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Showing most liked content since 07/15/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 2 likes
    Guide to drafting a good RTI application Drafting a good RTI application can be as easy as writing a simple leave letter. As long as the applicant knows the basics of the RTI Act 2005, drafting an application, requesting for information from any public authority, is little more than child’s play. 1. Pre-requisites: Your full name and address have to mentioned in the application. If you so wish, you can also mention your telephone number and email id, although this is optional. Have ready information about the Public Information Officer (PIO), his designation, address etc. In case you have problems locating your PIO/APIO you can address your RTI application to the PIO C/o Head of Department and send it to the concerned Public Authority with the requisite application fee. The Head of Department will have to forward your application to the concerned PIO. Do not address your RTI application to the PIO by his name, just in case he gets transferred or a new PIO is designated in his place. 2. Preparing to draft an RTI application: a) Carefully read Sections 2(f), 2(i) and 2(j) of the RTI Act, which defines the “information”, “record” and “right to information”. Your request for information should contain as many words as possible form these three basic definitions. b) Read the relevant RTI Rules (either for the Centre, State or Courts) which are applicable to the public authority from whom you seek information. These rules will indicate the quantum of fees, the mode of payment of fees, any special application format to be followed, etc. Follow these RTI rules to the letter “T”. c) Remember to always use a white sheet of paper to write an application. Use of note sheet or the Court stamp paper should be avoided. Use of letterhead for asking information can also be made. However, avoid using your official designation or title and simple sign with your name. The RTI application can be either written by hand or typed. There is no compulsion of typing the content. The application should be easy to read and well legible. 3. Why do you need the information? First, ask yourself why you need the information ? Unless you have an answer to this question, there is no point in requesting for the information in the first place. What is the issue you are facing? What information needs to be asked to help in getting the issue resolved? A good indication is the preamble of the RTI Act which states that three main objectives of the Act are: Increase Transparency in the functioning of the Government Hold the Government accountable for its actions or inaction Reduce corruption If your application seeks information which covers these objectives, then there is little chance of it being rejected. 4. What will you do with the “information”, once you get it ? Now that you know why you need the information, you need to also decide what will you do with the information, once you get it. Are you going to get it published in the media, will you use it in a court case, is it for furthering your case in your office, is it to get some wrong corrected? The answers to these questions will help you decide what exact information to ask for as well as in what form to request the information. For example, if you want to use the documents obtained under RTI in a court case, it is advisable to ask for “certified copies”. If you want to give media coverage to a particular issue, then you must ask for information on a current issue of larger public interest. 5. Ask for only “information” ! Try to draft an RTI application that DOES NOT disclose the overall nature of the problem in your mind. It MUST NOT give a glimpse of what you intend to do with the requested information e.g. register police complaints, approach investigating agencies, file a PIL etc. Also, your RTI application MUST NOT indicate how badly you want the information, and therefore, please don’t mention anything such as When you write an RTI application, you must try to gain only information i.e. copies of relevant records and documents, you must not try to gain sympathy, respect etc. Your application should look like a shopping-list of documents. Name documents that you are requesting by using words from Sec 2(f) and Sec 4(1)(b) of the RTI Act – reports, logbooks, emails, advices, rules, regulations, manuals etc. Only after exhausting these should you use other similar names e.g. quality audit reports, correspondence etc. In case this information is denied, the similarity of wording will help you to convince appellate authorities that your requested information is “records” and “information” that must be mandatorily given. There is absolutely no need to give any background, reasons, etc. for seeking information. Don’t make your application sound like a letter of complaint or a letter-to-the-editor. Don’t preface it with a covering letter or an introductory paragraph. RTI applications should be emotionless and bland. No Ramayana, no Mahabharat – just ask for “information” – plain and simple. 6. Be specific in asking for “information” and avoid vague expressions and requests: While filing an RTI application, the framing of the questions is very important. A slight misunderstanding or vague questions gives the PIO a chance to reject your application. Avoid vague expressions and requests such as: Why did I not get my Ration card? What is the present status of issue of my Ration card? Give me .action-taken report Words like “status” and “action” are open to interpretation, and usually, fail to point towards any particular document; they can mean different things to different persons like applicant, PIO, APIO and appellate authorities. In most cases, there is no such document called “action-taken report” in existence, and therefore, the PIO cannot be rightly asked under RTI to generate such a document in reply to your application; PIO can only be asked to give you copy of a document that exists. The right way is to ask for signed and stamped copy of all correspondence till date in the matter of your complaint, including memos, emails, covering letters for forwarding your complaint etc. Ask for copy of logbook or any other book where details of your complaint are entered, marked to specific officers for their investigation and action. Ask for a copy of all their remarks, feedback, reports etc. If the case on your complaint is closed, ask for the closing remarks of the officer concerned. Give particulars of the project to build XYZ. What “particulars” do you want? Engineering drawings? Budgets? Financial projections? Feasibility reports? Consultants’ studies? This is not clear. Don’t leave it to the PIO to decide what documents to include and what to leave out. Be specific and name the documents that you want copied. Make it difficult for the PIO to loosely interpret your request. Similarly, do not ask information about a future event – like By what date will my passport be delivered? The PIO is not an astrologer to predict the date of delivery of your passport. But do not be the jockey of a journalist to solicit opinion, advice or action on an issue. RTI is not meant for hypothetical or subjective questions. Your query may end up being disqualified. 7. How long should your RTI application be ? Do not make your application very long. The Central Government has set a 500 word limit for each application. Some state governments and legislatures have set a limit of only 150 words and ONE subject matter per application. Ideally your RTI application should not be more than one A4 size paper sheet – after all your objective is to get “information” and not to test the PIO in collecting maximum information in the shortest possible time ! If you put three related queries in one application, you may get answers to all of them. If you pack thirty queries instead, chances are slim that you will get satisfactory information on any. Put yourselves in the shoes of the Public Information Officer (PIO); what would you do if you saw a lengthy RTI application that asks endless questions and supplementary questions? If I were the PIO, I would endlessly postpone looking at the application, and then go out of my way to justify the delay or denial. Wouldn’t you? Think that you are a PIO, and then think about how to draft an RTI application that you would like to give a reply to without any delay. A single lengthy application may scare and overwhelm the PIO, and tempt him to throw it into his drawer. He will hesitate and postpone searching for the information. Instead, send a small, manageable RTI application with only 3-4 questions. Then, after you receive a reply to that, send another one… and another. Or maybe, many applicants can file small applications seeking related information, at the same time. 8. Specify the period for which information is sought Don’t be over-ambitious. For an RTI applicant, it is very easy to write a question like, “Give copies of all licenses issued from January 1981 till date” or “provide a list of all vehicles registered in your RTO since 1990”. For the PIO, this means searching 25 or 30 years of files and records. Older files may have been put into basements or buried under tons of old dusty files. Therefore, please ask yourself whether you REALLY need data that is so old, or whether you are just trying to satisfy an academic curiosity. Don’t request 30 years data if five years data will suffice for your purposes. Don’t ask for five years data if six months data is sufficient. 9. Ascertain if the information is already available: Before shooting off your RTI application ascertain if the information you are seeking is already available in the public domain. After the advent of the RTI Act, many public authorities have already uploaded mountains of information on their website. Search for the information on the internet – even if the information you seek might not be available on the public authority’s website, it might be available elsewhere. Some other RTI activist might have asked for the same information and released it to the media. Do a thorough search before drafting your RTI application. 10. Exhaust all possible means of grievance redressal before using RTI: If there is a pending issue or a grievance for which you want to use RTI, first exhaust all possible means of redressing that grievance by already available means, like reminder letters, letters to the head of the public authority, public grievance portals, etc. Only if you have exhausted all means of grievance redressal, use RTI as the last resort. Some Government departments have indicated fixed time limits for certain issues in their respective citizen charters. For example, the if the Income Tax department states that it takes 9 months from the end of the financial year to refund your excess tax, then obviously there is no point in filing a RTI application before that time limit. 11. General: Never draft an RTI application when you are in an angry, revengeful or even a bad mood. Such applications are bound to fail. Relax, get back to normal and then only pick up a paper and pen to prepare your first application draft. After you have written down your first draft of RTI application (or complaint or anything else), let it cool down in your drawer for a couple of days. Then take a re-look and think about making improvements. Ask a friend or colleague to have a look and give you suggestions. Can the friend understand what are you asking for ? Does he find it easy to understand? There is no harm in redrafting the application several times before you get to the final version. Seek help and guidance from RTI activists and experts, who will guide you to draft a correct application. Many websites on the internet also guide RTI applicants during the RTI process. All such guidance is free, so why not make maximum use of it ?
  2. 1 like
    Many Grant in Aid Colleges of State Ignoring Implementation of Important sub clause 4 (1) (b) of RTI : Study Need to make RTI Training Mandatory for College Employees Nagpur. A study conducted by a renowned RTI expert Shri Naveen Mahesh Kumar Agarwal, Registrar, Dada Ramchand Bakhru SIndhu Mahavidyalaya, Nagpur reveals that most of the grant in aid colleges in the state are ignoring the implementation of a very important section 4 (1) (b) of the Right to Information Act according to which it is mandatory for every public authority to upload the information about the stipulated 17 points on their website so that common people have an easy access to the information without seeking it from the Institutions under the provisions of the act. Many colleges receive huge financial assistance from the government and therefore such private colleges also fall in the category of Public Authority as per 2 (h) (d) (ii) of the Act and so uploading the information about the stipulated 17 points on the website becomes mandatory for such colleges. Since many of the colleges don't implement the said provisions, people have to seek information by applying to the institution concerned. Naveen Agrawal informs that his study was confined to total fifty grant in aid colleges, five from each division, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Amravati, Mumbai, Pune, Jalgaon, Nanded, Panvel and Solapur falling under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Higher Education, Government of Maharashtra, which has total 1162 grant in aid colleges across the state. The findings of the study reveal that out of the fifty sample colleges, only 14% of the colleges have on their own uploaded the required information on their respective college websites. 86% of the sample colleges have not complied with the demand of the act in regard to the information on the said 17 points. If we observe the division wise, from Mumbai division 60% colleges, Pune 40 %, Nagpur and Panvel 20% each have uploaded the information on their websites whereas from the remaining 6 divisions not a single college has done it. The study also finds that the lack of RTI training to the information officers and the first appellate authorities of the colleges is mainly responsible for the non-compliance of the said RTI rules. It has come to notice through the study that only 10% of the sample colleges were imparted RTI Act training. Naveen Agrawal has written to the Higher Education Departments of Centre and the state, UGC, Central and State Information Commissions appealing them to make RTI Act training compulsory for aided colleges as it is for Government officers. He has further suggested that a vigilance Committee be constituted to monitor whether the colleges follow the provisions of the R T I Act Naveen Agrawal who is an RTI expert and Guest Faculty identified by YASHADA, Pune, the apex body of Government of Maharashtra in Administrative Training as well as a certified trainer in RTI by the ISTM, DOPT, Government of India,opines that if RTI Act training is made compulsory for aided colleges, the required information will be uploaded on college websites and the information seekers will not have to go through the tedious process of applying for the information under the Act, due to which the number of RTI applications will decrease and transparency in work will increase.
  3. 1 like
    दादा रामचंद बाखरू सिंधु महाविद्यालय के रजिस्ट्रार नवीन अग्रवाल राजस्थान में सूचना अधिकार का प्रशिक्षण देंगे कोटा विश्वविद्यालय द्वारा आयोजित कार्यशाला में मुख्य वक्ता के रूप में आमंत्रित नागपुर। दादा रामचंद बाखरू सिंधु महाविद्यालय के रजिस्ट्रार एवं जाने माने सूचना अधिकार विशेषज्ञ श्री नवीन महेशकुमार अग्रवाल को सूचना का अधिकार विषय पर आयोजित कार्यशाला में राजस्थान के कोटा विश्वविद्यालय द्वारा मुख्य वक्ता (Keynote Speaker) के रूप में आमंत्रित किया गया है, कार्यशाला का आयोजन दि. २७/०२/२०२० को कोटा विश्वविद्यालय स्थित कुलपति सचिवालय के सेमीनार हॉल में किया गया है जिसमें विश्वविद्यालय के शिक्षक एवं वरिष्ठ अधिकारी गण सूचना का अधिकार विषय पर मार्गदर्शन प्राप्त करेंगे. महाराष्ट्र सरकार की शीर्ष प्रशासनिक प्रशिक्षण संस्था यशदा, पुणे के सूचना अधिकार केंद्र के अतिथि व्याख्याता एवं सचिवालय प्रशिक्षण तथा प्रबंध संस्थान, कार्मिक व प्रशिक्षण विभाग, भारत सरकार द्वारा प्रमाणित सूचना अधिकार प्रशिक्षक नवीन अग्रवाल अब तक लगभग १५०० से अधिक सरकारी एवं गैर सरकारी अधिकारियों को सूचना का अधिकार विषय पर प्रशिक्षण प्रदान कर चुके है. श्री नवीन अग्रवाल की उपलब्धि पर सिंधी हिंदी विद्या समिती के अध्यक्ष श्री एच.आर. बाखरू, चेयरमैन डॉ. विंकी रूघवानी, महासचिव डॉ. आई.पी. केसवानी, महाविद्यालय के कार्यकारी प्राचार्य डॉ. संतोष कसबेकर, उपप्राचार्य सतीश तेवानी, आनंद थदानी व विजय पाटील, अजय मुंधड़ा, ए.ए. कुरेशी, मुकेश कौशिक, योगेश भूते, मिलिंद शिनखेड़े, राजकुमार खापेकर, जयंत वाल्के, सुनील दहीरे, उपेंद्र वर्मा, ज्ञान ऐलानी, रामा राव, संगीता रूघवानी, अनुराधा पोद्दार, लीना चंदनानी, सपना तिवारी, रत्ना सरकार, ज़ीनत कश्मीरी, सुजाता मानकर, भारती अनेराव, ज्योति महात्मे, माया वासवानी, संघमित्रा शिम्पी, सुचिता वाघाए, सुनीता हिवरकर, सीमा अच्छपीला, राजू गेहानी, श्याम शेंडे, दिनेश गुप्ता, मिलिंद अम्बादे, महेश आसुदानी, राम तेजवानी, शैलेन्द्र हनवते, कपिल कुकरेजा आदि ने अभिनन्दन किया है।
  4. 1 like
    I have compiled guidelines to be followed while undertaking inspection of records under RTI. The same is attached herewith. GUIDELINES FOR INSPECTION UNDER RTI 1. Even if you do not desire to carry out an actual inspection of records, invariably request as under in RTI application: This will have deterring effect on PIO against providing false information. 2. If you are not very conversant with the language of record or have any other disability, please also add the following sentence in RTI application: 3. When you get permission for inspection from PIO, FAA or Information Commissioner, send a letter by speed post to PIO stating list of records that you would like to inspect. Please also mention three tentative dates with time which would be convenient to you and also seek an exact name, address, email ID and phone number of PIO. 4. On appointed day, visit the office well before fixed time with your assistant [if permitted] and with copy of relevant decision, photocopy of your photo ID proof [election card, PAN card, passport etc], digital camera, mobile [with recording facility], blank papers, carbon papers, note pad, blank CD, 20-25 paper flaps [ for putting in registers or files to identify papers], pen, pencil, copy of RTI Act and Rules etc. 5. Please make note of your visit and that of your assistant in register maintained at entry point or reception as now most of govt. offices are having such register. This will be proof of your visit at the fixed date and time. 6. Contact the PIO and request for inspection. 7. Ask PIO to prepare inspection slip for noting down date and time etc of commencing inspection and ending inspection and payment of inspection charges. Some offices have register for these details. If he insists that charges be paid in advance before commencing inspection as per tentative hours required for inspection, pay the amount against receipt and then start inspection. 8. Please insist that PIO or any other person from office should be present with you during inspection. 9. In case if sitting arrangement, lighting and air in the room are not conducive to inspection, inform PIO orally and in writing [if need be], with time and date. 10. Start inspection and whatever record you find worth obtaining certified photocopies, use your digital camera and put a paper flap. 11. Go on making notings in your notepad of whatever is necessary from the record with page number and name of register or file etc. 12. In case despite all efforts, you are not in a position to inspect, give in writing to PIO all the reasons and obtain his acknowledgement on copy then and there. Also inform personally or on phone to FAA. 13. If you need data from computers, ask PIO to provide assistance of office staff for accessing computer data. Note down details so that required information can be obtained in a CD. Do not operate office computer yourself. 14. Whenever you talk to PIO keep the audio recorder on in your mobile and ensure that conversation is recorded. 15. At the end of inspection or during it ask PIO that you need certified photocopies of record where flaps are kept and collect the same before leaving the office. 16. Once you end inspection, make entry into inspection slip or register with problems faced by you if any or that you want to continue inspection on next date. Put date and time and pay or seek refund of balance of inspection fees. Pay as per RTI rules applicable for central govt. or state govt. rules for inspection as the case may be. 17. In case certified copies or CDs are not provided before leaving the office, give a written request [against acknowledgement] with page numbers of record etc to PIO for the certified copy. 18. Be cool, collected and courteous during entire visit and inspection. Thank all the staff and PIO if they have cooperated with you for inspection. 19. Do not write anything on govt. record. 20. Next week mail a list of papers you require from PIO which have been identified by you during inspection, as a reminder. Pay the charges if papers are provided within 30 days of submission of RTI application. 21. If you face serious difficulties in inspection, file the detailed written complaint with FAA or Information Commissioner [with copy to PIO in his name] and request for appropriate orders to facilitate proper inspection. 22. CIC has permitted videography and photography during the inspection in following two decisions: Happy officially inspecting of govt. records by a common citizen under RTI. J. P. Shah, Junagadh [Gujarat] Cell: 09924106490 _______________________________________________________ “The real swaraj will come not by the acquisition of authority by a few, but by the acquisition of capacity by all to resist authority when abused.” Mahatma Gandhi Please also refer INSPECTION GUIDE.doc https://rtiindia.org/blogs/jps50/2749-assistance-inspection.html
  5. 1 like
    Please be aware that the PIO's decision is not the final word in a given matter and that as a RTI Applicant you have an access to three tier hierarchical system by way of first and then second appeal under the RTI Act, as described below: > RTI Application u/s. 6(1) with the PIO, > Not received the information / not satisfied with information supplied by PIO / no decision by PIO, > File a First Appeal u/s. 19(1) with the concerned First Appellate Authority (FAA), > Still not received the information / not satisfied with decision of FAA / no decision by FAA > File a Second Appeal u/s. 19(3) with the concerned Information Commission. > Also please note that RTI Act also provides for filing a Complaint under section 18 with the concerned Information Commission.
  6. 1 like
    ZONE - I A – WARD, 134 – E, S.B.S. Marg, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001. Tel: (022) - 2266 1353 / 2260 7000 Extn: 7070 / 7022. B – WARD, 121, Ramchandra Bhatt Marg, Opp. J. J. Hospital, Mumbai – 400 009. Tel: (022) - 2378 0133, 23736622, 23794000 C – WARD, 76, Shrikant Palekar Marg, Off Chandanwadi, Marine Lines (E), Mumbai – 400 002. Tel: (022) - 22055450, 22014022, 22014000, 23424669 D – WARD, Jobariputra Compound, Near Shastri Hall, Mumbai – 400 007. Tel: (022) - 23861426, 23864000 E – Ward, Shaikh Hafizuddin Marg, Next to Byculla Fire Stn., Mumbai – 400 008. Tel: (022) – 23083695, 23081471, 23014000, 23081470 ZONE – II F / South Ward, Room No. 19, 2nd Floor, F/South Ward Office Building, Dr. B. A. Road, Parel, Mumbai – 400 012. Tel: (022) – 24134560 F / North Ward, Near Maheswari Udyan, Bhaudaji Marg, Matunga, Mumbai – 400 019. Tel: (022) – 24134560 G / South Ward, Near Deepak Cinema, N. M. Joshi Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai – 400 025. Tel: (022) – 24223741, 24305031, 24224000 G / North Ward, Municipal Office Building, Harishchandra Yalve Marg, Dadar (W), Mumbai – 400 008. Tel: (022) – 24397800 ZONE – III H / East Ward, Muncipal Office Building, Plot No 137, TPS 5, Prabhat Colony, Road No 2, Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055 Tel: (022) – 26114000, 26182217, 26182218, 26182219, 26182839 H / West Ward, Behind Bandra Police Station, ST Martins Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400 050. Tel: (022) – 26444000, 26422311, 26432680, 26485399, 26455641, 26422314, 26513506, 26456466, 26418509 K / East Ward, Ganesh Gavatan, Next To Verma Nagar, Ramesh More Chowk, Azad Road, Andheri East, Mumbai – 400 069. Tel: (022) – 26847000, 26841924, 26837104, 26840103, 26830103, 26840986, 26834475, 26832006 K / West Ward, K / W Ward Office Building, 2nd Floor, Paliram Path, Opp. Best Depot, Andheri (W), Mumbai – 400 058. Tel: (022) – 26237932, 26239166, 26239131, 26239190, 26239499 ZONE – IV P / South Ward, Opp. City Center Mall, S. V. Road, Goregaon (W), Mumbai – 400 104. Tel: (022) – 28721186, 28722808 P / North Ward, 1st Floor, Liberty Garden, Malad (W), Mumbai – 400 064. Tel: (022) – 28826000, 28824269, 28823267, 28823266, 28824625, 28824711 R / Central Ward, Municipal Market Building, S. V. Road, Borivali (W), Mumbai – 400 092. Tel: (022) – 28912396, 28946000, 28931342, 28902343, 28902343 R / South Ward, R/South Ward Office Building, Mahatma Gandhi Cross Road No.2, Near S.V.P.Swimming Pool, Kandivali (West), Mumbai-400 067. Tel: (022) – 2805 6000, 28054788, 2806 5185 R / North Ward, Below Sangeetkar Sudhi Phadke Flyover Bridge, Jaywant Sawant Marg, Dahisar (W), Mumbai – 400 068. Tel: (022) – 2893 6000 ZONE – V L – Ward, 1st Floor, L. Y. Market Building, S. G. Barve Marg, Kurla (W), Mumbai – 400 070. Tel: (022) – 26505103, 26503104 M – Ward, 2nd Floor, Late Sharadbhau Acharya Marg, Near Natraj Cinema, Chembur, Mumbai – 400 071. Tel: (022) – 25284000, 25225000, 25281977, 25281994, 25285669 M / East Ward, Deonar Municipal Colony, Madhukar Tukaram Kadam Marg, Govandi West, Mumbai – 400 043. Tel: (022) – 25502270 ZONE – VI N – Ward, 1st Floor, Jawahar Road, Ghatkopar (E), Mumbai – 400 077. Tel: (022) – 25013000, 25010161, 25010162, 25010163, 25010164, 25010165, S – Ward, Near Mangatram Petrol Pump, L.B.S. Marg, Bhandup (W), Mumbai – 400 078. Tel: (022) – 2594 7571. 25954000, 25948588, 25947570, 25947845, 25947573, 25947574, T – Ward, Lala Devi Dayal Road, Mulund (W), Mumbai – 400 080. Tel: (022) – 2564 5291. 25694000, 25617410, 25645289, 25617264,
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