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  1. Ensure regular water supply: Consumer court to civic body - The Times of India Ensure regular water supply: Consumer court to civic body Saeed Khan,TNN | Dec 11, 2013, 12.34 AM IST AHMEDABAD: A consumer court has asked Surendranagar-Dudhrej municipality, which is located in one of the water scarcity hit areas of Gujarat, to supply clean and potable water to the city on a regular basis. Besides directing the civic body to supply water on fixed timings, the court has also asked it to keep the city clean by keeping roads garbage free, maintaining streetlights and taking care of other basic amenities for which the municipality collects taxes from citizens. The Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum of Surendranagar district reminded the civic body of its responsibilities and directed it not to remain negligent and show "deficiency in its services", for the citizens paying it taxes have rights to complaint. The order came in response to a complaint filed by a retired person, Kalabhai Bharwad. He had sought cleaning of a waterlogged open plot beside his house, but the civic body officials did not work. After cleaning the plot full of contaminated rainwater on two occasions in July this year, he approached the court asserting his right as a consumer. He sought direction to the civic body to keep the area clean. He also demanded for regular supply of water and that too on fixed timings, a practice that is alien to this area. Bharwad sought compensation for the damage caused to his house due to waterlogging in a nearby plot and for the difficulty he faced due to inaction on part of the municipality. The civic body, on the other hand, blamed him of causing waterlogging by discharging water after domestic use and putting up a hand pump in common plot. It also told the consumer court that it cannot rush to solve Bharwad's problem by leaving other jobs aside. The court ascertained whether he paid taxes regularly. Then it concluded that inaction on part of the civic body to redress Bharwad's repeated complaints amounted to deficiency in service. It directed the municipality to reimburse the amount Bharwad had spent over cleaning the plot. Besides, the court asked the municipality to pay Rs 4,000 to Bharwad for litigation cost and harassment caused by officials' negligence. The court observed that since the issues raised by Bharwad are affecting 2.5 lakh city population, the civic body should be asked to supply clean water to the city on regular basis. (Is it possible that our dear friends can take up similar matter with public authorities since every rupee of "tax paid " then would amount to the "benefactor" becoming a "consumer". In fact combining this with the lucknow development authority judgement would also ensure that the officers responsible for derelection of duty may be held accountable and also the "compensation" paid to the victim may be "deducted" from their salaries). Any comments are welcome..
  2. Use the government own grievance redress mechanism effectively Reported by Veeresh Malik in moneylife.in on Nov 29, 2012 http://www.moneylife.in/article/use-the-government-own-grievance-redress-mechanism-effectively/29937.html If you have a grievance with a government department or ministry, here is how to file a complaint which does not require much effort skill and can be effective too As an early adopter and practitioner of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, I have watched with some dismay as it became diluted and more complicated over the last few years. In addition, with the passage of time, there have been many issues which have diluted its efficacy, or made it difficult for the applicant to get the sought information. Why do people file for information? To seek information and find a resolution to some form of injustice or non-delivery of service from a government office. The RTI experience has been soured by the following factors: • Many amendments and rules that have been made which make matters even more complicated • The amount of paperwork and filing that a typical RTI application is required • The great difficulty in many cases to simply pay the Rs10 as RTI fee to the Public Information Officers (PIOs) or Public Authority • The large number of ‘internal’ RTI applications clogging up the pipeline and diverting resources away from the general public • The chances that, in many cases, the outcome of decisions at Information Commissions will and up in courts • The not so subtle way in which selection of Information Commissioners is done to possibly skew matters in certain directions • Effort required to make small payments for photo-copying charges, when postage for that is often higher • Antipathy and aggressiveness that RTI applicants face if they meet up directly with the PIOs and Appellate Authorities (AAs) • Wide disparity in the way the states have taken forward their responsibilities in implementing the RTI Act • The way a whole lot of professional RTI ‘consultants’ have jumped into the fray, often on a “for profit” basis • More importantly, when you do get the information, what do you do with it? By contrast, the Public Grievances Portal (it can be accessed here: :: Grievance Redress Mechanism in Government ::), or the Grievance Redress Mechanism, covering both central and state government entities, appears to be promising and in many cases better. The best part about this is that there is no application fee or subsequent fee involved, and the complete process can be kept paperless, using internet, email and SMS. Of course, if people want to go the hard copy route, then there is provision for that too. The basic premise with the Grievance Redress Mechanism is that it addresses the very question of—what next, after you have obtained the information? And then gives you an answer as well as a solution. Also, it works for both central and state government grievances, again, without any costs involved. Of course, if you are not satisfied with the way your grievance is handled, then you can certainly file another grievance with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances citing the reasons for your dissatisfaction. This is explained in fairly simple terms as well as in great detail if required, in the booklet available in Hindi and English.
  3. Please go through the following decision of CIC: http://rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SM_A_2011_000373_SG_13616_M_63327.pdf The applicant sought following information: Information sought: 1. A copy of Public Grievance Register of CIC for the last 2 years along with the details of the complainants filed against the activities of CIC and corruptions against the ICs. 2. Attested copies of the complaints filed by the complainants for the last 12 months. 3. Action taken on the complaints for the last 12 months along with final conclusion. 4. Time taken for disposal of investigations, inquiry, final decision and penalty, if any, in RTI cases, also sought a copy of departmental manuals & instructions etc. 5. Particulars of penalties on accused Officers/Officials for the last 2 years. 6. Whether all ICs are complying the Section 8 of RTI Act under which information cannot be denied to Parliament as well as to citizens.. 7. What is fate of RTI Application dt. 28.9.08, 2nd appeal dt. 27/29.01.2009, 2nd appeal dt. 13.5.2009 and so on (Question is vague) ? 8. What is the fate of Complaint dt. 25.9.2009 and 2nd appeal dt. 5.2.2009 filed by his son to CIC? 9. What Sub-sections of Section 5 of RTI Act are being followed by CIC along with reasons thereof which are not being implemented as well? PIO’s reply: It has been stated by the PIO that no Grievance Register on corruption against the Commission’s ICs has been maintained in CIC. Against point Nos. 2 to5, it has been stated that No information can be given against the response of Point No.1. Under Point No. 6, it has been stated that the information sought does not fall under the purview of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act. And, in reply to 7 & 8 points, it has been mentioned that information concerned received from the Registry of then IC (SM) was provided to the appellant. The Appellant has been advised to visit the site of the Commission. Decision: The appeal is disposed. Information available on the records has been provided. SO (i) CIC DOES NOT HAVE ANY PUBLIC GRIEVANCES REGISTER; and therefore, don't expect to get public grievances against CIC's functioning redressed from CIC. (ii) EVEN IF NO SEPARATE GRIEVANCES REGISTER IS MAINTAINED, AT LEAST COPIES OF GRIEVANCES/COMPLAINTS COULD HAVE BEEN PROVIDED. WOULD THE DECISION HAVE BEEN SAME, HAD THE APPEAL BEEN AGAINST SOME PUBLIC AUTHORITY OTHER THAN CIC?
  4. Hello members, First some back ground information – I am an employee of a PSU under central government. I raised a grievance with the concerned ministry through “pg portal.gov.in” regarding the harassment by my superiors .This was in the end of April 2010, then after two months, in the end of June 2010, the ministry forwarded it to the concerned section officer of the public grievance redressal office .Till date there is no change in the status (as shown in their website). Can you help me in formulating some of the queries, which I can put though RTI, to bring that section officer in action? regards cram
  5. There has been a lot of discussion in this forum about non implementation of Section 4 by Public Authorities (PA's). I came across the following template on a Government Website (linked to website of Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions). It is very exhaustive. If a PA fills this template up dilligently, I think it will meet its obligations under Section 4 of the RTI Act. The template can be viewed at: http://www.righttoinformation.gov.in/Circulars/RTI-Templates.pdf If any member/guest is interested in seeing all Circulars and Notifications issued by the ministry regarding RTI, they can visit: RTI-Circulars
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