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Found 4 results

  1. SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER 2011 20:39 SRINAGAR: KNS A top campaigner of the Right to Information movement in Jammu and Kashmir Saturday said that the tool meant to empower people could be used to find about the disappeared people in the conflict torn region. Speaking at the workshop Convener J&K RTI Movement Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat gave a detailed background of RTI Act and its various sections. He threw light on Life and Liberty section of the J&K RTI Act 2009 under which police or security forces are supposed to provide information about the arrested person within forty eight hours only to the person seeking such information under Right to Information Act (RTI). Shahid Ahmad Advocate J&K High Court and a Civil Rights activist explained various international laws pertaining to Human Rights. He said that State Human Rights Commission cannot take any action against the Security Forces and Army if they commit human rights violation, he stressed upon the human rights defenders to mount a pressure on the Government so that present human rights laws existing in J&K are amended, otherwise the SHRC remains a toothless tiger Shahid said. Sawaira foundation representative Abdul Qayoom moderated the programme and appealed civil society of Sopore to come forward in order to ensure protection of human rights and implementation of RTI Act in Sopore particularly. Source: RTI could be used to find disappeared: Top campaigner - Kashmir Dispatch
  2. I am an active RTI activist and Free lance journalist. I am associated with JK RTI Movement in J&K and Also Founder Sangarsh RTI Movement of I have filed hundreds of RTI applications in the different departments to unearth may corruption cases. The SIC was headless for the long time and I along with my colleagues put the pressure on the Govt. to appoint the Commissioners through different media through OpEds, Applications, letters, meetings. Last year we met His Excellency Guv. of the State, LoP Mehbooba Mufti and in the month of Jan we met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. As a result the government appointed the Chief Information Commissionaire in the month of Jan 2011.... a lot more on myblog: ayazmughal/wordpress.com
  3. AyazMughal

    J&K RTI: a fire ball

    BY: Ayaz Mughal Beware! You have to put your life at risk if you intend to know the accountability of Govt. You have to gird up the loins to defend yourself from attackers. Someone could be following you. Be careful! You must be at someone’s target. Surprised! It is not the war but nothing less than a war. Unmasking the truth by publicizing the nitty-gritty of Govt. is like playing with fire and flames. The venal, nefarious and perfidious politicians and bureaucrats involved in clandestine, fear their malafide intentions to be exposed. A fews days ago, on 20 July Amit Jethwa (33) was shot dead outside the Gujrat High Court. Vishram Laxman Dodyia(50), a surat based shopkeeper was found murdered after meeting with company officials on 11 Feb. Shashidar Mishra of Bihar was shot dead by unidentified Gunman on motorcycle while he was entering his home on 14 Feb. Satish Shetty(39) was on his way to morning walk and was attacked with swords and sharp weapons and murdered. Vithal Gite(39), a farmer and a flourmill owner of Maharashtra, Dta Patil of Kohlapur district and Sola Ranga Rao(30) of Krishna disrtict Andhara Pradesh were killed at different spots by unidentified persons. But the motives behind this are identified as all of them were RTI activist and had blown the whistle on different scams and corruption by government employees through RTI. Amit Jethwa of Khamba village was coming out of a building after meeting his lawyer when he was fired upon by unidentified persons. He has been an active crusader against the illegal mining in the Gir forest. Satish Shetty had exposed many land scams in and around Talegaon, besides the setting up of restaurants and marriage halls in residential zones, selling in the black market of kerosene meant for distribution through ration shops, etc. This point the needle of doubt towards the unscrupulous employees involved in the scam. They saw themselves being trapped and brutally snatched the precious lives. Apart from the murders, several murderous attacks have been attempted on different RTI activists at different parts of the country. Abhay patil of Jalgaon district, Maharashtra,Sumaira Abdulali & Naseer Jalal, and TOI Journalists, Maharashtra, Murderous assault on Ajay Kumar & colleague,Priyanka Borpujari & other Mumbai journalists assaulted by locals and police at Dantewade, Chhatiisgarh, followed by FIR, firing outside Nayana Kathpalia’s house, Mumbai and many more were attacked, threatened and harassed for exposing the truth. Fortunately, they survived the attacks but the intentions of the assailants were crystal clear. They want to stifle the voice of truth They don’t want RTI to be successful. The success of RTI is the fallout of the corrupt and selfish politicians and bureaucrats. How long one can hide the truth? Truth comes to limelight on one day. According to the Holy Quran 17:81 “"The truth has prevailed, and falsehood has vanished; falsehood will inevitably vanish”. Dr Muzaffar Bhat, Convener of J&K Right to Information Movement and 8 other colleagues who had organized an RTI awareness programme in Branwar had all the tyres of their vehicle punctured during their overnight stay in that town. After they had their tyres repaired in nearby Chadoora market, they were murderously assaulted by a mob of 20 persons, and rescued in the nick of time by CRP and police personnel. However, when the activists complained to the police, the police booked them instead, based on motivated charges leveled by Rashida Begum w/o Chaudhury Saifuddin of Branwar, who is also Halqa President and affiliated with the National Conference in the area. The activists were booked for rioting and house trespass, assault and theft (stealing gold ornaments) in FIR No. 42 of 2010 registered at Chadoora Police Station. The assailants are enjoying the impunity with the support of politicians and bureaucrats. The issue of security of information seeker is equally important as that of appointment of SIC of J&K RTI. The perennial issue of appointment of SIC is in the Court of Law. The final hope of the people of the state lies with Court of Justice. After loosing hopes over the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, a citizen realizing his responsibility and the importance of SIC, knocked the doors of Court of Justice. The state has been dragging its feet to respond to court orders till date. Commission is meaningless until the appointment of SIC. It is worthy of note that Information Commission which is meant for providing the information within 30 days fails to find its head on one side and the govt. is mute about the reason for this failure. The RTI without SIC is body without soul and RTI Activist without security is like a soldier without bulletproof jacket. On one side RTI gives us the weapon to combat the corruption but on the other a sword is hanging over the heads. J&K state clichés the second rank in the list of most corrupt states in the country. It’s the $64,000 question for the J&K government about the law for the protection of the whistleblower. Currently there is no such law. The Government must have a close contemplation over the matter of precious lives of the RTI activist or whistle blower in the state. J&K RTI is going to turn the state into the battle field between the corrupt employees and the RTI activists. If the state did not show the concern, it would end up dragging down image of the Government. Both SIC and Protective laws will collectively ensure the smooth implementation of the J&K RTI act else it would be a feckless, dysfunctional and impractical efforts running though the papers only. The government has to prove itself as stringent and genuinely concerned about the security of the whistleblower. The government must frame the laws in order to ensure the immunity of the information seeker from wraths of corrupt employees, bureaucrats and politicians. And last but not the least the center govt. must probe into the murders and attacks on the RTI activists and whistle-blowers at different parts of the country else it would encourage the culprits repeat such heinous acts in future. The RTI activists are soldiers who combat the internal enemies of the society with the weapons of RTI but they are not sure where they will meet the ill fate.
  4. AyazMughal

    J&K RTI Act: an eye-wash

    Ayaz Mughal The corruption as assumed by the people is mono-faced and limited to taking bribe. But the fact is that it has a multi-dimensional connotation which enfolds delay in disposal of even primary issues, dereliction of duties, miasmic administration of justice, sometimes unjustified decisions, encouraging caste-based politics and community considerations, misusing powers for ulterior motives and above frequently notable anarchy of work culture, accountability and transparency in regard to the public affairs. The politicians, the bureaucrats and the government officials at the gross-root level are, somewhere responsible for the eruption of this obnoxious pestilence of corruption and if we have a deep insight into the state of our affairs, we will be shocked to find this deadly disease seeped into the blood of the entire civil society in general and India in particular. Black money has become the symbol & fashion of high society bureaucrats and politicians which has rendered a irreparable set back to the economy of our country leaving more than 20 crores people of nation thriving on left-over crumbs and many of them starving every day. Our society is marked by the complete moral and ethical degradation and scathing erosion of human values. Under such circumstances the poor public is bound to pin its hopes and repose its confidence in the Government that has been formed by the dint of their votes. And the govt. is not genuinely serous about it. Where will the public go and beat its head, the matter is of great concern. Non administration of justice to the public even from the spacious corridors of absolute powers is the most likely to snowball into a great confusion and chaos in the system with the bigger amount of adverse impact on the Government. Our democratic age of our country is 60 years and as old is our J&KState too. But it is the time for us all to introspect and see whether it is the same country which our national stalwarts like Gandhi, Patel, Azad and others had dreamt of. Could we take proper care of values and culture these great souls had entrusted to us after the appearance of a new sun on the on the horizon of free India? Could our leader design their lives on the patterns of their political ancestors? Is our country really an abode of peace and harmony, justice and honesty? Our country has been rated as rated as in topmost corruption countries of the world and even worse is the plight our state. The Governments come after every spell for six years with revised promises but set an example of the same routine negligence doing nothing meaningful. Till yesterday we were exploited by the British imperialism and today we are being subjected to the tortures of our own people. For a common person it is all the same. The Black and White Governments are simply the two sides of the same coin with not even bit of difference in between. Actually in our country and State the concept of national politics has dwindled into the motive of money and power politics. Our leaders want make their generations comfortable in a single stroke of power since they are quite diffident about future in view of their quivering sensibilities. After all what steps have been taken so far to stem the over burgeoning tide of rampant corruption? What and if have initiated something to check, have we ever been serious about the results? Do we really want to make ours a corruption-free state? A host of questions crop up in a fertile mind but with no suitable at all. The character of our state is being called in question. Merely framing laws, publishing them in the government gazettes and delivering impressive speeches do not make any positive difference to the society at all. It is right time for implementation and enforcement of laws in letter and spirit. Strengthening confidence in the masses is the matter of great concern for the coalition government who is surviving under the shades of very tough opposition and our leaders will have to practically prove that they are not play foul with their public. The J&K Right to Information Act, 2009 came into force on 20 March 2009, repealing and replacing the erstwhile J&K Right to Information Act, 2004 and the J&K Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2008. The Act is based closely at par with Central RTI Act of 2005. With the advent of RTI, a ray of hope emerged among the masses but the point to be noted is that a major chunk of our population is not at all aware of what this RTI is about and majority of those who understand its objectives do not have much courage to come forward for their certain vested interests. Actually The RTI legislation took a big amount of time reach its final stage after surpassing many hurdles and threadbare discussions. The delay in its finalization speaks the language of some of our selfish leaders and holds a mirror to their intentions. RTI is basically an instrument to strengthen the voice of people and ensure the fair and frank functioning of the state-craft. It was an attempt to invigorate the people's democracy. This Act empowers a citizen to have a check on the activities of the Government and examine the government records, take stock of the performance of the administration and play a vital role in providing corruption-free atmosphere in the state and transparent functioning of the government but unfortunately nothing of the sort has happened till now. It will not be out of place to call it merely an eye-wash and a foul play with the innocent public of this state. Isn't that the government feels helpless in implementing the law. Coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah is feeling the political pressure from the infected elements of the society who are presently enjoying the impunity under all circumstances. All promises, initially, made by the state government regarding its immediate implementation have ended in a smoke with no tangible results at all for the reasons best known to them. One more question which has been striking the understanding minds in relation to the appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner. Obviously the Chief Information Commissioner has to an absolute authority in the state that has to work fairly and fearlessly. He will is bound to be as independent in the conduct of inquiry proceedings as the Chief Electoral Officer. But the Govt. has, till now, failed to fill up this vacancy for the reasons best known to it. Government's intention to have an Information Commissioner from within the state may be one of the reasons behind this abnormal delay. Government may be afraid of the disclosure of most of the political and bureaucratic dons involved in corruption and that is why some one from outside the state is being imported for this positions. It is because the most the officers from out side the have happened to a little headstrong in formulating the procedures. It somewhere sounds about the diffidence and guilty intention of our Govt. The most discouraging part of RTI act is that people have to shell out for the RTI application and for photocopying documents. The information seeker should necessarily be J&K state subject and has to pay a fee of Rs. 50 along with application on prescribed form which is too high as compared to that of Central RTI Act. Central RTI act charges Rs. 10 for the same. Again to get the copies of the government records, the state subject has to pay Rs. 10 per copy of A-4 or A-3 size paper while under Central RTI Act, the prescribed fee is only Rs 2. If a citizen requires information loaded on a diskette or a floppy, he or she has to pay Rs 75. The fee for such kind of job under Central RTI Act is only Rs. 50. It indicates insincerity of Govt. in regard to the implementation of this Act. It is inferred that coalition government headed by Omar Abdullah utterly fails to seek and appoint an Information Commissioner despite lapse of a significant amount of time. Despite advice by CIC Govt. of India Wajahad Habibullah, the structure of High fee has not been reduced which proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the present coalition government is least interested in receiving complaints from its people. In my opinion RTI Act 2009 will meet the same fate as that of State Accountability Commission (SAC) which at presents is like dead horse or tooth less tiger. Moreover, the tall claim of government that reply to an RTI application has to be made within 30 days but it takes more than two months as a whole when found in practice. If our Govt. is really serious about creating an atmosphere of transparency, work-culture and accountability conducive to the birth of a corruption free state ensuring the proper administration of justice, it is right time to give a practical shape to the pre-election manifesto of promises and enforce RTI Act with immediate effect. The forthwith implementation of this Act, in letter and spirit, will work a lot in giving a positive dimension to the Govt. functioning. The mode of payment should be made more convenient and the information and official records should be digitized and uploaded on websites. It will not only save time of the people and the officials but is likely to leave constructive impact on the functioning of our Govt. Online acceptance and replying of applications, updating the status of application may prove to be successful in weeding out the corrupt practices in the society. email: xxx@yyy.zzz - Deleted email id - posting against forum rules
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