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  1. The flow of a RTI application goes like this: I - Flow A: Step 1) File a RTI application with the Public Information Officer - Section 6(1). After filing the RTI, if you have: > Not received a reply from PIO at all, OR > Received a reply from PIO but not satisfied with the PIO's reply/decision; Step 2) Then - File a first appeal with the First Appellant Authority - Section 19(1). After filing a first appeal, if you have still not received the requested information, that is: > Received a Decision from FAA but not satisfied with the FAA's reply/decision; OR > Not received a reply / decision from FAA at all. Step 3) Then - File a second appeal with the Information Commission - Section 19(3). OR II - Flow B: Step 1) File a RTI application with the Public Information Officer - Section 6(1). After filing the RTI, if you have: > Not received a reply from PIO at all,OR > Received a reply from PIO but not satisfied with the PIO's reply/decision; Step 2) File a Complaint with the Information Commission - Section 18(1). III - Comparison between Flow A & B: In Procedure A - One goes through the First Appeal level WHEREAS In Procedure B - One skips the First Appeal level. As far as possible procedure A is preferable to procedure B, because it has been generally experienced that Information Commissions have taken a view that a RTI applicant must go through the First Appeal level and thereby exhaust all the remedies available under the RTI Act before finally approaching an Information Commission. IV - Recent Supreme Court Judgment in Chief Information Commr. and Anr v/s. State of Manipur and Anr in CIVIL APPEAL NOs.10787-10788 OF 2011, on Flow A [section 19(1)] v/s. Flow B (section 18(1)]: Recently there has been a Supreme Court decision on the subject, which lays down, that if an aggrieved person intends to approach an Information Commission, he must do so as follows: > For Seeking Information - Under section 19(3) of RTI Act. > For complaining on RTI matters - Under section 18(1) of the RTI Act. V - Time limit for filing first appeal before First Appellant Authority is as follows: 1) If the Public Information Officer has NOT REPLIED: After 30 days from the date of receipt of RTI application by the Public Information Officer, upto 60 days from the same. 2) If the Public Information Officer HAS REPLIED: But one is not satisfied / aggrieved with the Public Information Officer's reply: Within 30 days from the date of receipt of reply by the RTI applicant. VI - RTI Act is a time bound one way track: If the Public Information Officer has not replied OR you are not satisfied with the Public Information Officer's reply :- Please do not go back to the Public Information Officer, but file a First Appeal with the First Appellant Authority. Tip: If the Public Information Officer's reply does not give the details of First Appellate Authority: - Add the following at the bottom of the First Appeal as postscript (P.S.) and mail it to the same Public Information Officer: "P.S. As per sec. 7(8)(iii) of the RTI Act, 2005 the Public Information Officer should have provided me with the details of the First Appellate Authority but because the Public Information Officer has not done so, it is his responsibility to forward this first appeal to the First Appellate Authority." VI - TIME LIMIT FOR FILING SECOND APPEAL before Central / State Information Commission, as the case may be, is as follows: 1) If the First Appellate Authority (First Appellate Authority) has given his/her decision, and if one is not satisfied / aggrieved with the decision of the First Appellate Authority: 90 days from the date of First Appellate Authority 's decision. 2) If the First Appellate Authority has not given any decision at all: After the expiry of 30 day period from the date of receipt of the first appeal by the First Appellate Authority but within 120 days of the same (i.e. 30 + 90 = 120). 3) If the First Appellate Authority has given a decision in the favour of a RTI applicant, asking the Public Information Officer to provide information, but the Public Information Officer still does not provide the requested information: Within 90 days from the date of receipt of First Appellate Authority's decision. Please Note: Q: How much time should one wait after a FAA's positive decision whereby he has directed a PIO to provide the information? Ans: It would depend upon a RTI applicant's subjective assessment of a PIO's intention to provide the information or not, despite the FAA's decision to disclose the same to the RTI applicant. But having said that - 15 to 30 days would be a reasonable period to wait after a FAA's positive decision, before filing a second appeal. Success is a struggle and I am sure you will achieve it.
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  2. The RTI application is to be addressed as follows: To, You can either visit the ward and submit it to its Dispatch Section and take an acknowledgment on the photocopy of your RTI application, or You can mail it by Speed Post, track its delivery on Indiapost website on internet and when it shows delivered take a print out of the track report and preserve it as a proof of delivery of your RTI application. In Maharashtra, the best way to pay RTI application fees is to paste a Rs. 10/- court fee stamp on the RTI application itself. You will get court fee stamp from any of the Courts, or vendors (photocopy / xerox shops) near a Municipality or other such Govt. offices. As the court fee stamps are valid forever, you may consider buying extra (say worth Rs. 100/- or more), as you will require them for filing RTI First Appeal and Second Appeals. Please refer to the following links: Municipal Wards of Mumbai. Maharashtra RTI Forms. In the RTI application, under the heading "Description of Information Required" you may seek information as follows:
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  3. SEC. 23 OF THE RTI ACT, 2005, EMPHATICALLY STATES – BAR OF JURISDICTION OF COURTS. THE COURTS STILL ENTERTAIN – WHAT COULD BE THE REASON.................. Index of Relevant Points: Part - I 1. The Constitution of India has a Basic Structure. 2. Parliament (Legislature) has the power to amend the Constitution. 3. But can the Parliament amend the Constitution to the extent of amending the Basic Structure of the Constitution itself. Part - II 4. Supreme Court’s position on the subject. 5. Case Laws by the Supreme Court. 6. Conclusion. 7. FINALLY - Can the Basic Structure of the Constitution ever be amended? Part - I 1. The Constitution of India has a Basic Structure: A 13 Judge Constitutional bench formulated under Chief Justice Sikri has defined the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India in detail in Kesavananda Bharti V. State Of Kerela (AIR 1973 SC 1461). One of the features of the Basic Structure of the Constitution is that every aspect of governance will be governed by three branches namely, The Legislature, The Executive & The Judiciary. 2. Parliament (Legislature) has the power to amend the Constitution: One of the three branches of government, (Legislature) Parliament has been conferred under Article 368, the power to amend the Constitution itself. 3. But can the Parliament amend the Constitution to the extent of amending the Basic Structure of the Constitution itself: So, Can (Legislature) Parliament, which is not the only branch of government (mind you) but one of the three branches of government, make a law which excludes any one of the three branches of the government, from an aspect of governance? For Example, Can Parliament make the following law: (a) Bar of President from this particular law: President’s (Executive’s) signature is not required for this particular law to come into effect. OR (b) (Legislature) Bar of Parliament from this particular law: Henceforth Executive / .... will legislate on this particular subject. OR © Section 23: Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts from this particular law. As one can see, in each of the above examples, one of the three branches of the government has been excluded / barred from a particular aspect of governance. REITERATE: So, Can Parliament make Laws which either INDIRECTLY amends the Constitution (for example sec. 23 of the RTI Act, 2005) OR Invoke Article 368 and DIRECTLY amend the Constitution to exclude any one of the three branches of the Government from a particular aspect of governance, thereby violate the Basic Structure of the Constitution, which lays down that there will be three branches of Government for every aspect of governance? Part - II Index of Relevant Points: 4. Supreme Court’s position on the subject. 5. Case Laws by the Supreme Court. 6. Conclusion. 7. FINALLY - Can the Basic Structure of the Constitution ever be amended? 4. Supreme Court’s position on the subject: Every law MADE is subject to Judicial Review: Every law made by the Central (Parliament) or State Legislature is subject to Judicial Review, and if the law violates the basic structure of the Constitution, it will be set aside as null and void by the Judiciary under the Doctrine of Judicial Review, and thus the Supreme Court is the final arbiter and interpreter of all constitutional amendments . 5. Some CASE LAWS on the subject: Kesavananda Bharti V. State Of Kerela (AIR 1973 SC 1461) A 13 Judge Constitutional bench was formulated under Chief Justice Sikri where the majority held that there are inherent limitations on the amending power of the Parliament and Article 368 does not confer power so as to destroy the ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution. Minerva Mills V. Union Of India (AIR 1980 SC 1789): Judiciary Strikes Down the Law Made By the Parliament. Supreme Court struck down clauses 368 (4) & (5) of the Constitution of India inserted by 42nd amendment to the Constitution by the Parliament - Justification for striking down is that the clauses destroyed the basic structure of Constitution. L. Chandra Kumar V. Union Of India (AIR 1997 SC 1125): Judiciary Strikes Down the Law Made By the Parliament.(similar to the enactment of the provision of sec. 23 of the RTI Act) The Supreme Court struck down clause 2(d) of Article 323A and clause 3(d) of Article 323B as they excluded the jurisdiction of High court under Article 226 and 227 as well as jurisdiction of Supreme Court under Article 32 and as such they abrogate the power of Judicial Review which is a basic feature of the Constitution. 6. CONCLUSION: Every Law MADE as well as Every Law IMPLEMENTED is subject to Judicial Review. If any law made by the Parliament violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India, then Judiciary (Courts) will strike down that law under the internationally well established Doctrine of Judicial Review. One of the feature of the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India is that there will be three branches of government (Legislature, Executive & Judiciary) for every aspect of governance. Section 23 of the RTI Act, 2005 results into exclusion of one of the three branches of the government, it thus violates the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India and hence invalid. 7. FINALLY: The big Question is: Can the Basic Structure of the Constitution of India ever be amended? Answer: YES very much, the Basic Structure of the Constitution can definitely be amended, but only with the CONCURRENCE of all the three branches of the Government.
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  4. The common misconception that has taken root presently is that only entities and organizations which are substantially aided or funded by the Government are covered under the RTI Act. But the fact is that Private Entities are covered under the RTI Act irrespective of whether they are substantially aided or funded by the Government. 1) Private Entities are not covered under sec 2(a) of the Act: Sec 2(a) "appropriate Government" means in relation to a public authority which is established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly— (i) by the Central Government or the Union territory administration, the Central Government; (ii) by the State Government, the State Government; But Private Entities are covered under section 2(f) of the Act: Sec. 2(f) "information" means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; Also section 8 (j) is relevant here: Section 8 (j): Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. To Summarize the argument / point of view: 1) Private Entities are not covered under sec. 2 (a) of the act. 2) Private Entities are covered under sec. 2 (f) of the act. 3) With reference to sec 8 (j) of the act one can resonably infer and conclude: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Public Authority with which the Private Entity is registered shall not be denied to any person. Hence Private Entities are covered under the RTI Act through the Public Authority with which they are registered e.g. For Co-operative Society : Deputy Registrar of Co-op. Sty's, for Banks - RBI etc, you will need to find out with which Public Authority the Private Entity has registered themselves. Please file your RTI applications to the Public Authorities, who in turn should forward your application/ queries to the concerned Private Entity and get the information for you. This virtually brings every one under the ambit of RTI Act.
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    • सड़क निर्माण में भ्रष्टाचार ना हो और पारदर्शिता के लिए आप चाहे तो निर्माण स्थल से #RTI के तहत निर्माण कार्य का सैंपल लेकर लैब में टेस्टिंग के लिए दे सकते है। http://rtiindia.org

       

      : https://righttoinformation.wiki/guide/applicant/application/sample/road-work
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    • Instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof
      Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha held that seeking citizenship proof in case of demand of sensitive information is justified but seeking a signed copy of the application does not seem appropriate as the online portal does not mandate uploading of signatures.
       
      Sinha was hearing the plea of an Odisha-based RTI applicant who had sought from the Army information regarding implementation of rules under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 in all defence establishments.
      The Army did not provide any information to the applicant, the CIC noted. Akhand approached the Commission with a complaint that the central public information officer (CPIO) of the Army has demanded a signed copy of his online RTI application as well as identity proof before providing him the records.
      “In this regard, it may be noted that as far as CPIO’s request for citizenship proof is concerned, the same is not questioned as Commission in its prior decision(s) has held the view that Armed Forces stand on a slightly different footing as there may be instances that involve disclosure of sensitive information, and for such reasons it may be rationale for the CPIO to ask for citizenship proof,” Sinha noted.
      Originally posted here!
       
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    • Some of you -- at least CJ Karira, who helped me years ago in one crucial step, getting SEBI to acknowledge its own circular! -- know of a 15-year quest among desi academics to get SEBI to release its stale masked FII data for academic research. At one point years ago a parliamentary query by Shyam Benegal, then Rajya Sabha MP, sought the release of this data for academic research. He then made a subsequent RTI query asking what had done about his complaint about the terrible answer he got to his parliamentary question. We thought we had succeeded when in response to that SEBI did put in public domain that FII data and promised to update. And to  their credit, they did update it from time to time, even if a bit fitfully. But thanks to a question by a curious IIT-Madras undergrad, we realized that what SEBI gave with one hand they took away with another. While the idea was that the FII IDs would be masked to preserve privacy, without telling anyone, SEBI changed the masks each month, drastically reducing the value for academic research (since you can't even tell how many distinct FIIs are there in the data base, and whether anyone traded over time). It also caused mistakes in academic research since no one imagined that SEBI would use changing masks, when no other regulator or exchange on the planet does so.

      To get SEBI to finally agree to not hide by changing masks, but to keep a stable mask, has taken many years. But at least per the ruling received yesterday, it has been achieved, with no violence to anyone. I attach the ruling. I can also post the various submissions made at the Second Appeal hearing if there is any interest (need to scrub email-IDs, per the policy of this site).

      Addendum_To_CIC_2nd_appeal_28th_February_2020.pdfThis RTI site, in particular Karira-ji, has been very helpful to me in the course of this long episode thru countless RTI queries. And I am grateful for that from the bottom of my heart. I am confident we will see quite a few PhD dissertations using this database within the next few years.

      Addendum_To_CIC_2nd_appeal_28th_February_2020.pdf
      Second_Addendum_w_Appendices_29th_Feb_2020.pdf
      CIC-SEBIH-A-2017-139953-BJ.pdf
      Third_Addendum to Additional Submission for RTI Second Appeal_2nd_March_2020.pdf
      To_CIC_2nd_appeal_27th_February_2020_Redacted.pdf
      Draft_Talking_Points_for_the_Hearing.pdf
      From_SEBI_Written Submiissions - Murugappa Krishnan 139953.pdf
      thanking_CIC_post_decision_Redacted.pdf
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    • There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny - they should be setting the example of transparency.
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    • LUCKNOW: The Central government has provided categorized security cover to 308 persons, out of which 24 have been provided the highest Z-plus cover, according to the answer to an RTI query.


      As per information provided by S.C.L. Das, Joint Secretary in the Union Home Ministry to city-based activist Nutan Thakur, two dozen persons have been given Z-plus security, 59 persons have been given Z security, 109 have been given Y-plus, 34 have been given Y and 82 persons have been given X category security.

       
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