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  1. Dear Friends, Here is my experience with CIC in a matter that I am pursuing since 2009: CIC, at time chooses not to respond to RTI applications. It is happening - CIC simply does not respond and you can't do anything* In a complaint against a PA, after NINE MONTHS CIC replies that complaint is not in proper format.** *You can definitely opt for appeal but can you expect no response from CIC, which is the body responsible to promote Right To Information. **What is the complaint-False information by Public Authority to information commissioner based on which IC decided the case. Let me share few facts of this complaint: I filed RTI application to Indian Army. CPIO rejects application citing fiduciary relation. First AA upheld decision, disposed my appeal. I Filed second appeal to CIC. Now FAA/PA takes a new stand that files of retired officers are destroyed after 3 years so information can't be given. IC decided the matter by saying 'Information should have been given to applicant. But since file has been destroyed, matter becomes academic and should be closed'. I filed another RTI application in Army, and got reply that files are kept for 15 years. I filed complaint to CIC in Jan, 2011-No response. I filed RTI Application to CIC to know the status of my complaint-no response. I filed another complaint in August, 2011 In March, 2012 I was told matter will come up in June, 2012 In April, 2012, I asked for file number of my complaint-On this dealing officer forcefully wants to convey me that my application is wrong (indirectly wants to convey that I should not pursue the matter-I don't know his interest and I refused) I field RTI Application on 11th May, 2012 to know the status of my complaint filed in Aug, 2011-no response till date On 15th June, I received letter from CIC that my complaint is not in proper format and that I should file again-That after 9 months, they came to know that my application was not in proper format. I filed fresh complaint as per suggestion on 26th June, 2012 I also filed First Appeal on 26th June, 2012 against non-supply of information sought through RTI application on 11th May, 2012 Now I am again awaiting their response. Thank You, S.K.Jha New Delhi
  2. Dear Friends, Here is my experience with CIC in a matter that I am pursuing since 2009: CIC, at time chooses not to respond to RTI applications. It is happening - CIC simply does not respond and you can't do anything* In a complaint against a PA, after NINE MONTHS CIC replies that complaint is not in proper format.** *You can definitely opt for appeal but can you expect no response from CIC, which is the body responsible to promote Right To Information. **What is the complaint-False information by Public Authority to information commissioner based on which IC decided the case. Let me share few facts of this complaint: I filed RTI application to Indian Army. CPIO rejects application citing fiduciary relation. First AA upheld decision, disposed my appeal. I Filed second appeal to CIC. Now FAA/PA takes a new stand that files of retired officers are destroyed after 3 years so information can't be given. IC decided the matter by saying 'Information should have been given to applicant. But since file has been destroyed, matter becomes academic and should be closed'. I filed another RTI application in Army, and got reply that files are kept for 15 years. I filed complaint to CIC in Jan, 2011-No response. I filed RTI Application to CIC to know the status of my complaint-no response. I filed another complaint in August, 2011 In March, 2012 I was told matter will come up in June, 2012 In April, 2012, I asked for file number of my complaint-On this dealing officer forcefully wants to convey me that my application is wrong (indirectly wants to convey that I should not pursue the matter-I don't know his interest and I refused) I field RTI Application on 11th May, 2012 to know the status of my complaint filed in Aug, 2011-no response till date On 15th June, I received letter from CIC that my complaint is not in proper format and that I should file again-That after 9 months, they came to know that my application was not in proper format. I filed fresh complaint as per suggestion on 26th June, 2012 I also filed First Appeal on 26th June, 2012 against non-supply of information sought through RTI application on 11th May, 2012 Now I am again awaiting their response. Thank You, S.K.Jha New Delhi
  3. Inaction or abstaining from performing duty to atleast to the level of basic and normal level of performance/efficiency/supervisory vigil, etc., all this leads to the end result of DELAY AND PENDENCY at SCIC/CIC. I am a victim of repeat burglary and donot have resourse and ofcourse a honest advocate to takeup my case. I tried the best known shortcut to get the transparency about what is actually happening aboyut my FIR's. I filed an RTI and got fake/fabricated/unreasonable/unreliable 'summary' as 'reply' whereas I expected supporting documents for all such 'stories' written by the SPIO of KOLKATA POLICE. NO, I was only eligible to get the 'scrpit' fo the story, no reasoning, no application of rationale, no SUPPORTING DOCUMENT (WHICH I ASKED FOR IN MY RTI APPLICATION). With the same common sence and confidence on RTI I approached the FAA, who sent me the same reply again. I approached SCIC, THE WEST BENGAL INFORMATION COMMISSIONER'S office and lodged a complaint on June 7th 2010, who just sent a SOFT REMINDER NOTICE' which had a time limit of 15 days on February 17th 2011 and kept silent. THESE TYPES OF INACTION/PARTIAL AND RANDOM ACTIONS OF FEW OCCATIONS is nowhere scripted in RTI ACT, I BELIEVE. If a government Compliance agency such as SCIC donot follow its own instructions/directions/notices, what is the purpose of enacting such a useles act, paying to these un-worthy social animals, etc...?> Yes, ofcourse, as a true citizen of India, The HIGH COURTS AND SUPREME COURT DO WELCOME AND ENTERTAIN ME, BUT FOR A PRICE. Yes I raised up and approached the Kolkata HC, which AGAIN proved that it is also part of BUREAUCRACY and ignored one of my points of prayer seeking clarification for delay caused by SCIC for over a year. BUT THE WELLLLLLLLLLL LEARNED HC ASKED THE SCIC TO SOLVE THE ISSUE WITHIN 45 DAYS. If I consider myself 'a rational citizen of India' and STILL believe that the LAW AND ORDER ARE CREATED, ENACTED AND GOVERNED FOR THE WELFARE OF THE CITIZEN, 1. WHY THE COURT DO NOT RECOGNIZE THE INEFFICIENCY OR OTHERWISE OF SCIC FIRST OF ALL, FOR WHOSE LAPSE I NEED COUGH-OUT THOUSANDS AND FILE A WP AT HC ? 2. IF THE HC IS SATISFIED AS TO THE LOW STAFF, LOW TALENTED STAFF AND PRESENCE OF PENDENCY, WHY NOT THE HC ASK WBIC TO PRODUCE A REPORT OF THE NUMBER OF CASES IT RECEIVED, SOLVED AND PENDING ON A MONTH-ON-MONTH BASIS SINCE ITS INCEPTION VIS-A-VIS CATAGORISED ON DEPARTMENT/SPIO WISE AND A COMPARISON CHART THAT CAN DISCLOSE THE FOLLOWING 'AVTARS' OF CORRUPTION. 1. RANDOM HEARING DONE ON CASES WHICH ARE ON THE FAVOR OF WBIC 2. NO SENIORITY/CHRONOLOGY MAINTAINED IN HANDLING CASES 3. SAME SPIO IS 'AVOIDED' FROM FINANCIAL PENALTY TIME AND AGAIN, INSTEAD THE SBIC FOLLOWS A FOUL GAME OF GIVING REPEAT REMINDERS, STRICTURES, WARNINGS, CAUTIONS... TIME AND AGAIN, U CAN NAME IT ANY WAY, BUT NEVER GIVE A PENALTY OR 'MARK' ON THEIR SRVICE RECORD. 4. BY THESE 'GO EASY' WAY HOW CAN A GOVERNING AGENCY OF A LAW PASSED TO BRINGFORTH TRANSPERANCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF GOVERNANCE OF DEMOCRACY BE ESTABLIOSHED. 5. WHY NOT THE HC TAKE IN IT POWER TO PENALISE BOTH SPIO AS WELL AS SCIC..? ARE THE SCIC NOT A CULPRIT, IF SO EVEN THE SPIO WILL ASK PARDON ON THE GROUND OF PENDENCY. 6. IS PENDENCY A UNCHALLENGED SOLUTION TO SKIP TRANSPARENCY. 7. WHAT IS THE LOGIC FOR GIVING THE SCIC 45 DAYS WHEN WHAT I ASKED IS AN INFORMATION WHICH IS ALREADY WITH THEM SINCE 2009 AND WHICH THEY HAD ALREADY 'MANIPULATED' AND SENT IN DIFFERENT FORMS AND VERSIONS WHICH NEVER TALLY EACH OTHER. 8. CANT THE HC HAVE A CLEAR VISION AND TRANSPERANCY IN ITS PROCEEDINGS. 9. LIKE ANY OTHER ACT UNDER THE COURT OF LAW, HERE, 'INFORMATION' DELAYED IS 'INFORMATION DISTORTED', THE 'COURTS' CLAIM THEMSELVES TO BE 'LEARNED' DONOT THEY HAVE ATLEAST 1% 'INTELLIGENT' PEOPLE TO THINK WHAT IT TAKES TO THINK ON THE CORE TRUTH OF JUSTICE. 10. WHY 'LAND MARK' DECISIONS ARE FAR AND RARE AND TO BE A 'FOUGHT FOR' ONE. 11. A SIMPLE APPEAL CAN ALSO LEAD TO A LANDMARK ONE IF THE JUDICIARY HAVE SOMETHING GALLED DEDICATION TOWARDS JUSTICE. 12. IF THE VISION OF COURT ITSELF PROVES TO BE SHORT SIGHTED OR NARROW, WE CAN BLINDLY DECLARE THAT THE EYES OF WBIC/SCIC/CIC AND ALL SPIO/PIO/SAPIO/CAPIO ARE ALL BLIND. DEAR FELLOW RTI-LOVERS, PLS THING AND REVERT. JAIHIND
  4. I had filed 5 second appeals with CIC and they are pending since 2010. I sent reminders, spoke to their phone numbers but to no avail. What should I do to get my 2nd appeal heard at the earliest.
  5. As reported at zeenews.india.com on January 20, 2012 Chennai: Citing mounting pendency of cases involving RTI appeals and disputes due to manpower shortage, the Central Information Commission has requested the Centre to appoint more Information Commissioners, a top official said on Friday. "We have requested the Government of India to appoint more Information Commissioners. We are also trying to evolve methods by which we can increase the number of disposals," Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra told reporters here on the sidelines of a workshop on RTI Act. Five posts of Information Commissioners were still vacant and "we need much more manpower", he said. The CIC was having only 160 employees, and it was "not a adequate, sufficient number," he said, adding due to this cases were taking eight to 10 months to come up, against ideal time of three months. "If it is more than three months, in our opinion, it is pointless." He said every month CIC was receiving over 2,300 cases, while it was clearing only 1,800, resulting in backlog. Mishra said over 23,000 cases were pending with the CIC alone besides those before various state information commissions. He also said the CIC had started posting details about the number of pending cases at the end of every month on its website. "We have already started. Other Commissioners will also be doing so." Clearing concerns that the RTI Act was being misused, he said, "My personal experience in the last three years in the Central Information Commission is that the instances of misuse of RTI act is absolutely infinitely small.. There were overwhelmingly large number of cases with genuine reasons."
  6. I worked in Allahabad Bank from June 7, 2010 to July 13, 2010 as Bank PO. I submitted my resignation on July 13, 2010. And it was accepted by bank in December, 2010. However i was not paid the salary of 12 days from July 1-12, 2010 at that time and was told that i will get a DD in my favor to my permanant address once my resignation is accepted. I sent a letter regarding the same to the Zonal Head of the branch where i was posted and also sent a mail regarding the same. But till date i have not received any response. My query is i want to file a RTI application to know the status of the same. Can i do it? and if Yes, How? What would be the content of the appliaction as it is pertaining to abank regarding pending salary. Please Help.
  7. Hi, Not sure if this is the right area to post such a question. Please advise if not. I have filed a lawsuit against seller in Mumbai High Court for a property bought in 2010. I have reviewed the Case Status on Mumbai High Court's website. 2 case hearings have occured till now, waiting for a 3rd hearing. Can I file a RTI and get to know why the Case Hearing isn;t scheduled in this Civil lawsuit matter? Thanks, Napster
  8. Nearly 30 million cases pending in courts Over three million cases are pending in India's 21 high courts, and an astounding 26.3 million cases are pending in subordinate courts across the country. At the same time, there are almost a quarter million under-trials languishing in jails across the country. Of these, some 2,069 have been in jail for more than five years, even as their guilt or innocence is yet to be ascertained. This has been revealed by official figures emerging from the home ministry's department of justice, under a Right to Information Act application placed by a citizen. It has also been found that over a quarter of all pending high court cases are at Allahabad. The Allahabad High Court had some 1.09 million pending cases, with over eight out of every 10 cases being civil cases at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India had a total of 39,780 civil and criminal pending cases at the end of last year. Madras High Court (406,958 pending cases) and Bombay High Court (362,949) were the others with a large number of pending cases. Sikkim is the lowest with just 51 pending cases. Of the pending cases in high courts, 704,214 were criminal and 3.2 million were civil cases. In subordinate courts, Uttar Pradesh again topped the number of pending cases (4.6 million), followed by Maharashtra (4.1 million), Gujarat (3.9 million), West Bengal (1.9 million), Bihar (1.2 million), Karnataka (1.06 million), Rajasthan (1.05 million), Orissa (1 million), Andhra Pradesh (900,000). In another query, the National Crime Records Bureau that functions under the home ministry told Hari Kumar P. of Kasargod in a Right to Information Act reply that the number of under-trials in India was highest in Maharashtra (15,784) and Madhya Pradesh (15,777). Bihar (with 628 prisoners) topped the number of states with the maximum number of under-trials kept for over five years. Punjab also had 334 under-trials for over five years and Uttar Pradesh had 212. Delhi itself had 344 under-trials languishing in jails for over five years. On the positive side, some states had no under-trials in jail for this long a period without their trials being completed. These states included Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura, apart from some smaller states and union territories. Nearly 30 million cases pending in courts- Hindustan Times
  9. Avinash V Shrotriya

    Mr Avinash V Shrotriya Retired Librarian

    I am a retired Librarian from Reg Autonomous Orgainisation under Administrative Control of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt of India - New Delhi which follows Central Govt rules and 100 % funded by Central Govt. having National Head Quarter at Mumbai. I retired in Feb.'11 after completion of 27 years of service, on super annuation, i. e completion of 60 years of service. My retirement dues are with hold by the Organisation except Provident Fund. I opt for commutation of pension and my leave encahment amount is also not yet settled. In Jun.'11 Office Order was issued to indicate calculations done by the Office and Pension Payment Order was also sent to me but not copy to the Bank I gave details about it to the Office long back. Even after more than 05 months my pension is not yet started. Recently Office informed that my cheques are ready and ask me to come personally and collect the same though I informed them to send Crossed D. D after deducting D. D. Commission and postal charges, or transfer the account in my local Bank account at Chinchwadgaon details of which are available with them or to transfer the amount in my Local Bank account at Mumbai where I was having salary account details of which are available in the office which is active and I already informed the office about it. My entire Gratuity amount is also with held by the Inst on the ground of settling some pending issues, which are they is not made clear, I got relieving order from the Office on last work day only. They want to recover some amount from my retirement dues for loss of books which took place during last 25 years for which I am not directly responsible, moreover Office is not yet able to find out exact amount of loss as well as number of books and prove how I am the only person responsible for the same. No department of legal proceedings are pending and/or contemplated by the office either during my service period or even after my retirement. I feel it is an harassment and attempt to teach me a lesson out of personal vendetta of some higher ups having vested interest.
  10. Hello, I am doing some research work in Hamburg, Germany. I need data on judicial system in India like the number of courts (including district courts), number of cases filed, disposed and pending in courts of India state wise. Also, if possible the number of computers in each court. Such information is not available on the internet. So I thought I might ask for them using RTI. Kindly tell me who should I ask for this information. Do I need to write to the Union Law ministry or to every state government? Also, is it possible to get this information in Hamburg? There is an Indian consulate here. This is the first time I am using RTI, so do not know how to proceed with it. Thank You.
  11. As reported by Vijy B at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on May 7, 2011 MUMBAI: RTI activists are worried about the low disposal rates of various central information commissioners and say this may make the Right to Information (RTI) act ineffective in the long run. The nine central information commissioners disposed 23, 575 RTI appeals last year with an average of 2,619 appeals per commissioner. Activists say that if the pendency of appeals have to come down then the information commissioners have to increase their disposal rates by at least 3,500 appeals per month. Over 15,000 RTI appeals are pending with the Central Information Commission(CIC) to be disposed and RTI activists say many appeals are heard after over a year. "After a year, the purpose for which the RTI query was filed goes away and RTI applicants would have to resort to other means to get information and they may lose faith in the act itself,'' said Bhaskar Prabhu, convener of Mahiti Adhikar Manch. He said but some information commissioners like Shailesh Gandhi and Annapurna Dixit have better disposal rates. "Shailesh Gandhi topped the list with 4,599 disposal and Annapurna Dixit came second with 3,965 disposals,'' Prabhu said. CIC officials said they have been facing staff shortage like adequate number of stenographers and law officers. "We have been asking the department of personnel to provide us more staff so that once the order has been passed it can be typed and the process can be completed without any delay. We also need more clerks who can look into the complaints and appeals that we receive every day and keep the drafts ready for hearing,'' the CIC official said. Activists said the five year old RTI act has not only changed the lives of millions of people but exposed several scams like the multi-crore housing scam Adarsh scam in Maharashtra. " We need to sort this issue out for the survival of the act,'' RTI activist Vihar Durve said.
  12. Peyyety Avinash

    Passport Application not Processed

    After Police Verification has been done at my residence within a week of applying for the passport, the status of my File No:H01936910 after 4 months is 'Your police report is In-complete. Please submit 3 sets of personal particulars form along with request application form' Can I pl have help with framing the questions i should include in the RTI I wish to file through a post office addressing the CPIO, RPO Delhi. Thanks in Advance! Avinash
  13. Loosely translated form report by Alka Dhupkar at ibnlokmat.tv on 26 Mar 2011 The Maharashtra SIC Ramanand Tiwari was suspended by Governor on 20 January 2011, due to his alleged role in the Adarsha Scandal. However, the post is still lying vacant. Therefore, thousands of appeals by Mumbaikars are pending. There are more than 300 cases, in which a hearing was conducted by Tiwari, but no decision was given. Additionally, hearing on the second appeals and complaints were postponed 'until further notice' when Tiwari was dismissed. As and when the enquiry about Tiwari's role in Adarsh Role gets completed, the governor will submit the report to Supreme Court.Then the supreme Court will make any further enquiries as it deems fit, and then any final decision in this matter will be taken. Meanwhile, the State government has not made any alternate arrangement for handling the charge of Ramanand Tiwari.
  14. dsridharan

    Introduction.....

    I am very happy to introduce myself. I stumbled upon this website while browsing today and was very keen to register my name in it. I am a Lawyer by profession and i have a good experience and knowledge about the functioning of the various Departments of the Government of Tamilnadu where i was working for more than 40 years before getting myself enrolled in the Bar Council of Tamilnadu in september 2010. I am very keen in serving the community by providing them the various needs and information from the Government using the tool of RTI. My first Mission is " to track down the various cases pending in the High Court of Chennai filed by the various departmental Public Information Officers against the Orders passed by the State Information Commission, Tamilnadu." I come to understand that more than 50 cases are pending in the Courts, where the PIOs have failed to pay the penalty imposed by the State Information Commission, Tamilnadu for non furnishing the information requested by the RTI applicants. I shall continue my postings after making some progress in this matter.
  15. As reported by Anindo Dey at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Feb 14, 2011 A list of defaulters -- From Lalu to CBI officers and more JAIPUR: It's a list of who's who in the state and outside. From members of assemblies to those of Parliament, from ministers in the state to those at the Centre, bureaucrats, judges, department heads, poets, commoners and even officers from the CBI are all there. They are members of a defaulters list -- who are yet to pay money to the government Circuit House here -- for their stay at different periods of time. Interestingly, the list also includes the name of former Union railway minister Lalu Prasad, then chief minister of Bihar. Yadav had made a visit to the city on November 4, 1993 and left without paying Rs 1,111 to the Circuit House. In fact, a detailed list of those who are yet to pay their dues for their stay since 1981 runs into several pages. And the amounts are as varied as the worthies themselves. The list was provided by the office of the manager, Circuit House, Jaipur, on January 21, 2011 in reply to an application filed under the RTI Act. The lowest due, Re 1, is pending against two persons -- one Meena, an IAS probationer from Service Training Institute, Mussoorie, who visited on April 16, 1990 and one Sailen Chatterjee, for whom a room was booked by the Information and Public Relations department for June 4, 1987. The highest due -- Rs 1,12,261 -- is registered against the name of Rajendra Singh Bhiduri, MLA, Chittorgarh, for bookings made on January 31, 2009 and on February 22, 2009. However, Bhiduri is not the sole one in the list of legislators from the current assembly. The maximum number of bills -- 114 in total -- were left unpaid by former MLA Ghasiram Yadav between January 31, 1981 to May 23, 1987. The bills come up to Rs 36,497. The list also has at least three judges, two of them from Allahabad. It also includes poets Gajanand Verma from Ratangarh, Prabha Thakur from Mumbai, Balkavi Bairagi from Indore and Ashok Chakradhar from Delhi -- all of whom had probably come for some state function and stayed at the Circuit House on August 17, 1984 after rooms were booked for them by the Information and Public Relations department, Rajasthan. Interestingly, a separate sheet provided by the office of the manager has six entries against CBI officers who had come here between January 21, 1983 and September 26, 1998 for probing the Bhetri' case. They have bills worth Rs 2,69,312 pending against them. They were provided six rooms for two months by an order dated January 20, 1993.
  16. An article by Udit Mishra at business.in.com on Feb 10, 2011 And you thought you could get information from the State using the RTI Act? Take your place in the line behind thousands of frustrated citizens The government is considering changes to the Right To Information Act (RTI) that activists feel could dilute the power of the Act. Former Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan has recommended protecting the judiciary from RTI queries apparently on grounds that the move would “erode” the independence of the judiciary. RTI naysayers may breathe easy. India’s bureaucracy is already choking the RTI Act to a slow death. According to a forecast by Shailesh Gandhi, one of India’s leading Information Commissioners (IC), the Central Information Commission (CIC) is likely to be saddled with over 90,000 pending complaints by 2015. Gandhi believes that the Act is losing steam because there are not enough people to handle the number of pending complaints. If Gandhi’s forecast is accurate, a waiting period of at least three years is to be expected before a complaint can be taken up. This is because all the commissioners together can at best solve just about 30,000 cases in a year. Considering that appeals reach the CIC only after an RTI applicant is dissatisfied by the response from lower levels — the departmental information officer and the first appellate authority, who is generally the department head — the overall pendancy is likely to be huge. “Who is going to wait so long for a piece of information?” asks Gandhi. The Conflict At present, the picture is worse than Gandhi’s fear of the future. Instead of a total strength of 11 commissioners, the country just has six. ICs resolve cases at different rates. For 2010, the average number of cases resolved per IC was about 2,700. If we remove the resourceful Shailesh Gandhi from the list, this number falls below 2,000 per IC. Gandhi is among the most prolific and resolves close to 5,000 cases a year on his own. At 2,000 per IC and at full strength of CIC, the maximum cases resolved would fall to roughly 22,000, almost a third of Gandhi’s forecast of 90,000 cases for 2015. So by 2015 an RTI applicant wanting to appeal would have to wait for six years before being addressed by the IC. The issue of growing pendency is not limited to the CIC. According to the findings of a recent nationwide study conducted by Public Cause Research Foundation (PCRF), of 76,813 cases analysed, there was a delay in providing information in 59,631 cases. The survey states that, at the current rate of disposal, 20 ICs had a pendency of over one year. Of these Jagdananda of Orissa was the worst; at his current rate of disposing cases (304 a year) he will take 10.7 years to clear everything currently on his table. This is not including the cases that will be filed in the next 10 years. S.K. Sarkar of West Bengal will take 10.2 years and D.N. Padhi, also of Orissa, will take a little over five years. “Ordinarily, we would expect that the disposal of any case should not take more than three months,” observes the survey. What is the reason for the growing pendency and why doesn’t the government do something about it? Gandhi and other RTI activists blame the lack of a real commitment on the part of the government. The Squeeze Each IC gets seven staff members to help resolve the cases. According to Gandhi, if this number was doubled, one could solve a lot more cases straight away. However, the ICs are not allowed to hire more employees right now. At present, the government spends roughly Rs.25 to Rs.30 lakh per year on one IC and about Rs. 12 lakhs per year, in total, on the seven staff members. This includes the salary, incentives and any other facilities that they might use. The reason why Gandhi is ahead of all the ICs in the country is because he employs extra staff, especially young lawyers, to help him process more complaints and he pays for their salaries from his pocket. However, Arvind Kejriwal, who spearheaded the demand for RTI in the country, has a different opinion. “It is not the lack of staff but the lack of penalties which should have been imposed on erring officials that is the real reason why complaints are growing,” he says. Under RTI Act, a commissioner should impose a penalty for delay in providing information unless the basis of delay was held to be reasonable by the Commissioner. Kejriwal points that the survey by PCRF found that penalties were imposed on just 3.17 percent of the 59,631 cases of delay. Essentially, it means that in the absence of penalties, an officer can get away with such delays and as such has little incentive to give the information in the first instance. However, Subhash Chandra Agarwal, one of the most prominent RTI activists and a veteran of many RTI applications, endorses Gandhi’s prescription. But Agarwal also points at the government’s apathy when it comes to choosing ICs. “This is the first time in all these years that we don’t have a full quota of ICs. It is not clear why there is a delay. Ideally, the government should be better prepared for filling up places since they know who is set to retire when,” says Agarwal. Moreover, there is no clear criteria to ensure that only a deserving individual becomes an IC. Kejriwal has often highlighted that the CIC is being used as a parking spot for those close to the government. “The process of appointment should be made more participative,” says Kejriwal. Gandhi agrees and adds that there should be some basic criteria that a candidate must satisfy to be a competent IC. Knowledge of law, management skills and a demonstrated commitment to transparency, could be some benchmarks. Our Take • Firstly, the government should ensure that the CIC functions at full strength. For this, the government would require planning well in advance to make sure vacancies are filled in time. • The process of selection of ICs should be more rigorous and participative unlike the adhoc system currently under way. There should be a vigorous campaign to sensitise ICs to the importance of their job to the country’s democratic heritage. • Following the Shailesh Gandhi model, the government should allow more legal staff with the ICs. This would allow the commissioners to work more efficiently. • In cases of delay or no-response, the penalties on the information officers should be mandatory. At present, penalties that could be imposed by ICs on the departmental information officers are discretionary. Making them mandatory would summarily take care of a huge chunk of complaints.
  17. As reported by TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 August 2009: Dispose of RTI queries in 60 days: Gandhi - Mumbai - City - NEWS - The Times of India Dispose of RTI queries in 60 days: Gandhi MUMBAI: Central information commissioner ShaileshGandhi has given a new `mantra' to his counterparts across the country for speedy disposal of applications filed under the Right to Information Act. Before drafting a comprehensive action plan for his colleagues, Gandhi has ensured that he himself disposes of the maximum number of cases and that too, in a time-bound period. "I settle most of the cases within 60 days of filing. My monthly average disposal rate is 535. I feel that it's not difficult to achieve the target,'' Gandhi said in a letter to Maharashtra chief information commissioner Suresh Joshi. Taking cognisance of Gandhi's advice, Joshi has convened a special meeting on August 28 of all five information commissioners to draft a new strategy to clear all 15,000-odd pending applications. Gandhi pointed out that it was the responsibility of the information commissioners to provide information in a specific period or else, the very purpose of the landmark legislation will be defeated. In his action plan, Gandhi has said the application should be disposed of in 60 days since receipt of the RTI query. Maharashtra was the first state to enact the RTI Act in October 2005 following a sustained agitation by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. However, the Democratic Front government did not concede to his major demand that retired babus should not be appointed as information commissioners. Currently, barring Pune information commissioner Vijay Kuvalekar, a veteran journalist, and Amravati commissioner Bhaskar Patil, a lawyer by profession, all commissioners are retired secretaries. Suresh Joshi was MMRDA commissioner before his appointment, while Ramanand Tiwari, Mumbai commissioner, Navin Kumar, Konkan commissioner, retired as additional chief secretary. Nagpur commissioner Vilas Patil was secretary, Maharashtra legislature secretariat and Aurangabad commissioner Vijay Borge was PWD secretary before his appointment. With regard to pending cases, Kuvalekar felt that there was an urgent need to draft appeal rules. "Most states have drafted comprehensive appeal rules. As a result, in these states, there is speedy disposal of cases,'' Kuvalekar said. Elaborating, Kuvalekar said Karnataka has formulated new appeal rules, which provide that in one application, the applicant will be permitted to seek information on one issue. In Maharashtra, applicants are asking for such information that the department will require at least three months to compile. "In one case, an applicant has asked for information on 720 schools in Pune region. I don't think that such kind of information can be provided within the stipulated period of 60 days,'' Kuvalekar said. He said that instead of the number of cases disposed, more attention should be paid on quality of the orders. "Quick disposal of cases is important, but at the same time, we should ensure that justice is done to the applicant,'' he said. Another information commissioner said, there should be restriction on the number of applications a person can file. In Nagpur, an applicant has filed 300 applications over a period of time, while in Sangli, an applicant has filed 225 appeals in three months. A senior official said, since the enactment of RTI, 24,292 cases were disposed of, while 14,794 cases were pending before different commissioners.
  18. 16 years’ waiting ended in One month through RTI A retired bank officer had taken Bhavishya Arogya Policy, for which premium of Rs.3140/- was paid on 30-03-1994. Public sector insurance company did not issue original policy despite constant follow-up by letters and visits to the office of Insurance Company. He was compelled to complete formalities for duplicate copy, but was not issued duplicate one. The policy was valid for life time. This senior citizen got frustrated and tired. Recently my friend at Rajkot introduced him to me for invoking RTI for this problem. He filed RTI application on 24-03-2010 and Insurance Company sent him original policy on 29-04-2010. 16 year old problem was solved in a month through RTI. I used format posted at: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/blogs/jps50/69-any-thing-pending-govt.html
  19. I have worked for more than 10 Yeras in FCS Software solutions , Noida .I was a confirmed and regular employee of the company .I resigned on 1-Jan-2010 . How much gratuity amount I am eligible for ? I have been paid only 1 lakh as gratuity. How should I proceed to complain against it ?
  20. Can anybody provide Total Number of cases pending in Indian courts and out of which hownamy are there where the government (State or Central including public sectors, banks and corporations) is fighting the citizen (that is: Government is a party of the case). Thanks!
  21. As reported by Ashutosh Shukla at dnaindia.com on April 16, 2010 Mumbai: Want information from your kid’s school and frustrated with the stonewalling tactics of the school administration? Well, help may be round the corner. The state’s information commission has asked the education department to direct all aided schools — there are 1,300 — to keep all information related to their functioning handy. Schools have to produce this information on demand from parents. All details have to be with the school head or the public information officer, according to the recommendations of Suresh Joshi, Maharashtra’s chief information commissioner, to the state government. “What happens is that either the trust sends the parent to the school saying they don’t have the information or vice-versa,” said Joshi. “Ultimately the parent does not get any information.” A few months ago, Joshi had instructed colleges to do the same. The schools will also have to make public information about the public information officer, and the first appellate authority. This is one of the several recommendations made by the commission to the state government in its annual report for the calendar year 2009. It was submitted on Thursday. Most of the other recommendations, however, are repetitions, except for the one asking the chief secretary to appoint officers to keep a tab on penalty deducted from the erring employees’ salary. Emphasis on section 4 (voluntary disclosure by public authority) featured amongst the prominent ones followed by the appointment of senior officers as the first appellate authority. Overall, the implementation of the Right to Information Act (RTI) shows significant improvement. Pendency is down by 3,000 to 13,000. “We can now safely say that pendency in Mumbai, Konkan and Nagpur regions can be taken up within two months,” said Joshi. The state received 4.40 lakh applications in 2009 as compared to 4.16 lakh in 2008 and 3.16 lakh in 2007. Of the total 36 departments, the top 10 accounted for 82% of applications. “The forest department has moved to the seventh position from 10th. The irrigation department has made an entry, which shows that tribals are using the act in a big way,” said Joshi. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation alone got 59,018 applications, approximately 60% of pleas received by all 22 corporations. There was also a jump in the amount recovered as penalty from information officers. Though the total fine amount slumped in 2009 to Rs26.56 lakh (collected from 347 officers) as compared to Rs34 lakh in 2009 (from 256 officers), in Mumbai, the fine amount increased. The city saw collection increase to Rs3.74 lakh with 58 officers being fined as compared to Rs2.4 lakh a year before. The percentage of total applications moving up to the FAA and commission remained constant. Of total applications, 10% — 43,848 — went for first appeal and of those 50% —18,205— at the second appeal. The year’s disposal rate at the second appellate authority improved considerably with a jump of 9,000. Complaints, however, jumped by 1,000. “These would not really speak of any trend because people file complaints for various reasons,” added Joshi. Source: Soon, Maharashtra schools may have to give information on demand - dnaindia.com
  22. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Apr 2, 2010 THANE: Over three lakh cases are pending in the Bombay High Court, according to an information revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The details, dated till December 31, 2009 were given after local social worker Omprakash Sharma sought information in this regard. According to the RTI reply statement, there were as many as 3,38,183 cases were pending in the Bombay High Court and the sanctioned number judges in the court is 75 while the working strength presently is 63. Also, the figures of the division bench vary as per the assignment of judicial work. During the present assignment there are ten division benches at Bombay, three at Nagpur, three at Aurangabad and one at Goa, it said. Normally, the assignment is changed five times in a year and matters are being placed in due sequence before the respective benches, it stated. Sharma has demanded the Union law ministry that additional benches be set up in Nanded, Jalgaon and Pune to clear the pendency. Source: More than three lakh cases pending in Bombay HC: RTI - Mumbai - City - The Times of India
  23. I used this site to file for RTI applications with GHMC - Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Right To Information Register But i doubt if it is working and wanted to find if anyone has managed to get an RTI application serviced completely using the online form. The reason i got a doubt is my RTI registration number is 10RTI1031 and based on this pattern i started looking at statuses of other apps (10RTI1001, 1002 and so on) and found that ALL the applications are PENDING. I even went to last year's applications (09RTIXXX) and and they are ALL pending as well. I get a feeling that online applications are either not being followed up correctly (which is more likely) OR they are not having all the information so the departments are unable to give the required info. Anybody has any thoughts on this?
  24. As reported at punjabnews.org on 21 January 2010 PATIALA: Bha­ra­t S­a­ncha­r Ni­ga­m­ Li­m­i­te­d (BS­NL) t­o­p­ o­fficia­l­s ha­ve n­o­t­ d­ep­o­sit­ed­ t­heir l­a­n­d­l­in­e p­ho­n­e bil­l­s fo­r a­l­mo­st­ a­ d­eca­d­e, d­efa­ul­t­in­g­ o­n­ o­ver Rs 1.86 cro­re. T­hese o­fficia­l­s in­cl­ud­e g­en­era­l­ ma­n­a­g­ers, d­ep­ut­y g­en­era­l­ ma­n­a­g­ers, s­ub­ div­is­ion­al of­f­icers­ (S­DOs­) an­d jun­i­o­r­ t­e­l­e­co­m o­ffi­ce­r­s (JT­O­s). T­he­ de­faul­t­e­r­ l­i­st­ al­so­ has o­n­ i­t­ dr­i­v­e­r­s hi­r­e­d b­y t­he­ N­i­gam t­o­ fe­r­r­y st­aff. A 13-page­ r­e­po­r­t­ pr­o­cur­e­d un­de­r­ t­he­ R­T­I­ Act­ has b­r­o­ught­ o­ut­ t­he­se­ st­ar­t­l­i­n­g fact­s. T­he­ de­faul­t­e­r­s ar­e­ fr­o­m Seco­nd­a­ry­ Sw­itching­ A­rea­ (SSA­), Pati­ala an­d­ the recov­ery­ i­s­ agai­n­s­t res­i­d­en­ti­al lan­d­li­n­e telephon­e con­n­ecti­on­s­ i­n­s­talled­ at the res­i­d­en­ce of the d­efaulti­n­g offi­ci­als­ an­d­ workers­ pos­ted­ wi­thi­n­ the S­S­A The b­i­lls­ are pen­d­i­n­g for the peri­od­ from­ 2000 to 2009. I­t i­s­ perti­n­en­t to m­en­ti­on­ that the B­S­N­L’s­ i­n­form­ati­on­ offi­cer has­ held­ b­ack the n­am­es­ of m­os­t d­efaulters­ on­ the li­s­t. Pati­ala S­S­A cov­ers­ all of Pati­ala, N­ab­ha, Raj­pura, M­an­d­i­ Gob­i­n­d­garll, D­era B­as­s­i­, S­am­an­a, Patran­ an­d­ Fatehgarh S­ahi­b­, b­es­i­d­es­ other s­tati­on­s­. There are ten­ d­efaulters­ who owe the B­S­N­L m­ore than­ Rs­ 3 lakh agai­n­s­t pen­d­i­n­g b­i­lls­, four others­ who owe aroun­d­ Rs­ 2lakh, 32 exceed­i­n­g the Rs­ 1 lakh li­m­i­t, an­d­ a large chun­k of em­ploy­ees­ whos­e d­ues­ exceed­ Rs­ 50,000. A recen­t com­m­un­i­q­ue b­y­ the B­S­N­L Head­q­uarters­ has­ i­s­s­ued­ d­i­recti­on­s­ to s­taff an­d­ offi­cers­ for ti­m­ely­ pay­m­en­t of the b­i­lls­ an­d­ as­ per reports­, em­ploy­ees­ hav­e s­tarted­ cleari­n­g d­ue pay­m­en­ts­ i­n­ fi­xed­ peri­od­i­ci­ty­, b­ut a huge am­oun­t s­ti­ll s­tan­d­s­ agai­n­s­t offi­cers­ an­d­ s­taff. B­S­N­L offers­ i­ts­ offi­cers­ an­d­ em­ploy­ees­ – from­ Gen­eral M­an­ager to Ju­nio­r­ Acco­u­nts O­ffice­r­ (JAO­) an­­d­ even­­ cab­ d­r­iver­s – a fix­ed­ n­­u­mb­er­ of fr­ee calls d­epen­­d­in­­g on­­ th­e r­espective d­esign­­ation­­s, an­­d­ all calls ab­ove th­e pr­escr­ib­ed­ limit ar­e b­illed­ an­­d­ h­ave to b­e paid­ for­. In­­ case d­epar­tmen­­t officials fail to pay­ th­e d­u­es, th­en­­ th­e d­epar­tmen­­t is liab­le to d­ed­u­ct th­e same fr­om th­eir­ salar­ies on­­ a mon­­th­ly­ b­asis. B­u­t th­e d­epar­tmen­­t h­as, th­u­s far­, n­­ever­ mad­e an­­ attempt to r­ecover­ th­e pen­­d­in­­g d­u­es fr­om th­e salar­ies of its d­efau­ltin­­g officer­s. In­­ter­estin­­gly­, th­e B­SN­­L h­as issu­ed­ on­­ly­ on­­e n­­otice so far­, to a d­efau­lter­ for­ r­ecover­y­ of b­alan­­ce amou­n­­t wh­ich­ ex­ceed­ed­ R­s 1.5 lakh­. On­­ Septemb­er­ 20, 2007, Ch­ief Gen­­er­al Man­­ager­, Pu­n­­j­ab­ Telecom Cir­cle, at Ch­an­­d­igar­h­ asked­ R­akesh­ Ku­mar­, AD­ET posted­ at Patiala in­­ 2003, to pay­ u­p. Th­ou­gh­ officials, wh­en­­ con­­tacted­, claimed­ th­at th­e case was d­isposed­ of, b­u­t in­­for­mation­­ r­etr­ieved­ u­n­­d­er­ th­e R­TI r­evealed­ th­at in­­ th­e par­ticu­lar­ case, th­e d­epar­tmen­­t took n­­o action­­ for­ r­ecover­in­­g th­e pen­­d­in­­g b­ill fr­om th­e con­­cer­n­­ed­ official. B­SN­­L GM at Patiala, Mu­sad­d­i Lal, d­eclin­­ed­ to commen­­t on­­ th­e su­b­j­ect. GM (Fin­­an­­ce), Pu­n­­j­ab­ Cir­cle, P.C. Mah­ar­an­­ia, said­ h­e wou­ld­ in­­qu­ir­e at h­is level, su­b­sequ­en­­t to wh­ich­ appr­opr­iate action­­ wou­ld­ b­e in­­itiated­. “Also, it is impor­tan­­t to id­en­­tify­ th­e pu­r­pose for­ wh­ich­ th­e n­­u­mb­er­s wer­e u­tilized­,” h­e ad­d­ed­. Source: PATIALA NEWS: Unpaid Bills - Staff Owe BSNL Rs 1.86 Crore | Punjab News, Punjab News Paper, Punjab Latest News
  25. Atul Patankar

    Revealed: SIC is sick

    As reported by Tanaji Khot at punemirror.in on December 14, 2009 The Right to Information (RTI) Act is considered a powerful tool for transparency in the working of the bureacracy. And many a times, it has proved its usefulness. However, the number of people whose applications for information have been rejected or those who have been supplied wrong information is also staggering. Since the inception of the RTI Act in 2005, the government has deployed a state-wide mechanism to resolve issues with the help of the Act. If any officer denies or provides wrong information to the applicant, there are certain provisions to take the grievances to a higher authority. If the first appeal, done to the respective government body, is rejected, the applicant can file a second appeal with the State Information Commission (SIC). The SIC’s Pune Bench covers the Pune region including the districts of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur. The Bench started its work in February 2007. According to the information obtained by RTI activist Sachin Godambe from the SIC, the Pune Bench has received 8,000 applications in the last three years. Out of these, 4,000 appeals have been resolved and half of them are still pending. Interestingly, the Pune Bench has slapped only 25 errant government officers with a fine of Rs 25,000 each in the last three years. The story of Godambe’s hunt for information starts when he had filed an RTI application with the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) about the Bhosari flyover. This application was rejected by the PCMC officials. After that, Godambe approached the SIC to take action against the officials who had rejected his earlier application. According to Godambe, he did not get a satisfactory response to his application with the SIC. When the SIC did not provide him with the information he wanted, Godambe filed an application seeking information on the number of RTI appeals with the Pune Bench. He aslo sought number of cases solved and those that were still pending. According to the information provided by SIC public information officer Y H Deshpande, the Pune Bench had received 7,425 appeals at the end of August 2009. The Bench has 3,908 appeals pending with it. Godambe said, “The data clearly shows that a lot of people are keen to know more about the way their government functions. However, the bureacracy is denying this information for whatever reasons. The SIC should work actively and create a position of reverence and fear with the bureacracy. However, as the data shows, this is not the reality.” In the last three years, the state information commission, Pune Bench, has slapped a Rs 25,000 fine each on 25 officers who have violated the provisions of the Act. Godambe had also demanded the number of employees working for the Pune Bench and their pay scales. Replying to his query, the SIC revealed that there are 16 employees working with the Pune Bench apart from the state information commissioner. The staff at Pune Bench gets Rs 5 lakh collective remuneration per month. Godambe said, “The government is spending a huge amount on this mechanism. But the mechanism has failed to provide justice to the common man. People are eager for transparency but the SIC is not bothered to keep tabs on the bureaucracy. Many people get frustrated in their attempts for information even before reaching the SIC.” Source: Revealed: SIC is sick, News - City - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror
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