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Found 22 results

  1. ashakantasharma

    Misuse’ of Right to Information

    'Misuse’ of RTI AUGUST 28, 2017 BY SHAILESH GANDHI As an Information Commissioner who dealt with over 20000 cases I had the opportunity of interacting with a large number of RTI users and Public Information Officers (PIOs). Generally PIOs would refer to most applicants who file RTI applications regularly as blackmailers, harassers and those who were misusing RTI. I would broadly divide those who filed a large number of RTI applications in the following categories: Those who filed RTI applications with the hope of exposing corruption or arbitrariness and hoped to improve and correct governance. Those who filed RTI applications repetitively to correct a wrong which they perceived had been done to them. Their basic intention is to get justice for themselves. Those who used RTI to blackmail people. This category largely targets illegal buildings, mining or some other activity which runs foul of the law. Those who use this to harass a public official to get some undue favour. All these categories together comprise around 20% of the total appeals and complaints before the Commission. These represent persistent users of RTI who are generally knowledgeable about appeals and procedures. Nobody will deny that the first category certainly deserves to be encouraged. In the second category there are some who have been able to get corrective action and some whose grievance may defy resolution. When faced with such applicants, PIOs should speak to the concerned officer to evaluate whether the grievance can be redressed. Generally most of us have a strong aversion for the third and fourth category who are making it a money-earning racket or putting pressure to get an undue favour. The last two categories certainly does not exceed 10% of the total appeals and complaints. I would like to note that most of the average citizens who do not get information are unaware of the process of appeals. Over 40% of those who attempt filing appeals at CIC are discouraged with imperious returns. Thus it appears that the third and fourth category will be much smaller than 10% in terms of RTI applications. I would argue that in the implementation of most laws some people will misuse its provisions. The police often misuse their powers to subvert the law, and so also criminals misuse our judicial system to prolong trials. The misuse of any laws is largely dependent on the kind of people in a society and whether the justice system has the capability of punishing wrongdoers. There are people who go to places of worship with the sole objective of committing theft or other crimes. But society does not define these as the main characteristic of temples. Is it reasonable to expect that only angels will use RTI? To be able to blackmail an officer or someone who has indulged in an illegal activity, there are some illegal actions. Noticing and curbing these is the job of various government officers and the citizen is actually acting as a vigilance monitor. I have often questioned government officers how the blackmailers operate. They state that the RTI blackmailer threatens an illegal action with exposure and thereby extorts money. I have sometimes wondered why society has such touching empathy for the victims who have committed illegal acts. The fourth category must be discouraged and Information Commissioners can do this fairly easily. This can be done by either ordering an inspection of the files by the appellant. Two simple tips to PIOs to handle repetitive RTI queries: Ensuring that the information is provided in less than 10 days by taking applications from such applicants on priority. Ensuring that letter asking for additional fees is sent well in time. I have found such an approach usually leading to reduction of such applications. If however this does not have any effect, then the matter should be highlighted before the Information Commissioner in second appeal. Another good practice which could be adopted would be to upload all queries and the replies on the website. Where information has already been provided applicants may not ask for it. Even if they do ask, the PIO would find it easy to provide it. Besides in a few cases where an applicant is filing what appears to be frivolous or repetitive applications, this would be a restraint since it would expose such applicants. If someone is indeed filing requests for the same information repetitively make him pay each time. The constant refrain of some people to highlight ‘misuse’ of RTI is an attempt to muzzle the citizen’s fundamental right. Freedom of speech and media which also are covered under Article 19 (1) (a) have been expanding with time. There is a national debate when a movie is subjected to cuts or people or media are muzzled by government, political class or ruffians. Yet the nation goes along with this big lie of RTI threatening the peace, harmony and integrity of India. If RTI is curbed the day is not far when we will have to give reasons to speak and establish our identity. A person can be defamed by speech or writing. Should we now have a demand to allow only those persons to speak who give reasons and established their identity ? On the other hand RTI can only seek information which exists on records. One of the most problematic statements by the Supreme Court is quoted in many places: “Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counter-productive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. “ This needs to be contested. The statement “should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens” would be appropriate for terrorists, not citizens using their fundamental right to information. There is no evidence of RTI damaging the nation. As for the accusation of RTI taking up 75% of time, I did the following calculation: By all accounts the total number of RTI applications in India is less than 10 million annually. The total number of all government employees is over 20 million. Assuming a 6 hour working day for all employees for 250 working days it would be seen that there are 30000 million working hours. Even if an average of 3 hours is spent per RTI application (the average is likely to be less than two hours) 10 million applications would require 30 million hours, which is 0.1% of the total working hours. This means it would require 3.2% staff working for 3.2% of their time in furnishing information to citizens. This too could be reduced drastically if computerised working and automatic updating of information was done as specified in Section 4 of the RTI Act. It is unfortunate that the apex court has not thought it fit to castigate public authorities for their brazen flouting of their obligations under Section 4, but upbraided the sovereign citizens using their fundamental right. I would submit that the powerful find RTI upsetting their arrogance and hence try to discredit it by often talking about its misuse. There are many eminent persons in the country, who berate RTI and say there should be some limit to it. It is accepted widely that freedom of speech is often used to abuse or defame people. It is also used by small papers to resort to blackmail. The concept of paid news has been too well recorded. Despite all these there is never a demand to constrict freedom of speech. But there is a growing tendency from those with power to misinterpret the RTI Act almost to a point where it does not really represent what the law says. There is widespread acceptance of the idea that statements, books and works of literature and art are covered by Article 19 (1) (a) of the constitution, and any attempt to curb it meets with very stiff resistance. However, there is no murmur when users of RTI are being labelled deprecatingly, though it is covered by the same article of the constitution. Everyone with power appears to say: “I would risk my life for your right to express your views, but damn you if you use RTI to seek information which would expose my arbitrary or illegal actions.“ An information seeker can only seek information on records. We rate amongst the top five in the world in terms of provisions of the law and 66 in terms of implementation. Any amendments or obstructionist acts will push us closer to our low rank in implementation. I would also submit that such frivolous attitude towards our fundamental right is leading to an impression that RTI needs to be curbed and its activists maybe deprecated, attacked or murdered. Shailesh Gandhi http://satyamevajayate.info/2017/08/28/misuse-of-rti/
  2. Appellant had sought information by filing two separate RTI application. During hearing respondent complained against the appellant alleging misuse of RTI and defamation. Commission directed the respondent CPIO to provide information and reprimanded the appellant for misuse of RTI for his personal purpose motivated by vengeance against other individual. My question is if appellant has misused of RTI why did CIC directed to provide required information? CIC_SA_C_2015_000090_M_158605.pdf
  3. The commission, exercising its powers under section 19(8)(a) requires the PIO to initiate inquiry against applicants for their alleged misuse of RTI motivated by private interest or intention to harass so that a appropriate action is initiated as per law. CIC_SA_A_2014_000773_M_156049.pdf
  4. "Certain documents including communications exchanged between the state government and RBI have been appended in the PIL which were obtained through RTI, in support of the contentions so raised by the petitioner regarding misuse of central grants and huge diversion of funds by the state government," the judge said.Read at: PIL filed against Arunachal govt for misuse of central funds
  5. Hello, I have sent color scan copy of passport to placement consultant gulfresumescv@gmail.com, Is there possiblity of misuse my passport copy.
  6. Anil Agarwal hmo

    Misuse of RTI

    Hello, Can an applicant ask copies of reply/ representation with attchments given by third party to First appelant authority making a request to not disclose his personal information by filing a fresh RTI in First appeling authority office after the decesion taken & delievered by appealant authority to not disclose personal information asked by applicant in his previous RTI application. Whether it is lawful to ask some personal information of That appealant authority also who has passed that judgement in this fresh RTI referred above. Please give the reference if any decesion of CIC or Hon'ble court is there in this reference.
  7. @ rti RajivDatta Sent from RTI INDIA Mobile App
  8. Atul Patankar

    Calamity in Punjab? Don’t donate to CM

    As reported by Manish Tiwari at hindustantimes.com on 13 June 2009 Several crores received as donations for the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund — set up to help victims of calamities like floods, fire and serious accidents in 1954 — were misused or embezzled over the last 25 years. Unspecified crores of rupees were disbursed by successive chief ministers as Diwali handouts for office staff, their office expenses, staff honorarium, grants for foreign tours, press clubs, bar associations, sangeet sammelans, medical treatment of MLAs, sports clubs, etc. Money was also loaned to individuals and clubs. Official records show that from 1984 to 1993, when terrorism was at its peak in Punjab, Rs 28.46 lakh was reportedly embezzled. Successive Punjab governments did nothing despite repeated objections from auditors. The Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund was established in 1954, but functioned without rules for almost 55 years. Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh said: “Since the money is disbursed directly under the signature of the chief ministers, I would not like to comment.” All this came to light recently after a Ludhiana-based NGO, Resurgence India, obtained records pertaining to the fund under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. This is the same NGO that exposed misappropriation of Red Cross funds by deputy commissioners in Punjab. After the Red Cross scandal was revealed by HT in December 2007, the Punjab government instituted a high-level probe. Unhappy with the subsequent inquiry report, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently set up a committee of two former judges to probe the matter. The money with the Punjab CM’s Relief Fund was Rs 48.72 crore from 2002-03 to 2007-08, implying that on an average Rs 10 crore was collected and spent annually, records show. This money mostly came from individual donors. As per the minutes of a meeting on July 17, 1973, the fund was meant primarily for relief measures. But, in the absence of proper rules, these minutes were the only guiding force till January 14, 2009, when new guidelines were notified. On November 11, 1977, the government issued an order with the concurrence of the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal (who happens to be in power now too) that prohibited grants from the fund to government employees as they “cannot be said to be persons in distress” and because it “smacks of favouritism”. RTI records show the Punjab government could not account for Rs 28.46 lakh received between April 1984 and March 1993 despite auditors raising objections for years. The auditors raised the matter in 10 reports between 1993 and 2006, but the government kept mum. It was only in 2004 when the government found itself cornered that it claimed that the records were destroyed in a fire, which broke out after a bomb blast at the Punjab Civil Secretariat on August 31, 1995. But, according to Chandigarh Assistant Superintendent of Police Madhur Verma in a reply to another RTI application on June 4, 2009, no first information report or daily diary report was registered about any fire or destruction of office records in 1995. The only police case registered was regarding the assassination of Chief Minister Sardar Beant Singh. A copy of the first information report obtained by Hindustan Times reveals the blast occurred outside the Secretariat when Beant Singh was getting into his car. There was no mention of any fire or destruction of records in the CM’s office. “The claim that records were destroyed appears to be an alibi. Moreover, why did the government not look into the issue in 1993 itself when auditors raised objections for the first time?” asked Hitender Jain, general secretary, Resurgence India. Former Punjab CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal faced a vigilance case for almost seven years for allegedly embezzling Rs 20 lakh from the fund during her tenure in 1996. A Chandigarh court framed charges against her. However, after the Parkash Singh Badal government was formed in 2007, the state vigilance bureau last year withdrew the case against Bhattal, saying the receipts pertaining to the Rs 20 lakh had been found. Source: Calamity in Punjab? Don?t donate to CM- Hindustan Times
  9. Dear Team, Pls help me in finding the details Mid Day Meal funds Sanctioned for a Particular School in a Mandal of Adilabad district. As per the Live Scenario I have noticed in my locality, The amount Sanctioned to the Mid Meal Meal Contractor from MRO is more than the actual amount given to them. The Fraud goes like this.... the contractor A\C number is shared for a high school with the MEO and the amount is credited directly into the account as per the Bill declared for the particular month.But after the amount is credited the key player Office Boy communicate with the Contractor saying that excess amount is credited than the sanctioned bill and demands to return back the amount.The innocent women return the same and the same is nearly 40-50% of the credited amount.As they are awaiting for the amount for a along period they are not in a situation to claim such frauds. The Corruption here is going under the roof which cannot be caught as the Contractor's are the local women who are not intelligent enough to understand what's going on. And are afraid of losing contract if they expose this. This is only for a school and there are no of schools under one MEO and expect how much is amount is shared between the white collars. Thanks for any Suggestions or comments. Regards, Kumarsvem.
  10. As reported at ibnlive.in.com on Oct 23, 2011 New Delhi: In the midst of a debate over dilution of the RTI Act, Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh feels that liberal access to government files has put fear among officials on giving their views, an issue which has to be addressed. "RTI has expanded the scope. Nothing is secret anymore. Cabinet decisions and opinions expressed by officials are also accessed using this Act," the Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences said. He said the liberal use of RTI has put fears in officials on freely expressing their views on any issue. "This has led to officials being apprehensive on noting their opinion on the file. A joint secretary has the right to overrule the views of an under-secretary. But now even a joint secretary thinks ten times before making a file noting," Deshmukh said. An official fears about his decision being questioned and he being called to give an explanation, he said. "These difficulties faced by the administration have to be given a thought," said the two-time chief minister of Maharashtra. He said Information Commissioners have been appointed for implementation of the RTI Act and there was no reason for hiding any information. "Getting information about the final decision is proper. But the decision-making process and who said what in the process...if this is also made known then nobody would give his views. Everybody fears this. This may have led to the debate on dilution of RTI," he said. It was during Deshmukh's tenure as Maharashtra chief minister RTI Act was enacted in the state in 2002. The Maharashtra RTI Act was considered as the base document for the RTI Act passed by Parliament in 2005. Incidentally, RTI was made into a law in Maharashtra after a hunger strike by social activist Anna Hazare in early 2000. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's call at a conference of Information Commission for a critical look at the RTI Act triggered a debate with the BJP and a section of the civil society criticising the remark. Singh had later clarified that he had never called for dilution of the Act.
  11. Sir/ Madam, I am living in New Delhi in D.D.A. Janta flats at ground floor. Originally the building was constructed with one room set for ground and 1st floor only by D.D.A. But the allottee of 1st floor has constructed second floor and partly 3rd floor also. Now he has installed a VODAFONE CELLULAR TOWER at the top of 3rd floor. Our area is totally residential and installing a VODAFONE TOWER is a commercial activity. My concern is that the load on the building has been increased to a dangerous level and radiations released by the tower can be very harmful and even cause cancer and other diseases to residents of the area. The electricity authority i.e. BSES has also installed a 5 kW commercial meter for tower purpose. Kindly advice the procedure for the removal of VODAFONE TOWER from our building. I request to all experts to guide me for preparing a RTI application for the same purpose. Thanks & Regards Sudhir Bhatnagar
  12. mangala123

    Iol

    I would like to bring to attention of M/s. Indian Oil Corportation and also other consumers of Tamabaram, the fraudulent practices in gas refill booking by the agency M/s. Chella Agencies of Selaiyur, Tambaram. I reside in Rajakilpakkam, East Tamabram and my area is served by this agency. Generally , I get the refills once in four months or so as the consumption rate is very low. About thirty days back, one day the delivery boy from the agency brought a refill to my house, even though I had not booked for a refill. When I refused the cylinder and complained to the agency, they said someone has booked in my consumer number. My phone number is also registered with the agency, how was it possible for some one else to book in my consumer number name from a different phone. They could not explain. When I booked for a refill after ten days through IVRS, I was informed that it was not possible, as it was within the minimum period of 21 days after my last booking ( which was not done by me). When I protested, the agency arranged to deliver a cylinder, with lot of apologies, but did not give a bill. Obviously, they have booked in someone else’s account. Yesterday I was shocked, when I received a message in my cell phone that gas refill has been booked in my account, even though I have not done it and I am away from Chennai. This definitely is the handiwork of the Chella Agenices, as nobody else would know my consumer number and the agency should not accept booking from any number other than my cell phone number. I tried to complain to M/s. Indian Oil Corporation in the number given by them for registering the complaints. There was no response. I also could not reach M/s. Chella Agencies yesterday and today they are closed. I want M/s. Indian Oil Corporation to take note of such corrupt practices by the said agency and take stringent action so that consumers like me are not put to hardships. They should also provide a channel wherein we can lodge a complaint and get remedial action. T.K. Parthasarathi NF-3, Hansa Garden, Madambakkam Main Raod Rajakilpakkam, Chennai 600073
  13. I have filed several RTI to get information from Sports Departments in Goa. Every reply I receive was through Reg. Ad. letter which cost Rs.25/- As I stay close by I have told the despach staff to make call to me when anything to be posted to me and now he gives me call and I collect the reply in person to avoide postage expences. Post expences are Govt Dept money... We should see if we can avoide extra expences on postage. Can work out some sort of arragement! It has also been observed specifically in post office, several RTI are filed by staff itself to get information of past years for which some time records are not found. We want people to use RTI but we also should see whereever possible misuse of RTI.
  14. RTI misused to target us, says Vellore police as reported in Deccan Chronicle by DC Correspondent, June 11th, 2010 The right to information (RTI) Act, brought in to ensure transparency in government sectors and enable the common man get information, is slowly turning out to be a powerful tool in the hands of miscreants to harass government officials. In fact, the police department seems to be the worst hit with petitions flooding it to corner officials with a personal motive. Senior officers in the department in the district said they received around 150 petitions per month. Most of them are drafted by petitioners to harass or corner a particular police man from the level of inspector to the top brass. Though the Act has been widely welcomed by the department and has benefitted a number of persons, genuine applicants are rare. “We regularly receive petitions from a certain number of lawyers and persons with criminal background. They use the Act to harass police officers by drafting questions related to the personal life of the officer or pose irrelevant questions,” said a senior police officer. A few persons repeatedly file RTI applications to corner a particular police officer. The officials pointed out that though the information commissioners were well aware of this, they continue to encourage such applicants rather than dissuading them. “In fact, some lawyers are also encouraging their clients to seek information of the case under investigation through the RTI Act. The questions are framed in such a way that they try to entangle the investigation process,” said another police officer. Some applications consist of more than 60 questions, causing problems. But this is not the only difficulty faced by the department. Senior police officers said the information commissioners were becoming authoritative and giving instructions to officials. “The information commissioners are often going beyond their designated duty by insisting we act according to their directions.” RTI misused to target us, says Vellore police | Deccan Chronicle | 2010-06-11
  15. As reported at expressindia.com on Sep 03, 2009 Chandigarh A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the state of Punjab on a PIL filed by Resurgence India Limited, demanding a CBI inquiry into the reported embezzlement of over Rs 29 lakh from the Punjab Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The petitioner has sought a complete audit of the CM’s Relief Fund by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG). The petitioner has demanded that the funds, which have been ‘misused’, be recovered from the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries concerned. Advocate H C Arora, counsel for the petitioner, referred to the audit reports for the period April, 1993, to March 31, 2003, to substantiate the contention that an amount of Rs.29.68 lakh, collected for the fund, was not deposited in the cash book maintained for the purpose. The Examiner, Local Funds, in his audit reports had repeatedly sought explanation for the anomaly, but the CM’s office failed to account for the same. Interestingly, the state (Punjab) took a stand in February, 2009, by submitting a note to the Examiner, Local Funds that a fire had broken out on August 31, 1995, after the bomb blast outside the Secretariat, in which former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh was assassinated. The state (Punjab) stated that a majority of the records of the Relief Fund had been destroyed in the fire, while assuring that care shall be taken in the future to enter all the Fund-related amounts in the relevant cash book. The petitioner, however, alleged that the ‘excuse’ was false, as no such complaint (of the cash book being lost in the fire) had been lodged in any police station. The petitioner claimed to have obtained copies of various audit reports from the office of Examiner, Local Funds Accounts, by filing applications under the RTI Act. He said the copies reveal the aforesaid embezzlement of Rs.29.68 lakh in the CM Relief Fund. Besides, the report also highlights that a number of files pertaining to the disbursement of funds from the CMs Relief Fund were not produced before the audit party, despite repeated objections raised in several audit reports for about a decade. The petitioner cited 177 instances in which the funds had been misused. It has been further alleged by the petitioner that in response to the RTI application, the Punjab Government issued a notification on January 15 earlier this year, laying down new guidelines for disbursement of funds from the CM’s Relief Fund. It made the guidelines effective from April 1, 1998, so as to regularise all illegal payments made from the fund, said the petitioner. The petitioner also referred to certain loans given to individuals and organisations from the CM Relief Fund, which are yet to be fully recovered by the state government. The petition cites a few instances: An amount of Rs.15.64 lakh was given to DC, Ludhiana, in December 2005 for earthquake victims in Pakistan, for which the DC is yet to furnish the receipts and bills. The petitioner also referred to another payment of Rs 25 lakh from the CM’s Fund to Bharat Rachnatamic Samaj Peace Conference through DC Jallandhar, which is yet to be accounted for through receipts or bills. The petitioner also alleged that the Punjab Government has not got the CM’s Relief Fund audited by the said Examiner, Local Funds, since April 2006 onwards. Source: ‘Misuse’ of CM Relief Fund: HC notice to Punjab - Express India
  16. As reported at www.indianexpress.com on 26 May 2009 New Delhi : The RTI Act which was enacted to promote transparency in public life is now increasingly being used to settle personal disputes, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held. "Unfortunately, the provisions of RTI act is being increasingly misused by a large number of persons for settling personal and family disputes, including divorce and claim of maintenance related cases," Information Commissioner M M Ansari said while hearing one such petition. The Information Commissioner expressed his inability to stop such "frivolous" petitions. "The cost burden of such frivolous petitions has to be borne by the society because we cannot stop them," he said. The issue of misuse of RTI came up while hearing the plea of a Delhi resident I P Aggarwal who sought personal and official details of his sister-in-law Aruna Aggarwal, an employee in the Department of Commerce. Aggarwal was having marital dispute and the information was sought under the backdrop. The department refused to part with the information citing that it was personal in nature. Upholding the view of the department in this regard, Ansari said, "Aggarwal has not given concurrence for disclosure of the submission made by her to the respondent and such records are surely private documents. Therefore, the denial of information is justified." Source: RTI Act being misused to settle personal scores: CIC
  17. As reported by Ajay Khape in expressindia.com on 08 April 2008: RTI Act being misused, CIC directs probe - ExpressIndia.Com RTI Act being misused, CIC directs probe Pune, April 07 If the Right to Information (RTI) Act empowered citizens by providing a weapon to keep a check on the administration and bring in transparency in Government functioning, the flip side is the misuse of the Act. An individual has been identified seeking information under the RTI for commercial use and Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) has asked for a report in the 73 cases filed by him on behalf of different applicants. “The possible misuse of the RTI Act came to light on a report submitted by tehslidar of Haveli taluka and Appeal Authority for Haveli taluka. It was revealed that 73 applicants with different names had filed appeal with the commission and handwriting in the applications also matched,” Chief Information Commissioner (Pune division) Vijay Kuvalekar said. Doubts emerged after the Appeal Authority for Haveli taluka submitted during a hearing that an application has been filed with the common address not by the applicant, but a person, M N Patil, on behalf of the applicant, Kuvalekar said. The CIC directed the tehsildar Sanjeev Deshmukh to send notices to all the 73 applicants on the given address while requesting them to appear in person for the hearing and submit a detailed report. Deshmukh said he was receiving a lot of RTI appeals from the same address — in the name of various applicants, and that none of them appeared for the hearings. As per CIC’s directions, Deshmukh said he served notice on the applicants on the common address. Only two of the 73 applicants replied. It was revealed that Patil offered services like providing documents related to 7-by-12 extract to the applicant for cash and took signatures of clients on blank paper. The signed papers have been converted into RTI applications by Patil without the knowledge of his clients. Deshmukh said the documents, information sought through RTI Act is given to the client and if they are incomplete, then an appeal is filed. The inquiry further revealed that Patil was involved in a similar activity in Mulshi taluka. The appeal authority and tehsildar of Mulshi Avinash Shinde said, “We were fed up with the number of applications coming in from a common address seeking various information.” Suspecting foul play, Shinde asked the police to investigate the cases by verifying the identity of the applicants on the given address. The police have submitted a report that none of the applicants reside in the given address and a person named, M N Patil, is using the property. He has admitted to filing the RTI applications on behalf of various persons, he said. The CIC has expressed concern over the entire matter. “The commission is taking a serious note of it as the matter was serious and objectionable since it would encourage misuse of RTI Act,” Kuvalekar said.
  18. Need to have penal provisions for misusing RTI Act As Reported In 'The Hindu' New Delhi (PTI): In view of growing misuse of the Right to Information Act by citizens for ulterior motives, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has expressed the need to amend the law to incorporate penal provisions against such information seekers. "The recent cases show the necessity of some provisions in the RTI Act for taking punitive action against information seekers who seek to misuse the Act in such blatant fashion," the Commission said, while dismissing a plea of a Navodaya Vidyalaya teacher after finding his application to be "a tool for vendetta" against the school. In probably a first order of its kind, the CIC directed a government functionary to ignore RTI pleas of school teacher Ramesh Chandra who along with his wife Uma Kanti made every possible effort to use the pro-people legislation to harbour revenge against his department. The CIC took the decision after noting that the couple in a bid to challenge Ramesh's transfer had earlier unsuccessfully moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, the High Court and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes before finally banking on the RTI Act. Terming it as a "worst misuse of RTI Act," Information Commissioner O P Kejariwal said "the present case is an example to the ridiculous length to which a person can take a beneficial piece of legislation and make a mockery of it." The apex RTI body passed the strictures against the couple after they sought over 20-year-old records concerning thousands of employees of the school. Disgusted over the applicant's behaviour, it said "The Commission directs Navodaya Vidyalaya not to consider the RTI applications filed by Ramesh and his wife since the RTI cannot be turned into a tool for vendetta of an employee against his organisation for some grievance one harbours against it."
  19. Legislature should insulate RTI from being misused NEW DELHI: The legislature should take steps to insulate the Right to Information Act from being misused by people facing inquiries and investigations, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has said. The Commission's observation came after the Income Tax office expressed its disgust over Mumbai resident S P Goyal, who has filed numerous RTI applications with the department, leading to substantial diversion of its resources and also affecting its functioning. The department contended that Goyal, who is facing inquiries by IT authorities, has been blatantly misusing the provisions of the transparency law by filing multiple and repetitive pleas so as to harass its officers and sabotage the investigations pending against him. "I am afraid I am not in a position to provide to the respondents (IT authorities) the type of relief they are soliciting. The RTI Act provides hardly any room for manoeuvre in such matters," Information Commissioner A N Tiwari said. Expressing its inability to contain such purported misuse of the legislation, it further said "unless the legislature steps in and make some provision to bar motivated action by persons facing inquiries and investigations, the public authorities will have to grin and bear the burden." The Commission which was hearing three separate RTI pleas of Gokhale seeking disclosure of certain file notings, disposed of the applications after concurring with the department's view that the applicant had not filed his application in a format, as stipulated under the provisions of the RTI Act. Challenging the very maintainability of the RTI requests, the IT department said that Gokhale had not signed his applications in his own name, while further failing to certify the name of the authorised signatory. While accepting the department's contention on issue of maintanibility of the information requests, the Commission said that Gokhale has failed to put up his application as per the provisions of the RTI Act. "It was disingenuous for the applicant to argue that all rights were his, whereas all responsibilities were that of the repondents (IT department)," Tiwari said, adding that his applications were not within the ambit of law. Legislature should insulate RTI from being misused- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times
  20. Abhinav Bohare

    Misuse of RTI by official factions

    Dear Officers, We All know that faction play part in offices. Several officers prefer groups and followers. I have found enough evidences while understanding RTI that often Officer use the act against anti faction for larger personal interest. Many a times they go down to such a level that they use Unions and staff , by giving them diplomatic support. Well such practices were prevalents, but do you'll opine that post RTI such factions have got a better cover. ???
  21. New Delhi, July 15: The Right to Information Act is losing its objective of ushering in greater transparency and good governance as more and more government employees misuse it in a quest to promote their vested interests, feels the apex information panel. "There is no provision in the RTI Act to discourage such clever persons (who use the legislation to promote their ulterior motives). Can anyone guide such people so that they could be genuinely empowered to use RTI for promoting good governance?" Information Commissioner M M Ansari said in a recent decision. The observation came in respect to an application by Darshan Singh, an ex-employee of Pawan Hans helicopters who used the act to seek details of certain misplaced library books, the cost of which was recovered at the time of his retirement. The CIC expressed anguish at the behaviour of the applicant, who left no stone unturned to seek relief and even went to the extent of misleading the commission despite getting a reply to his query. "First, he has lied before the commission that the central public information officer (CPIO) has not responded. He was held responsible for corrupt practices resulting in loss of library books. Second, he has strongly pleaded for imposition of penalty on the Cpio. This is misleading," it said. The commission was also critical of Singh`s move to file his original RTI application with the Civil Aviation Ministry, which had nothing to do with his grievances. "Being an ex-employee of (Pawan Hans), he knew as to where the required information was. This could have minimised the costs of servicing his request for information," Ansari said. Zee News - RTI losing objective due to misuse by govt employees: CIC=
  22. baburaok

    Misuse of article 8

    Why no date on order, clause applied on audit: CIC to GPCB Audit is public document, can’t apply clause, which allows withholding information from external agencies, says Das Mahesh Langa Ahmedabad, January 30: In connection with denial of information regarding pollution in industrial estates of Ankleshwar, Panoli and Jhagadia, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of the State R N Das summoned appellant authority of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) to explain why information sought by one applicant pertaining to Ankleshwar Effluent Treatment Plant was not provided. Member Secretary of GPCB, an appellant authority, was directed to remain present before the commission on February 1 when the matter would be taken up for further hearing. However, GPCB Public Information Officer (PIO) had provided information about the industrial estates but copy of the audit report was denied. The officer, instead of giving copy of the audit report, wrote a letter to the agency, Enviro Technology Ltd, which owns and operates the Ankleshwar plant. The letter was written under Section 11(1) of RTI Act, which pertains to third party information. The letter written by A A Dolti, environmental engineer GPCB, mentioned that an applicant asked for the copy of agency’s audit reports of last two years submitted to GPCB, “in which your interest is involved.” The GPCB had asked the agency’s view on whether it should disclose the information or not as sought by the applicant under RTI. In reply to the GPCB, Enviro Technology Ltd advised not to share information sought by the applicant. “We would like to bring to your kind attention that considering our business interests and technology involved, we request you to apply Clause 8-D of Right to Information Act and not to share the reports to any external agencies,” it had said in the reply. Following the advise by the agency, GPCB refused to part with the information saying business interest of third party is involved. However, on being denied information by the Public Information Officer, the applicant referred the matter to the appellant authority, member secretary of GPCB. Having conducted a hearing of concerned parties, the appellant authority ordered to supply the information sought by the applicant. However, in his order Sanjeev Tyagi, member secretary of GPCB, ‘didn’t mention’ the date by which the information was to be supplied to the applicant. According to GPCB officials, date is always mentioned in all the orders issued by the appellant authority. Meanwhile, despite not getting information as ordered by the appellant authority, the applicant referred the matter to the Chief Information Commissioner. The applicant contended that why date was not mentioned in the order issued by the appellant authority. He also contended that the information was still not provided to him. However, GPCB officer present before the commission contended that the concerned agency, Enviro Technology Ltd, had gone for an appeal before the CIC against the appellant authority order. However, the CIC ruled that the appeal was not taken up for hearing and he would not do so either. That apart, he asked the Public Information Officer to immediately provide the information to the applicant and summoned the appellant authority to remain present and explain why the information was denied in the first place and why the agency was consulted under Section 11(1) when the audit report is a public document. News Item in Indian Express, Ahmedabad
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