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Report Card on the Performance of Information Commissions in India

According to a “Report Card on the Performance of Information Commissions in India” prepared by Satark Nagrik Sangathan (SNS) and Centre for Equity Studies (CES), transparency is a key to promoting peoples’ trust in public institutions. The assessment found that several ICs were non-functional or were functioning at reduced capacity, despite large backlogs, as the posts of commissioners, including that of the chief information commissioner (CIC), were vacant during the period under review. In many cases, the appointments of information commissioners were found to be set aside by courts due to lack of transparency in the process of appointment and for being in violation of the provisions of the RTI Act and directions of the Supreme Court.
In addition, the Report, says, “By failing to disclose information on their functioning, ICs continue to evade real accountability to the people of the country whom they are supposed to serve. The legal requirement for the central and state information commissions to submit annual reports every year to Parliament and state legislatures respectively, is to make, among other things, their activities transparent and available for public scrutiny. However, very few ICs fulfil this obligation, and even fewer do it in time”. 
As part of the assessment, and in order to access information about the functioning of information commissions, both SNS and CES filed RTI applications with the 28 state information commissions (SIC) and the Central Information Commission (CIC). A total of 169 RTI applications were filed seeking identical information from all the 29 information commissions. The RTI applications were tracked to assess how each information commission performed as a public authority, in terms of maintaining and disclosing information. Three information commissions from Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu did not respond to, or even acknowledge, the RTI applications filed within stipulated time.
"Several ICs, like from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh rejected requests for information invoking provisions seemingly in violation of the RTI Act. In all these cases, an appeal was filed against the denial of information. However, till the time of publication of this report, the requisite information had not been disclosed," the report says.
Apart from Tamil Nadu, three State Information Commissions (SICs), Odisha, Sikkim and Kerala returned the RTI applications citing procedural deficiencies.
Only 13 out of 29 ICs provided full information in response to the RTI applications filed as part of this assessment. Of the 107 chief information commissioners for whom data was obtained, the overwhelming majority (84%) were retired government servants including 67% retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers and another 17% from other services. Of the remainder, 10% had a background in law (5% former judges and 5% lawyers or judicial officers).
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Resistance from banks in revealing Loan details to corporate entities

The RTI query, sent to the Ministry of Finance, sought details on individual exposure of various PSBs to corporate borrowers. The questions that were asked in the RTI query sought information on the loans given to the Reliance Industries, Adani Group, GVK Group, GMR and Jaypee Group. The RTI was first directed to the Finance Ministry, which then forwarded the RTI request to various banks asking them to provide the information. The RTI had questions on the money loaned to big industrial houses by government-run banks. However, all public sector banks except Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank have refused to divulge information citing either the 'personal nature' of questions or how they don't fit under the provisions of the RTI Act. 
In their reply to the RTI query, the banks have said that the information available with banks under "fiduciary relationship" is exempted from disclosure.
Read about: Fiduciary Relationship under RTI
While Andhra Bank and Allahabad Bank have disclosed the loans given to big corporates, all other lenders refused to do so. Banks which did not disclose any detail in their reply to the RTI query include State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Maharashtra, Corporation Bank, Indian Bank, Canara Bank, UCO Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India, Bank of India and Syndicate Bank. Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley informed the Rajya Sabha that loans worth Rs 81,683 crore were written-off by public sector banks (PSBs) in 2016-17.
Country's largest public sector lender, the SBI, said, "The information sought by you under point number three to eight is the third party personal information held by the bank in a fiduciary capacity, the disclosure of which is not warranted for any larger public interest and as such is exempted from disclosure."
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Upper limit of Rs 50 imposed on RTI Fee by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court fixed on Tuesday an upper limit of Rs 50 as application fee that government authorities can charge those seeking information under the right to information (RTI) act, the country’s transparency law.
Also, a bench of justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said public authorities cannot ask for more than Rs 5 for each page as photocopying charge, and an applicant need not mention the “motive” while filling out the application form.
The order came on petitions challenging high fees set by different public bodies, including high courts and state assemblies.
The decision can be downloaded from here:
 
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43 years for RTI case finalisation in West Bengal- study

A biennial study conducted by Satark Nagrik Sangathan and Centre for Equity Studies has revealed a grim picture of RTI Act implementation with waiting time at information commissions running in years and commissions in several states becoming non-functional owing to unfilled vacancies. The study has found that if an RTI appeal were to be filed in West Bengal state information commission on November 1, 2017, it would be disposed of in 2060 – after 43 years. In Kerala, it would take six years six months and Odisha 5 years 3 months. The main reason for such a long waiting time is the reduced number of information commissioners that commissions are working with. 
The report has brought out, what it calls a “concerning trend”. The information commissions, which are the last resort for the common man to complain against wrongful denial of information, are increasingly returning cases. The highest number of cases have been returned by CIC, followed by Gujarat, Assam and Uttarakhand.
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  1. 2 points
    भारत में आज भी गांव के 80% लोग अनपढ़ है उन्हें अपने अधिकार भी नहीं मालूम वो नहीं जानते की भारत सरकार ने उनके लिए कौन सी योजनाएं बनाई है भारत सरकार की ओर से लाभान्वित योजनाएं जो उसने गांवों में रह रहे गरंवसियों के लिए बनाती है उसमें सिर्फ 10% पढ़े लिखे सिक्षित लोगों का कब्ज़ होता है और वो लोग इन अनजान और सीधे सादे लोगों को इन योजनाओं के बारे में नहीं बताते ग्राम प्रधान हो या कोटेदार या फिर कोई भी अधिकारी हो अपनी मन मानी करते हैं अब बताए कि जिसे अपने अधिकार नहीं मालूम जो एक पोलिस वाले के सामने तेज आवाज में बात नहीं कर सकते उन लोगों को क्या पता सूचना का अधिकार क्या होता है उन्हें तो ये भी नहीं मालूम कि ऐसा कोई कानून बनाया है सरकार ने इस लिए जरूरत है कि गांव के लोगों को इस कानून के बारे में बताया जाए उन्हें ये समझना होगा कि उनके गांव के विकास के लिए ये कानून कितना प्रभावी है मैं उत्तर प्रदेश के जनपद बांदा के ग्राम laumar का मूल निवासी हूं मेरे गांव के 99%लोगों को इस कानून कि जानकारी नहीं है यहां तक की गांव में जो व्यक्ति बड़ा नेता माना जाता है उसे भी नहीं मालूम कि ये क्या है प्रधान को भी नहीं मालूम अब इससे बड़ी विडम्बना क्या हो सकती है कि जिसे गांव वाले अपना नेता चुनते हैं कि वो गांव का विकाश करेगा उस को ही नहीं मालूम कि सूचना का अधिकार क्या है वो सिर्फ इतना जानता है कि जो बीडीओ और एसडीएम साहब कहदें वहीं कानून है और वहीं होना है और होता भी वही है जो जो बीडीओ सचिव और एसडीएम कह दें क्योंकि इन्हें अपने अधिकार ही नहीं मालूम इसलिए मैं चाहता हूं कि मेरे गांव का बच्चा बच्चा अपने अधिकार जाने और गांव जिला में ग्राम विकाश में भागीदार बने तभी शाशन प्रशाशन सही से कार्य करेंगे
  2. 2 points
    For submitting RTI applications, we advice members not to visit Public Authority's Office personally, but instead submit them by Speed Post and keep the internet speed post track report as a proof of delivery of RTI application. Likewise, we advice them to file their first appeal through Speed Post. However, we do advice them to visit Pubic Authority's Office in person for the purpose of attending / participating in first appeal hearing proceedings.
  3. 2 points
    You will need to file a first appeal on the following grounds: GROUNDS OF FIRST APPEAL: 1. With respect to point no. of my RTI application the PIO has replied that he has enclosed the photocopies of XX, but in fact, no such copies were attached with his reply. 2. With respect to point no. 2, 3 and 4 of my RTI application, the PIO has stated that the requested information is confidential and hence cannot be disclosed; And with respect to point no. 5 of my RTI application the PIO has stated that TN prohibits providing of such information. With regard to the PIO's aforesaid contentions, the RTI appellant would humbly to submit for the kind consideration of the Hon'ble First Appellate Authority, as under: I would hereby like to draw the kind attention towards the provision of section 7(1) of the RTI Act, which provides that a PIO shall either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9. The PIO has neither provided the requested information nor rejected my request for any of the reasons specified in section 8 and 9 of the Act. Thus, the PIO has disposed of my request for information against point no. 2,3 4 and 5 of my RTI application in violation of section 7(1) of the RTI Act. PRAYERS: 1. Kindly direct the PIO to provide the requested information. 2. Kindly direct the PIO to provide the requested information free of cost in accordance and in compliance with the provision of section 7(6) of the RTI Act.
  4. 1 point
    You are a regular member and aware of the format and fees. Information solicited: 1)Please provide me copy of FIR for complaint booked on line with ACK no................on...................... 2.Please provide me day to day progress and present status on complaint. 3.Please provide No.of such cases reported in your jurisdiction last month and break through achieved in booking the culprits. 4.Please inform the date of sharing the information to cyber crime authorities with GPS No.
  5. 1 point
    This forum is dedicated for guiding citizens in seeking information from public authorities under RTI Act. As I understand your issue is as under and there is some confusion. 1. I had injured by my brother's son 2. i had admitted in government hospital and taken treatment Both are conflicting as when you have injured your brother's son and how your were admitted in hospital and taken treatment. I presume that the issue is your brother's son has injured and you have taken treatment. As the trail is going on, and as the case is well built up with strong evidence, your brother's son is agitated and he wanted to take revenge and threatening you to murder. The issues can be solved in two ways. 1.As it is your brother's son, turn hostile as witness and get a compromise before elders and police. No one can assure you that he will not take further revenge against you after withdrawing the case. or 2.Get the threats recorded through police and through hired CCTV cameras and write a detailed letter to SP with such evidences under copy to Court and seek police protection directly or through directions to police from Court. Remember, that they can not protect you always. So consult with elders and decide as per conscience and members of the forum are not competent to advise you in your personal affairs as the matter is injury to your body and no one can foretell what is in future tomorrow.
  6. 1 point
    UGC on Tuesday published this list: 1. Maithili University/Vishwavidyalaya, Darbhanga, Bihar. 2. Commercial University Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi. 3. United Nations University, Delhi. 4. Vocational University, Delhi. 5. ADR-Centric Juridical University, ADR House, 8J, Gopala Tower, 25 Rajendra Place, New Delhi - 110008. 6. Indian Institution of Science and Engineering, New Delhi 7. Viswakarma Open University for Self-employment, India, Rozgar Sewasadan, 672, Sanjay Enclave, Opp. GTK DEPOT, New Delhi110033 8. Adhyatmik Vishwavidyalaya (Spiritual University), 351-352, Phase-I, Block-A, Vijay Vihar, Rithala, Rohini, Delhi-110085 9. BadaganviSarkar World Open University Education Society, Gokak, Belgaum (Karnataka) 10. St. John's University, Kishanattam, Kerala 11. Raja Arabic University, Nagpur 12. Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, 80, Chowringhee Road, Kolkata- 20. 13. Institute of Alternative Medicine and Research, 8-A, Diamond Harbor Road Builtech inn, 2nd Floor, Thakurpukur, Kolkata-700063. 14. Varanaseya Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, UP/Jagatpuri, Delhi. 15. Mahila Gram Vidyapith/Vishwavidyalaya, (Women's University) Prayag, Allahabad ( UP ) 16. Gandhi Hindi Vidyapith, Prayag, Allahabad (UP) 17. National University of Electro Complex Homeopathy, Kanpur 18. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose University (Open University), Achaltal, Aligarh, (UP). 19. Uttar Pradesh Vishwavidyalaya, KosiKalan, Mathura (UP). 20. Maharana Partap Shiksha NiketanVishwavidyalaya, Pratapgarh (UP). 21. Indraprastha Shiksha Parishad, Institutional Area, Khoda, Makanpur, Noida , Phase-II, (UP) 22. Nababharat Shiksha Parishad, AnupoornaBhawan, Plot No. 242, PaniTanki Road, Shaktinagar, Rourkela-769014. 23. North Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, University Road Baripada, Distt. Mayurbhanj, Odisha-757003 24. Sree Bodhi Academy of Higher Education, No. 186, Thilaspet, Vazhuthavoor Road, Pondicherry-605009 The notification from UGC said matter related to Bhartiya Shiksha Parishad, Lucknow, UP is subjudice before the District Judge Lucknow now. UGC had released a list 22 fake universities last year.
  7. 1 point
    We have been advising to avoid that type of offensive language and we do not have property disputes with PIOs. Send that application by local speed post and specifically write on top with Red Ink, submitted through post as PIO has on..............at............refused to accept the application when submitted in person without assigning any reason, and stated that a citizen can not question actions / duties / performance of public servants in democracy. One has to remember the Nursery Rhyme 'Pussy Cat..Pussy Cat where have you been" Pussy cat went to look at the queen but frightened a little mouse under her chair. Our focus is on information not conflicts with officials. Avoid personal visits and using such threatening or offending language. Go for further two appeals. Attitudes and understandings of the officials differ and remember that with RTI we can never threaten any body, but can irritate them. Focus on information. Ignore these trivial altercations and learn a lesson not to visit any body, and to seek that information that is really helpful to you, and that can bring a logical end with that information.
  8. 1 point
    It is certainly a Life or Liberty clause as held in case of Talkotra stadium case wherein Kirti Ajad then MP has filed such application to MCH and CIC has also heard the second appeal within one week, as a match has to take place, and that construction then may endanger the lives of several spectators. Immediately go for first appeal and also go for second appeal after 10 days from filing of First appeal and in second appeal clearly inform larger public interest endangering the lives of citizens for using Life or Liberty clause.
  9. 1 point
    Wait upto 20-5-17 and file first appeal if information is not provided by PIO then. Will you please inform the life or liberty clause basing on which you have submitted RTI Application enabling members to inform the possibility of filing first appeal immediately. Answers query wise. 1.If the PIO considers Life or Liberty Clause he has to provide information within 48 hours from date of receipt of your application ie it should be posted by him on 20-4-17 and it should have reached you by this time generally. Wait for another day. 2.Read Section 19 thoroughly. 30 days from receipt of PIO reply or Date of receipt by PIO (18-04-17) + 3o days period act has given to PIO +postal transit time from PIO.5 days 3.FAA has to deliver order within 30 days + postal transit 5 days in normal circumstances, he may take 45 days instead of 30 days for given circumstances recorded in writing. 4.Within 90 days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received from FAA. Please go through sec.19 thoroughly and diarize the due dates and file appeals promptly so that you can get chances of hearing early.
  10. 1 point
    1.The incharge of a police station is generally called Station House officer. 2.Simple format is provided below. Search website of Police of your state to locate Public Information officer, format of application and procedure for remitting RTI Fees. Application dt.23rd Apr,2018 seeking information under RTI Act filed Before: State Public Information officer,...................Police,.................. Fee: Rs.10/- Adhesive court fee stamp of Rs.10/- affixed herebelow Applicant:..................................... Information solicited: 1.Please provide a certified copy of complaint filed on....................by.......................reporting lost ...........................Make mobile at.......................... Applicant.
  11. 1 point
    Even before enactment of RTI, Supreme Court directed officials to provide copy of FIR within reasonable time. Providing of FIR copy is mandatory of Station officer. In many states complainants are getting FIRs on such complaints through Kiosks/E Sewa. FIR is just a ritual/formality. The choice is left to you either to request SHO or to file RTI Application and seek such copy. As the phone has been lost due to negligence and no criminal offence is involved, they may give FIR and not traceable report and if the Police are really helpful they bring the attention of such missing mobile to CYBER CRIME and track the usage point through GPS, if a GPS no. was provided to them.
  12. 1 point
    Why make such simple things look so complicated. Just get one certified copy from PIO, make four photocopies and get them certified from a Notary.
  13. 1 point
    Search in google and find out the details as they must have uploaded or that information was already provided to some other RTI Applicant by PMO secretariat. You can also seek such information country wise, date wise, purpose wise ever since he has taken over charge or during a particular year. You can seek information in simple format as follows: Application dt.19th Apr,2018 seeking information under RTI Act Before: CPIO, PMO, New Delhi. Fee: Postal order no..for Rs.10.fvg:Accounts officer,PMO payable at New Delhi. Applicant:............ Information solicited: Please provide me the details of foreign tour undertaken by Hon'ble Prime Minister during 2017-18 ___________________________________________________ Country...Purpose.......Dates.....Total expenditure for group. ___1______2________3______________4________________ Applicant. Now think of as to how such his visit to those countries for a specific purpose affects the total expenditure of Govt., and the percentage of expenditure on his travel is most negligible. I am interested to know as to how you wanted to arrive to logical conclusions with that expenditure details. Most of the revenue income is spent only towards salaries of Government servants and a time may come that pensions may be more than salaries in India. Every citizen is a tax payer to some extent depending on his income or expenditure and he should be bothered as to whether he is getting fruits in return for the tax paid or not. You can see allround development in every field including infrastructure. If you are interested in monetary policy, glance at Finance Ministry's website and find out how the rupee is coming and how it is being spent.
  14. 1 point
    Please read the Blog on inspection in the Blog segment in the portal. Normally it has to be given on the same day. Carry sufficient Postal orders. I can not catch your point. There is no need for death certificate for obtaining copy of will. You need not search Births and death Registrar books for such entry. Contact any such consultants and give the Registration No..., Year......they can get the same within a day.
  15. 1 point
    If you are Honest than Journalism is a profession of Courage and Bravery . But yes We should take some intelligent risks . and as far as question of there murder is related . Remember Mhatma Gandhi , 2 PM of India and Even Abrahm Lincoln were assassinated .
  16. 1 point
    The Supreme Court fixed on Tuesday an upper limit of Rs 50 as application fee that government authorities can charge those seeking information under the right to information (RTI) act, the country’s transparency law. Also, a bench of justices AK Goel and UU Lalit said public authorities cannot ask for more than Rs 5 for each page as photocopying charge, and an applicant need not mention the “motive” while filling out the application form. The order came on petitions challenging high fees set by different public bodies, including high courts and state assemblies. The decision can be downloaded from here:
  17. 1 point

    Version 1.0.0

    3 downloads

    Judicial functions of the Supreme Court is not covered under the RTI Act the remedy available to such a party is to challenge the same by a legally permissible mode.
  18. 1 point
    A PIO usually replies on the 30th day of the date of receipt of a RTI application, thereafter it should take 3 to 5 days for the reply to reach the applicant, therefore, there is no way to find out what happened or what will happen. You will have to wait for 35 days from the date of receipt of your RTI application by the PIO's office. If you do not get any response within 35 days as aforesaid then you can prefer to file a first appeal under section 19(1) with the First Appellate Authority of the PIO for deemed denial of information as given under section 7(2) of the RTI Act. As far as not putting the date on the RTI application is concerned, the date of receipt of your RTI application by the PIO's office shall be deemed to be the date of your RTI application.
  19. 1 point
    Never seek replies hypothetical questions on your doubts in open forum. Develop confidence. Heavens are not going to fall if application is rejected, immediately on the same day it can be represented through corrections. If your application is rejected, your application and IPO will be returned with a covering schedule. If PIO is considerate instead of spending another Rs.27 for registration, as he knows that the same application flies back to him, ignores minor deviations and provide information or reasons for such denial of information There are times when I have filed RTI Applications perfectly, except signing the same, but still PIO provided the information and asked me to confirm filing of such application (CVC). I have received information from PIO without signatures several times, several enclosures not received inspite of stating in letter that certified copies are enclosed. These mistakes are usual part of correspondence.
  20. 1 point

    Version

    36 downloads

    Use Application Format and fee as prescribed in Centre/State RTI Rule as applicable to the public authority. Whenever your complaint or grievance is not addressed by the concerned office like Municipality, Electricity Board, BSNL/MTNL, University or any such other public authority, within reasonable time, say 10 to 20 days, you can file RTI Application with the Public Information Officer of that public authority and seek following information
  21. 1 point
    Please share the format of the RTI applications which you have filed before various departments, which will be of use to others who want to pursue similar work in their locality.
  22. 1 point
    File a first appeal before the concerned First Appellate Authority on the following ground: Grounds of First Appeal: As per section 7(3)(b) a RTI applicant has a right to review the decision as to form of access provided and therefore even if a RTI applicant has initially not asked for inspection of information in his RTI application, he can do so at a later stage by invoking section 7(3)(b) of the RTI Act. Please find the provision of section 7(3) quoted below for your immediate reference: Quote: Section 7(3) Where a decision is taken to provide the information on payment of any further fee representing the cost of providing the information, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall send an intimation to the person making the request, giving— (a) the details of further fees representing the cost of providing the information as determined by him, together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount in accordance with fee prescribed under sub-section (1), requesting him to deposit that fees, and the period intervening between the despatch of the said intimation and payment of fees shall be excluded for the purpose of calculating the period of thirty days referred to in that sub-section; (b) information concerning his or her right with respect to review the decision as to the amount of fees charged or the form of access provided, including the particulars of the appellate authority, time limit, process and any other forms. Unquote.
  23. 1 point
    Shubham Khatri a 15 year old boy from Delhi becomes the youngest RTI Activist of India . He filled his first RTI at age of 13 regarding export earnings of India and by now he has filled 150 plus RTIs on different national issues like list of freedom fighters, Why photo of MK gandhi printed on currency notes, meaning of word India, secrets of jammu kashmir, international affairs debt related ,no national language , Sunday holiday and unemployment etc. He is also involved in revolutions related to human rights he claimed that he has proved how fundamental rights of 98% Indian are violated . According to Shubham he start filling RTI after listening patriotic speech of Rajiv Dixit . Now he becomes the Youngest RTI activist and social activist of India at age of 15 leaving behind Mobashshir Sarwar who was ex Youngest RTI activist at age of 17 . Increasing awareness about constitutional rights in youth is a good sign for world Largest Indian Democracy Once again congrats to Shubham Khatri . We are feeling proud on you
  24. 1 point
    The expression ‘public authority’ has been defined u/s 2 (h) of the RTI Act but the word ‘authority’ has not been defined under the said Act. In fact, the word ‘authority’ has not been defined under any law for the time being in force. Therefore, the word ‘authority’ requires to be construed as per the rulings of constitutional courts. It may be apt to mention that in Som Prakash Rekhi vs. Union of India (1981) 1 SCC 449, the Supreme Court observed as follows:- “27. Control by Government of the corporation is writ large in the Act and in the factum of being a Government company. Moreover, here, Section 7 gives to the Government company mentioned in it a statutory recognition, a legislative sanction and status above a mere Government company. If the entity is no more than a company under the Company law or society under the law relating to registered societies or cooperative societies you cannot call it an authority. A ration shop run by a cooperative store financed by government is not an authority, being a mere merchant, not a sharer of State power. ‘Authority’ in law belong to the province of power: ‘Authority (in Administrative Law) is a body having jurisdiction in certain matters of a public nature.’ Therefore, the ‘ability conferred upon a person by the law to alter, by his own will directed to that end, the rights, duties, liabilities or other legal relations, either of himself or of other persons’ must be present ab extra to make a person an ‘authority’. When the person is an ‘agent or instrument of the functions of the State’ the power is public. So the search here must be to see whether the Act vests authority, as agent or instrument of the State, to affect the legal relations of oneself or others.” CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION File No.CIC/SM/C/2011/001542 File No.CIC/SM/C/2012/000609 File No.CIC/SM/C/2011/001322
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