginyou

He should focus on RTI act 1st....

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colnrkurup

What stopped the Activists from filing the applications by post. It does not need his permission. Someone should have filed more applicatrions per day each of them dealing with independant issues. He would not have dared to return them unaccepted.

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jiwateshwar

The solution to this is actually very very simple.

1. Make a complaint to the District Collector (also known as Deputy Commissioner in some places) about the officer and his practice.

 

2. Make the same complaint to the FAA as well.

 

3. Make a complaint to the CIC as well. However you would need written proof of the PIOs rejection. This would be obtained by sending him many RTI applications the same day and his rejecting them.

 

4. The most important thing here is that the PIO is delaying and obstructing the process of obtaining information. Though one always fancies the PIO being punished and proven wrong, at the same time one should not forget that the main motive is to obtain the information. Thus nothing shall break the PIO more than having to comply with your request and giving you the information. For this, I would advice that that the applicant file the application with some other PIO of a closely related PA. Once again, this can be done by filling the application before the PIO@ o/o DC. The PIO@DC would forward the application under 6(3). Since the PIO@DC would have already accepted teh application, thus this PIO would be unable to decline admitting it.

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karira

Jiwateshwar,

 

Although the procedure you have suggested is correct....but it is too cumbersome and lengthy. Applicant wants to submit RTI application and get information - he does not want complaints, appeals, etc....

 

I used to face such situations frequently. Now I just explain to the PIO or FAA the whole thing logically with examples and the relevant parts of the Act as well as any citations. They invariably agree.

 

But, I must say that most of Citizens will not be able to do that easily.

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sidmis
Jiwateshwar,

 

Although the procedure you have suggested is correct....but it is too cumbersome and lengthy. Applicant wants to submit RTI application and get information - he does not want complaints, appeals, etc....

 

Karira,

 

Where is Jiwateshwar's Post?:mad:

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jiwateshwar

Sh.Karira,

I have seen in some of DoPT circulars that the circular has been created bcoz of complaint received from CIC. Is it possible that the citizen could also make complaints to the DoPT? Such as in this case, the DoPT could in the very next circular clarify on this. And if one was to provide the circular to the PIO he would not dare defy it. The idea is far fetched, but is it possible?

 

By the way, I'm of the opinion that the PIO is not ignorant but is actually construing the provisions to suit his own desire of denying the information in one way or the other.

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ganpat1956
Karira,

 

Where is Jiwateshwar's Post?:mad:

 

It is in the moderator's queue and will be released shortly. :D

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R K Garg

The residents of the colonies for which RTI applications have been filed should go to PIO is groups and ask him to assist them in filing the RTI Applications free od cost.This is possible under section 6 OF RTI ACt and all application from BPL applicants are free of processing charges.If PIO does not behave than he should be procedded against through 1st Appeal or complaints to CIC for quick hearings.THe applicants has the power to make PIO work.

 

R K Garg

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colnrkurup

My method is simply ignore them and proceed strictly as per the Act. I avoid personal approach. One of my target PIO is Taluk Office which is just 200 meters from my home. I have to cross this office to go to the post office which is 300 meters away. Still I sent my mail to the Additional Tahsildar by Speed post No problem.

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sidmis
Apparently Singh, an assistant commissioner in the department, started this practice nearly two months ago and since then has imposed this strange diktat on everyone coming to his office.

Have some pity on this PIO. He must be too overburdened with RTIs to think in a logical manner. :rolleyes:

 

I also wonder why on earth someone should file multiple RTI application in a day to a single PA?

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jiwateshwar

Dear Sidarth,

Unfortunately that is not something the CIC considers to be a valid reason for delay or non-acceptance of applications. :D

 

There was a CIC Adjunct floating around but now lost. In that the PIO claimed that he could not reply to the application in time because he was busy with local ward elections in his district. CIC stripped him naked for such an excuse and further directed him that he should have sought help of another officer under 5(4) and 5(4).

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karira
Sh.Karira,

I have seen in some of DoPT circulars that the circular has been created bcoz of complaint received from CIC. Is it possible that the citizen could also make complaints to the DoPT? Such as in this case, the DoPT could in the very next circular clarify on this. And if one was to provide the circular to the PIO he would not dare defy it. The idea is far fetched, but is it possible?

 

I think it is worth giving a shot and seeing what happens.

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vijendra singh

PIO can say & decide anything absurd because he is not at all afraid of the ICs. In fact , the ICs are showing undue & unwarranted favors towards erring PIOs often. . Erring PIOs are hardly punished as per RTI rules.

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