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Found 34 results

  1. The UP Government has issued an advertisement for the post of CIC and one IC in the UPSIC. The notification and application format is attached to this post. UP Ad for CIC and one IC in UPSIC.pdf
  2. I want my rights

    Applied for ration card

    I applied for ration card about a month and half back in Ghaziabad (UP). That time I was told that I would get an SMS on 15 th feb and that way I would know how to get my ration card. The process I learnt from the website is that the applier is provided a no. by which it can followup. But I was given none. I recieved and SMS on 23rd Feb informing me that my ration has been sent to one ration dealer( the name was given) . Now I haven't got my ration card. There is a toll free no also (18001800150) where I was informed that the ration card is with that dealer. Now , I got no of that dealer on the website too. (fcs.up.nic.in). I called him and he told me that he has no new ration card. Before that found the shop and it was closed. How to go ahead with my case? Should I file an RTI or should I wait.
  3. I wanted to ask how do i file an rti in uttar pradesh online.I wanted to file an rti regarding the following problem-My father a retired high school principal in Uttar Pradesh recieves his pension each month.The problem is that according to the rules there is an increment of rs.3000 after crossing 80 years of age.He is now 81 and he should have got the increment but he is not getting the incremented pension.He is an old man and has gone to all govt offices like BASIC shiksha adhikari etc but to no use.He is just being asked to move from one office to another.Can you help me out.Since my father lives in UP and I am in bangalore i wanted to ask you whether i can file an rti for the above mentioned issue. Yours Faithfully
  4. Could anybody tell me who is the PIO and FAA of a Tehsil office in Uttar Pradesh. AFAIK, the Tehsildar is APIO. Please also cite the source of your info if possible.
  5. I made a query under RTI from the PIO/DM of my district in U.P. When there was no response despite the lapse of 30 days, I emailed my First Appeal under RTI to the FAA/Secy State Information Commission, Uttar Pradesh, but again there was no response whatsoever. After waiting for a month I emailed my appeal to the State Chief Information Commissioner, but i vain. The result is that I haven't got any response on my query under RTI despite the lapse of 9 whole months. Please tell me what should I do now.
  6. 8 new Information Commissioners to be appointed soon in Uttar Pradesh Reported by UNI in newkerla.com on August 23, 2012 8 new Information Commissioners to be appointed soon in Uttar Pradesh | 70977 Uttar Pradesh government today short listed eight persons from various fields for appointment on vacant posts of Information Commissioners (ICs) in UP State Information Commission (UPSIC). The list would now be sent for Governor's approval by the Chief Minister very soon. The meeting of three member panel, authorised for selection of information commissioners and chief information commissioner, was held at Chief Minister's official residence where eight names were short listed from a list of 112 persons who had applied for coveted posts. Currently only two information commissioners Khadijatul Kubra and Gyan Prakash Maurya were holding offices in UPSIC as eight posts were lying vacant hampering functioning of the commission responsible for implementation of Right to Information (RTI) Act in the state. The selection panel including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, minister for Health and Medical Education Ahmed Hasan and leader of opposition in state assembly Swami Prasad Maurya was constituted yesterday. According to sources, among persons selected for post of ICs were lawyers, former bureaucrats and media persons. The two members of the panel refrained from naming the persons selected and said, with approval of the Governor appointment of new information commissioners was likely to be announced very soon. Mr Maurya while coming out of the meeting, said, "the CM has been authorised for selection of Information Commissioners and I hope, with their appointment, UPSIC will work in a transparent and efficient manner." Since the appointment of chief information commissioner and information commissioners was solely depend on the ruling party, UPSIC was faced to allegations of politicisation which was denting its credibility and functioning both. Samajwadi party itself had held the appointment of present chief information commissioner R S Pankaj as political one which was aimed at serving interests of the then ruling BSP. The appointment of Khadijatul Kubra as information commissioner during previous BSP regime had invited much criticism from opposition and RTI activists. The apex court recently in an order have held political appointment responsible for over all detoriation in functioning of information commissions in the country.
  7. I need the details of the Income Tax submitted by the charity registered in the varansi (UP). I have filed an RTI to Income Tax dept. But I have not yet received any information. Please let me know the procedure. YFI: I couldn't find the details of PIO for charity related quires.. in UP official website....
  8. Dear Friend, I run an organization in aliganj area of Lucknow. We have witnessed that letter through post office is not delivered to our office. When we asked post man, he said, I should register my ornaization in post office through application. Is it inevitable for my organisation to register itself at post office???If not, Can I register RTI against post office of non-deliverance of mail to my office?? What question can be frame in RTI?? Plz help, I need it...
  9. simplypandey

    Gonda Dist - Uttar Pradesh

    Hi All, I am Santosh and I belong to a dist called GONDA in Uttar Pradesh. There are a lot of villages where we still do not have electricity. My question is, is there any was I can ask govt/concerned people as to when will the electricity facility be introduced in our village. We have the electricity pole at about 200 mts away from our house where electricity is active. I presume that the electricity extension is already given to our village but the lineman has not extended the line in lieu of some bribe from the villagers. Please advise how can my issue be addressed.
  10. As reported by Rajeev Dikshit at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Dec 15, 2010 VARANASI: As amazing as it may sound, but operating 'fake' police stations is also possible in this state. Until IG (range) RP Singh took a serious note of this malpractice and ordered for the closure of 'illegal police stations', a nexus of some officials of the regional transport office, police, 'dalals' (agents or middlemen) and even politicians operated such 'stations' in Ramnagar, Varanasi, and Alinagar and Saiyyedraja in Chandauli. Talking to TOI on Wednesday, the IG admitted that he had issued an order for the closure of such places. After the orders, the fake police stations in Ramnagar and Alinagar have been closed but the police have not confirmed whether the same has happened in Saiyyedraja. A few months back, the TOI had exposed the corrupt practices being committed on highways, especially between Naubatpur check-post (Bihar border) and Varanasi, to extort money from the truck drivers. It had led to the area emerging as a black spot on the route map of the transporters of the country. Apart from initiating other measures like issuing token for overloading to extort money from the truck drivers and owners, this nexus had even created some yards. As per the law, after catching any truck for improper documents or overloading, the trucks are sent to the police stations and the documents are forwarded to the RTO for the necessary action. As the Ramnagar, Alinagar and Saiyyedraja police stations had no space for parking the seized trucks, some yards were created on the private land available along the highways. Those yards were given the name and status of police stations. When the trucks were released after completion of official formalities, the truck drivers were asked to pay yard charges at the rate of Rs 500 per day. No receipt was given to them against that payment while, before taking the truck, Rs 2,000 was also extorted from the truck driver or owner by the policemen present there. A lawyer, Vijay Shankar, who handled the cases of Motor Vehicles Act, said after noticing such malpractice for the past seven years, he decided to seek details of the provision of the 'fake' police stations under the Right to Information Act. In reply to his questions, the RTO as well as the Varanasi DIG made it very clear that their departments did not pay the rent for the premises where such police stations were operating. The replies made it clear that the practices were totally illegal. Shankar said after getting the replies, he met the IG and submitted a memorandum. After that the IG ordered the SP traffic to investigate the matter. On getting a report from the SP traffic, the IG ordered for immediate closure of the fake or illegal police stations in Ramnagar and Alinagar area. The IG's order surely ensured the closure of some fake police stations but many questions have not been answered so far. Shankar asked who would give an account of the money extorted from the truck operators in the name of yard charge? This money was being taken for the past seven years. He also wondered why did the officials not book those involved in the nexus under the anti-corruption act.
  11. Labour dept slips on RTI terrain as reported by Ms. Neha Shukla, TNN, LUCKNOW: Aug 23, 2010, Times of India A little learning is a dangerous thing. And it is the labour department of UP that has proved the adage this time. Supposedly, half-baked knowledge of the Right To Information Act (RTI) made the department's order, though issued in `good spirit' look reckless and "surprising" to the state information commission (SIC). The commission has now sought explanation from the department's who's who on legality of the order. The order in question is the one issued by labour commissioner Sitaram Mina on April 7, 2010. The order reads -- "In accordance with the GO issued on April 23, 2007, regional additional/deputy labour commissioners have been nominated as first appeals authority for their area of jurisdiction. These officials have been directed to nominate PIOs and APIOs, according to their discretion, from among the available officers." A copy of the order was forwarded to all departmental officials, principal secretary, labour department, and principal secretary, administrative reforms department. Later, an almost similar order was issued by R B Lal, deputy labour commissioner, Lucknow region, on April 13, 2010. He further informed that assistant labour commissioners in Lucknow, Hardoi, Rae Bareli, Lakhimpur Kheri, Unnao and Sitapur have been nominated as PIOs in their area of jurisdiction. The labour enforcement officers and inspectors in these districts, on the other hand, have been named as APIOs. The SIC has taken adverse view of the orders and has termed the order "surprising". The commission has sent notice to labour commissioner to explain the "legality" of his order. "It is only head of the department who can nominate first appeals authority and PIO," said information commissioner (IC), Gyanendra Sharma. The order has been questioned on the basis of the GO of April 23, 2007, which labour commissioner referred to in his order. The GO signed by the then chief secretary Shambhu Nath reads, "...in all the administrative units and in offices under them, procedure of nominating first appeals authority and PIO will be completed by public authority, as per its discretion and from among the available officials." This boils down to the fact that power to nominate first appeals authority and PIO in any government department rests with the head of the department (HoD). The power cannot be delegated to subordinate officers. The commission observed, "powers delegated by labour commissioner to first appeals authority and PIO in offices of additional/ deputy labour commissioner do not confirm to rules". On the other hand, appointment of APIOs at offices other than sub-divisional ones (or tehsil level) has also been questioned by the commission. UP government in the past has issued an order stating that appointment of APIOs be done at sub-divisional offices only, as mentioned in the RTI Act. The principal secretary, administrative reforms department, has been asked if any order has been issued from their office regarding appointment of APIOs at offices other than tehsil level. "Why should not appointment of APIOs made at other offices be cancelled," questioned the commission. Principal secretary, labour department has been asked to explain why the department did not nominate the first appeals authority till now. The next date of hearing in the case has been fixed for August 25. Source : Labour dept slips on RTI terrain - Lucknow - City - The Times of India
  12. As reported at dnaindia.com on August 16, 2010 Uttar Pradesh may be ruled by a Dalit chief minister but poor Dalits in the state's rural areas continue to suffer under the oppression of upper caste politicians. One such case is that of a 50-year old dalit,Budhai Ram of Sidhauli village in Sitapur district, 80 kilometres from Lucknow. Budhai Ram apparently made the mistake of filing a Right to Information petition at the office of the Sitapur district magistrate seeking details of sub-standard building material in the construction of government buildings in his village by contractors. He received no reply to his petition. What he did receive, he alleges, were threats from the chairman of the Sidhauli nagar panchayat, an upper-caste politician considered close to a top-leader of the ruling BSP. He says he was asked to stop his enquiries and keep his mouth shut. The leader's henchmenoffered him a "settlement" but when he approached the state Lok Ayukta with a complaint of corruption, they attacked him and his wife. "On May 15 this year, body of my five-year old daughter was found in the pool of my village. I was threatened that I will also meet the fate of my daughter but Police did not provide any protection to us. On August 8, about 15 armed goons beat me and my wife mercilessly at my home. I escaped and called the police station, the circle officer and the ASP but to no avail," Budhai told PTI. When contacted, Sitapur superintendent of police, Jyoti Narayan termed it a dispute between neighbours and denied that there had been any attack on the family of Budhai. "We have investigated his case at least thrice. On all these occasions the complaints were found to be without any basis," he said. Narayan said a new officer has been asked to re-investigate. RTI activists have been the target of violence in several cases and nine of them have been killed in different parts of the country this year forcing the Centre to consider offering protection to them under the whistleblowers category.
  13. As reported by Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 28, 2010 LUCKNOW: In a first of its kind incident, a UP police home guard was done to death allegedly for daring to seek information under the RTI Act about government funds and work done by his village pradhan in Bahraich. The accused pradhan's husband and four others have been arrested in this connection. The police say the murder is fallout of a 40-year-old dispute between the two sides over a piece of land. The incident took place in Katghar village under Ranipur police station of Bahraich on Sunday afternoon. According to reports, ex-pradhan of Katghar Mohan Singh, his son Vijay Pratap (32) alias Babbu Singh, who is a home guard and had come home on a holiday, and brother Satyadeo Singh was supervising some construction work on a piece of land in the village when one Indrajeet Singh and his cohorts reached the site. Indrajeet is husband of the sitting village pradhan since the seat was reserved for the fairer sex in the last elections. "As soon as they reached us, they started abusing and eventually a free for all ensued. Since we were not expecting a showdown and they had come prepared with sticks and rods in hand, we could not do much and they beat us severely," Satyadeo said recollecting the sequence of events.
  14. He fought to bring transparency in office as reported in Hindustan Times, New Delhi, June 17, 2010 For Dr Lalit Narayan Mishra (33), the Best PIO Awards 2009 winner, bringing transparency to his office in a Uttar Pradesh district was no mean task. "Right from my student days, I always wanted to change the system. When Right to Information (RTI) came into existence, I found the required weapon for doing so," he says. Mishra won the RTI Award because he provided complete and correct information to all applications he received during 2008. When feedback was collected from people, all of them expressed satisfaction. In 2006, he launched a website to voluntarily disclose information related to the education department. The journey was not easy for Mishra, who faced opposition from various quarters. "My colleagues questioned as to why our department is taking special steps for RTI implementation and not others. They feared that their other source of income may be affected," he says. Commissioned as Assistant Accounts Officer in the Lucknow Cane Commissioner's office in 2002, Mishra says he always thought there should be better transparency in government's working. He was posted as District Commandant of Home Guards in 2005 when the RTI Act came into force. He fought to bring transparency in office- Hindustan Times
  15. Atul Patankar

    Govt ducks RTI reply on corrupt babus

    As reported by Mohd Arshi Rafique at indianexpress.com on Mar 31, 2010 Lucknow : The Uttar Pradesh government has refused to furnish a reply to an RTI query seeking information on the inquiries pending against IAS officers found involved in corruption. Refusing to entertain the plea, the government said the information is not available in the format in which the applicant had sought answers for and hence it has no relevance. Avdesh Kumar Singh Rathore, the special secretary in the Department of Appointment and Personnel, cited a Central Information Commission order, dated November 20, 2006, which said information can be provided only in the form in which it exists and cannot be “created or generated” for the information seeker. However, the Section 7 (9) of the RTI Act clearly says information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. Salim Beig, a resident of Moradabad and president of Manav Sewa Samiti, had sent an RTI application to the Chief Minister’s Office on April 13, 2009. He asked for details on three counts: (1) List of names and addresses of IAS officers against whom inquiries in corruption cases are pending, (2) Has the government fixed any time limit for completing these pending inquiries? If yes, provide with the file notings, and (3) The list of officers or agencies conducting the probe and the charges against the officers. The application was routed to the office of principal secretary, Department of Appointment and Personnel, on April 24, 2009. Beig, who has now filed an appeal at the State Information Commission, said his application was first rejected on May 20, 2009 by Ashok Kumar Srivastava, the PIO of the Department of Personnel, on the ground that the information seeker is an organisation and not a “natural person” and therefore he cannot be provided with any information. In an appeal filed before the appeal officer, Beig has submitted he sought information as a person and the name of the organisation was mentioned as part of his address. Source: Govt ducks RTI reply on corrupt babus
  16. As reported by Neha Shukla at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 13 December 2009 LUCKNOW: In a rare instance where a government organ has taken considerate view of an observation made by the UP State Information Commission (UPSIC), the state urban development department (UDD) has directed its officials to act speedily on inquiry reports/complaints concerning local bodies like nagar nigams and nagar palika parishads to ensure transparency in governance. Acting on the SIC observation, the department, by way of an order issued by its principal secretary Alok Ranjan, has also fixed a timeframe within which it has been made mandatory for the departmental officials to act on inquiry reports and complaints or else face disciplinary action. The principal secretary, in response to an UPSIC observation on a RTI complaint pertaining a local body of the UDD in February, ordered that ‘‘action on complaints of irregularities, anomalies and corruption against anyone in the local bodies and the department be ensured and inquiry reports be disposed off within a month’s time’’. The copy of the order has been forwarded to the commission. Information commissioner (IC) Gyanedndra Sharma had observed in a judgement that ‘‘there is hardly a timely action coming from the government on inquiry reports or complaints of corruption and anomalies concerning local bodies. More so because there is no timeframe fixed for disposal of such complaints and inquiry reports’’. Source: UDD acts on SIC order, tells babus to act on complaints - Lucknow - City - The Times of India
  17. As reported at topnews.in on October 22, 2009 One man's Right to Information (RTI) application has led to the Uttar Pradesh land consolidation department admitting Thursday that living people were declared dead in its records due to irregularities. The matter came to light when Lal Bihari, a man who had been declared dead, sought the records through the RTI Act. "I was declared dead in the records and all my land was grabbed by the influential people of my village using forged documents," Bihari, a native of Hardoi district, said here. "After making numerous efforts to prove myself alive, I decided to file an RTI application to expose the scam." However, Bihari was provided details of only 20 such 'dead' people. "I had asked for the details of all such living 'dead' people in the state, but the department only provided me the details of 20 people in 10 districts," Bihari said. "There are thousands of such cases across the state and the department has just completed its formality by providing me the details of only 10 districts," Bihari claimed. Ashok Chandra, deputy director of the Chakbandi department told IANS: "We have provided Bihari with the details of Unnao, Hardoi,Lucknow, Azamgarh, Muzaffarnagar, Siddharthanagar, Kannauj, Barabanki, Faizabad and Rampur districts. "There may be more such cases and we are looking into the matter."(IANS) Source: Living people declared dead in Uttar Pradesh, reveals RTI | Top News
  18. fspl

    RTI in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

    Since last two years, I have been bidding for Govt. tenders (e-Govt projects) in Bihar, Jharkhand and UP. No one communicates any reason for rejection and detailsabout the winners. In spite of repeated request no one answers. I need to know the process to use RTI to get Information. (Anjani Kumar Singh) Ph (Posting of mob. no. is against RTI India - Forum Rules - hence deleted)
  19. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 31 May 2009 LUCKNOW: It is mostly lack of information on part of Public Information Officers (PIOs) that lands them in trouble. State Information Commission (SIC) slaps a fine on erring PIOs when they fail to meet the deadline of providing the required information. But, PIOs had a common question, whom to turn to for help when they face a problem understanding RTI Act or when they fail to decide what to do with RTI applications. There problem, however, met with an instant solution when chief information commissioner Gyanendra Sharma said that PIOs caught in confusion could call up the information commissioners for help. But, in no way they should delay release of information beyond 30 days. Many PIOs complained that most of the times they were not in possession of the information sought by the applicant. The information concerns the officials higher to them or is with them. If PIOs do not want the fine to be imposed on them in such a situation they should mention that information was with higher official who would then be treated as deemed PIO for the case and further responsibility would rest on him. Imposing of a fine does not relieve information officer of the responsibility of providing the information. Repeated failures to provide information sought to the applicant even after slapping of the fine can invite disciplinary action against the errant PIO. But, PIOs need not answer the PIAs (Perennial Information Applicants). If an applicant seeks same information over and over again through separate applications, PIOs have all the right to refuse providing the information again but not without stating that when and through what document they had provided the information to the applicant earlier. All the information present in government records is accessible by the public. The PIOs have to provide all except what is prohibited under Section 8(j) of the Act. In cases, where information demanded has been weeded out, PIOs will have to state that in the reply issued to the applicant(s). Whatever be the reason behind not providing the information has to be given to the applicant in writing if the concerned PIO does not want a fine to be imposed on him. The PIOs from many government departments had gathered to get tips on the Act and disposal of applications filed under it at a training workshop organised by Lucknow Management Association (LMA) and Common Wealth Human Rights Initiative on Saturday. The programme was attended by Gyanendra Sharma, chief information commissioner, UP, KK Sinha, principal secretary, administrative reforms department and Justice SC Verma. Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/PIOs-asked-to-consult-ICs-in-case-of-doubts-regarding-RTI/articleshow/4599338.cms
  20. Atul Patankar

    SIC gets on with the job well

    As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 30 May 2009 LUCKNOW: When it comes to disposal of cases State Information Commission (SIC) has done a better job than Central Information Commission (CIC). According to the information provided by SIC, CIC got 10,274 cases in 2007. Out of which it disposed off 6,979 cases. On the other hand, SIC got 14,565 cases in 2008 and it disposed off 10,285 cases in the year. The percentage of disposal at CIC was 68 whereas for SIC it was 70.61. The number of cases filed at State Information Commission is going up with each passing year. The cases coming to the commission are mostly complaints that are filed under section 18 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The reason behind the increase in number of complaints is two fold. There is an increase in awareness among people regarding the RTI Act. Secondly, the appeals filed with the appellate authorities of government departments are not getting due hearing and attention. As a result, complainants are approaching the commission. The commission has released the total number of cases filed up at the commission for three years separately. The commission was set up on March 22, 2006. Maximum number of cases per month, 2,669 have been filed in 2008. But maximum per cent (87%) of cases were disposed off in 2007 Source: SIC gets on with the job well - Lucknow - Cities - The Times of India
  21. As reported by Neha Shukla , TNN at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 15 March 2009 LUCKNOW: RTI is apparently the `road to infinite' wait for common man before he gets in the know of not-so-common knowledge. Meant to assure a peep into the forbidden corridors of power within 30-days time, the Right to Information Act is far from achieving its motive in the state especially when even half-a-dozen hearings held by information commission fail to help the cause. The case of an applicant, Naresh Dikshit firmly meets the aforesaid. He had sought information about the allocations made from the chief minister's discretionary fund every year over a period between January 1991 and July 2007, people and organisations who had been the beneficiaries and also about the rule book, if any, followed while disbursing money from the fund over the said period. "After two years, the information that I have got is wrong and incomplete", rued Dikshit. The case has already been heard five times in the state information commission on April 21, July 10, October 20, December 11, 2008, and March 13. The latest hearing has been fixed for May 27, 2009 after the applicant complained that he has been provided with wrong information. "I had asked for the certified copy but all I have got is a simple paper and I do not know how far to trust the figures printed on it", he added. Though the official figures show the annual budget allocation for the discretionary fund ranging between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 crore from 1991-92 till 2007-08, there is no information on the beneficiaries. The application requesting a five-point information was made to the Public Information Officer (PIO), chief minister's office, on August 24, 2007. But, information to the applicant has been constantly denied since then. Three months later on November 30, 2007, an appeal was filed with the first appeal authority but even that did not help. The half-baked information could reach him only on December 8 last year. The PIO has mentioned that there has been no complaint received regarding the misuse of the money disbursed from the discretionary fund. And about the audit of the fund, as was questioned by the applicant, the PIO stated that it is conducted every year by the auditor general, Allahabad. To get the copy of the same, the applicant was told to contact the said official. On the `rule-book' for disbursement of funds, the information was provided only about November 2006 rule-book. "I have asked them to clarify if it was the common rule-book all through", said the applicant. The next hearing at the commission is the only hope he has. It is worth mentioning that Lucknow bench of the High Court in its verdict dated July 2008 held that information regarding disbursement and utilisation of CM's discretionary fund can be sought under the RTI Act by people on lawful demand. Being a public fund it comes within the ambit of the Act. Source: Despite RTI, information remains forbidden-Lucknow-Cities-The Times of India
  22. Shankar Singh: From a tout to an activist by Dr Sandeep Pandey CNS Shankar Singh was a tout at the Road Transport Office earlier and used to get people's work done by paying bribes to the officials and take his own cut. Today he is a right to information activist working with a team in Kanpur to check corruption not just at the road transport office but also at other offices. Born to a family of JK Jute Mill worker, his early days were tough. His father met with an accident and had to leave the job. He became an associate of communist leader S.N. Banerji and started a restaurant named Raja Tea Stall which was managed by eight of the twelve children who survived in the family. As Shankar grew up he managed to get a job with the Roshan Transport Company. He was paid Rs. 2000 a month to be stationed at the RTO to take care of the company's work there. He used to get the roads and goods tax deposited. He used to take care of license, fitness, permit and registration of new vehicles. In 2006 he was unknowingly involved in the illegal sale of a Maruti van which was bought with loan from a company. When the new owner sought loan from another company, the first company objected as its payments were still pending and a complaint was filed. Shankar Singh was beaten by a clerk on the directions of the officer. This provoked his conscience. He decided to take on the system. He lodged complaints with the Chief Minister and the Commissioner about irregularities in the RTO. The Commissioner and the officer at RTO worked out a compromise for him and the clerk was made to apologize to him. That is how his file was closed. But now he did not want to go back to the rotten system. He saw news about right to information campaign in the newspapers. He was attracted by it. He decided to go to the camp. Before he realized, he became a volunteer with the right to information campaign in Kanpur city. At the RTO where a learning license which costs Rs. 60 but is made for Rs. 200 and the regular license which costs Rs. 140 but is made for Rs. 350, when Shankar and his friends decided to organize a RTI camp, the licenses were made for the actual fees. His role was reversed. He was no longer facilitating corruption. He was there to check it. The staff of the office was terrorized by his presence. Shankar now finds himself in a piquant situation. 1200 of his old colleagues, who prefer to call themselves as 'transport advisors' and are formally registered as 'Parivahan Salahkar Samiti' since 1982 as a society, want their profession to be legitimized. They claim that if their role is officially recognized and they are authorized to charge a legitimate fees for the service they render, they would stop facilitating corruption at the RTO. They have told Shankar that if he wants a corruption free system then he must lead the struggle for their livelihood rights. On the other hand Shankar has vowed that he would not allow any corruption to take place at the RTO even if it means going against his own former colleagues. Shankar Singh joined the first RTI camp in Kanpur city on 15th November, 2006, the conclusion of which was attended by Central Government Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal, also the MP from Kanpur . Since then over the last two years Shankar Singh must have been present as a volunteer in hundreds of camps. There are about ten camps organized every month with two to three averaging per week. Anywhere from 50 to 200 applications are prepared in these camps which are filed in different government offices. Most of the applications are concerned with Kanpur Development Authority, Nagar Nigam, Kanpur Electricity Supply Corporation, Water Board, Police, RTO, Social Welfare Department, District Supply Office, Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Kanpur University , Awas-Vikas, Banks, Passport, District Magistrate's office, etc. Recently after results for the High School were announced there was a huge number of students wanting to know whether they could see their answer books. The Kanpur Right to Information Campaign Committee, of which Shanker Singh is now a permanent and important part, immediately organized a six day camp in which 1200 students filed applications seeking photocopies of their answer books for various subjects. They suspect that they have not been fairly evaluated and would like to verify this. The RTI campaign has generated an empowering awareness among people as a result of which people feel that they can ask legitimate questions as their democratic right. In May 2008 Shankar Singh also participated in a social audit of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the Miyaganj Block of neighbouring Unnao District. He now feels that his responsibility as a concerned citizen are not just limited to Kanpur city. As his horizon of understanding broadens he feels a growing commitment within him for other social issues too. He spent nine days in rural areas of Unnao trying to understand the way the village panchayats and the Block Development Office functions and how the vested interests are responsible for siphoning off huge sums of money from government schemes and how the papers are fudged. He proved to be an important member of his social audit team too which visited various villagers and interacted with ordinary village labourers and interviewed them to find deficiencies in the implementation of NREGS. Shankar Singh's life has taken an about turn. From slipping into the ever deadly world of corruption and crime he has dragged himself out with some effort and placed himself in a position from where he is rising everyday as a shining star. He has become synonymous for hope for many a people who have been victimized in some way. And Shankar is full of optimism. He always encourages people to stand up and fight for their rights. His exuberance inspires confidence in others. Shankar Singh's dream is now to serve the people from even bigger platforms. He wishes to contest an election some day. He has realized that the small battles that he is now fighting every day would become a little bit easier if he acquires a legitimate constitutional position. He wishes to serve more people and at a faster rate. Dr Sandeep Pandey (The author is a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee (2002) for emergent leadership, heads the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) and did his PhD from University of California, Berkeley in control theory which is applicable in missile technology. He taught at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur before devoting his life to strengthening people's movements in early 1990s. He can be contacted at: ashaashram [at] yahoo.com, www.ashaparivar.org http://www.citizen-news.org/2009/01/shankar-singh-from-tout-to-activist.html
  23. RTI fails to bail out hapless applicant as reported by Neha Shukla, TNN | Times of India, 11 Dec 2008 LUCKNOW: The Right to Information (RTI) Act has a long way to go before it becomes a potent tool for the common man in the state. There is scant regard for the orders passed by the State Information Commission (SIC) and the case of one Dev Dutt Sharma can be a befitting example of the same. Sharma's case after landing up at the commission in 2006 has been heard by five different commissioners and has seen 14 hearings. Yet another hearing is marked for December 18. Interestingly, all the commissioners have issued showcause notices to the opposite party, in this case -- director, higher education and finance controller, higher education, asking them why should not they be penalised for not releasing the information under RTI to Sharma. Despite this, the applicant has not received the complete information that he had sought under RTI. Sharma's wife was a lecturer in Shri Narayan Girls Degree College, Unnao. It was after she expired in 1998 that he had asked the college authorities to release her arrears to him. But, despite several letters shot off to director, higher education, the arrears were not released. "I had then given an affidavit requesting the authorities to handover the funds to my minor children under my guardianship,'' said Sharma. But, authorities rather fixed the money till 2011 under the guardianship of the school principal, Kamla Singh. Not ready to take the high-handedness of the authorities and after being made to run from pillar to post, the man presented his case to Lokayukta in the year 2000 but even that did not help. In the meantime, on November 27, 2006, he had also sought information under RTI from the director, higher education on 16-points regarding the arrears of his late wife. But, after he got no reply he reached the commission. "I had also filed a single line prayer in the high court requesting the authorities to release the money to me or to my children,'' he said. And, it was after the court's order that the authorities released him the arrears, but out of the net amount payable that is Rs 1 lakh 55 thousand, he got only Rs 1 lakh 40 thousand. "I questioned the authorities about the remaining Rs 15,000 but they did not give any reply,'' shared Sharma. Even five of the commissioners who had heard his case could not help him in knowing about the remaining amount. The only respite for the man is Rs 25,000 penalty that was imposed on the opposite party on October 30. The next hearing, however, has invited an argument from the opposite party against the penalty. RTI fails to bail out hapless applicant-Lucknow-Cities-The Times of India
  24. Society to hold RTI gun to government’s head as reported by Alka Pande Indian Express Nov 02, 2008 Lucknow, November 1 : Members of the civil society are all set to pull the governments — both central and the states — for not spending enough money to publicise the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, thereby limiting the use of this powerful tool. The issue will be raised in a two-day annual convention on “RTI and its ramifications for good governance”, to be organised by the Central Information Commission in New Delhi on November 3 and 4. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the inaugural session, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is likely to deliver the concluding speech. Besides State Information Commissioners, the event will see the participation of civil society, activists and media persons - not only from India but also from SAARC nations. During the convention, experts will deliberate on a variety of topics like RTI in South Asia, role of media and civil society to promote RTI, poverty alleviation and RTI, protection of privacy and RTI, transparent governance and RTI. The focus would be on the need to formulate a different strategy for the implementation of RTI in rural areas. “RTI applications filed in rural areas are extremely probing and sometimes put governments in difficult position. Violence and harassment related to the RTI queries in rural areas are rampant, therefore we need to formulate strategies to ensure sufficient protection to rural folks,” said Nikhil Dey of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangthan, also one of the panelists at the event. Dey said the masses are using the Act but the Government is reluctant to address the RTI queries. “Though not enough publicity has been done to make the Act reach the common man, yet people, even in rural areas, are using it,” he added. During the event, Information Commissions of almost all the states will stress on their usual demand for financial autonomy and improved infrastructure. “Lack of proper infrastructure is a universal complaint of all the states - which was raised in the last two conventions also,” said Uttar Pradesh State Information Commissioner Gyanendra Sharma. Even the Central Information Commission is facing the infrastructure problem, as it operates from two different places in Delhi, he added. Society to hold RTI gun to government’s head
  25. Bureaucracy in UP shaken over SIC directive as appeared in NewKerala.Com, Lucknow, Oct 16 2008 The beauracracy in Uttar Pradesh finds itself in a spot over an order of the State Information Commission (SIC) under the Right To Information (RTI) which directed the Mayawati government to make public the income and assets of all the IAS and IPS officials within next six weeks. ''It will be a good move in order to ensure transparency in the governance and the state government is studying the modalities in this regard,'' an official spokesman told UNI here this morning. The decision, however, has shaken a section of officers as from time to time charges were being levelled against certain bureaucrats for amassing assets disproportionate to their income. The SIC order was passed by acting chief information commissioner Gyenendra Sharma yesterday on an application of one Brijesh Mishra, seeking details of the movable and immovable assets of nine IAS officials under RTI. Significantly, the senior officials against whom the RTI application was moved included chief secretary Atul Kumar Gupta, secretary (Home) Mahesh Gupta and senior IAS officers Dev Dutt, Lalit Srivastava, Rajan Shukla and Chandra Prakash. The acting chief information commissioner has asked the state appointments department to publish property details of all the officials made available to it from 2005-06 onwards within six weeks. The applicant moved the application under the RTI when the UP government refused to give him the details sought on the assets of these officials. The commission in his order said that under section 4 of the RTI Act, it is obligatory on the Public Information Officer to make these information public.'' When MPs, MLas, could give details of their assets, why cannot the IAS and IPS'', he observed. In the recent past, UP had earned a bad name on the disproportionate assets case when several officials including two ex-chief secretaries-- Akhand Pratap Singh and Neera Yadav- were chargesheeted by the CBI in similar cases. --- UNI Bureaucracy in UP shaken over SIC directive .:. NewKerala - India's Top Online Newspaper
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