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RTI fallout: Collector fined

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RTI fallout: Collector fined

as reported by Faizan Ahmad,TNN 12 Oct 2008, Times of India

 

Cartoonist R K Laxman’s common man is no longer a hapless commoner. Armed with a constitutional weapon provided by the Right To Information (RTI) Act, he is now empowered enough to expose the powers-that-be and ensure the erring ones among them are taken to task.

 

This is exactly what Ram Pravesh Rai has been doing for sometime now. This 48-year-old farmer from Buxar has almost dedicated his life to dig out the truth buried in official files and expose the erring babus. Thanks to his relentless efforts, a district magistrate (DM), who once sent him to jail, has been fined by the State Information Commission (SIC).

 

The former Buxar DM, Vishnudeo Prasad, was fined Rs 25,000 by name and the money has since been deducted from his salary. His successor in Buxar was also slapped a fine of an equal amount. But at a later meeting of the full bench of SIC, the recovery of fine from the present DM has been stayed.

 

Rai, an activist of Soochna Ka Adhikar Manch, is often seen carrying a heavy bundle of photocopies of official documents he has procured through RTI, and even a cursory look at these documents provides enough evidence of corruption, embezzlement of government funds and evasion of taxes worth several crores of rupees in Buxar district alone.

 

The information he has secured concerns implementation of three government-sponsored schemes - Million Shallow Tubeless Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana and the scheme for loan to purchase tractor - during the last six to seven years.

 

"What is surprising is that such corrupt practices continued not only during the RJD regime but also under the ‘sushasan’," rued Rai, showing the documents. Chief minister Nitish Kumar too knows most officials do not want to supply information to public. "Justice can be provided to people through RTI but the problem is that some officials with old mindset are hesitant to make official information public," he once said at a function of SIC.

 

Noted social activist Parveen Amanullah, the founder head of `Soochna Ka Adhikar Manch’, said since the information dissemination mechanism is still in a very early stage, it is not functioning satisfactorily. "The officials are supposed to keep details readily available but they are not doing it," she said.

 

SIC spokesman Rambadan Baruah admitted that certain officials are still hesitant to share information with people. "The scenario has changed after the commission ordered posting of public information officers in each department and government offices," he said.

 

RTI fallout: Collector fined-Patna-Cities-The Times of India

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sidmis

I need this order from BSIC urgently.

 

Can anyone help me ?

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Dr.S.ANANDKUMAR

Thanks Siddarth, for ur kind initiative. I need this order urgently. i tried in the BSIC Website in vain. i would be happy to get this order as early as possible. someone can help, please.

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jps50

iN ADDITION to above order, RTI activists would be happy to have copy of order of Bihar SIC where in it has ordered suspension of 54 govt officers for harassing RTI applicants in Bihar. It is not on its website. Activists from Bihar can help.

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Dr.S.ANANDKUMAR

Mr. A. Rahman, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Jt. Assessor & Collector & PIO, Shahdara (South) Zone,18-Block, Geeta Colony, Delhi 110031 was fined by Shri.Shailesh Gandhi, The Information Commissioner recently in May 2009. The details can be found in the Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000149/2693/penalty for the Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000149.

 

But I am not sure the designation, Collector here means the one like District Collector. And also, I am not sure that this Collector is an IAS officer.

 

It is good if somebody can confirm and bring to limelight the details of the designation of aforesaid officer.

Joint Assessor & Collector Fined. CIC Order.May 2009.pdf

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