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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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Your Fundamental Right to see the Government Records in a time-bound manner by paying 10 rupees.
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New Delhi: Delhi High Court has ruled that vehicles of India’s top constitutional authorities like the President, the Vice President, Governors and Lieutenant Governors will have to be registered with the authority. According to the ruling, all vehicles need to clearly display the registration numbers. A petition, filed by an NGO Nyayabhoomi, claimed that the practice of displaying the state emblem, instead of the registration numbers, make the dignitaries become easy targets for terrorists and anyone with malicious intent.


In December last year, the Delhi High Court had asked the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital to place before it the rules regarding display of just the State Emblem of India on the cars of the constitutional authorities and dignitaries, such as the President, instead of their registration numbers, PTI had reported.

The petitioner also sought direction to the Delhi government and Delhi Police to seize the cars used by the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Vice President, Raj Niwas and Protocol division of the Ministry of External Affairs for not being registered under the Motor Vehicles Act, PTI reported.

After the petition was filed, a bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar had directed both the governments to check the position and inform it about the same.

The plea was based on an RTI response by the Ministry of External Affairs which stated that none of its 14 cars maintained were registered.

Last year, the Rashtrapati Bhawan had refused to provide the registration numbers of all the presidential vehicles on the ground that disclosure of such information would endanger the security of the state and life of the President.
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Road Work Stopped midway causing accidents
In our area, Corporation started laying new roads for sub-streets.They uprooted all the ballast in the sub street to prepare the street for laying new road.After heaping the ballast, they stopped the work midway causing life miserable for residents. A child playing on the street got her head broken on the ballast and got treated in a  Private hospital.MLC registered.We are unable to take our vehicles out.Raised a complaint with  Corporation and they did not take action till date ( more than 2 months elapsed since the date of complaint ).I would like a draft a complaint with proper exhibits.I need MLC information from police such as doctor MLC report.wound certificate etc to prove the mishap due to negligent conduct of the contractor,engineer and supervisor of corporation.Also need information on the contractor who left the work midway and the AE incharge of the ward.Also, in the main street,they re-laid the road with tar and within 2 months,  a huge hole has come up.We have temporarliy closed it with boxes to prevent accidents.

 

 
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Strongly advocating the need for political parties to willingly come under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, Sridhar Acharyulu, Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission said parties in power must be answerable to the people.

“On the use of the RTI Act in our country, a lot to be done as the Act can be used much more effectively by the people,” he said.

Mr. Acharyulu was addressing a workshop organised by RTI warriors from the All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) and Belson and Belson Advocates. Highlighting the features of the RTI Act 2005, he said it was the Congress government that introduced the Act, but it was the Bharatiya Janata Party that had used it effectively.

“Information procured through the RTI Act exposed scandals across various levels in the functioning of the State before the elections,” he said.

He initially spoke about the lack of knowledge among people about knowing and being aware of their rights. “We also need to examine the access to critical information available and the mechanisms in place to disseminate it to the people,” he noted. The workshop was attended by law students, IAS aspirants, members of the general public and activists. Swapna Sundar, a member of the AIPC, said that while the RTI Act was a good tool, it was necessary to help people learn the nuances and pertinence of the requests for documents

“With awareness of the Act being the key, workshops like these need to go more out into rural spaces as well. The mechanism in place as a part of the RTI Act too needs to be made easier for people — both to file petitions and receive information,” he said.
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DoPT - Personal details should not be disclosed while uploading RTI Applications/Appeals in website
DoPT issued clarifications, revisiting its previous instructions on uploading RTI Applications, Appeals and decisions on official website of public authorities vide its OM No. 1/1/2013/IR dated 07/10/2016. DoPT Clarified that the personal details of RTI applicant/appellant should not be disclosed as they do not serve any public interest. It is further clarified that the personal details would include name, designation, address,e-mail id and telephone no. including mobile no. of the applicant.
 
Copy of the OM can be accessed here >> http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02rti/1_1_2013-IR-07102016.pdf
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Effective January 1, 2016 subsidy was abolished and the rate of food increased in Parliament Canteen.

However, a query by India Today TV under the Right to Information (RTI) Act found it otherwise. Food at the Parliament Canteen is still being subsidised.

But the issue is not cheap food for our parliamentarians. A bigger question is did our lawmakers lie to the public?

In 2015, there was a lot of hue and cry after it came to light that the Parliament Canteens was being subsidised to the extent of 80% of its cost.

The then BJD Lok Sabha MP Baijayant 'Jay' Panda wrote a letter to the Speaker and argued that in light of the government urging voluntary surrender of cooking gas (LPG) subsidies, by those who could afford it, MPs giving up their subsidised canteen privileges would also be "a right step in effecting greater public trust" in lawmakers.

The Lok Sabha reacted positively and its secretariat on December 31, 2015, issued a statement: "After receiving the committee's report, the Speaker has taken a number of decisions, out of which the most important is that the canteen in Parliament will now work on 'no-profit, no-loss' basis...Accordingly, the rates of various food items have been increased and these would be sold at the actual cost of making...This will be effective from tomorrow."

So effective January 1, 2016 subsidy was abolished and the rate of food increased in Parliament Canteen.

Here are the RTI Application
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Bengaluru resident T Narsimha Murthy had moved an application under the RTI Act on April 10, seeking information that who all came to meet Salman in the jail during his judicial custody from April 5 to 7 after his conviction by the trial court in the blackbuck poaching case.
Instead of providing information to the applicant, the jail administration sought permission from Salman, asking him of his opinion! 

Justifying the move, DIG (jails) Vikram Singh said since the information pertained to a third party, the jail administration required to have his permission before providing the same to the applicant. "Since the information sought by the applicant belonged to a third party , we have sought his (Salman's) permission", Singh said.

Prima Facie, the information does not seem to be third party information and could have been given in larger public interest. What are your views?
 
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Nagpur: An RTI reply revealed that these courts are doing what they’re meant for by deciding about 48% of the cases in consumers’ favours in the last two years. About 19% cases went against them during the same period. Consumer forums have been established for ensuring justice to the customers and address their grievances.

A reply by public information officer (PIO) of District Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum here revealed that it collected a revenue of over Rs4 lakh and slapped a fine of Rs2.90 lakh on violators from January 1, 2016 to February 28 this year. He, however, didn’t provide any information on a query on pending cases posed by RTI activist Abhay Kolarkar.

The forum received about 1,604 cases from January 1, 2016 to February 28 this year. Of them, 799 complaints were received in 2016, of which 395 were settled in favour of the consumers and 143 against them. In 2017, about 617 complaints were instituted, of which 317 were decided in consumers’ favour while 140 went against them. This year till February end, the forum received 188 complaints of which 57 were settled in favour of the complainants and 14 against them
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Hi,
 
I had completed my graduation (BCA-2010) from Babu banarasi Das National Institute of Management , Lucknow (U.P.) which was affiliated from Dr Bhim Rao ambedkar University, Agra (U.P.).
 
Here I want to inform you that we didn't receive any degree neither from this institution nor from this University.
 
We had also paid Rs.800/- against our BacA degree, no one got this degree.
 
I want to highlight one most important thing that people goes to this University but they never get this degree even after paying degree amount.
 
Requesting you to please help us regarding getting this BCA degree.
 
In case of not getting this degree we will take necessary action against this.
 
Hoping for the best resolution from your side.
 
Please find my marksheet in the attachment for detailed reference.
 
 
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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.
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WHAT AFTER DECISION BY CENTRAL/STATE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

There are a large number of instances, where the State Information Commissioners are passing orders contrary to the spirit and object of RTI Act and contradicting the laid down procedures. Another issue is the Public Authorities did not comply the decisions of CIC/SIC and the Information Commissions are not strict about enforcing penal provisions under section-20. The Information Seekers feel they were pushed to the dead end. There is a common feeling that no appeal lies against the decision of State Information Commissioner. Let us examine it.
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Of late defiance of orders of Information Commissioners has become rampant. The only remedy with the information seeker is to lodge complaint with Chief Information Commissioner, who routinely issues another order for compliance that too after a delay ranging from 6 to 36 months depending upon efficiency and pendency of CIC/SIC. Commissions hardly invoke powers of Civil Court vested in it u/s 18.3 to ensure speedy compliance of its own orders.

Hence I suggest that if after two months of filing complaint of non-compliance [with copy to PIO, FAA and Head of public authority], as suggested in my separate article posted at http://www.rtiindia.org/forums/blogs/jps50/338-non-compliance-orders-cic-sics.html , you do not get information or compliance, please send letter as per attachment, after making suitable changes to suit your case. It may sensitize the machinery.

It is to be addressed to Chief /Principal Secretary heading ministry at Delhi under which public authority works for central govt information. In case of state govt information it should be addressed to Chief/Principal Secretary of the Department which oversees department of SPIO/PIO. Details are available on website of Ministry or Department.

NON COMP IC DECI - COMPT 2 GOVT.doc
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just another success story from RTI here
 
we live in suburbs and had a very poor road condition that went from bad to worse due to the recent monsoon. inspite of all these,there were frequent road diggings by the BSNL/EB and metro water people. there were times where there appeared visible road cavings making it even tougher for 4 wheelers. filed RTI with each of these department - EB/metro water/nation highways/BSNL on the approval they had for carrying out the road digging work and each one ended up pointing finger at other departments in their replies and got a vague response that temporary patch will be done.
 
finally filed a CM cell petition followed with few RTIs. and to my surprise,i could see glittering tar roads now and all this was done within a week's time with the vehicle involved in the road work having board as IMMEDIATE.
 
as always, i dont take credit for my RTI but am sure my petitions and RTIs would have made a difference /had made someone questionable and triggered to get the work done.
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What are some of the shocking, weirdest, silliest RTI requests made in India?

As Abraham Lincoln said “Government is of the people, by the people, for the people”

The government is our servant and we have no duty to explain why we seek information from them. The government holds all the information in our behalf, in trust. Like a banker can’t ask you why you want to see your bank account statement, similarly the government can’t deny if you ask them how they are governing our country. With the mechanism of RTI we can actually participate in the working of the government.

1. RTI for Indian nuclear launch code:
A guy has asked in his Right To Information query undoubtedly is too much of funny. The Twitterati could not believe their eyes when Vivek Kumar, deputy secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and an Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officer, shared on the micro blogging site that a person has filed a RTI seeking the launch codes to India’s nuclear arsenal. Could you believe it?
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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”.
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We must know our Hon'ble Member of Parliament daily routine. But unfortunately, you may not get that information from MP Office. They do not come under Right to Information Act.

But yes, you can get the details of the work Member of Parliament has undertaken by various means. Here are few:

1. Request General Administrative Department of the State Government to give you all the correspondence an MP has written to State Government for his constituency related work. You can get the reply and analyse his focus.

2. File another RTI (actually if you dig deep, it's already there in public domain) to get the information on number of days Hon'ble MP has attended the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha. You can also find out what questions is the MP asking in the parliament.

You can also file in the Loksabha/ Rajya Sabha and know under which Parliamentary committee the Hon'ble MP is part off and how many meeting has he/she attended.

3. Then file an RTI in the nodal district which is the District having powers to disburse money under MPLAD funds (Hon'ble MP gets 5 crore per year under MPLAD, which is non lapsable). Get all the letters written by Hon'ble MP for recommending work under MPLAD. Once you have the information, analyse if at all any work is recommended by him/her, what is the nature of the work recommended e.t.c. MPLAD Fund Guidelines are available here!

4. Find out from the District, how may meeting has he/she attended under Vigilance Monitoring Committee and get the minutes of the meetings.

Generally, Hon'ble MP does not have many powers in the State Government especially if the District Administration is non-cooperative. A district collector only listens to Chief Minister, therefore, if MP does not have a very good repo with CM, the District Collector will rarely listen to him /her.
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The Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to ask for information from Government Organisations. This information can be about your own personal case or more complex Government Policy. The Act also empowers us to take photocopies of the Government records and also online data in a form of CD. However, often PIO being Government Servant who perhaps is also the custodian of the information has a conflict of interest in giving out such information.

Every Government Official at one point or the other has been trained to deceive politely. The RTI reply is no exception. Many times, the information given is full but empty. And they use smart writing skills to give but hide.

If you go through the various threads posted at our forums here, you will realize that most of the battle is won or lost during the framing of the questions itself. Our experienced RTI Experts and team members continuously go on improving the RTI Application questions on the user's requests. Let us now see what are the biggest mistakes you can avoid in your RTI Application.
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Please refer attachment which can be used while filing first or second appeal for denial of information quoting section 7.9 of RTI Act [Disproportionate diversion of resources]

Disproportionate Diversion of Resources under RTI Act 2005

Section 7 (9) of RTI Act 2005 reads as under:

In following cases it has been decided by CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION, NEW DELHI that Section 7(9) of the Act does not provide ground for denial of information.

1. Decision No.CIC/OP/A/2009/000204-AD dated 12-01- 2010

2. Decision dated 12-03-2009 in appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2007/01042:

3.  Decision dated 25.2.06 in appeal No.10/1/2005-CIC “

4.  Decision dated 26.3.2008 in appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2007/00349 “..

5. Decision dated 9.1.2009 in appeal No.CIC/OK/A/2008/01256

6. Decision dated 22.10.08 in Appeal No. CIC/WB /A/2007/00528-SM

7.   Decision No. CIC/OK/A/2008/01256/SG/0937 dated 09-01-2009.

Denial of information can only be under Section 8 (1) or Section 9.

8. Extract from Judgement dated 07-01-2010 of  HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS in W.P.NO.20372 of 2009 and M.P.NO.1 OF 2009
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1. Provisions in a law cannot be read in isolation, but all the relevant provisions have to be read along with together, for its harmonious construction:

The basic principle to be followed in law, is that while interpreting any provision, it has be read along with all the other relevant & applicable provisions, for the correct interpretation of the provision in question.

Sec 7 (1) is relevant & applicable while interpreting sec. 7(9) and therefore both these provisions will have to be read along with together for correct interpretation of sec. 7(9) of the Act .

2. Please find quoted below the text of section 7(1) & section 7(9) of the RTI Act, 2005 (emphasis added) :

3. Now, let us read sec. 7(1) along with 7(9) for its correct interpretation:

As per sec. 7(1), a request for information can only be rejected for any of the reasons specified in sec. 8 & 9 of the Act. Therefore it can be reasonably construed from sec. 7(1) that a request for information cannot be rejected under any other provisions of the Act. As such, sec. 7(9) cannot be given a meaning / interpreted in such a way so that it of becomes a ground for rejecting a request for information, in addition to sec. 8 & 9 of the Act.
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In a given Public Authority, there may be several Public Information Officers & First Appellate Authorities,

 And therefore, a PIO, in his response to a RTI Application, should inform a RTI Applicant about the particulars of the correct & concerned First Appellate Authority.

But in case a PIO does not do so, then a RTI Applicant should file a First Appeal, as follows:

 1. Visit the Public Authority's website and try and look for the details of the concerned First Appellate Authority (FAA) under RTI link, especially in section 4 declaration.

 2. If despite reasonable efforts, one is not able to find the details of the correct FAA, then one should file a first appeal, as given below:

 
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RTI FOR EPF ACCOUNT BALANCE

 A large number of information seekers approach RTI India Forum seeking help in filing RTI Application regarding the missing credit of EPF, lost transit case of EPF during transfer etc. RTI can be effectively used to obtain information in such cases as mentioned below:

The following documents / information can be sought from the PIO.

The employee himself can file RTI Application before the PIO of Employees Provident Fund Organization under whose jurisdiction the Employer Company falls. An RTI Application filed by any other person other than the employee himself will be rejected under Sec-8(1)(e). Therefore RTI Application must be filed by the Employee only. You can attach Employee ID Card as proof.

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The Central Information Commission in Second Appeal cases - F.No. CIC/SS/A/2013/ 002007-YA, F.No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002514-YA & F.No. CIC/SS/A/2013/ 002008-YA decided on 13/11/2014 held that the caste and educational qualifications of an employee is personal information of third party.

The Information Commission erred in passing such an order holding that the Caste Certificate is exempted from disclosure under Section-8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) of RTI Act.

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Whenever information relating to or supplied by the third party is sought under RTI Act, PIOs refuse stating that information pertains to third party. Some PIOs issue notice to third-party u/s 11.1 and if the third party does not permit, PIOs decline supply of information stating that third party has not permitted or has objected to supplying of information. 

NOTE ON THIRD PARTY INFORMATION- REFUSAL BY PIO under RTI ACT

Whenever information relating to or supplied by third party is sought under RTI Act, PIOs refuse stating that information pertains to third party. Some PIOs issue notice to third party u/s 11.1 and if third party does not permit, PIOs decline supply of information stating that third party has not permitted or has objected to supply of information. First appeal needs to be filed based on following points under such circumstances:

01. Third party should have treated information as confidential while supplying the information. If it is not treated as confidential by third party section 11 will not come into operation.

02. Even when party has treated information as confidential, it has to be disclosed if larger public interest is involved outweighing in importance any possible harm to interest of third party. [This is not applicable to information relating to trade or commercial secrets protected by any law].

03. PIO does not require permission or NOC from third party. He has to give third party opportunity to be heard orally or in writing. He should then finally decide whether information should be revealed or not.

04. Even in case of third party, PIO has to deny information only under sections 8 or 9 as provided in section 7.1. PIO is also required to justify how he came to the conclusion that section 8 or 9 is applicable for such denial. Similarly, the third party should have objected to disclosure only under section 8 or 9, justifying non-disclosure.
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