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  1. maneesh

    Now, RTI in school textbooks

    Mumbai, October 19: It was Maharashtra’s law that served as a model for what is today the Right To Information Act. No wonder the state is now leading the way to introduce this sunshine legislation to the younger generation. Come June 2007 and the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education will become the first to include RTI in the school curriculum. Civics textbooks for class VI will include a section on RTI, its uses and benefits, while class X students will get to familiarise themselves with the practical aspects of preparing RTI applications as a part of their annual project work. Advertisement In class VI, RTI will be a part of the section on citizens’ rights and not a full-fledged chapter unlike other Acts like the Consumer Protection Act, which is a separate chapter in the class X economics textbook. “Today, everyone has the opportunity to use RTI. To help in greater awareness, it is important to begin at a young age,” said State Board Chairman Vasant Kalpande. “There will be no technical jargon used and we will give the students a glimpse of the fundamental nature of the Act,” Kalpande said. Now, RTI in school textbooks
  2. Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee to train Congress Office bearers on RTI President of the Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Jaydeb Jena said that Congress office-bearers at the block level would be trained to utilise the Right to Information Act for exposing corruption in IAY. The Centre had sanctioned seven lakh special IAY houses in phases after the 1999 super cyclone and 2002 floods. But irregularities were found in the selection of beneficiaries in several blocks. The State Government had suspended several officials and sarpanches after detection of the irregularities. The first such training camp would be organised at Bhadrak on October 7 where representatives from Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Angul and Bargarh districts would attend. The second training camp would be held at Jharsuguda on October 8 where representatives from Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Sundargarh, Rourkela, Keonjhar, Balangir, Sonepur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Ganjam, Gajapati, Boudh, Kondhmal, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj districts would attend. The training camps would be attended by MPs, MLAs, former MPs and MLAs, members of the All India Congress Committee and the Pradesh Congress Committee, presidents of all the frontal organisations and cells, office-bearers of the district Congress Committees and the presidents of the block Congress committees. AICC general secretary V Narayan Swamy would inaugurate the training camps at both the places. AICC secretary Arun Kumar would deliver the keynote address. The camps would be addressed by Opposition Leader JB Patnaik, deputy leader Narasingh Mishra, former chief ministers Hemananda Biswal and Giridhar Gamang and other seniors. [sourse: NewsIndia Press]
  3. I heard from rtiindia.org that today is Right to know day. I was wondering what new happened around the globe? Any news. Also I thought to ask, is there any hindi version of the Act?
  4. I was wondering weather public sector come under RTI?
  5. RBI sought exclusion from RTI: Govt. doesnot finance us! The Right to Information Act (RTI) covers all bodies owned, controlled or ‘substantially financed’ by the government. Which should be clear enough, but the Reserve Bank of India didn’t think so. It sought exclusion from the scanner, contending, “We do not come under the Act, as we are the sole financier of the government; the government does not finance us!” In response, the Central Information Commission has firmly put the Bank in its place by reminding it that RBI was constituted by an Act of Parliament and was therefore squarely within the law’s purview.
  6. Ms. Vishaish Uppal ask for information under RTI regarding appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner from PMO Ms. Vishaish Uppal of Gulmohar Park applied to Shri Kamal Dayani, CPIO, Prime Minister’s Office on 22.11.2005 seeking to inspect files, papers etc. relating to the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners. Deciding upon the case Shri. Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner stated that denial of information is under the orders of the Public Authority and it is open to the Public Authority to deny the information provided such denial can be justified under Section 8(1) of the Act. The appellate Authority in this case has held that the matter has been classified “confidential” under the Official Secrets Act, 1923. However, in view of the provisions of the Section 22 of the Act “The provision of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act” , the provisions of Official Secrets Act stands over-ridden. Section 8(2) enables the public authority to disclose information notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 or any of the exemptions permissible under Section 8(1), if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. Sec. 8(2) is, therefore, not a ground distinct and separate from what has been specified explicitly under Section 8(1) of the Act for withholding information by the public authority. The Appellate Authority, therefore, cannot withhold this information either on the ground that the information is classified as “confidential” under the Official Secrets Act or under Section 8(2) alone. However, Sec 22 as described above only overrides anything inconsistent with the Right to Information Act, 2005. The Official Secrets Act, 1923 stands neither rescinded nor abrogated. While a public authority may only withhold such information as could be brought within any of the clauses of Section 8(1), it is open to that authority to classify any of these items of information as “Confidential”, thus limiting the discretion of any other authority in respect to these. In this particular case denial of information is under the orders of the Public Authority and it is open to the Public Authority to deny the information provided such denial can be justified under Section 8(1) of the Act. The Prime Minister’s Office will, therefore, re-examine the matter in view of the observations made above within fifteen days of the date of issue of the Decision Notice and it may disclose the information to the appellant, unless of course, the disclosure of the information can be denied or withheld under any of the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. The Public Authority shall take an appropriate reasoned decision. This Commission is also required to decide as to whether the Public Information Officer had without any reasonable cause knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information to the appellant. In such cases, the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently is on the CPIO. CPIO Sh Kamal Dayani may, therefore, show that the information provided by him to the appellant in his letter of 22.11.05 was given with reasonable cause or without knowledge that the information so provided was misleading. The response to this Notice may be received from CPIO Shri Kamal Dayani within 15 working days from the date of issue of this order either in writing or by personal appearance failing which he will be rendered liable for imposition of penalty u/s 20(1) of this Act.
  7. MKSS and Jan Sunwais Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) is a workers and farmers solidarity group, which is dedicated to ensuring fair working conditions and daily wages for daily wage earners and farmers. MKSS has famously used the method of Jan Sunwai (public hearing) to raise awareness of the practical value of the right to information for poor people. MKSS has been a leader in the national campaign for right to information and continues to use the right to information to empower local people to root out corruption and hold their government representatives to account. Under the slogan 'Our Money-Our Accounts’, MKSS workers and villagers organised themselves to demand their local administrators to provide them with an account of all expenditure made in relation to development work sanctioned for the area. While there was resistance at all levels, little by little, as public pressure continued and the media began to take notice, the Government relented and eventually provided the information requested. MKSS then used the information disclosed to organise 'social audits’ of the administration’s books. They organised Jan Sunwais/public hearings to see if the information in the government’s records tallied with the reality of the villagers’ own knowledge of what was happening on the ground. Not surprisingly, it did not. At each public hearing, a description of the development project, its timelines, implementation methods, budget and outputs would be read out along with the record of who had been employed, how long they had worked and how much they had been paid. Villagers would then stand up and point out discrepancies - dead people were listed, amounts paid were recorded as being higher than in reality, absent workers were marked present and their pay recorded as given, and thumb impressions that prove receipt of payments were found to be forged. Sourse: humanrightsinitiative.org Most tellingly, public works like roads, though never actually constructed, were marked completed in government books. Though many villagers were illiterate, through face-to-face public hearings they could scrutinise complex and detailed accounts, question their representatives and make them answerable on the basis of hard evidence.
  8. CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION Appeal No. CIC/WB/A/2006/00342 dated 5/5/’06 Right to Information Act 2005 – Section 19 Appellant: Shri Jai Kumar Jain Respondent: Delhi Development Authority Facts: Applicant Shri Jai Kumar Jain, Joint Secretary, DDA Market Association, Rohini, Delhi made an application on 16.2.06 to PIO Shri Pankaj Kumar, Jt. Director (Lands), DDA seeking the following information: Photocopy of page Nos. 10 to 29 and from page No. 56 to date of File No. F-93(234)2000/CE Is there any difference between Built up property and property constructed on plot purchased from DDA. If so what and why. How many shops are lying vacant in each of scheduled caste and unreserved category in CSC No. 2, Sector 2, Rohini. Why allotment of vacant shops for scheduled castes is not being made or tender issued. For how many years tender for shops meant for scheduled caste in CSC No 2 Sector No. 2 has not been issued. In how much time the dispute in property Dep’t. of DDA is settled by the DDA. If not settled, then what action is taken by DDA. DDA is supposed to issue reply in respect of property cases within 15 days. But some officers of various Depts. do not reply in time. In such cases whether any action is to be taken by Senior Officers or not. On not receiving any response, applicant made an appeal on 16.3.06 to the Appellate Authority and on still not receiving a response he has appealed before this Commission. The matter was heard on 15.9.06. The following are present:- 1. Shri Jai Kumar Jain 2. Shri Yash Pal Garg, Dir (CL) 3. Shri Bharat Mehta, Dy. Dir. (CE) 4 Shri Pankaj Kumar, Dy. Dir. (CL) 2 DECISION NOTICE It stands established that the information sought vide application of 16.2.06 has been agreed to be provided by the Commercial Lands Department of DDA only on Sept. 7, 2006. The issues, therefore, are two:- Fixing of a specific time schedule for allowing appellant Shri Jai Kumar Jain to inspect the files and take photocopies of the required notings, and whether penalty will lie u/s 20(1) of failure to supply the information for the above period. In regard to (1) above, Shri Yash Pal Garg, Director, Commercial Lands and PIO has agreed to dispatch photo copies of the concerned file notings by speed post to appellant Shri Jai Kumar Jain at his postal address: Shop No. 3, CSC No. 2, Sector-2, Rohini, New Delhi on 18.9.2006. Photocopy of the dispatch receipt will be submitted to this Commission on that date for inclusion in the record. Regarding (2) above, it seems that Shri Bharat Mehta, Dy Director (C.E.) had in fact responded to the application indicating that the required information could not be supplied under clause 8(1)(j) and 2.2 of the RTI Act. Both grounds are fallacious and would not have stood the first appeal. As discussed above, appellant Shri Jai Kumar Jain states that he had in fact filed the first appeal on 16.3.06, a copy of which was also submitted vide his second appeal. However, the date entered in the copy of our files is 16.2.06, which is obviously not possible since the original application was made on that date. It is this copy of our record, which was sent in the appeal notice to the PIO, who, therefore, has been unable to respond as to what became of the appeal. Now that PIO Shri Yash Pal Garg has agreed to provide the information sought by appellant Shri Jai Kumar Jain and appellant has in fact already filed first appeal to which there has been no response for reasons not known, no purpose will be served by directing Shri Jai Kumar Jain to again file first appeal. PIO Shri Yash Pal Garg is instead directed to enquire into what became of the first appeal, and if received, what action was taken thereon, within 15 working days of the 3 issue of this order, and if received, fixing responsibility for the appeal not having been entertained. From the above case, it is clear that there has been confusion both in receipt and dispatch of correspondence concerning RTI on the part of the Commercial Land Branch of DDA. It is admitted that in the early stages there was some confusion in the handling of applications received under the new Act. The situation has improved over the past months but Commercial Land Branch is cautioned to ensure that in future no such confusion, as demonstrated in this case, reoccurs. Because of this, it is not possible for us to identify the person specifically responsible for the delay in providing information on the application by Shri Jai Kumar Jain with the Department having been convinced that they have supplied the information asked for vide their lett er dated 13.3.06 while appellant convinced that his application or his appeal has been ignored. The matter is disposed of accordingly. Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties. (Wajahat Habibullah) Chief Information Commissioner 22.9.2006 Download the Decision from Download Segment
  9. Central Information Commission Decision No. 297/IC(A)/2006 F. No. CIC/MA/A/2006/00663 Dated, the 21st September, 2006 Name of the Appellant : Shri S. Gangaiah Nayakar, 3/488, Rajapalayam Salai, T. N.C.Alangulam, District - Virudhunagar-626127 Name of the Public Authority: Indian Overseas Bank, Customers Service Department, Central office, 763,Anna Salai, Channai-600 002. DECISION The appellant had sought certain information, which was largely furnished to him. The CPIO however denied the information relating to the details of loan accounts of another person and other documents submitted by him. The CPIO contented that the information sought is related to personal information, which is exempted u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act. The appellate authority upheld the decision of the CPIO. There is no denial of information to the appellant. The Banks are expected to maintain confidentiality of the accounts of its customers and that the documents submitted by its customers do not fall under public domain. Hence, exempted u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act. The appeal is accordingly disposed of. Sd/- (Prof M. M. Ansari) Information Commissioner Download the decision from Download Segment
  10. Central Information Commission Decision No.290/IC(A)/2006 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00661 Dated, the 20th September, 2006 Name of the Appellant : Sh. S. Ramakrishnan, 22 Surendra Nagar, 4th Street, Adambakkam, Chennai – 600 088 Name of the Public Authority: Indian Bank, Customer Service Cell, 66, Rajaji Salai, Chennai – 600 001. DECISION The appellant had sought the following information: Form 16 for the financial year 2003-04; AUF-1 programme details like the source code etc. [*]The CPIO responded but the appellant was not satisfied. He filed his 1st appeal to the appellate authority, who observed that:“Our Public Information Officer vide his reply dated 18.4.2006 has informed that Form 16 for the financial year 2003-04 was issued to all the employees by you. Accordingly, you should have taken your Form 16 also and at present, it is informed that as there is no data available in the computer, the same could not be provided to you. As regards the information on original source code of the AUF 1 programme the information sought by you falls under the ambit of ‘Commercial Confidence’, ‘Personal information involving no public activity or interest’ and is exempted under the section 8(1)(d) and section 8(1)(j) of 2 Right to Information Act, 2005. As such I uphold the decision of the Public Information Officer.” Thus, the exemption claimed by the appellate authority u/s 8(1)(d) & (j) of the act is justified. The appeal is accordingly disposed of. Sd/- (Prof. M.M. Ansari) Information Commissioner Download the decision from Download segment.
  11. Central Information Commission Decision No.289/IC(A)/2006 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00366 Dated, the 20th September, 2006 Name of the Appellant : Sh. K.K. Dawar, A-221, Kidwai Nagar (East), New Delhi – 110 023. Name of the Public Authority: Department of Personnel and Training, M/o Personnel, PG and Pensions, 3rd floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi. DECISION The appellant, a UDC, has grievances against the respondent on the matter of promotion of UDCs against the vacant posts of Assistants. In thiscontext, he has sought huge information, mainly in the form of queries that hasbeen duly answered by the CPIO. Being not satisfied with the response of the CPIO, he filed his 1st appeal and the appellate authority too has given point-wise detailed reply. There are no provisions under the RTI Act for redressal of grievances relating to recruitment, transfer, promotions, etc., of the Govt. employees. The appellant should, therefore, specify the required documents on the basis of which he could approach the competent authority for redressal of his grievances. Since there is no denial of information in this case, the appeal is dismissed. Sd/- (Prof. M.M. Ansari) Information Commissioner Download the decision from Download segment.
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