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  1. Quoting the Girish Deshpande judgment of the Apex Court, the CIC has ruled that caste certificates of individual employees, which they submitted at the time of recruitment, are deniable under RTI. It is fairly obvious that the caste and educational certificates of an employee are in the natureof personal information about a third party. The employee might have filed these documentsbefore the appointing authority for the purpose of seeking employment, but that is not reasonenough for this information to be brought in to the public domain to which anybody couldhave access. The Supreme Court in Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v. CIC & Ors., [sLP 27734 of 2012]has held, “13. … The performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily amatter between the employee and the employer and normally those aspects aregoverned by the service rules which fall under the expression “personalinformation”, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity orpublic interest. On the other hand, the disclosure of which would causeunwarranted invasion of privacy of that individual. Of course, in a given case, ifthe Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer ofthe Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies thedisclosure of such information, appropriate orders could be passed but thepetitioner cannot claim those details as a matter of right.” Keeping in view the above, we concur with the submissions of the CPIO that the informationis exempted from disclosure as no larger public interest is established.The appeals are disposed of accordingly. Full decision of the CIC is attached to this post. Caste certificates of Govt servants deniable under RTI.pdf
  2. Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has requested the Himachal Pradesh government not to divulge her property details in the state since that can put her life in danger. Priyanka wrote to the state government following a July 2014 RTI query by activist Debashish Bhattacharya. According to the Shimla deputy commissioner, the information cannot be shared as Priyanka is an SPG protectee. Read more at: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asks HP govt not to divulge her property details : North, News - India Today
  3. Government today constituted a three-member committee of top bureaucrats to go into implications of the Official Secrets Act and the RTI law as demands mounted for declassification of files related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The first meeting of the panel, which consists of Secretaries of Home, Law and Personnel, will take place tomorrow, official sources said today. Read at: Govt sets up committee to examine OSA, RTI | Business Standard News
  4. JAMMU, Apr 17: Despite misuse of the Right to Information Act to pursue hidden agenda, the State Government has adopted contemptuous approach towards High Court’s directions for revisiting of existing Rules of the Act during the past nearly eight months. Now, feeling handicapped in taking action on frivolous applications, the State Information Commission has made a fervent appeal to the State Government to have a serious look on the issue so that legislation doesn’t become a tool for putting unwarranted pressure on the public authorities.The Division Bench of State High Court comprising Justice Virender Singh and Justice Janak Raj Kotwal, in a Public Interest Litigation titled B R Manhas Versus State of J&K and Others, had directed the State Government to repeal the existing RTI Rules and frame fresh ones to make various provisions of the Act workable and achieve the very purpose envisaged in enacting of the legislation.Read at: Govt adopts contemptuous attitude towards HC’s directions for revisiting RTI Rules
  5. Following chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar's green signal, chief secretary, vigilance, has decided to seek explanations from Chandigarh deputy commissioner Mohammad Shayin and three other senior bureaucrats for their alleged roles in the misappropriation of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employee Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in Ambala district. Besides, former Ambala deputy commissioner, RP Bhardwaj has also been asked to furnish his reply on the vigilance bureau report against him.This was stated by the state vigilance department in a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by PP Kapoor, a resident of Samalkha in Panipat on Monday.Read at: Ambala MNREGS scam: Govt to seek explanation from Chandigarh DC Shayin, four others
  6. Srinagar, April 12: The Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission (SIC) has asked the State government to ensure good governance by “ushering in a dawn of transparency and accountability”.The SIC, which is headed by Chief Information Commissioner, G R Sufi, has made several recommendations to the State government and asked it to take measures for accelerating the process of computerized management information systems by all the public authorities in the State.Read at: Ensure good governance: SIC tells Govt - Rising Kashmir. Latest News, Breaking News From Kashmir, Kashmir`s very own English Daily.
  7. RAJKOT: End "medical terrorism" and ensure that the licence to practice medicine does not become a licence to kill and extort. This was the stinging message that the Central Information Commission (CIC) delivered to lawmakers while disposing the application of a New Delhi-based advocate, Prabhat Kumar, who wanted to know the real cause of his 73-year-old father's death in a private hospital. Read at: Bring private hospitals under RTI: CIC to govt - The Times of India
  8. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Telangana unit on Wednesday charged the Telangana State government of not following due procedures while recruiting doctors and paramedical staff in the districts, based on a Right to Information (RTI) reply from Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Department (HFWD). Read at: Govt. flouted norms in recruiting doctors: AAP - The Hindu
  9. In a democratic system, a Government is accountable to the people. When people get to know all information regarding various activities of the Government, transparency would bound to happen. The Right to Information Act 2005 plays a vital role in this respect and makes both the Government and its bureaucracy people-centric, viewed experts here on Saturday. “Common citizens get due justice when transparency prevails and information on various activities of the Government is made public. In the process, inefficiency, negligence and dictatorial attitude of a Government run on taxpayers’ money are removed. Besides, corruption and favouritism decline gradually,” said retired IAS Officer Prabhat Giri speaking at a seminar on ‘Right to Information’ held at the Prabhuji English Medium School here. Read at: RTI Act makes Govt people-centric: Experts
  10. NEW DELHI: The government issued orders to block 2341 URLs in 2014, an official response to an RTI application shows. The RTI was filed by Delhi-based non-profit legal services organisation Software Freedom Law Center India (SFLC.in) last month to Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), which falls under the Ministry of Communications and IT. Read at: Govt ordered 2341 URLs to be blocked in 2014 - The Times of India
  11. BALANGIR:An RTI activist has challenged the State Government’s stand that the Centre was not willing to set up IIM in Western Odisha due to lack of air connectivity. The RTI activist of Balangir, Hemanta Panda, who had sought information in this regard, claimed that there is no guideline which would hinder establishment of IIM in this part of the State. Read at: RTI Activist Dares Govt Over IIM Issue - The New Indian Express
  12. Mar 27 2015 : The Times of India (Ahmedabad) India ranks 37th among 102 in govt transparency index Mumbai: TIMES NEWS NETWORK   India ranks 37 out of 102 countries on the Open Government Index 2015, which ranks countries on how transparent their governments are and the ease with which citizens can hold their government accountable. The report, released on Thursday by Washingtonbased World Justice Project, is a perception survey on a random sample in three cities in each country , and has also interviewed experts in the field of transparency . Those that topped the list were high income countries such as Sweden, New Zealand, Norway , Denmark and Netherlands. “Richer countries rank higher as they have more resources and more people connected to the internet. But on removing high-income countries from the list, the correlation between a country's per capita gross domestic product and its rank on the Open Government Index disappears,“ says Juan Carlos Botero, one of the authors of the report, told TOI.
  13. NEW DELHI: Government has released about Rs 35.75 crores on the transit accommodation of Members of Parliament between 1990-91 and 2013-14. Sources said the outstanding bill from ITDC-run hotels and state guest houses would be another Rs 20-25 crore. In an RTI response to Delhi resident Ved Pal, the urban development ministry has said, "No separate data of expenditure on transit accommodation after even general election is maintained." However, it maintains the details of expenditure incurred during each financial year and the year-wise details were shared in the RTI reply. "While the bill on account of such transit accommodation is raised within a year of any general election, we release the payment when we have the budget. So, the outstanding amount is increasing," said a government official. Read at: Since 1990, govt has spent Rs 55 crore on MPs' transit stay - The Times of India
  14. hi can someone please advise me on the highest level of authority at the central level that we go as far as land encroachment is concerned. at the state level, the highest level that i know of is collector office in the below order VAO-tahsildar-Revenue inspector -collectors office (in the state of tamilnadu).. i would like to know the ministry or department that i should for this in the RTIONLINE website. this is in reference to filing a RTI for a temple land supposedly under some encroachment...
  15. COIMBATORE: Government land allotted to the public health department in Irugur by the district collector was sold to a private party in 2013. According to records the entire registration process and allotting the patta to the private person was done in just a day. The transaction came to light after K Ramamoorthy, an RTI activist, filed an RTI application on the issue. District collector Archana Patnaik has ordered a probe into the matter. Read at: Govt land allotted for hosp sold to pvt party - The Times of India
  16. Srinagar: Six years since the landmark legislation Right to Information Act was implemented in the state, the government itself has failed to adhere to the guidelines of law on voluntary disclosure of information. Ironically, when one would at least expect the institutions of justice and legislation to comply with the law, both the legislatures – Assembly and Council, and the High Court have also failed to make voluntary disclosure under various sub-sections of Section 4 (1) of the Act. Read at: Govt departments go slow on RTI disclosures
  17. NEW DELHI: Central Information Commission has taken suo motu notice of information published in a TOI report published on February 27, 2015 on drinking water facility in Delhi's government schools. It directed DJB and Directorate of Education to "give a report on drinking water facility in the schools...with challenges, proposals and plans to provide the drinking water along with the time frame for the same". Read at: Get info on drinking water in all govt schools: Central Information Commission - The Times of India
  18. Through Right to Information Act, Jay Satya learnt that the governor has granted assent to Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act 1976 on July 22, 1976. His letter to the Chief Minister in December 2014 did not elicit a reply. Read more at: Will you implement law on casinos?: HC asks Maharashtra govt - The Times of India
  19. “Prabhakar gave my client information under RTI that one G M Divakar has been holding the contract of a canteen for the past 10 years in the institute. But the institute’s RMO gave information that the canteen is run by Students Representative Committee of the hostel,” said Patel’s lawyer Paresh Mehta. The petitioner said that “Dr M M Prabhakhar has issued false certificate to Divakar, proprietor of Nilkanth Caterers, certifying that the canteen of the institute is run by him with ulterior motive of qualifying the said contractor in civil hospital tender.” - See more at: Page not found | The Indian Express
  20. "It is clear that IPM does not have the expertise to detect whether the nature of the virus has changed but the strange issue is why national laboratories working under the Union health ministry could not make any headway," said RTI activist Bakka Judson, who filed the RTI. While hinting at the quicker spread of the virus in the prevailing hot and cold weather conditions, experts caution, that it is better to remain alert for one more month. "Two months ago, we sent swab samples from swine flu patients to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), New Delhi, so that the latter could study further whether the nature of the virus is changing or not but we do not know what happened next," said Dr K Narasimhulu, swine flu coordinator, Gandhi hospital. Read at: Govt clueless about rise in H1N1 cases - The Times of India
  21. "Information obtained through the RTI Act has revealed that the CoP has issued no no-objection certificate (NOC) for the movement of barges carrying coal in the River Tiracol. In fact, no company has applied for a NOC to be able to transport coal, but the same continues on the river with no regard for the law of the land," said Sachin Parab of the Keri Tiracol Gram Bachao Samiti. Read at: With no help from govt, Keri locals turn to God - The Times of India
  22. As per attached letter from DoPT, the Government is seriously considering introduction of Postal Stamp (or RTI Stamp) as payment for RTI application fees. postal stamp as RTI fees- 6-1-2015.pdf
  23. Taxguru, 12.3.15. The Government of India issued notification No. S.O.323(E) and S.O.324(E) both dated 2.2.15 on reducing the administrative charges under the Employee's Provident Funds Scheme 1952. Read more at; Govt. reduces PF Administrative Charges
  24. [h=1]Bring new law in 6 months for protection of witnesses: HC tells Maharashtra govt[/h] Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to frame a new law within six months for protection of witnesses and also consider bringing whistleblowers and RTI activists under its purview. The government had last week informed the High Court that instead of a policy, it would come out with a law to provide protection to witnesses in sensitive cases. A draft of the proposed law was also submitted to the court. The issue of protection to witnesses, whistleblowers and activists was taken up suo moto (on its own) by the court after the murder of RTI activist Satish Shetty. The court was today informed that a committee has been formed to look into the issue and a law for the protection of witnesses would be enacted soon. Amicus curie (appointed to assist the court) Dinyar Madon, however, submitted that the new Maharashtra Witness Protection Act will not provide protection to whistleblowers and activists and may give cover only to witnesses in sensitive cases. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and A K Menon then asked the government to consider including whistleblowers and activists also under the purview of new law. The court directed the government to enact the new law within six months. In October 2014, the High Court, while ordering the government to frame a fresh policy, had also directed that protection should be provided immediately to whistleblowers and witnesses even during the investigation stage, if such a person makes a request for protection. Read More: Bring new law in 6 months for protection of witnesses: HC tells Maharashtra govt | Zee News
  25. [h=1]Law panel to Modi Govt: Bribery for 'good intention' should not be considered a crime[/h] New Delhi, Feb 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, throughout his electioneering, sought votes to curb widespread corruption and bribery in the government offices, but if reports are to be believed then Law Commission has come up with a recommendation that might promote bribery. Bribery to be legalised in India? As per reports, suggesting amendments in the Prevention of Corruption Amendment Bill, 2013, the Law Commission wants to decriminalisation of bribery 'if taken for a right cause'. That means, the law panel has suggested the government to not to penalise a government employee if he is caught seeking bribe for a good cause. For this, the panel has come up with a justification that Indian employees do not seek bribe only for their personal interests, infact bribe here is taken to get some of the work done on time. If this recommendation is accepted then only those public servants would be punished who misused their office by taking bribe. It must be noted that taking money or favours to get the work done is legal in several countries, there it is termed as 'facilitation fee'. A person is free to pay some extra money to get his/her work done quickly. With India bidding big ticket investments, the Law Commission, last week, recommended mandatory norms by government for commercial organisations to prevent bribery. Recommending amendments to the bill, the law panel proposed introducing a "statutory obligation" on the government to publish guidance about the procedures that commercial organisations can take to put in place "adequate systems" to prevent bribery to public servants. It said in Section 9, a new sub-clause can be added to make it clear that "the central government shall prescribe and publish guidelines about the adequate procedures, which can be put in place by commercial organisations to prevent persons associated with them from bribing any person, being or expecting to be, a public servant". It said the guidelines shall be prescribed and published by the Centre "after following a consultation process in which the views of all the interested stakeholders are obtained". Section 10 of the bill pending in the Rajya Sabha extends the liability of the commercial organisation to every person who is in charge of and is responsible to the organisation for the conduct of its business through a deeming provision. The panel in its latest report submitted to the Law Ministry has also recommended amending Section 10. The revised Section 10 now states that if an offence by a commercial organisation is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the commercial organisation, then such person shall be guilty of the offence and will be liable to be proceeded against and punishable with imprisonment which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years. OneIndia News (With inputs from PTI) Read More: Law panel to Modi Govt: Bribery for good intention should not be considered a crime - Oneindia
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