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  1. The RTI application was filed in the Prime Minster's Office (PMO). 1) The PMO transferred the RTI to the Cabinet Secretariat u/s 6(3). The CabSec replied that the said info is not in their records. 2) The CPIO of the PMO also transferred it to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) u/s 6(3). The CPIO of the MHA then transferred it to the National Archives of India (NAI). No reply was received from either the MHA or the NAI 3) After the refusal of info by the CabSec, a First Appeal was filed whose decision is pending. 4) After the lapse of the 30 days deadline for the CPIOs. First Appeals were filed with both MHA and NAI. 5) No reply has been received w.r.t. any First Appeal. Q.1) What should be done after the lapse of 45 days deadline for the Appellate Authorities? Q.2) The RTI application was transferred to multiple authorities. Who is the main CPIO and FAA now? Q.3) When the Second Appeal is filed, will all the four CPIOs and the four FAAs (i.e. PMO, CabSec, MHA and NAI) will be named in the Second Appeal?
  2. As reported at sify.com on 15 December 2010 New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) As many as 1,200 schools in the national capital, including some top privately run institutions, are flouting fire safety norms, a right to information (RTI) query has revealed. While many government schools do not have basic fire-fighting equipment, many private schools have not bothered to get their facilities certified from the fire department. Delhi Fire Service (DFS), in reply to an RTI application filed by activist Manish Bhatnagar, said as many as 1,200 schools in Delhi are functioning without a no objection certificate (NOC) from it. These schools include well known ones like Delhi Public School, Vasant Kunj; Amity International School, Malviya Nagar; and Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, the RTI reply said. Government institutions like Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya, Mandawali; Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Sultanpuri; and Sarovadaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Madanpur Khadar are yet to get fire safety clearance certificates, the DFS said. Deputy Chief Fire Officer A.K. Sharma told IANS: 'Schools are bound to follow the fire safety norms prescribed by the directorate of education (DoE). If DoE tells us to verify if any school is flouting these rules, then only can we start a scrutiny.' 'We grant an NOC to a school only if it follows fire safety norms. If that's not the case, we don't give it an NOC,' he said. He said most schools seemed more interested in admitting a large number of children instead of providing them a safe environment. According to fire brigade sources, many schools in the capital start operation with a 'temporary' NOC on the understanding that they will install the necessary equipment within one year. 'Shockingly, many educational institutes never come back to the fire department for getting a permanent NOC,' said a DFS official, pleading anonymity. Delhi Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely refused to comment on the issue. When IANS contacted some of the schools identified by the DFS as alleged violators of fire safety rules, many refused to comment. The chairperson of a popular public school in Vasant Kunj, on condition of anonymity, said: 'We have been running the school for years and we have no problem; then where is the question of NOC for fire?' According to DFS sources, many school buildings lack basic facilities like ventilation, fire extinguishers and proper exit points to be used during an emergency. According to the Supreme Court, buildings for schools should be constructed only by a government certified engineer or by the government works department. The apex court's order followed a 2004 blaze that killed 93 children in a school in the Kumbakonam area of Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district.
  3. NGO ordered to pay Rs.75,000 for transparency law abuse AS reported in ThaiINdian.Com Oct 20 2010, by IANS ( Leave a comment ) New Delhi, Oct 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday imposed a cost of Rs.75,000 on an NGO which had sought an inquiry into the role of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) engineers in the alleged mismanagement of Commonwealth Games (CWG) projects. The court dismissed the petition after the MCD submitted that the petitioner NGO, Pardarshita Public Welfare Foundation, had questioned the parentage of the engineers through a Right to Information (RTI) application. Dismissing the petition, Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Manmohan said the present petition amounted to abuse of law. “Seeking information about the parentage of a person and his medical history is unwarranted and uncalled for. (Such) information is bound to create a storm in anybody’s mind,” said the bench. The bench said that the RTI law was not enacted for abusing people and seeking personal details. While dismissing the petition, the court directed the petitioner NGO to deposit the cost of Rs.75,000 within a period of four weeks. In its petition, the NGO alleged engineers of the MCD indulged in corrupt practices in connection with the several projects of the Commonwealth Games. It alleged that several MCD engineers misused public money for personal gains. “According to the NGO, several letters were written to the officials of the MCD but no action was taken. Allegations have been made against the officials but without any grounds,” said the bench. The court also took strong cognizance of the RTI application filed by Har Kishan Das Nijhawan, general secretary of the NGO, asking an MCD engineer about his parentage. He also asked whether the civic agency’s engineers were suffering from any sexual disorders, whether they had carried out a DNA test for their mother, whether their mother was a surrogate mother or step mother, and also sought the name of their biological father and step mother. “It’s an abuse of provisions under the RTI Act. We cannot give any type of clean chit to the MCD engineer, but the information which has been asked by the petitioner exposes vindictive attitude,” said the bench. The petitioner defended his move and said that the engineers were blackmailing him and also used unparliamentary language against him, so he asked certain questions through his RTI application. The court rejected the contention saying that the petitioner could have filed a complaint against such people instead of abusing the process of law. –Indo-Asian News service pks/rah/vt NGO ordered to pay Rs.75,000 for transparency law abuse
  4. Arrange translator for land records in Urdu: CIC to Delhi Govt as published in ZeeNews, Reported by PTI, New Delhi: June 01, 2010 The Central Information Commission has suggested to the Land and Building Department of Delhi Government to make arrangement for the translation of land records which are in Urdu. The case came before Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi while hearing the plea of an RTI applicant Ram Kishan who had sought to know from the department the name of the owner of a particular land at the time it was declared as evacuee property. "Since no Urdu knowing person was working in E.P. Cell of Land & Building Department the copy of the Jamabandi Record (which is in Urdu language) was sent to the appellant. The same has been asked to get translated from the Urdu translator to know the name of the evacuee," the department said in its reply. The department meanwhile had provided the name in Hindi as desired by the applicant days before the case was about to come before the Commission. "Considering the fact that the large number of records available with the public authority are in Urdu it should make some arrangements to ensure that a person is available to translate the Urdu records," the Commission suggested. Arrange translator for land records in Urdu: CIC to Delhi Govt
  5. Vasant Kunj Fortis has no water supply as reported by Jaya Shroff Bhalla in Hindustan Times, New Delhi, June 02, 2010 It is South Delhi’s biggest private hospital with more than 200 beds and is also accredited by the Quality Council of India (QCI). But Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital in Vasant Kunj is ‘parched’. The hospital needs about 100 kilolitres per day but it doesn’t have a water permit from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB). The hospital gets eight water tankers every day to meet its demand ever since the Fortis group took over the hospital from the Rajan Dhall Charitable Trust in July 2006. The Delhi Development Authority had allotted land to the trust. The Delhi government claimed that it has no information whether they (the trust) sold the plot to Fortis. A Right to Information (RTI) application to the QCI has revealed that the water supplied to the private hospital is by way of tankers, as the hospital does not have a water permit. “It is ironic how the QCI, the healthcare quality regulation body, gave quality accreditation to the hospital that does not even have an approved building plan,” said Dr B.N.P. Singh, retired air force doctor who is now chief executive officer of Medivision Consultancy, a consortium of ex-defence officers. “Till the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) does not approve the building, the DJB cannot provide a fresh water supply,” he said. The hospital negated his claims. “The building plans for Fortis, Vasant Kunj, are sanctioned and approved by the appropriate authorities,” said Ranjana Smetacek, director, marketing and corporate communication, Fortis. She, however, did not give HT the specific dates as to when the licences were procured. “Our application with the Delhi Jal Board is pending. The water requirements of the hospital are being met by the daily procurement of water tankers. This water is then treated in the hospital’s state-of-the-art-water treatment plant before use,” she said. Dr Singh has sent a copy of the RTI reply to Sujatha Rao, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, highlighting the “selective compromise” of the QCI where they have given NABH accreditation to Fortis without verifying the basic building completion documents. On March 19, Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia had slapped the hospital with a show-cause notice for functioning without a completion certificate from the MCD. Vasant Kunj Fortis has no water supply- Hindustan Times
  6. RTI effect: GTB to treat woman for free By Abhinav Garg, Times of India, 26 Sep 2008 NEW DELHI: A pointed query under the RTI Act has forced Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in the capital to fall in line and provide free treatment to a 73 year old poor woman who couldn't afford her hip replacement surgery. The hospital, which had earlier allegedly sought medicines worth Rs 30,000 from one Muddasar Ali for his mother's operation, has now informed Delhi High Court that it will operate her for free in the first week of October. HC was hearing a petition filed under the Right to Information Act, seeking directions to the hospital to provide immediate treatment to his mother and furnish the information asked for under the "life and liberty" clause of RTI Act. The clause makes it mandatory for an authority to provide information within a period of 48 hours, but is rarely complied with. Ali's troubles began when he had to rush his ailing mother to Delhi from Bulandshahr in July this year. After examining her mother, while doctors advised immediate emergency operation, the hospital authorities allegedly asked him to first go and purchase medicines/drugs to the tune of Rs 30,000 from a chemist, failing which, he was warned, no medical succour could be provided as these medicines were unavailable with the hospital. Wondering why a government hospital mandated by law to give free treatment to poor people was demanding money, Ali decided to file an RTI asking details of drugs stocked with the hospital, procedure through which consumables that are not available are arranged for poor patients and bills of drugs purchased. When days passed by with hospital authorities sitting on his query and condition of his mother deteriorating steadily, Ali approached Central Information Commission but to little avail, as the case couldn't come up for hearing within the prescribed time limit. Extremely perturbed, Ali then decided to file a petition in HC, seeking its urgent intervention so that his mother could be saved. Arguing for Ali, advocate Girija Varma informed HC that, "Provisions of RTI Act have been made ineffective in health emergency and Life and Liberty issues at every stage, from vague and evasive replies by an authority to CIC not fastracking an appeal so that it comes up for an early hearing." Badly rattled by HC's queries on why Ali's RTI queries were fobbed off, the hospital on Wednesday, pledged to operate the patient free of cost and pleaded that the matter be allowed to rest at this stage. However, Varma pointed out that reply to Ali's RTI plea had still not been furnished and in order to ensure urgent RTI pleas are taken seriously, HC needed to give certain directions to CIC. Justice G S Sistani agreed to keep the petition alive and await a status report from the hospital that the operation was carried out free of cost and information provided. RTI effect: GTB to treat woman for free -Delhi-Cities-The Times of India
  7. Govt fined for not giving admission info as reported in Times of India by Himanshi Dhawan 17 Nov 2008, TNN NEW DELHI: Even as parents struggle in the quagmire of nursery admissions, the Central Information Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Delhi government's education department for its inability to give details of admissions given to under-privileged children by two well-known schools. Information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 -- the maximum that can be levied -- on the education department's public information officer. In his order, Gandhi said the PIO was unable to give any "reasonable cause" for her complete failure to provide information. Prakash Kumar had filed an RTI plea demanding information of pre-primary and pre-school admissions in Vasant Valley and Ryan International schools in Vasant Kunj from the state education department. Amongst the details that Kumar had asked for were the number of applications received under the EWS (economically weaker section) quota and if a draw of lots was used to choose the candidates. The applicant had also asked for a report on the draw of lots and if any of these schools had not followed the procedure and what action had been taken or would be taken against the guilty school. Kumar, a social activist, is working to help children of weaker sections admitted to public schools under the EWS quota. People living in slums and villages around Vasant Kunj had applied for admission under EWS quota to various public schools in the area. "However, Ryan International and Vasant Valley were found to be not following the law and thus evading admissions to these children," Kumar said. While Ryan International gave admission to poor children as per the mandatory rules and procedure, Vasant Valley gave neither the desired information nor admission to the children who had applied. Kumar appealed to the first appellate authority but when no information was forthcoming, he appealed to the CIC. CIC issued a showcause notice to the authorities asking them to provide details but nothing satisfactory was provided following which the penalty was imposed. Govt fined for not giving admission info-Delhi-Cities-The Times of India
  8. Students of Jamia take RTI route to dig facts on encounter as reported by Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times, September 28, 2008 New Delhi, The students of Jamia Milia Islamia are now taking the Right to Information (RTI) route to lay bare the facts about the encounter that took place in Batla House last Friday. One of the students of Mass Communication Research Centre (MCRC), Jamia, has filed four individual RTI applications in various institutions to get a clear picture of the blast and the encounter. "People have been agitating and expressing their views in violent ways. But I think we have a tool in our hand that was made to create transparency and that's why I have filed four RTI applications to get actual facts about the incident rather than listening to various versions being given by the police and the government," said Afroz Alam Sahil, a resident of Batla House. He is a student of MA Mass Communication, Jamia. Sahil, a 20-year-old has filed four RTI's in the Supreme Court, National Human Resource Commission (NHRC), Delhi Police and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). "I have been speaking to a lot of students and the residents regarding the incident. While many of them want to get a clear picture of the encounter but they are scared to the extent that they are shying away from even filing RTI applications lest they might be harmed in some way or the other," added Sahil who is a native of Bihar. Sahil has been motivating other students from Jamia also, to use the RTI to get their questions answered. "I have organised a meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue regarding filing other RTI applications by students as well as residents. There are many unanswered questions about the incident in the residents mind and if we fail to get our queries answered then we will also get to know how efficient is the RTI," added Sahil. Students of Jamia take RTI route to dig facts on encounter- Hindustan Times
  9. Delhi government biggest violater of RTI Act: CIC As reported in IndiaInfo.Com | PTI | September 27, 2008 21:33 [iST] New Delhi: The government of the national capital has earned the "dubious distinction" of being the biggest violator of the Right to Information Act, with the maximum number of employees fined for the offence in the country coming from its ranks. The highest number of complaints and appeals received by the Central Information Commission are against the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) under the Delhi Government, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah said today. "Maximum number of showcause notices have been served to the Principal Information Officers (PIOs) of the RCS office," Habibullah said at the annual convention of the United Residents Joint Action (URJA), the apex body of Resident Welfare Associations here. The RTI Act has provisions to impose fines on information officers of different government departments in case they fail to provide the sought information on time. Following the increase in the number of RTI applications, the Information Commission plans to set up a special bench to clear backlog of complaints against the RCS office, Habibullah said. He also informed that three additional information commissioners have been appointed at the CIC by the Centre to help clear the backlog created by over 1,500 appeals received every month from across the country. In order to reduce the number of RTI queries, the CIC suggested that government information, especially data, should be put on the public domain except in the case of strategic areas like defence. This, he said, will make a large number of RTI queries redundant. ... ... ... Delhi government biggest violater of RTI Act: CIC
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