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Found 16 results

  1. Referring to the brutal murder of an RTI workerin Masaurhi (Patna district), leader of opposition in legislativeassembly, Nand Kishore Yadav, today demanded an impartial inquiryinto the incident and stern punishment to criminals involved in thecrime. Read at: BJP condemns slide in law and order, RTI worker's murder
  2. News published in TOI dated 4.3.2015 about an attack on RTI activist Mahesh Makwana by Dinu Bogha Solanki Ex. MP of BJP, Gujarat. A clipping is attached for members to read. This is the same Ex. MP who was arrested by CBI in a murder case of RTI activist Amit Jethwa of Gujarat. When he was arrested he was current MP and local police was investigating the case but hon'ble Gujarat High Court ordered to CBI for further inveastigation. new doc 1 (4).pdf
  3. Briefing mediapersons, Congress spokesperson Ramakant Khalap handed out documents obtained under RTI to prove that even the councils of Margao, Mormugao and Mapusa got higher grants than the city of Panaji . Read more at: BJP govt gave Panaji peanuts over last two years: RTI - The Times of India
  4. Over Rs 297 crore was released as local area development fund to MLAs in Delhi in the current financial year, a sum which surpasses the stipulated amount of Rs 4 crore given to each constituency, according to an RTI. The information was given by Delhi’s Urban Development department in a reply to an RTI. Former chief minister and MLA of New Delhi area Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal was given Rs 4.21 crore for the development of the area, out of the available 4.89 crore. Read more at: BJP MLA’s Rs 6+ crore beat Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal’s Rs 4+ crore in Delhi | The Financial Express
  5. BJP legislator N.V.S.S. Prabhakar has said that he had made an application under Right to Information Act seeking to know the motive behind appointment of tennis star Sania Mirza as the brand ambassador of Telangana, but there was no reply so far. Read details: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/bjp-makes-rti-application-on-sania/article6249956.ece
  6. Tax returns of political parties can be made public By T. N. Pandey in the Hindu ----------------------------------------------------------------------- The only way a citizen can gain access to the details of funding of political parties is through their income-tax returns filed annually with the I-T authorities. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Section 13A of the Income-Tax Act, 1961 is a special provision relating to income of political parties, which mean parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 (RPA), vide this section, income of political parties from (i) house properties; (ii) income from other sources; (iii) capital gains; and (iv) income by way of voluntary contributions received from any person, are exempt from income-tax provided: Such political parties keep and maintain books of accounts and other documents as would enable the assessing officer (AO) to properly deduce income therefrom; For voluntary contributions, in excess of Rs 20,000, the political parties maintain a record of such contributions with the name and address of the contributors, who have made the contributions; The accounts of such parties are audited by chartered accountants. The exemption gets forfeited if a political party fails to submit a report under Section 29C(3) of the RPA for a financial year. Demand under RIA The Right to Information Act (RIA) is applicable in respect of public authorities established, owned or substantially financed by the Central Government, the State Governments, Union Territories, including panchayats, municipalities and other local bodies. It extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The I-T Department is certainly a department of the Central Government and, therefore, comes within the purview of the RIA. According to Section 2(j) of the RIA, 'right to information' means the right to information accessible under the Act, which is held by or under the control of any public authority and, inter alia, includes taking notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents and records available with the specified authorities. Income-tax returns would fall in this category, where right of inspection or asking for certified copies can be exercised. Section 8 of the RIA enumerates situations where exemption can be claimed in respect of the information in the possession of an authority on an application made to it under the provisions of the RIA. Returns of political parties Can exemption be claimed by the I-T Department with regard to returns filed by the political parties? This issue came in for the consideration of the Central Information Commission (CIC) in the Ms Anumeha, C/o Association for Democratic Reforms vs Chief CIT (CIC/AT/A-200701029, 01263 TO 1270 dated April 29, 08) case (reported in Vol.-12, Part-I of Corporate Professionals Today of May 1-15, 2008). In the application filed under the RIA, the argument for getting the information was that since political parties exercise power, transparency in their organisation, functions and, more particularly, their means of funding is a democratic imperative and, therefore, it is in public interest that the income-tax returns of political parties, insofar as they contain funding details, should be disclosed. This view has been accepted by the Commission. The view expressed by the Commission is that the laws of the land do not make it mandatory for political parties to disclose the sources of their funding, and even less so the manner of expending those funds. In the absence of such laws, the only way a citizen can gain access to the details of funding of political parties is through their income-tax returns filed annually with the I-T authorities. This is about the closest political parties get to accounting for the sources and the extent of their funding and expenditure. There is unmistakable public interest in knowing these funding details, which would enable citizens to make an informed choice about the political parties to vote for. The RIA emphasises that "democracy requires an informed citizen" and that transparency of information is vital to flawless functioning of constitutional democracy. It can be nobody's case that while all organs of the state must exhibit maximum transparency, no such obligation attaches to political parties. Given that political parties exercise power, transparency in their organisation, functions and, more particularly, their means of funding, is essential and, therefore, is public interest. However, a safeguard has been provided in the matter of furnishing the information. Though the I-T returns of political parties regarding the funding details are liable for disclosure, there should be no disclosure of PAN of such parties in view of possibility of fraudulent use of such disclosure. (The author is a former chairman of CBDT.) The Hindu Business Line : Tax returns of political parties can be made public
  7. As reported at hindustantimes.com on January 14, 2011 In an attempt to dig more dirt on the misuse of defence land, the Bharatiya Janata Party filed a Right to Information (RTI) on the details of defence land dealings that have taken place in the country in the last five years. “I have filed a RTI seeking details of all defence lands which have being either sold, transferred or been given on a long lease to private players,” senior BJP leader, Kirit Sommaiya said. Somaiya said he filed the RTI because there seemed to be blatant violations in the dealings. Kirit also said he will visit the ministry of defence on January 19 to find out about such deals.
  8. As reported at siliconindia.com on 20 February 2010 ew Delhi: Eveyone is aware of the fact that Congress party has outrun every competitor to the winner's post in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, but vet few people knows that the same party has also outstripped all other parties in the spending stakes. Sonia Gandhi led Congress party invested Rs.380 crore, a three-fold jump from 2004, for the elections that returned the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to power. Its rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is among at least 19 political parties with representatives in the Lok Sabha to have not yet filed their expenditure statements with the election commission (EC). Talking to DNA, SK Mendiratta, Legal Counsel, Election Commission of India said, "The EC has issued the parties - warning letters and given them a last chance to file their expenditure statements." It was mandatory for all the political parties to file the details of expenses incurred by them within three months of the general elections, according to a timeline set by the EC. Al these details are found after DNA filed an RTI application to know the amount of money spent in election by all the parties. Source: Congress spends Rs.380 Crore to win '09 Lok Sabha election - SiliconIndia
  9. As reported at voiceofsikkim.com on October 23, 2009 GANGTOK, October 23: In its latest ‘Bhandaphor’ episode, State BJP unit today came forward with RTI documents claiming of misuse of Rs. 4.95 crore in an apparently abandoned multi span steel bridge project over Teesta river at Gour, Dzongu in North Sikkim. As per the claims of BJP here, only two pillars have been erected in the project in the past two years that had been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 4.9 crores resulting in wastage of public money. The fund for the bridge had been sanctioned by the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the people here have been taken for a ride, said BJP alleging massive misuse of public money. Out of the total sanctioned fund, a sum of Rs. 4.3 crores have been allegedly utilized by the contractor who has only two cement pillars on both sides of the river to show leaving one to wonder how the bridge will ever come up with the remaining funds left. As per the sign board posted along the site, the project started on January 21, 2006 and date of completion is January 21, 2007. Interestingly, the cost of the sign board has been shown as Rs. 15,000 while a sum of Rs. 5.5 lakhs has been shown utilized for consultancy fees! To top it off, a sum of Rs. 10.8 lakhs have been shown utilized as contingency expenditure as per the documents provided to BJP. The concerned department has already paid 90 percent of the costs while in reality, it looks that the 90 percent of the works still remain for the completion of the bridge, claimed BJP. State BJP vice president Padam Chettri told the media that he will be taking up the issue of misuse of Central schemes by the State government with the national leaders and the concerned Ministry. The Centre should not give a free hand to the State government to misuse the public money and make Sikkim a den of corruption, he said. “The Centre and DoNER should keep proper tab on the implementation of the government schemes here,” said Chettri promising to serially expose the other bridges ‘constructed only in paper’ in the State. Source: Bridge to Dzongu missing between two pillars, BJP claims massive misuse of public money in NEC funded Gour bridge project | Sikkim News – World Wide Press Release
  10. As reported by Shyamlal Yadav of indiatoday.digitaltday.in on January 1, 2009 The main opposition party of the country, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is shocked that its Rs 2.5 crore in cash was found ‘missing’ from the party headquarters recently. In fact, the parties apart from keeping cash in hand in the savings accounts, also keep huge cash in their offices to meet day-to-day expenses and there is always the risk of theft due to heavy turnout of ordinary workers and other people at the offices. The efforts to make cash transaction minimum because it raises doubts of being black money, in this regard, have failed. The India Today has copies of the Income Tax returns filed by some of the prominent parties which show that every party has its own way of accounting cash in hand, the amount kept in the offices and in the banks. In fact, India Today got these copies through Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Income Tax department (ITD). The ITD told that among the parties headquartered at Delhi only four parties have filed the I-T return for the assessment year 2008-09 so far despite the fact that the last date of filing it was September 30, 2008. According to the information received on Tuesday only Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India-Marxist, and Janata Dal United have filed the ITRs for the assessment year 2008-09. And among these parties, the SP keeps highest amount as cash in hand (Rs 11.10 crore), followed by CPI-M (Rs 1.79 crore), CPI (Rs 284) and JD-U (Rs 1.52 lakh). Though the BJP, Congress and other prominent parties are yet to file their ITRs for the assessment year 2008-09, their ITRs for the previous year shows that the BJP kept Rs 4.97 crore in cash and imperest. While the Congress has shown the cash and bank balance as single head which is Rs 38.32 crore as on March 31, 2007. The Nationalist Congress Party had Rs 15.10 lakh, the Lok Janshakti Party Rs 70156, Rashtriya Janta Dal kept Rs 773. Shiv Sena’s ITR for the assessment year 2007-08 shows that the party had Rs 1.29 crore but like the Congress it has also shown the cash and bank balance as single head. The BSP tops the list among the parties having huge amount as cash in hand. The party has shown Rs 21.99 crore as cash in hand as on March 31, 2007. Party-wise details of cash in hand: Assessment year: 2008-09 Samajwadi Party – Rs 11,10,60,399 Communist Party of India – Rs 284 Janata Dal United – Rs 1,52,327 Communist Party of India-Marxist – Rs 1,79,07,096 Assessment Year: 2007-08 Rashtriya Janta Dal – Rs 773 Nationalist Congress Party – Rs 15,10,198 Congress – Rs 38,32,00,059 (cash and bank balance) Lok Janshakti Party – Rs 70,156 Bharatiya Janata Party – Rs 4,96,96,436 (cash and imperest) Shiv Sena – Rs 1.29 crore (cash and bank balance) Bahujan Samaj Party – Rs 21.99 crore Source: India Today - India's most widely read magazine.
  11. sidmis

    BJP using RTI to nail govt

    BJP using RTI to nail govt as reported by Dipak Kumar Dash | TNN | Times of India | 22 Oct 2008 First Assembly Election Where Act Being Used Widely New Delhi: This is the first Assembly election in Delhi where the opposition seems to be making full use of the RTI Act to catch the government on the wrong foot. During the 2003 elections, RTI was still a relatively new concept and parties had not quite realized its potential as a weapon in a democracy. Delhi BJP started its own RTI unit three months ago after some of its leaders felt that the city government was spending too much public money for an “image makeover” by issuing frequent and irrelevant advertisements. The unit has since unearthed information about how the government spent over Rs 45 crore in advertisements during 2007-08 and 2008-09 financial years, apart from nailing the government in numerous other issues. What is all the more surprising is that the replies obtained under the RTI showed that out of Rs 7.87 crore spent on advertisements in 2007-08, approximately Rs 4.9 crore was non-planned expenditure, said a senior BJP leader. Armed with information obtained using RTI, the party’s chief ministerial nominee Vijay Kumar Malhotra has attacked the government over the fact that only 1,716 people have been given a state government job in the 10 years of its rule. ‘‘Currently, nine district employment offices, two special employment offices for the handicapped, one special employment office for ex-servicemen and three university employment information and guidance bureaus are functioning. But the government has only been able those few jobs,’’ said an official release issued by his office. The cell has also obtained ‘‘valuable’’ information about the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna under which the state government was supposed to provide houses for the urban poor. ‘‘To date they have acquired land only in one village in Poot Khurd in Outer Delhi. The government had promised to create 60,000 houses by September this year. But an RTI reply shows how only 9,436 housing units are coming up,’’ said a party leader. Delhi BJP chief Dr Harshvardhan said, ‘‘It was a constructive step taken to create a healthy public opinion. We are not looking at this initiative for political purpose only.’’ RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal said, ‘‘The opposition plays a very important role in democracy. Earlier the opposition used to take up non-issues because they had no information about the developmental aspects. Opposition parties should put the information collected through RTI in public domain. Rather than talking about caste and religion, parties should focus on how money has been used by the government and what has happened to the developments.’’ BJP using RTI to nail govt-Delhi-Cities-The Times of India
  12. Goa BJP accuses NCP chief of faking affidavits DNA | IANS | Wednesday, October 01, 2008 PANAJI: Goa's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday alleged that Wilfred de Souza, president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), a member of the ruling coalition, had misled the Election Commission with fake affidavits. Upping the ante in the battle of words between the two parties, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said de Souza had not only faked his age but had also failed to mention three fixed assets owned by him in the sworn documents submitted to the Election Commission. Parrikar was quoting from documents obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) act. "He has not mentioned three properties owned by him in the disclosure he has made before the Election Commission," Parrikar told a press conference. He added that there were at least three other 'missing' properties the BJP was in the process of tracking down. He accused de Souza, also the deputy chairman of the state planning board, of fraudulently transferring property owned by his relatives to his name -- by quoting documents from the revenue department. Parrikar further claimed that the applicant who had filed the RTI query about former chief ministers' properties had been subsequently raided by electricity department officials. "This is nothing but harassment," he charged. The state units of the NCP and the BJP have been slugging it out for a couple of weeks. The tussle started after de Souza accused BJP legislator from Saligao, Dilip Parulekar, of faking educational qualifications in his affidavit filed before the Election Commission. A returning officer appointed by the state Election Commission has issued a show cause notice to Parulekar -- de Souza had complained that the legislator could not have passed his third year B.Com examinations in 1988 because the Goa University's first batch graduated in 1989. DNA - India - Goa BJP accuses NCP chief of faking affidavits - Daily News & Analysis
  13. sidmis

    Cheques, balances

    Cheques, balances EXPRESS EDITORIAL, Saturday, June 14, 2008 RTI scrutiny of political parties’ funds should remove doubts about large private funding An RTI application about significant donations to the Congress and the BJP has predictably brought interesting revelations. For instance, Dow Chemicals, an American company that acquired Union Carbide and is facing demands for greater compensation for the 1984 Bhopal gas leak, gave Rs 1 lakh to the BJP, which rules Madhya Pradesh. The fickleness of Goa’s politicians is reflected in a curious way: the very same local companies fund both parties. All this is, however, not just grist for the trivia-hunter’s mill. In showing how the public is now empowered by the Right to Information legislation to scrutinise political contributions, this instance should also remove cynicism about encouraging political parties to generate funds from the public, including corporates. Every narrative that seeks to get to the root of corruption in India lingers extraordinarily long at one factor: political parties’ need for huge amounts of money to fund electoral campaigns. The magnitude of funds spent every election is by any realistic estimate greatly more than the limits prescribed by the Election Commission. This reality periodically elicits demands for consideration of state funding of elections. But state funding is difficult, not least because, given the many layers of elections in our parliamentary and grassroots democracy, the monies needed would be inordinately more than what can be considered an optimum state contribution. Moreover, state funding models work better in two-party systems. In our crowded politics, these models would disadvantage small parties, which are forever coming up, sometimes to reflect thus far hushed social aspirations. How then to clean up our electioneering? There are good reasons why there is public doubt about corporate funding, the most important being concern about quid pro quos. Yet, given the yawning gap between money spent and money accounted for, clearly funds are acquired by political parties and candidates from somewhere and by some means, none of which is in any way healthy. The need is for these contributions to be brought onto the account books of parties. The RTI mechanism has already shown itself to be strong enough to allow public scrutiny — of funds and the executive decisions involving donors of those funds. Besides, the new economy is already narrowing the dark spaces where shadowy transactions can take place. Together, these developments should change the cynical attitude towards unlimited private contributions to political parties. Also, remember, by funding political parties, we the people become stakeholders in organisations democratically empowered to take decisions on our behalf. editor@expressindia.com IndianExpress.com :: Cheques, balances
  14. Congress to launch Hisaab Mango abhiyan against BJP in Gujarat As reported in Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad on 2008-06-12 Opposition Congress in Gujarat has decided to launch a major political offensive against the ruling BJP in the state. This has been announced in the Dwarka declaration of the party which has been released by the state party chife Bharat Solanki and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil. One of the major programmes the party has decided to launch is Hisaab Mango Abhiyaan. This campaign is to highlight rampant corruption in the state, chaos, absence of law and order. The party will use Right to Information to get information about the money the state government has got under the central schemes and the amount it has spent. They said that the youth of the state was facing unemployment because of the policies of the state government. Industries are shifting out of the state reducing the opportunities of employment in the state. The declaration further says that the state which talks about protection of cows is giving away grazing land to industrialists for setting up SEZ. The party will launch a massive awareness campaign to make people aware about the schemes of the central government so that maximum number of people were benefited by it. The party pledged to expose the BJP's approach to create hurdles in the efforts of the Central government to provide cheap electricity. They threatened to launch a 'jail bharo andolan' to oppose inadequate electricity supply in rural areas and the recent hike in power tariff. The declaration has also listed number of measures to strengthen the party. They range from recognition of the worker to fixing up of the responsibilities of the office bearers. Congress to launch Hisaab mango abhiyan against BJP in Gujarat
  15. NEW DELHI: The BJP has taken the Right to Information (RTI) route to lay bare what it sees as the ‘wheat import scam’. The party sniffs huge irregularities in the deal and has even claimed that its stand has been vindicated. Armed with the details secured through the RTI, the party on Thursday reiterated its demand for the dismissal of Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and wanted a CBI inquiry into the entire episode, which, it alleged, had caused a big loss to the exchequer. With the monsoon session of Parliament commencing on Friday, the party has made up its mind to haul up the ruling combine over the alleged bungling. “The prime minister must come clean on the subject,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said here on Thursday afternoon. The BJP, Mr Javadekar said, had sought information on the reasons for the cancellation of the first round of bids invited at the rate of $263 per million tonne (MT) in May this year. The food and consumer affairs ministry cited six factors that led to the termination of the tenders at the said rate. “Tenders were floated by the STC on behalf of the government in May. After negotiations with the foreign suppliers, the STC recommended purchase of 3.06 lakh tonnes of wheat at $263/MT. However, none of the bids were accepted by the government as the STC had said there were possibilities of a softening of prices for arrival beyond August 2007 compared to the June-August prices received in the tender,” the information made available through the RTI read. There were other factors, too, including reports that the Australian crop to be harvested during November-December, 2007 was described as “good” by the International Grain Council, talk of declining price curve of wheat in the international market by all the three related agencies, namely the IGC, Reuters and the Chicago Board of Trade, the government’s decision to take advantage of future market conditions, fears that acceptance of imported wheat at prices higher than procurement price in the domestic market would induce discontentment among the farmers and apprehensions that the traders would resort to hoarding wheat stocks in the hope of a future price rise. “This was the government’s assessment on June 1 this year,” Mr Javadekar said, adding, “It suddenly changed its stance around June 10 and decided to re-tender for the import of 50 lakh MT of wheat immediately.” Tenders were floated for 5.11 million tonnes of wheat, which were subsequently awarded to three firms at a weighted average price of $325/MT. “This is a clear admission of not only a flip-flop or an error of judgement, but foul play,” the BJP spokesman said. The government’s decision to import wheat, notwithstanding its own assessment, proves that something happened behind the scenes during the first week of June and some vested interests had played their part, he added. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/BJP_digs_up_dirt_on_wheat_import_sees_big_scam/articleshow/2269873.cms
  16. Panaji, March 03: Goa BJP has filed corruption cases against six top state bureaucrats with the vigilance department in connection with the recruitment process. The cases involve departmental selection committee heads of police, archives and museum, fire, public works department, health and registration. The cases were filed under section 13 (d) of prevention of corruption act based on the documents collected from various departments under the right to information act (RTI). "Recruitment rules were bent to suit candidates of their choice and in each case, the violation is done at the behest of concerned minister," leader of opposition Manohar Parrikar alleged. He told reporters, that in certain cases, the act was in "contradiction" to supreme court guidelines which invites contempt proceedings. The complaints also alleged that recruitment to the police was done by bending mandatory rules related to age and height of the candidate. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) is the head of the departmental selection committee. The complaints pointed to director archives, director fire and emergency services, director information and publicity, chief engineer public works department, director health and registrar's involvement in the recruitments as they are responsible for selection, Parrikar said. "During last one year, recruitments to the health department were carried out in contravention of recruitment guidelines," Parrikar said. Similarly, huge illegalities were conducted during raising Goa police's India reserve batallion, he alleged. "In one instance, height was relaxed thrice only to suit one woman candidate ... There is another instance wherein candidates who failed the test were allowed to appear again," Parrikar said pointing out to the documents. Zee News - Goa BJP files cases of corruption against top bureaucrats
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