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  1. School teacher denied information on retirement, not paid compensation either JULY 30: The Zilla Parishad education department, which was slapped a fine of Rs 5,000 on May 29 by State Information Commissioner (SIC) for Pune Region Vijay Kuvalekar for denying information to school teacher Haribhau Jagannath Bagade under the Right To Information Act, has been sitting on the orders for the past two months. In a letter to Kuvalekar, Bagade has said neither has the ED provided any information nor paid him the compensation. Kuvalekar had pulled up Public Information Officer (PIO) cum deputy education officer (secondary division) Dnyanoba Bhujbal and other officials over the issue. Bagade, who worked as a secondary teacher in Swami Vivekanand Shikshan Sanstha’s Chhatrapati Vidyalaya in Wadgaon Rasai in Shirur, nearly 50 km from Pune, was forced to retire on December 31, 1995 after his date of birth was assumed as December 12, 1937. Bagade was born on December 12, 1938. Bagade approached Lokayukta, Mumbai and Judicial Magistrate Court, Koregaon, Satara where the court, in a verdict on August 29, 2000, upheld Bagade’s date of birth as December 12, 1938. The verdict was validated by Lokayukta, Mumbai. The State government passed the order to ED, Zilla Parishad and Deputy Education Directorate to immediately arrange for the payment of a year’s salary to Bagade. The order was addressed to the deputy directorate (education), Pune which forwarded it to ED which took no action. The delay forced Bagade to file an RTI requisition on September 30, 2006 seeking information on the action taken by the department on the State government’s and Education Directorate, Pune’s orders. When no information was forthcoming, Bagade filed the first appeal on November 13, 2006 before Education Officer (secondary section). When he was denied information yet again, Bagade reappealed to the first appealing authority who passed an order saying, “PIO should explore whatever information could be provided.” A second appeal was lodged with state information commissioner on April 9, the hearing of which was scheduled on May 8 by Kuvalekar. The SIC in its ruling ordered the PIO to give information to Bagade by June 10 and a receipt of the same should be submitted to the Appellate officer cum education officer (Secondary), Zilla Parishad Prakash Parab. Kuvalekar asked the ED and deputy education directorate to send a completion report before June 15. The SIC ordered Parab to ensure that Rs 5,000 was paid to Bagade under RTI 2005 Section 19 (8) by June 20 as compensation. This amount was to be deducted from the salaries of Bhujbal and other officers. Parab was told to submit a completion report to the SIC. Kuvalekar’s order stated that Bhujbal should have followed the RTI rules strictly and asked for his conduct to be recorded in his confidential report . Bagade has alleged that his records have been tampered with. “There have been two appeals and the SIC has ruled in my favour.The ED had prepared bogus documents of my service records and is afraid to part with the information,’’ Bagade said. ZP education dept fined under RTI, sits on order for two months
  2. SHIMLA: Seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in Himachal Pradesh is about five times more expensive than the fee charged at the Union government level. After paying an application fee of Rs 10, a person seeking information under RTI has to pay Rs 10 per page for photocopy of an a-4 size sheet and Rs 20 if the size of the paper is more than this, sources in the Information Commission here said. The charge per page of photocopy of a-4 size sheet at the Union government level is only Rs two, they said. Besides, information available in the form of printed publication will be made available at printed price, they added. For information available in electronic form and supplied in the same form, CD or floppy disk, the charge is Rs 50 per floppy and Rs 100 per CD, the sources said. The fee for perusal of government files is Rs 10 for 15 minutes and the amount will multiply for every additional 15 minutes, they said. Chief Information Commissioner of the state Prem Singh Rana maintains that the fee is not a hindrance to people seeking information under the act. "The amount (Rs 10 per page) is not for generating revenue but is aimed at spreading awareness about the act from the money acquired from the applicants," Rana said, adding that so far, nobody has objected to the fee amount. Seeking information under RTI Act expensive in HP-India-The Times of India '; if (doweshowbellyad==1) bellyad.innerHTML = b2;
  3. I live in an area where the road widening project is approved. but it is not taking shape for the reasons best known only to the local administrators. whom should i ask under RTI.
  4. NEW DELHI: All Indian missions abroad come under the purview of the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled. "Since the Indian missions are set up by the foreign ministry, they come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act," the CIC said in a recent order. The ruling came while the CIC was hearing an appeal by Anju Musafir, who sought information related to the issue of visa to a French national who was to join as a faculty member in the Mahatma Gandhi International School in Ahmedabad. Information Commissioner O P Kejriwal directed the consular, passport and visa division of the external affairs ministry to provide the information to Musafir by April 25 after collecting it from the Indian embassy in Paris. During the hearing, the Commission was informed that though Musafir's application was forwarded to the Indian embassy in Paris, she did not get a proper reply. Defending non-disclosure of information, the ministry and other authorities took the plea that missions abroad were not covered by the RTI Act. Musafir had first filed an application with the Public Information Officer of MEA on July 19, 2006 to seek information related to the denial of visa by an Indian consulate to French national Benjamin Mailian. The CIC referred the matter of mode of payment to Indian missions by information seekers to the MEA and Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) for necessary recommendations for amending the Act, which was silent on the issue. 'Indian missions abroad fall under RTI Act'-India-NEWS-The Times of India
  5. The Imphal Free Press imphal, mar 18: In the first instance of its kind in the state, Human Rights Alert has filed a complaint with the Manipur Information Commission against the information officer, department of home, government of Manipur for failing to furnish information sought under the Right to Information, RTI Act. According to a statement issued by the Human Rights Alert, one of its programme executives had on February 9, 2007 filed an application under section 6(1) of the RTI Act with the information officer of the state home department seeking information relating to inquiries instituted by the state government under the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952 in the past three decades. It said the officer concerned has been approached repeatedly to obtain the requested information, but the officer neither allowed access to the information, nor gave any official response to the request. The statement said a complaint was accordingly filed before the Manipur Information Commission on March 13, 2007. The state information commissioner, RK Angousana has in this connection registered a complaint case and asked the officer concerned to furnish objection if any on March 26, 2007. The information sought by the HRA included, total number and particulars of inquiries instituted since 1980 by the state government, total number of inquiry reports submitted to the government and action taken thereof, total number of inquiries whose report have been submitted but not considered by the government. The HRA had also sought copies of the inquiry reports concerned by the government of Manipur along with the memorandum of action taken. Rights body files complaint under RTI Act :: KanglaOnline ~ Your Gateway
  6. Doraha, March 6 Pawan Kumar Kaushal, a retired headmaster, has been running from pillar to post since four and a half months to get information from the DEO(S) about his unwarranted pensionary benefit. He had sought information under the right to information (RTI) Act about his 6-month ad hoc service. Kaushal says that his six-month ad hoc service had hitherto remained unaccounted for pension and pensionary benefits by the authorities concerned. As per a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the service rendered should be counted for pension and pensionary benefits. The office of the secretary, department of school education, through a letter dated May 29, 2006, had asked the authorities, including the district education officers, to count the service of employees rendered on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of pensionary benefits. Kaushal said the AG, through a letter dated August 7, had asked the DEOs of Ludhiana to send his revised pension case after including the service rendered on an ad hoc basis. To know about the status of his case Kaushal had applied then for information under the RTI Act on October 12, but even after the expiry of the stipulated time period of 30 days, the information eluded him. Kaushal had also informed the state information commissioner and the chief information commissioner about the callousness of DEO(S), demanding necessary action and an adequate reply. On December 1, 2006 that the state information commission (IC) Punjab made it mandatory for the DEO(S) to provide information within 15 days’ time period but the latter took no pains to supply any such information to the former. Ultimately, the state information commissioner fixed February 26, 2007, for hearing from the district education officer (S) or through an authorised representative, who should be well-conversant with the facts of the case but astonishingly the DEO(S) still paid no heed. Now the state information commissioner had issued a fresh notice of hearing to the DEO(S) the date for which has been fixed on be April 2, 2007. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Ludhiana Stories
  7. In a blow to information seekers wanting commitment from government officials through their queries, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that there was no provision under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek opinion and commitment. The CIC rejected an appeal seeking commitment from the Postal Department as to when it was going to issue some new commemorative postage stamp on certain celebrities. "The Act does not provide for a right to seek comments, answers or interpretations to the queries raised by a citizen, obviously because they would be subjective," said Commissioner Padma Balasubramanian dismissing the appeal which sought commitment regarding the issuance of future postage stamps on Dr B R Ambedkar and Guru Ravi Das. The Commission made it clear that the officials were under no obligation to assure anything, pertaining to future activities, to information seeker as they do not fall under the purview of the RTI. R L Kain, a resident of Delhi, had sought a commitment from the Postal Department that it would release commemorative stamp in honour of B R Ambedkar and other celebrities. The CIC, in a recent order, upheld the Central Public Information Officer's earlier ruling that there was no provision for disclosure of "comments, opinion or commitment" under the Act. outlookindia.com | wired
  8. BANGALORE: The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) has not streamlined its system for sharing information with the public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. The civic body continues to be pulled up by Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) to bring in accountability, more than a year after the Act was implemented. In its recent order, KIC told BMP to accept application fee in cash. Under RTI, the application fees is Rs 10 and it can be paid by cash or through Indian Postal Order. While the civic body accepted cash till recently, the RTI cell is now demanding IPOs or payment through bank challans. Many applicants face problems, as IPOs of Rs 10 denomination are in short supply and challan needs to be cleared by three officials in BMP accounts department. Many RTI applicants are asked to pay application fees through IPOs, since Rs 10 denomination IPOs are not available and they are forced to buy Rs 20 IPOs. Further, cash payment for information sheet is not accepted. Mahithi Hakku Adhyana Kendra recently sought information from Bangalore Mahanagara Palike executive engineer (Projects) and the officer demanded payment only by challan, which involved the purchase of challans and filling them, scrutiny by PIO and further scrutiny by accounts department. Thereafter, countersignature of two officers including the accounts officer were needed. Usually, the information comprises two-three pages and the copying charges is Rs 2-4. The banks, too, find it difficult to handle challans for these small sums. The KIC has ordered the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner to introduce a system by which cash is accepted and compliance report is filed within a month. (Source: The New Indian Express, Bangalore, Jan.17,2006)
  9. ganeshk

    Colleges are under scrutiny now

    This article appeared in Hindustan Times, Mumbai Edition on January 4, 2006. FOR RS 10, you can now probe the multi-crore education business, dominated by Maharashtra’s rich and powerful politicians and so far conducted behind closed doors. State Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi’s ruling last week against the Chetana Trust — penalising it Rs 25,000 for withholding information on how it spends its funds — means that trusts and deemed universities, which enjoy public grants or are covered by the state’s rules, will have to open their procedures and accounts to public scrutiny. Educational trusts have been mired in controversies like donations, bribery, non-adherence to norms and running unrecognised courses. The biggest grouse is profiteering, which led the Supreme Court to direct states to appoint fee monitoring committees. Now, armed with a Rs 10 Right To Information (RTI) application made to your school, college or the trust that runs it, or the state’s regulatory bodies, you can probe almost every aspect of education in the state. Joshi made it clear to HT: “Trusts will have to be totally transparent in their affairs.” Already, the law is showing its power. Last week’s announcement of a steep fee hike in medical and dental colleges by the Shikshan Shulka Samiti (fee panel) led to the Parents Association of Medical Students(PAMS) to wield the RTI against five medical colleges. They are Nashik’s NKP Salve Medical College, Aurangabad’s MGM Medical College, Pimpri’s DY Patil Dental Col lege, Nashik’s NDMVP Samaj Medical College and Wardha’s Sharad Pawar Dental College. “We’ve asked for income and expenditure statements and the formula adopted for fixing fees,” said Rajesh Jain, a PAMS member. Kamal Kishore Kadam, chairman of the Association of Managements of Unaided Private Medical and Dental Colleges, said there was “no problem in supplying information”. But, he added: “Applicants will find that facilities will not meet norms since the fee fixed by the Samiti is far below the Rs 6 lakh we require annually per student.”
  10. Panaji, Jan 1 The guardian of the Right to Information Act in Goa, the Goa State Information Commission has pulled up the chief general manager of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation for failing to provide information within the stipulated period of 30 days to its own employee. In a recent order by the State Chief Information Commissioner, Mr A Venkataratnam and State Information Commissioner, Mr G G Kambli, the Commission expressed surprise and sadness that a statutory corporation of the state government gave incomplete and vague information to its own employee who is a regional manager with the corporation. “We shudder to think what will happen if any citizen approaches the Respondent No 1 for the same information,’’ the order reads. The respondent no 1 is the GIDC chief general manager, who is also the corporation’s public information officer. The story dates back to June 7, 2006, when the GIDC Regional Manager, Mr Uday Rege, Honda Industrial Estate, applied for information to the GIDC public information officer (PIO) under the Right to Information. Among other things, he wanted know the powers, duties and facilities for the post of regional manager according to the GIDC policy. Getting no reply within the stipulated 30 days, he filed an appeal before the first appellate authority on July 17, 2006. While the appeal was pending, the PIO wrote to Mr Rege that part of the information sought by him did not fall under the RTI Act. But he did attempt to explain the duties, powers and facilities as requested by Mr Rege. Accordingly, the first appellate authority disposed off the appeal. But Mr Rege approached the Goa State Information Commission stating that the PIO had “purposely delayed the information’’ and prayed that action be taken against both, the PIO and the appellate authority. He also prayed for the exact information. After examining the case and the written submission from the GIDC PIO, the Commission decided to partly allow the appeal and directed the PIO to provide the correct information on duties, powers, facilities etc within a week from the date of the receipt of the order. The Commission also directed to show cause why a penalty of Rs 250 per day for the delay should not be imposed on the GIDC Public Information Officer. The State Information Commissioner, Mr Kambli said the Commission has just received the GIDC reply and will decide on the matter shortly. Navhind Times on the Web: Goa
  11. ganpat1956

    Rs 56,268 for info under RTI

    Reported in " Mid Day" (nov,02,2006) =========================== The Right to Information (RTI) Act came as a relief for the common man who wanted to extract information from the government. But the information comes with a heavy price tag, as advocate Vinod Sampat discovered on October 21. He was told that he would have to pay Rs 56,268 for the information he wanted on the collector’s property in Mumbai and its suburbs from the Urban Land Ceiling Authority (ULCA). “I am sure the information that I have sought won’t exceed 200 pages. Under RTI, every page costs Rs 2. As per their bill, there would have to be 28,000 pages of information,” said Sampath. But the ULCA authorities claim this is not an illogical amount, as the files run into thousands of pages and photocopying the information requires a huge amount. ULCA has cases where the bill goes up to a lakh. According to a senior ULCA official, “Information about property cases runs into many files. If the information asked for isn’t specific, it ends up in a voluminous number of pages.” Moreover, in such cases, the public information officer usually asks people to personally scrutinise the information and pay inspection charges of Rs 5 per hour. Presented with such a huge bill, Sampat is now planning to compile the information on a CD, as the RTI charges Rs 25 per CD. Though Sampat has found an alternative, at this rate the RTI will hardly be of any use to the common man ======================================== The news reported above gives us some interesting tips to reduce the cost: 1. Ask for information/details in a precise and specific manner 2. Where the information sought is voluminous, seek it in a CD format 3. For voluminous documents, opt for scrutiny/inspection of document =Ganpat=
  12. State commission cracks down on information officers who delay providing information to citizens The state information commissioner recently levied a fine of Rs9,750, to be recovered from the salary of SP Sangane, divisional joint registrar, co-operative housing societies, for delaying information sought under the RTI. Tarun Ghia, a Mumbai resident, had demanded copies of the orders of appointment of chartered accountants and certified auditors to audit co-operative housing societies, on January 23, 2006. Ghia was provided the required information on April 20 — 84 days after the application. Under the Act, only 30 days to provide information is permissible and another 15 days to intimate the applicant about photocopying charges. But even after counting those days, there was still a delay of 39 days. Ghia then filed a complaint and, in the hearing before the state information commissioner, Sangane cited administrative reasons such as the ongoing assembly session, large number of appeals, urgent notices and the chief officer going on sick leave as causes of delay. State Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi, however, said the reasons did not justify a 39-day delay. In another case, Gaurang Vora sought information regarding MMRDA projects that required trees to be chopped or replanted, through the RTI Act. The information was delayed by 29 days. SR Nandargikar, superintendent engineer and engineering and information officer, MMRDA was fined Rs7,250 (Rs 250 per day of delay). “I’m quite satisfied with the action that the commissioner has taken but the need of the hour is 10 chief information commissioners in the state,” Vora said. Suresh Joshi, chief information commissioner, Maharashtra, said: “We look at the gravity of the case and then impose a fine or order departmental proceedings. If it’s a tehsildar in Gadchiroli, who has very little administrative exposure, then we are lenient and may issue a warning but if it’s a corporator in Pune or Mumbai, who is well aware of administrative responsibilities, we take stricter action.”
  13. BALANGIR: Manoranjan Joshi was shocked when he was asked by the department of rural development here to pay Rs 1.22 lakh for accessing information under the Right to Information Act. Joshi had applied for information on the status of projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and low-cost repair of roads taken up by the department in Balangir district. "I approached an assistant engineer, who is also the department's public information officer (PIO), but he refused to give any information. So, I was compelled to apply for the information under the Act. But, to my utter disbelief I was given a letter by the PIO, Birendra Kumar Tripathy, asking for Rs 1.22 lakh as the cost of the information," Joshi said. He has appealed against the department authorities before the additional district magistrate, who is the PIO for the district. Executive engineer of the department here, P K Senapaty, said it could have happened due to a misunderstanding between the applicant and the PIO. "I will look into the matter," he added. Full Story
  14. I was wondering weather public sector come under RTI?
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
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