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  1. Farmer near Panvel, whose land was taken away by the panchayat, fined over Rs 7,000, and warned his family will be ostracised if he does not fall in line with their diktats.A khap-style village panchayat in Panvel has threatened to ostracise a 38-year-old man and his family because he dared file an RTI application, seeking details of forest land in his village and how much was encroached upon. Read at: ?Khap panchayat? near Mumbai fines man for RTI plea - Mumbai Mirror
  2. Despite its anti-corruption creativity, India is still a one man, one bribe democracy. Money talks, especially in the bustle of an Indian bazaar. But what would you do if someone thrust a note in your hand that on close inspection turned out to be worth nothing at all? Astonishingly, but for good reason, there are now millions of zero-rupee notes in circulation in India. Read more at; Despite its anti-corruption creativity, India is still a one man, one bribe democracy
  3. #Bhopal #Madhya Pradesh A differently-abled man from Chhatarpur district was deprived of his basic rights like Right to Information and was also not given a job by the social Justice Department which is supposed to empower this section of the society. Even the CM helpline failed to bail out this troubled unemployed man. Read at: http://www.news18.com/news/madhya-pradesh/differently-abled-man-denied-information-under-rti-not-given-job-703475.html
  4. A Jabalpur resident has moved the MP high court after he was allegedly denied documents related to a passport made in the name of his minor son, though he had not applied for it. The resident, Sirajuddin Khan (30), had sought the documents from the Bhopal passport office under the RTI provisions. Read at: MP: Man moves HC after passport office denies papers under RTI
  5. SALEPUR: Another person of Niali block has alleged that he has been receiving threatening calls after he sought information under RTI about a Kolkata-based real estate company. In the FIR filed at Niali police station on Sunday, the petitioner, Biswa Ranjan Sahoo of Pasanga village under Alana panchayat, stated that he was working as an assistant in Lavanya project of Tirumala Infrastructure and Development Private Limited at Kanrpur under Olatpur police limits. Sahoo was responsible for liasoning with local sarpanch, Revenue Inspector (RI), Kantapada tehsildar and BDO for a patch of Government land. Read at: Another Niali Man Threatened for RTI Info - The New Indian Express
  6. A Ghaziabad resident was booked on Tuesday for allegedly altering the contents of an RTI reply from the district administration, and furnishing the document as evidence in the Allahabad high court in a land dispute case against the Ghaziabad Development Authority. Read more at: Man forges RTI reply, uses it as proof in HC - The Times of India
  7. By Krishnadas Rajagopal in Thehindu.com on January 18, 2015 http://www.thehindu.com/sunday-anchor/sunday-anchor-reasonable-man-vs-the-hypersensitive-man/article6797226.ece In India, the fundamental right to free speech and expression is subject to the mercy and intellect of the “reasonable” man. It is not an absolute right, unlike in the West, but restricted and measured by the ambiguous scales of public order, decency and morality of men, their elected representatives and judges. The Constitution makers have left it open for the courts to interpret, by the standards of reasonable men, if an expression is art, literature, satire, insult, ridicule or offence. Time and again, the constitutional courts have interpreted what a “reasonable man” is — “an ordinary man of common sense and prudence and not an out-of-ordinary or hypersensitive man.” The Constituent Assembly debates were not without extensive discussions about imposing reasonable restrictions on the fundamental rights of freedom. While some of the founding fathers felt that by imposing restrictions, they were taking away with “one or five hands” what they gave to the citizens with the other, their compatriots justified that a reasonable fetter on “Rights of Freedom” will not “destroy the liberties of the people.” The wounds of Partition were still fresh, the people had seen the rise and fall of Fascism in Europe — this fledgling, multi-religious country could just not afford another instant of communal disharmony. Shackling free speech was just a small price to pay to ensure that, or so they thought. One of them, Algu Rai Shastri, felt that “freedom by its very nature implies limitations and restrictions.” “The dancer dances to the measure of clapping. The poet is bound by the significance of words. A dancer dances according to certain fixed timings and never makes a false movement. His movements are in harmony with the tal. When a nation or a community attains freedom, it begins to bear a great responsibility on its shoulders. We cannot, therefore, say that the restrictions that have been imposed will retard our progress. Good citizenship implies restrictions,” Shastri argued in the Constituent Assembly. But Amiyo Kumar Ghosh struck a cautionary tone against imposing reasonable restrictions. He felt the checks “should be very precise, clear and not couched in ambiguous language and left to the courts for decisions.” He thought how it would take “centuries” for the Supreme Court to exactly say what words like reasonable restrictions in the “interests of general public” or “public order” meant. Ghosh voiced apprehension about the “wide powers” such vagueness would leave in the hands of the Legislature. So the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in Article 19 (1) (a) escaped the ambiguity of “reasonable restrictions” and remained unfettered for 15 months of the working of the Constitution until the Constitution (First Amendment) Act, 1951 was passed. The 1951 Act modified free speech and expression and made it subject to reasonable restrictions of Article 19 (2) to preserve public order, decency and morality. In his introduction to the First Amendment, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru explained why it was imperative to modify the right to free speech and expression in the “interests of the general public.” “During the last 15 months of the working of the Constitution, certain difficulties have been brought to light by judicial decisions and pronouncements especially in regard to the chapter on fundamental rights. The citizen’s right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) has been held by some courts to be so comprehensive as not to render a person culpable even if he advocates murder and other crimes of violence,” Nehru said. With this, free speech and expression was again left open to the “reasonableness” of the judges and legislators. The trust placed in modern-day legislators by Constituent Assembly members like K. Hanumanthaiya is being increasingly tested in recent times. Hanumanthaiya supported reasonable limits on the belief that legislators, as representatives of the people, would tolerate only such restrictions that would be in the interest of the people. The ongoing hearing of the Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India case in the Supreme Court is an example of how his trust in legislators may have been misplaced. In his arguments in the case, civil rights lawyer Prashant Bhushan details the “chilling effect” Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 has on free expression. He narrated how two girls, Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan, based in Thane district of Maharashtra were arrested under the Act for allegedly posting and ‘liking’ a comment against the shutdown in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s death on their Facebook accounts. Over the decades, the courts have given mixed signals while struggling to strike a balance between free speech and restrictions on it. In March 2014, a Bench led by the then Chief Justice of India, R.M. Lodha, dismissed a plea by advocate M.L. Sharma for a direction to curb hate speeches. “We cannot curtail the fundamental rights of people,” Chief Justice Lodha had said. “It is a precious right guaranteed by the Constitution. We are a mature democracy and it is for the public to decide.” This when only a year earlier another Bench led by one of his predecessors, Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, had issued notice to the Election Commission on a public interest litigation petition by Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan to curb leaders from delivering hate speeches. In 1957, in Ramji Lal Modi vs State of Uttar Pradesh, a five-judge Bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India, S.R. Das, fortified Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (blasphemy law), a British-regime law, against the right to free speech. “It (Section 295A) only punishes the aggravated form of insult to religion when it is perpetrated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of a class of citizens,” the judgment observed. In State of Karnataka vs. Praveen Bhai Thogadia of 2004, the Supreme Court said whether a person had “malicious intention” to insult another’s religion can be fathomed from his past conduct. In the S. Rangarajan case, the court observed that the right to restrict free expression should be exercised only if it acted like a “spark to a power keg” and not if the “anticipated danger is remote, conjectural or far-fetched.” The Supreme Court’s overriding concern, over the years, has been that free speech should not affect communal harmony. The ground rule has been that religious harmony cannot be sacrificed at the altar of free expression. Endless List: [TABLE=class: display dataTable, width: 100%] [TR=class: even] [TD][/TD] [TD]M. F. Husain: Noted artist M. F. Husain was forced to spend the last few years of his life in exile as Hindutva groups strongly opposed his depiction of Hindu Gods[/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: odd, bgcolor: #F9F9F9] [TD][/TD] [TD]The Last Temptation of Christ: ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’, a play which was banned in Kerala in 1986 following protests from the Church, triggering debates on the freedom of expression.[/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: even] [TD][/TD] [TD]Taslima Nasreen: The hounding of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen over her 1993 book Lajja, which shows persecution of a Hindu family. Muslim fundamentalists have not shied away from issuing fatwas.[/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: odd, bgcolor: #F9F9F9] [TD][/TD] [TD]Vishwaroopam: Kamal Hasan starrer Vishwaroopam was banned in Tamil Nadu after several Muslim organisations raised protest saying that it stereotyped them in the war against terror.[/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: even] [TD][/TD] [TD]Fire: Deepa Mehta film Fire, one of the first mainstream films to depict homosexuality (Lesbian relationship), led to protests from tright-wing groups who vandalised theatres saying that the film depicted Indian culture in poor light.[/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: odd, bgcolor: #F9F9F9] [TD][/TD] [TD]Narendra Dabholkar: In 2013, Narendra Dabholkar, prominent rationalist and social activist, was shot to death in broad daylight by alleged Hindutva groups for his stance against superstition[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]
  8. The Imphal Free Press IMPHAL, Aug 22: A dead man was found drawing salary in the electricity department as assistant lineman sixteen years after his death. This faux pass came to light when L Tombi and L Rishikanta, wife and son of late L Ningthemjao of Kiyam Siphai, filed a complaint with the state chief information commissioner for service-related documents of Ningthemjao from the electricity department under the Right to Information Act on July 7, 2007. As told by Rishikanta at a press conference held today at the office of Human Rights Law Network, his father was serving as an assistant lineman with the electricity department from January 21, 1971. Later, on August 18, 1984, he joined as work charge. However, Rishikanta said, his father died on June 21, 1985 due to illness. He said that the representatives from the office employee union came for his shradha and provided monetary help. Rishikanta said that since he was very young and his mother was also illiterate, they did not have any idea about pension and other benefits procedures. He said, “It was only in 2004 that we sent an application to the electricity department to find out about my father’s pension when one of his friends enquired about it. Then we started to investigate and could not make much headway.” M Rakesh, state coordinator HRLN, said that after Rishikanta approached for help, he sent a legal notice to the chief engineer of the electricity department on January 17, 2007 on behalf of Tombi inquiring about the pension benefits of late Ningthemjao. Not being able to make much progress, two applications were sent by Tombi and Rishikanta under RTI to the electricity department. After 30 days lapsed with no action forthcoming, on July 7, 2007, the state information commission was approached. Thereafter, the state information commission directed the chief engineer of the electricity department to furnish the relevant service documents of Ningthemjao. In the service documents provided by the electricity department, it was found that Ningthemjao was promoted as lineman on January 16, 1998, thirteen years after his death, by the then chief engineer. Thereafter he retired on superannuation on August 31, 2001, more than 16 years after his death. Apart from having somebody withdrawing Ningthemjao’s salary for the past 16 years, Rakesh said that there were various false documentations. As per the family’s version, at the time of his death Ningthemjao was serving with the Thoubal electricity division whereas the official document mentioned that he was last serving with the Imphal Electrical Division No. 3, Lamphelpat. Rakesh said that a criminal case will be taken up at the earliest against the electricity department and the High Court will be approached to provide relief to the aggrieved family. Dead man drawing salary for 16 years at electricity dept! :: KanglaOnline ~ Your Gateway
  9. The State Information Commission has come to the rescue of a paralysed man Rakesh Kumar Talwar, who had sought information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act on why the district administration sent letters regarding his compensation on his old address. SIC held that the delay in giving information to Talwar, and the unpleasantness in the Public Information Office (PIO), caused him harassment and mental tension. The Commission has held that “not only had there been delay but also great harassment and mental tension caused to the applicant (Talwar) due to the unpleasantness in the Public Information Office.” Talwar had gone to PIO to get information, following written instructions received by him to do so. Talwar, who was paralysed after falling into an uncovered manhole, had approached the Commission for its intervention in his case. The victim had asked the Commission to probe why the official letters sent to him were delivered on his old address. In July 1998, when Talwar was driving a scooter through a flooded street in Dhobi Ghat near new DMC, he was unable to anticipate an open manhole and had fallen into it. “I have not received the letters forwarded to me in my compensation case by the SDM’s office. I have approached the Commission, urging it to direct the administration to show me the letters which were claimed to be sent on my old address,” said Talwar in his complaint. Talwar had stated that when he went to PIO, a clerk misbehaved with him. Meanwhile, the SDM has submitted the explanation in the Commission that “the complaint is not admissible on the grounds that the requisite fee was not paid by the complainant as per requirement of the RTI Act.” The SDM also claimed that no one misbehaved with Talwar, and this was just an allegation. But the Commission observed that this explanation was not satisfactory. “To state today that the complaint is not admissible on the ground that the requisite fee was not paid, is rubbing salt into the wounds of the complainant,” the Commission observed in it’s order. Though Talwar did not wish to pursue the complaint against the person who misbehaved him, the Commission closed the case with a strong warning to the PIO office of SDM Ludhiana. The Commission also warned the clerk Sham Shunder, who allegedly misbehaved with Talwar, not to repeat such behaviour. SIC comes to rescue of paralysed man
  10. ICICI agents rough up Goa man for not paying loan Margao (Goa): Jowett D'souza's had financed his dream car from the ICICI bank in March 2002. But his dream ride abruptly came to a halt on August 6, 2004. "They gave me two blows, they pushed me and grabbed the keys from me,” says D'souza. The reason- after making 26 on-time installments, D'souza had failed to pay two because he had run into financial trouble, according to RBI guidelines. ICICI Bank should have done the following things: First sent default notices to D'souza. Then given him reasonable time to make up for the defaulted payments. And under no condition should it have used muscle power to recover the loan. But ICICI bank chose to do otherwise. D'souza was accosted and beaten up in front of the Colva post office. The recovery agents of ICICI BANK snatched his car in broad daylight and that is when D’souza ‘s struggle for justice began. Police Control Room file notings, applied for by D’souza under the RTI act clearly show that the ruffians were sent by none other than ICICI bank in direct contravention of a Supreme court order. But D’souza’s ordeal didn't stop there. "In the month of October 2004, I have written a letter to the Director of Transport saying that the vehicle is in dispute between me and ICICI bank and you are not authorised to sell the vehicle and you have to inform me,” says D’souza. But the recovery agents got round this as well. On March 3, 2005, they simply forged D’souza's, signature on the letter, terminating the hypothecation on the car. On March 4, someone posing as D’souza filed a complaint at the Colva police station on a ready-made template stating that the car papers have been lost. While driving the irony is that D’souza wasn't even in possession of the car at that time. The next day someone again forged a letter posing as D’souza asking the RTO to withdraw the freeze on the sale of his car. On May 21 the Crime Branch surprisingly issued a No Objection Certificate, giving the green signal to transfer the car. On May 25 D’souza’s signatures were forged on all the sale papers of the car. And on May 30, the RTO cleared transfer of the Car to Mallapuram in Kerala. "The banks nowadays seem to be engaging gangsters to sieze the car from the defaulters and this is done in collusion with the police" says D’souza’s lawyer, Radha Rao Gracious It was only after D’souza went to court that the police filed the FIR. So what is the progress of the case three months later in August 2005 so what's the progress of the case? "We have registered a case here and the investigations are going on soon we all are going to file a chargesheet soon," says SP, South Goa, Shekhar Prabhudesai. It is almost two years now and not a single arrest has been made one say more. ICICI agents rough up Goa man for not paying loan - Yahoo! India News
  11. Information still elusive for common man Pioneer News Service | New Delhi ... even after Right to Information Act came into force two years ago Even two years after the Right to Information (RTI) Act was introduced in India, the right remains a far cry for the common man. RTI has gradually become synonymous with waiting for an average of seven months before being heard at Central Information Commission (CIC), not being heard personally at CIC and even taking the battle to the judiciary to access information. A case in point is that of students who have been fighting for transparency in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It all started with the UPSC examination results in 2006. Doubting the results, some civil service aspirants applied for information on the cut-off marks under the RTI Act 2005 in August that year. Claiming this to be its "intellectual property", the UPSC refused to divulge this information. Despite an order of CIC in November last year, the UPSC has refused to give information on exact marks received by each candidate in the civil service examinations. Instead, it approached the Delhi High Court over the issue. The matter is still awaiting final order. The aspirants have been fighting for the information for one year and two months. And it is still elusive. This is despite the fact that the State Public Service Commissions have started divulging information related to marks. RTI has been used by students in States, like Chhattisgarh, to unearth scams in civil service examinations. A similar case is that of Muzibur Rehman who took upon himself to reveal misappropriation of funds on the part of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). He suspected that SECL had collected money from its employees for PM's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) but had not really deposited it. His battle started last year in June. After hitting a roadblock when SECL did not provide full information, Rehman applied for information in the PMO in September last year. The case is pending for final hearing in CIC. As reported earlier by The Pioneer, PMO's inquiry has found that the Coal India Limited had withheld funds from PMNRF and violated rules. It has taken over a year for Rehman to get the information. Even now, his case has not been disposed of. Experts blame CIC, which is the final appellate body under the RTI Act, for the poor implementation of the Act. An examination of appeals pending with CIC reveals that on an average an applicant has to wait at least seven months to be heard. And experts predict that at this rate, this waiting time is all set to increase to two years. According to a survey conducted by Parivartan, an NGO, last year of 568 appeals before CIC, 309 cases were disposed of without even being heard. Neither the applicant nor the public information officer (PIO) was called in these cases. This means that over 54 per cent of the applicant were not even heard. In certain cases, appellants still have to approach the High Courts to get a special order for a personal hearing. In case of Yoga Rangatia Vs Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the appellant had to approach the High Court for a personal hearing. Despite a pointed order by the court, CIC has still not made personal hearings mandatory. According to RTI Rules 2005, it is up to the appellant to decide whether he wants to heard in person or in writing or not heard at all. The appeal rules lay down that it is the duty of CIC to give them an opportunity to be heard. In a case Jaikant Gupta Vs National Project Construction company, the Delhi High Court termed the functioning of CIC as 'curious'. The High Court remanded the case back to CIC and asked the commission to start fresh hearings. The Pioneer > Home
  12. Man discovers he is dead in records Wednesday, 03 October , 2007, 22:19 SIFY Kendrapada: A man in Orissa has found out that he has been dead in the official records for the past five years. Ratanakar Nayak, 56, works as a storekeeper in the zoology department at the Kendrapada College at Kendrapada town, 150 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, but since 1998 has not been getting his salary from the college. This came to light when Nayak filed a petition under the Right To Information (RTI) Act to get his relevant service records. The college authorities had stopped his salary, alleging that he had gone on an unauthorised leave from March 9, 1998, to April 13, 1998. Nayak said he had been suffering from blood pressure and diabetes, and the head of zoology department of the college had sanctioned his leave. "He had also accepted my joining report on April 16, 1998, after the end of my leave period," Naik said. Nayak is still working in the college, though he has not been paid his salary since then. He filed a petition in the Orissa High Court against the college authorities and the court instructed the state Education Department to sort out the matter in three months. When the college authorities failed to heed the directive, Nayak filed a petition under the RTI Act. "I was shocked when the authorities handed me the old records. The college principal at that time had written a letter to the Higher Education Department that I was dismissed from the job in 1998. It also said that I died in 2002 and the college abolished the post of storekeeper. All this when I am still working and will retire only in 2010," he said. N N Sharma, the principal of the Kendrapada College said: "Ratnakar was dismissed from the service in 1998 and the college authorities had informed the officials of higher education department to abolish his post." "I cannot say why at that time he was declared dead in the government record."
  13. New Delhi, Aug. 19 (PTI): Come look for the currency issued by Netaji Subash Chandra Bose's provisional government yourself, the documentation is voluminous -- this was the response from authorities to a man who made an application under the RTI Act. This happened to Delhi-based executive Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, who had sought information on whether the authorities had the currency issued by the Provisional Government of Free India set up by Bose and whether Japan and Germany had acknowledged that government. After his application made the rounds of the Union Home Ministry, it was forwarded to the National Archives, which replied that information pertaining to the Provisional Government of Free India was available with it. "However, the requisite information is voluminous and would require lot of time to locate the desired information," Meena Gautam, the Central Public Information Officer of the National Archives, said in her reply to Bhattacharya. Gautam said that the papers of the Indian National Army were accessible according to procedures laid down in the Public Records Act. "Bhattacharya may be directed to visit the department for consultation of the requisite material and to look for information as per his requirement," she said. "This reply left me completely dazed as I only wanted a photocopy of a currency note and wanted to know whether it was correct that two important countries had acknowledged the Free India Government," said Bhattacharya, who has launched a campaign under the Right To Information Act to dig out the truth about Netaji. The Hindu News Update Service
  14. karira

    Man uses RTI to nail cop

    Man uses RTI to nail cop MUMBAI: Right To Information (RTI) query has exposed how a senior police inspector (now retired) allegedly favoured one businessman to settle scores with another in a civil dispute case. Trader Jasmine Shah, arrested in a cheating case three years ago, has used RTI to prove that he was illegally arrested by then D N Nagar police station senior inspector M A Shaikh. The information Shah has obtained states that the departmental inquiry, conducted by then deputy commissioner of police (zone IX) Amitabh Gupta, found Shaikh guilty and resulted in disciplinary action against the officer for arresting Shah. Albeit, the department did not initiate any punitive measures against Shaikh as he had retired two years ago. The case dates back to October 27, 2003, when the D N Nagar police arrested Shah and charged him under Sections 420, 406 and 506 (2) of the Indian Penal Code for cheating, breach of trust and for issuing threats to Sony Mony proprietor Ramesh Shah. Ramesh wanted to purchase the ground floor of Rupayatan building in Vile Parle, of which Jasmine was the owner. The 2,500-sq-ft property on the ground floor, however, was already rented out to Sangli Bank. Jasmine then proposed that the bank shift to the first floor but bank authorities refused and the refusal led to a legal dispute. Jasmine's lawyer Mukesh Vashi said that despite knowledge of the bank's refusal to move, Ramesh entered into a deal with Jasmine in 2000, paying him Rs 1.5 crore of the total Rs 4 crore fixed for the sale of the ground-floor property. The MoU between Jasmine and Ramesh stated that the remaining sum would be paid when Ramesh got possession of the property after a peaceful settlement between the bank and Jasmine. However, matters worsened when Jasmine was unable to forge a settlement with the bank. According to Jasmine, Ramesh began pressurising him, allegedly using intimidating tactics to expedite the sale. "I immediately approached the Juhu police and told officials about Ramesh's threats and they warned him against doing anything as the matter was in court." Jasmine alleged inspector Shaikh who was then senior inspector of D N Nagar then got into the act, arresting him and parading him before the electronic media. "Shaikh also acted as a recovery agent and forced me to signed 10 post-dated cheques, adding up to Rs 1.5 crore, for Sony Mony. But is this the part of the police's job?" Jasmine asked. Shaikh, however, defended himself, saying Jasmine had threatened Ramesh and was evading arrest after a case was registered. "Our probe revealed Jasmine cheated a few other people similarly. And the media coverage was not mala fide but was done for the benefit of society so that everyone was cautious while dealing in property," Shaikh told Gupta. However, Ramesh Shah has rubbished all the allegations levelled against him stating, "The police have already filed the chargesheet against Jasmine and if the case was a fake, the court would have not dismissed Jasmine's plea for his discharge from the case. And in the MOU, Jasmine had mentioned that he will return the money within three months if there is no settlement between him and the bank. Thus he has cheated me." (email id deleted to avoid spiders) Man uses RTI to nail cop-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India
  15. ganpat1956

    Disabled man denied government job

    BY Hindustan Times FOR ALMOST a year now, Ravi Dutt, who has 75 per cent disability in his upper limbs, has been running from pillar to post, hoping against hope to get his rightful berth in the government services. Armed with a diploma in Elementary Teacher Education and a certificate in Computer Application, this commerce graduate had first appeared for the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examination on August 28, 2006. Soon after, he sat for the Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) on October 25, 2006. He hoped to make it to one of the two reserved seats in the Physically Handicapped category. But he was never considered for the post. When he had approached SSC and ESIC to find out the reasons for his rejection, he never received a satisfactory answer. He then filed a petition under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. "I approached all possible people in the recruitment office. When I failed to get an answer, I was left with one option - to extract information rightfully through RTI," said Dutt. ESIC refused to divulge any information, stating results and other qualifying details were highly confidential. The only information they could provide was that no candidate was absorbed under the Physically Handicapped category. SSC said since most positions were open for the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe category, its minimum cut-off was 103. SSC's response also revealed that Dutt had secured 114, much higher that the required cut-off. SSC wrote, "Typing abilities were a minimum requirement for the job. While the candidate applied for exemption, permitted under the Physically Handicapped category, he failed to submit documents." Reacting to this, Dutt said, "This job is extremely important for me. Being a disabled and conscious of my weakness, there is no reason why I should have faltered on this account." In a later communication, SSC said while he had applied for an exemption under medical grounds, he may have forged the certificate. Documents show that the Vocational Rehabilitation Certificate he had submitted were authenticated by the board of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, dated a month before he had applied for the job. "In government services, very few doors are open to us, and if they don't recruit us even for clerical jobs, where do we go?" asked Dutt. "I have also approached the Commissioner of Disabilities, but no one has responded." Deputy Chief Commissioner of Disabilities T.D. Dhariyal said, "We are yet to look into the facts and get the version of both the parties concerned. There are several factors that have to be looked into in the case of reserved categories. In this case, if positions are still open, then the organisation should relax the standards further so as to appoint a candidate in the reserved category." Disabled man denied government job - Yahoo! India News
  16. ganpat1956

    'Common man unaware of RTI'

    LUCKNOW : The Right to Information Act (RTI) is a powerful tool in the hands of a common man provided he is aware of it. But that does not seems to be the case at present. So opined the delegates who had assembled at a workshop on "RTI and Good Governance" organised by the Institute of Cooperative and Corporate Management Research and Training (ICCMRT) in association with the Lucknow Management Association (LMA) here in the state capital on Saturday(24.03.2007). The delegates which included former chief secretary R Ramani, former Lokayukt Justice SC Verma observed that a government department would be forced to provide "good governance" if the RTI was used properly. In the day-long discussion the two, along with director ICCMRT Naval Kishore, answered some of the following questions: Q. Does a department is required to provide information sought by a person irrespective of the fact that the information has moved into the "weeding-out period" of the department? That is a person wants information pertaining to a development say five years back, but the department dumps files after four years. A. Justice Verma: Yes. If the file is not yet destroyed a government official is required to provide that information, irrespective of the weeding-out time. Q. But what if a government official says that records have been lost? A. Justice Verma: This indicates that the officer might be hiding something. But then with the RTI in place a government official is required to inform his head of the department (HOD) about the missing information so that he can lodge an FIR. Having done that, responsibility would be fixed on the official concerned and he would be brought to book. Q. Can a contractor ask a government official the reason for rejection of his tender? A. Justice Verma: The department would only provide the information. But then its a quasi-judicial matter and one can seek redressal in court of law as well. Q. Should file notings be disclosed or not? A. R Ramani: Notings are the most crucial part of the functioning of a government department. If right to see notings is gone, there remains nothing. Justice Verma recalled a case where in a district magistrate (DM) was transferred after a politician complained to the chief minister about his closeness to other party candidates. When the officer approached the high court, the transfer order was cancelled as the court couldn't found a single substantial reason for his transfer. Q. Can a person seek information on expenditure of funds like MP local area development (MPLAD) fund? A. Justice Verma: Yes. This, would stop its misuse. He cited the example of Delhi where in an MP diverted funds for development of parks and fountains, instead of allocating them for installation of drinking water facilities. Delegates present in the seminar opined that the RTI Act more than a tool to seek information would also work as "vigilance instrument". Thus putting a stop on corruption. 'Common man unaware of RTI'-Lucknow-Cities-NEWS-The Times of India
  17. Dear & Responsible Readers, Below is the story of the Indian Judicial System. The typical administrative system which chock the progress of the country and also the double standard of the government on the employment issue as on one hand not giving the posting against vacant positions, merely due to lack of fund to pay salaries and on other hand declaring the new employments ! What a common man can do against this? He can only fight by the right given by democracy! Applications are invited for the post of Assistant (Junior Clerk) for Amreli District Court of Gujarat Stat through an advertisement no :- B/ 1 / 1999, published in “ Akila “ evening daily news paper on 22/10/1999, Friday. The written exam was scheduled on 02/04/2000 (Sunday) and successful candidates then called for typing test. The candidates, successfully passed the typing test were called for personal interview in March – 2001.Gujarat High Court has sent the list of 44 candidates, selected after personal interview to the Amreli District Court in January 2003, for publication By April 2003, 1 to 22 candidates out of 44 selected, has been posted at different courts under the Amreli District Court. By the year 2005, another 4 candidates has been posted. But from year 1999 to 2006, after more than 7 years, remaining 18 selected candidates out of 44 have not been given posting. According to the right to information act, I came to know that there are about 10 vacant post for assistant (junior clerk), under the Amreli District Court, then also nothing has been done to fill the position though 18 selected candidates are waiting their posting for more than 7 years. In July 2005, a chief civil judge court has been approved in Kukavav taluka and many fast trek courts have been started under the Amreli District Court. According to an article by the Times of India, India is having 13 judges per million people. There is 3 crore pending cases, 2.55 crore in the District and Sub ordinate courts, 35.6 lakh in High Courts and 39,000 in the Supreme Court, 25 % of vacancies in high courts remain unfilled. On the contrary the centre and the state government are spending more on generating new employment though the posts are vacant from selected candidates! For the people of the great democratic country Common Man.
  18. MUMBAI: The Right to Information Act has come to the rescue of a former trustee of a charitable educational trust who was illegally removed by presenting signatures of dead and fictitious members. The original papers of the trust's no-confidence motion, which were in the charity commissioner's office, were substituted with the forged papers in alleged collusion with the office staff. The charity commissioner's office then passed an order to oust Qamar S Qazi, the trustee. Seventy-three-old Qamar S Qazi, a former customs official and trustee of Anjuman Tarakki Achra, has been fighting the case for the last seven years. It was when Qazi applied to the charity commissioner's office for the copy of the no-confidence motion passed against him in 1999 that he discovered, to his horror, that the documents were substituted. "Instead, another document which had about 125 forged signatures of the trustees were placed. Many of the members were dead or their names were fictitious. Some were abroad when the alleged election took place,"Qazi said. On discovering the forgery, Qazi filed a criminal case against the existing trustees at the Additional Magistrate court, Mazgaon in 2000. The court directed the Dongri police to investigate the case and the police report established that a forgery was committed. The court then ordered the police to file a chargesheet. However, despite directives from the magistrate and later the Bombay high court, the charity commissioner's office did not subsequently take any action on the issue of the forgery committed by the existing trustees. Qazi then filed a query under the Right to Information Act in 2006 asking about the status of the case. "The charity commissioner's office replied stating that they did not have the police inquiry report with them and hence could not take action. I then filed a complaint with the state information commissioner who directed the law and judiciary department to look into the matter,"Qazi said. Within a month, Qazi got a reply from the Charity Commissioner which stated that the earlier fake no-confidence motion passed by the trust was set aside and a fresh enquiry had been initiated against the trustees. "The Right to Information Act has now helped me to set aside an order which was blatantly wrong. I hope justice will be done soon,"Qazi said. The Times of India - Indian Newspapers in English Language from six editions.
  19. He was the man who, in association with Aruna Rai and Jean Dreze, was instrumental in drafting the revolutionary Right To Information Act and getting a call centre for RTI constituted in Bihar. Today, Arvind Kejriwal is running from pillar to post for the last nine months with an application filed under the same Act, wanting to know the details of expenditure incurred for the development of Kaushambi area in Ghaziabad, where he resides. In his application, submitted to Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) on April 10, 2006, Kejriwal asked the GMC specific information like, the money spent on development of Kaushambi after it was taken over from the Ghaziabad Development Authority in March 2004; The number of roads constructed; agencies engaged in roads construction and the amount deposited by them. On failing to get a reply in the mandatory 30 days, Kejriwal filed his first appeal in the Municipal Corporation on June 5, but to no avail. He then went in for a second appeal with the State Information Commission (SIC), on September 19. "Just a week before my case came up before the Commission on November 16, the GMC provided me some irrelevant and incomplete information'' Kejriwal said. SIC sent a show-cause notice to the GMC Commissioner as to why a penalty of Rs 25,000 should not be imposed on him. The SIC directed the GMC commissioner to be present on December 18, the second hearing. On December 18, Kejriwal was present at the Commission but the GMC Commissioner wasn't and Kejriwal was given a third date, January 16. The RTI Act makes it mandatory to dispose cases in 45 days. What annoyed Kejriewal was that instead of any GMC authority, a government lawyer was representing the government. On asking the State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC), on the last hearing of the case on December 18, on why officials were not being summoned, SCIC said, "It is my discretion whom I summon to my court.'' Section 18 (3) A of the Act says the State Information Commissioners have the power to "summon and enforce the attendance of persons and compelling them to give oral or written evidence...'' According to sources, the reason the senior officers are now being sparingly summoned to the RTI Commissioner's court is a missive from Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav following representation from the bureaucrats they were being harassed in the name of RTI. During the IAS week held in November, they had demanded that the CM ensure that they were not for hearings of cases under RTI. Following this, Mulayam reportedly asked SIC not to summon IAS officers and pull them up. However, SCIC MA Khan denies having received any such missive. Instead, he clarifies that senior officers are called only when the matter isn't sorted out at the lower level. SIC Gyanendra Sharma clarified that normally public information officers (PIO) are summoned but officials concerned are called when they don't part with information to the former. "Penalising PIOs failing to give information because their seniors are not providing them would be an injustice to them,'' said Sharma. He said the Commission received 100 to 150 applications every day, and most are disposed at the first level of Assistant Public Information Officers and Public Information Officers at the department level. "Not going into technicalities and taking it as a teething trouble, we entertain each application and dispose off around 60-70 of them every day,'' Sharma said. He said IAS officers were called only sparingly. Man behind RTI battles for information on development
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