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Found 22 results

  1. sidmis

    BCCI not covered by RTI law

    BCCI not covered by RTI law Press Trust of India Friday, January 25, 2008 7:42 PM (New Delhi) Reported by NDTV.com: BCCI not covered by RTI law The country's apex cricket governing body BCCI could not be made accountable to provide information to citizens under the Right to Information law, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has held. In a recent order, the CIC rejected a citizen's plea to seek from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) certain information about its affairs. Nagpur-based Anil Chintaman Khare in his RTI application had submitted that BCCI was registered under the Societies Registration Act and should be termed a "public authority" for the purposes of making it accountable under the transparency law. The BCCI, however, contested the applicant's claim stating that despite being registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, it was not constituted under the Constitution or any law made by the Parliament or any state legislature. Concurring with BCCI's stand, Information Commissioner Padma Balasubramanian said: "Registration under an Act is different from being established under it. Merely because BCCI is registered under the Societies Registration Act, does not bring it under the purview of RTI Act." In its arguments before the Commission, the BCCI had contended that it did not receive any funds, directly or indirectly, from the Centre and also did not have on its board any nominee from any government. The applicant said BCCI received a lot of tax benefits from the government and hence should be made answerable to the people of the country. The Commission came to its decision after finding that BCCI did not fall under any of the categories required to bring any public office under the RTI Act.
  2. Maharashtra Gas Limited (MGL) which supplies pipeline gas to Mumbai has been ruled as a Public Authority. The full decision of the CIC is attached to this post. It has many arguments for and against being a Public Authority - will be interesting for members to note for future references. The appellant was Mr Semlani, a RTI Activist, who passed away recently in Mumbai at the age of 72. MA-01082008-10.pdf
  3. Application for getting information under RTI act 2005 A.PIO from which information is required Public Information Officer, Dy. Secretary (Admn) Room No. 805, 8th Level, C-wing, Delhi Secretariat, New Delhi. Ph--23392453 B. Contact Details--- Our address and Contacts c) E-mail------ sufiesidhi@yahoo.com C. Details of information sought 1 ) After the clarification of Honorable High Court's judgment DATED 5/MAY/2013 (W.P.© 4585/2012 and CM No. 9515/2012/PACE DEVELOPERS AND PROMOTERS PVT LTD), what is your stand on the registrations of "Power of Attorneys", "Agreement to sell", "Will" and "Receipt" in regards to Delhi's properties? 2) Have you issued any circular to the sub-registrar offices regarding registrations of "Power of Attorneys", "Agreement to sell", "Will" and "Receipt" till date? 3) If yes, what is the content of that circular? 4) If not, what is the reason of not issuing any circular to the sub-registrars offices till now? 5) If not, provide the copy of the rule, regulation, law explaining your legal right under which you can withhold issuing a circular to the sub-registrar offices even after the Honorable High Court's orders. 6) If you do not have any legal right of withholding the issuance of a fresh circular to the sub-registrars offices regarding the registrations of "Power of Attorneys", "Agreement to sell", "Will" and "Receipt" then give the list of the people with their names and designation, responsible for not doing their duty of issuing this circular. 7) Are sub-registrar offices free to register "Power of Attorneys", "Agreement to sell", "Will" and "Receipt" according to the fresh judgment of High Court DATED 5/MAY/2013 (W.P.© 4585/2012 and CM No. 9515/2012/PACE DEVELOPERS AND PROMOTERS PVT LTD), on their own without getting any fresh circular from your side? 8) If not, then kindly tell me the reason/ reasons for not issuing any circular to them till now? 9) If yes, then have they started any registrations of "Power of Attorneys", "Agreement to sell", "Will" and "Receipt" according to the instructions of High Court's instructions mentioned in judgement DATED 5/MAY/2013 (W.P.© 4585/2012 and CM No. 9515/2012/PACE DEVELOPERS AND PROMOTERS PVT LTD)? 10) If you find any non-availability of documentary record to reply any question of this application, kindly provide the details which official handled that record and when that record was destroyed or got missing. 11) If you can not give the whole information demanded by me, please give a part of the information which can be given according to section 10 the RTI Act 2005. Section 10 of the Act allows those part(s) of the record which are not exempt from disclosure and which can reasonably be severed from parts containing exempt information to be provided. 12) If you can not give me the information at all, please send me a copy of the rule/ law/ act/ circular etc. describing that such information is forbidden for general public. 13) Kindly provide the detail of every movement of this application, which official handled, when handled, how handled, what he/she did for preparing reply of the questions of this application, how much time he/she took for what he/she did, every detail please till disposal. Please note, whatsoever information you would provide me on paper, that paper should be duly signed and clearly stamped by some competent authority. If you use the backside of that paper for providing me the information, please get that side also duly signed and clearly stamped by some competent authority. Please give me a phone call or sms on any of the cell phone numbers of mine given here below, I would myself come at your office to collect the reply by hand. Or send me your reply through a registered post only, that is why I am sending IPO’s of Rs. 40/- for such other expenses, whatsoever these are. Please avoid sending me your reply though ordinary post. These IPO's are payable to "Accounts Officer". This is as per DoPT circulars 1/2/2007-IR dated 23 March 2007 and 1/4/2008-IR dated 25 April 2008. D. The application fee for this RTI application is being paid in the form of IPO #.......................................… for Rs 40/- (Rs. Forty only).
  4. As reported at khabar.ibnlive.in.com on Aug 09, 2011 नई दिल्ली। सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने एक ऐतिहासिक फैसले में साफ कर दिया है कि कोई भी परीक्षार्थी अपनी यूनिवर्सिटी, बोर्ड अथवा स्कूल से सूचना के अधिकार के तहत अपनी उत्तर पुस्तिका मांग सकता है। सुप्रीम कोर्ट का ये निर्णय प्रतियोगी अथवा भर्ती परीक्षाओं में भी लागू होगा और उनकी भी कॉपी आरटीआई एक्ट के तहत मांगी जा सकेंगी। कोर्ट के इस निर्णय को छात्रों के हित में उठे बड़े कदम के रूप में देखा जा रहा है। इससे परीक्षाओं में पारदर्शिता बढ़ेगी और छात्रों के अधिकारों की रक्षा होगी। गौरतलब है कि जुलाई में कोलकाता हाईकोर्ट ने एक मामले में फैसला सुनाया था कि छात्रों को आरटीआई एक्ट के तहत अपनी कॉपी मांगने का अधिकार है। इसके खिलाफ कई संस्थान सुप्रीम कोर्ट चले गए लेकिन सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने हाईकोर्ट के निर्णय को बरकरार रखते हुए उनकी याचिकाएं खारिज कर दीं। सुप्रीम कोर्ट के इस फैसले से उन छात्रों को राहत मिलेगी जिन्हें लगता है कि उन्होंने प्रश्नों के जवाब सही दिए थे लेकिन इसके बावजूद उन्हें पर्याप्त नंबर नहीं दिए गए। अब वे अपनी कॉपी मांगकर खुद देख सकते हैं कि उनकी कॉपी ठीक से चेक की गई है या नहीं।
  5. As reported at by Rahul Gadpale at mumbaimirror.com on Rahul Gadpale CIC issues order labelling MIAL a public utility; State commission’s order on R-Infra due by the end of this month The Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the company that developed and runs the Mumbai airport, has become the first private concern in the country to be brought under the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI). And soon, another Mumbai-based company, Reliance Infrastructure, could become accountable under the RTI. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission has written to the Chief Information Commissioner, Maharashtra, stating that since the company controls distribution of power in Mumbai's suburbs, it is a public utility and thus open to public scrutiny under RTI. While the Central Information Commissioner issued its order on MIAL on May 30, the order on Reliance Infrastructure is expected on June 24. Both Reliance Infrastructure and MIAL have been in news recently -- the former for its high domestic power rates and the latter for its use of airport land for non-aviation purposes. The CIC order on MIAL is a big boost for RTI as it paves the way for other private companies operating public services to be brought under its scope. In the order issued on May 30, CIC has said that MIAL will have to appoint a chief public relations officer within 30 days of receiving this order and also fulfil the “mandate of disclosure” under the RTI Act within two months of receiving the order. The CIC was hearing a case filed by Mumbai-based Sanjay Ramesh Shirodkar. MIAL is a joint venture between GVK Airport Holdings Private Limited, ACSA Global Limited, Bid Services Division (Mauritius) Limited, and Airport Authority of India (AAI), with AAI holding 26 per cent stake. The order also states that MIAL is funded by the government as it accrues huge benefits from the state of Maharashtra. “The state government has waived stamp duty worth Rs 200 to Rs 250 crore. MIAL is using 2000 acres of AAI leased land at concessional rates, the actual market value of which is otherwise close to Rs 50,000 crore,” the order said. The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s advise to the State Information Commission on Reliance Infrastructure being a public utility was in connection with a case filed by RTI activist Anil Galgali. Galgali had in 2008 asked information under the RTI from Reliance Energy, a part of Reliance Infrastructure, on the company’s power supply operations in Mumbai’s suburbs. However, Reliance Energy refused to part with the information citing its status as a private company. Galgali filed a plea with the State Information Commission, which sought the advice of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). “The CIC has given a verbal order that Reliance Energy should be brought under the RTI. The written order is expected to be issued on June 24. Once passed, this order will help millions of people who have Reliance Energy connections and have several queries concerning their operations,” said Galgali. When Mumbai Mirror contacted Chief Information Commissioner Vilas Patil, Maharashtra, he confirmed that the final order would be given on June 24. Both Reliance Infastructure and MIAL refused to comment. How it all started Pune-based Sanjay Shirodkar had filed an RTI application seeking information about the cost of Bisleri bottles. He claimed that bottles were being sold at rates higher than the MRP at Mumbai International Airport. The MIAL authorities, however, refused to answer Shirodkar’s queries saying that MIAL was a private company and therefore did not fall under the purview of RTI Act. Speaking on CIC’s decision, Shirodkar said, “It is a landmark decision and now MIAL is bound to give information to the public. It might be privately run but it is also a public utlity.”
  6. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Jul 18, 2011 PANAJI: Bombay high court on Monday asked the Centre to file an affidavit as to whether top constitutional offices such as the President, chief justices and governors fall within the ambit of Right to Information Act. The Goa bench of Bombay high court asked additional solicitor general, Vivek Tankha, who represented the Union to state the legal position regarding the President of India, chief justices and governors, while state advocate general Subodh Kantak will have to reply about position of the speaker of Legislative Assembly, vis a vis the RTI. The matter will be heard next month. The bench of justices S A Bobde and F M Reis was hearing the petition filed by Goa Raj Bhavan, challenging the order of Goa State information commissioner who had asked the Raj Bhavan to submit certain information under the RTI Act, as demanded by activist Aires Rodrigues. Tankha, appearing for Goa Raj Bhavan, argued that the president, governors, speaker and the Chief Justice of India as well as chief justices of high courts did not come within the Act's purview. Certain posts had been consciously kept out of RTI's ambit, although they have been termed as a 'public authority' under the Constitution, he said. To this, the judges observed that the case presented a novel situation. The court asked the government to clarify the position. "We can't decide till we have proper information on the position of these authorities," judges said.
  7. As reported by Ajay Sura at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 10 May 2011 CHANDIGARH: Some of Punjab`s cash-rich institutions, including the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), will be under the purview of the Right to Information Act. Upholding a State Information Commission, Punjab, order, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday brought PCA under the RTI. The court has also directed that the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association, Gymkhana Club, Jallandhar, Sutlej Club, Ludhiana, will come under the RTI. Also included are all co-operative societies, co-operative sugar mills, co-operative house building societies and co-operative banks in Punjab and Haryana and private schools controlled under the Education Act in Haryana. Justice MS Sullar heard a bunch of petitions filed by various organizations challenging the orders passed by the state information commissions of Punjab and Haryana. The petitions were regarding the applicability of RTI Act to sports associations, sports clubs, co-operative sugar mills, co-operative house building societies and co-operative banks in the two states. Petitioners had also sought direction to declare those bodies as "public authorities" under the RTI Act. Sullar expressed shock over the growing tendency on the part of institutions to deny information and attempting to defeat the RTI Act, which has been enacted to introduce transparency. He also referred to "corruption eating into the democratic fabric like a parasite." Justice Sullar said PCA was given 13.56 acre land at a token rental of Rs100 a year. It has received grants from PUDA (Rs 10.15 lakh), Punjab Sports Council (Rs 15 lakh), Punjab Small Savings (Rs 77 lakh) and BCCI (Rs 2,026.66 lakh). It has also received Rs 8.50 crore from PUDA to construct the stadium and Rs.1.65 lakh for the construction of Club House. This makes it a "public authority," the judge said. He also noted that exemption from entertainment duty to PCA and other sports bodies by the government also amounted to "substantial finance" to them.
  8. Rodrigues complains against AG before Bar Council of Mah as reported in NewKerala.Com (UNI), June 6 Panaji, Jun 6 : Social activist Advocate Aires Rodrigues has filed a complaint before the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa against Goa's controversial Advocate General Mr Subodh Kantak for his alleged professional misconduct. Mr Rodrigues had drawn the attention of the Bar Council to a note moved by the AG on July 15, 2005, seeking to terminate the services of Special Public Prosecutors Mr A P Cardozo and Mr V P Thali, who were handling the prosecution of criminal cases against former Ministers Mr Dayannad Narvekar, Mr Mauvin Godinho and Mr Somnath Zuwarkar. Prior to becoming Advocate General, Mr Kantak was defending these former Ministers in various corruption-related cases. The complaint stated that since Mr Kantak had appeared for Mr Narvekar, Mr Godinho and Mr Zuwarkar before becoming Advocate General, he could not have moved such a note to benefit his former minister clients. The government records obtained by Mr Rodrigues under the Right to Information Act had revealed that Mr Kantak as Advocate General had made recommendations for change of special public prosecutors in criminal cases in which he had appeared earlier for the accused former ministers. When this action of the government in changing the special Public Prosecutors was challenged in the High Court, the AG, after his initial appearance for the state, subsequently did not appear but continued to manipulate, monitor and co-ordinate every move in the petition before the High Court by even assisting in the drafting of affidavits, the complaint said. The AG had also, by a note dated 06/07/2006, proposed that the State of Goa engage the services of Senior Counsel from Mumbai Mr Aspi Chinoy with fees of Rs 1,35,000 per appearance along with Advocate Nitin Sardesai and Mr Mahesh Sonak with fees of Rs 5,000 per appearance to defend his former minister clients in the High Court, the complaint said. The notings of the files obtained from the Law department under the Right to Information Act, which allegedly reveals that Mr Kantak as Advocate General had acted in rank violation of professional ethics, had also been sent to the Bar Council. Stating that Mr Kantak's acts amounted to a conflict of interest, Mr Rodrigues has in his complaint stated that the AG had misused his position as to oblige his political masters Mr Narvekar, Mr Zuwarkar and Mr Godinho, whom he was earlier representing. Demanding the Bar Council's action against the AG, he had in his complaint stated that the actions of Mr Kantak amounted to ''gross interference in the process of administration of justice and that he had degraded the high constitutional post of Advocate General.'' --UNI Rodrigues complains against AG before Bar Council of Mah .:. newkerala.com Online News - 122442
  9. As reported by Vimal Kumar at indiancooperative.com on 20 February 2011 Country’s courts have become store house of many itigation cases where Cooperatives argue that they can not be covered under the act. Several cooperatives, including the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (Nafed), Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd (Kribhco) and National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India Ltd (NCCF), maintain the RTI Act is in contravention of cooperative principles. RTI cases involving, Kribhco, Nafed and NCCF are set to be heard on 17 March in the Delhi high court. According to cooperative sources government equity in grassroots agriculture cooperatives is 4.39%, and is less than 10% in the entire sector and thus they should be free of RTI prying eyes.
  10. As reported at hindustantimes.com on December 10, 2010 Differences have cropped up among officials of the Madhya Pradesh Flying Club over whether it comes under the purview of the Right to Information Act of 2005 or not resulting in delay in getting information from the premier institute of the state. Club member V K Gupta, who has sought information from it using the RTI route, said, "Since the MP Flying Club is taking grant from the state government and was allotted hangar at the airport, it definitely comes under the purview of the RTI Act." "Besides, the Directorate of Civil Aviation of the Madhya Pradesh department has also issued directives to the club to provide information to applicants under the RTI Act," Gupta said. However, club Secretary, Milind Mahajan said that as the MP Flying Club was being operated under guidelines of the director general of Civil Aviation (DGCA) anybody can obtain information about the club through DGCA only. "We are not supposed to provide information directly to an applicant under the RTI at present," he said. On the issue of the state government's directive to the club in this regard, he admitted that the club has indeed received a letter from the state's Civil Aviation Department directing it to provide information under RTI to the applicant on the ground that it has received grant from the government and, therefore, comes under the purview of the RTI Act. Mahajan said that the club management is also pondering whether to accept the annual grant of Rs two lakh from the state government or not in this regard.
  11. hello, I was curious to know whether RTI Act is only applicable to only the Government sectors/depts/ministries etc only, or is it applicable to private/public sectors such as automobile industry, private telecom industry such as mobile service providers - vodafone/airtel/idea....etc. And any other industry/vertical that I could not think about, that it is applicable to?? thanks and cheers.
  12. As reported by Ajai Masand at hindustantimes.com on September 30, 2009 Would you like to know how much of taxpayers’ money is spent on hockey stadiums? How much we pay our squash coaches? Too bad, you have no right to do so. Among the 50 sports federations that the Indian government funds, there is only one on which the right to information act (RTI) applies — the All India Chess Federation (AICF). This has emerged from the sports ministry’s response to a squash-related query sent by Mumbai-based squash coach A.I. Singh under the RTI. Only the AICF qualifies as a “public authority” that can be questioned, said a letter to Singh dated July 7, signed by Sport Ministry Deputy Secretary C. Chinappa. “The Central Information Commission (CIC) has declared AICF only as a public authority. The Squash Racquet Federation of India, Chennai, has not so far been declared as public authority,” the letter said. In a landmark decision, the CIC had ruled in March that the AICF was a public authority. Singh has now asked the CIC if every sports federation funded by the government needs to be individually pronounced as falling within the ambit of the RTI Act. He awaits a reply. When asked why sports federations are excluded from the RTI, Injeti Sriniwas, Joint Secretary (Sports), told Hindustan Times: “The RTI Act has broad parameters. We maintain it applies only to ‘an association that gets substantial funding’, though the CIC does not have any such clause. It’s a case-by-case approach.” He was not clear on what constituted ‘substantial funding’. Sriniwas said the government had written to the Indian Olympic Association, sports federations and the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, telling them they were covered by the RTI Act. “But they secured a stay on it from the court,” he said. Source: Sports bodies use your money, resist your scrutiny- Hindustan Times
  13. As reported by Ashutosh Shukla at dnaindia.com on April 16, 2010 Mumbai: Want information from your kid’s school and frustrated with the stonewalling tactics of the school administration? Well, help may be round the corner. The state’s information commission has asked the education department to direct all aided schools — there are 1,300 — to keep all information related to their functioning handy. Schools have to produce this information on demand from parents. All details have to be with the school head or the public information officer, according to the recommendations of Suresh Joshi, Maharashtra’s chief information commissioner, to the state government. “What happens is that either the trust sends the parent to the school saying they don’t have the information or vice-versa,” said Joshi. “Ultimately the parent does not get any information.” A few months ago, Joshi had instructed colleges to do the same. The schools will also have to make public information about the public information officer, and the first appellate authority. This is one of the several recommendations made by the commission to the state government in its annual report for the calendar year 2009. It was submitted on Thursday. Most of the other recommendations, however, are repetitions, except for the one asking the chief secretary to appoint officers to keep a tab on penalty deducted from the erring employees’ salary. Emphasis on section 4 (voluntary disclosure by public authority) featured amongst the prominent ones followed by the appointment of senior officers as the first appellate authority. Overall, the implementation of the Right to Information Act (RTI) shows significant improvement. Pendency is down by 3,000 to 13,000. “We can now safely say that pendency in Mumbai, Konkan and Nagpur regions can be taken up within two months,” said Joshi. The state received 4.40 lakh applications in 2009 as compared to 4.16 lakh in 2008 and 3.16 lakh in 2007. Of the total 36 departments, the top 10 accounted for 82% of applications. “The forest department has moved to the seventh position from 10th. The irrigation department has made an entry, which shows that tribals are using the act in a big way,” said Joshi. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation alone got 59,018 applications, approximately 60% of pleas received by all 22 corporations. There was also a jump in the amount recovered as penalty from information officers. Though the total fine amount slumped in 2009 to Rs26.56 lakh (collected from 347 officers) as compared to Rs34 lakh in 2009 (from 256 officers), in Mumbai, the fine amount increased. The city saw collection increase to Rs3.74 lakh with 58 officers being fined as compared to Rs2.4 lakh a year before. The percentage of total applications moving up to the FAA and commission remained constant. Of total applications, 10% — 43,848 — went for first appeal and of those 50% —18,205— at the second appeal. The year’s disposal rate at the second appellate authority improved considerably with a jump of 9,000. Complaints, however, jumped by 1,000. “These would not really speak of any trend because people file complaints for various reasons,” added Joshi. Source: Soon, Maharashtra schools may have to give information on demand - dnaindia.com
  14. As reported by Ashutosh Shukla at dnaindia.com on january 1, 2009 In a bizarre case, an RTI activist’s appeal was turned down by none other than the state information commission on the pretext that the RTI Act does not cover the organisation the activist sought information from. What left the applicant even more flummoxed was the fact that the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa (BCMG), the organisation in question, was of the opinion that the RTI Act was binding on them. “I do not understand where to go and what to do. How can a commissioner who is supposed to uphold the spirit of the Act be so ignorant about it? What is he doing on that chair? He has not just denied the information, but set a very bad precedent,” said Rajan Alimchandani, 63, who provides free consultancy on housing-related issues. Alimchandani had asked for information from the BCMG in October last year. The reply was first delayed, and when given, was not complete. He then appealed to information commission. After the hearing, the order signed by state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari stated, “The Bar Council does not fit into the definition of public authority…. it is true it has been established by law but any organization or body which claims to be doing anything legitimate has to be registered under some or other law.” The order further states, “I conclude that the Bar Council is not a public authority, therefore, the appeal is dismissed.” Contrary to this, the CIC, in a reply signed by its registrar LC Singhi, said, “During the course of discussions at the last convention, it was clarified that the Bar Councils are constituted under Central law and as such, the Central Information Commission has the jurisdiction to deal with all RTI matters concerning Bar Councils.” Source : DNA - Mumbai - Information commissioner unaware of law: RTI applicant
  15. As reported by Nitin Brahme at punemirror.in on November 11, 2009 Vijay Naik, co-owner of a small scale unit in Pune, Electrovision, struggled for years to make sense of the ‘shock’ he received in January 2000, after the Central Bank of India without any reason cancelled the capital limit of Rs 17 lakh extended to his unit. Naik had been a customer of the bank for 15 years. “In January 2000, a branch manager and four officers of the Central Bank of India regional office suspiciously and suddenly cancelled our entire working capital limit. It was a shock to me. I was working with the same bank before and knew all the rules and practices at the bank,” says Naik. Naik pursued the matter for five years by submitting three complaints to the bank’s various offices upto the head office. “I approached the complaints redressing authorities (CRA) right upto the Reserve Bank of India. I tried to find out the actual cause of the act and its documentation, but bank officers and executives at the Central Bank of India, including the public information officer (PIO) and appellate authority, suppressed the case and locked the files for 5 years,” says Naik. In year 2005, the RTI Act came into realisation. “The PIO at Central Bank refused my RTI application in writing and so I approached the Appellate Authority. Finally, I approached the CIC in Delhi. However, the CIC to dragged its feet and inspite of submitting proof against the bank, they took no action. Just for the simple and legitimate task of allowing me to inspect the files, CIC New Delhi, conducted two unwarranted personal hearings (PH) at Delhi,” said Naik. “On November 26, 2005, I started correspondence on the basis of RTI Act and fought till April 12, 2007 for about 16 months as opposed to the 30-day deadline,” added Naik. Also, the whole process cost him over Rs 20,000 as opposed to the Rs 10 official fee. Naik, at last, tasted success. “The CIC released an order stating no officer/ staff can prepare internal notings, P&C documents on fake and fabricated information or documents. Also, no executive can intentionally or unintentionally or by oversight approve or sign on such internal non-public notes, unless they are absolutely true,” Naik informed. “Complaints with proofs obtained through RTI process were submitted to the Chairman and Managing Director of the Central Bank of India. They are still pending with him,” said Naik. Vijay Kumbhar, RTI activist said, “I have studied the Vijay Naik’s RTI case and it has been proved that the Central Bank is dening to release papers under the RTI Act. All nationalised banks also fall under the purview of the RTI Act and non-compliance should be dealt with by the CIC. Source: Vijay Naik used the RTI to know why in 2000 his bank cut off his capital limit for no reason, News - City - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror
  16. Atul Patankar

    Private varsity wants no scrutiny

    As reported by Bosky Khanna at dnaindia.com on September 12, 2009 Bangalore: Are deemed universities, granted their status by the University Grants Commission (UGC), beyond the ambit of the Right to Information Act, 2005? An RTI application was filed on August 12 this year after activists were informed that students who had quit mid-stream were not refunded their fees. The activists asked Christ University to inform them of the number of students admitted, the number of those who quit mid-stream, and details of the repayment of their fees for academic year 2009-10. The University flatly refused to respond to the application, claiming it does not fall within the purview of the RTI Act. "We have to submit that Christ University is not a public authority within the meaning of the provisions contained in the said Act and hence not obliged to furnish the information called for," the University wrote in its reply. When contacted, a spokesperson for the University who wished to remain unnamed said, "Christ University is a deemed university. The definition of a deemed university is vague, but we are not like any public university." The RTI application was filed after three students who had applied for a Masters in Travel Administration programme on May 18, 2009 chose to drop out after attending classes for about a month--from June 15 to July 18, 2009. Each of the students paid Rs75,000 as the fees for the course. Before leaving the course, they initiated correspondence to seek refund of fees. Despite several attempts, they were unable to get back the full amount. Two students were made a partial refund of Rs17,750, while a third awaits communication from the University. One of the students seeking a refund said, "I wrote three letters to the University, and got one response --that only limited information can be disseminated in the matter, and a partial refund of Rs17,750 would be made. I do not understand the basis for the reduction in the refund money. I left the course as I decided that I needed to find work. Another of my classmates has also received a similar sum as refund." A third student too had dropped out of the course, and is still to hear from the University. The spokesperson explained, "The rule is that we deduct Rs1000 as correspondence fee. If a student chooses to drop out without having attended any classes, we return the all the rest of the money charged as fees. In cases where students have attended classes, there is a reduction of the sum refunded. If the student has attended classes for 15-30, a ten per cent reduction is made; for 31-41 days, 15 per cent is deducted, over and above the Rs1000 that they are charged as correspondence fees. I am unaware of the basis on which Rs17,500 was refunded in these cases, I will have to check." Source:http://www.dnaindia.com/academy/report_private-varsity-wants-no-scrutiny_1289579
  17. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 25 May 2009 PANAJI: The mere fact that a chargesheet is filed against an RTI appellant in the court of the magistrate and he being an offender facing prosecution, does not mean he is not entitled to the information required. This is the recent judgement of the state information commissioner Afonso Araujo, who ordered the superintendent of police (SP), police headquarters (PHQ), Panaji, to furnish the requested information to the appellant within 15 days of the order. The order pertains to the application of Socorro D'Souza from Dongor Waddo, Fatorda, who on August 28, 2008 approached the SP PHQ seeking information under the Right to Information Act 2005. D'Souza required copies of the statements of witnesses recorded in the inquiry instituted against police sub-inspector Navlesh Dessai. D'Souza is one of the accused in crime number 257/07 and the criminal case is pending trial. D'Souza made a representation to the chairman of ad-hoc committee (home affairs) stating that on a false complaint filed by one Prakash Pandey, PSI Navlesh Dessai registered the offence of extortion. In an inquiry conducted against PSI Navlesh Dessai, statements of a number of witnesses were recorded by senior superintendent of police V V Chowdary. D'Souza requested for those statements recorded in the inquiry conducted against PSI Navlesh Dessai. The SP PHQ, however, denied the information under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act on grounds that the exemption from disclosure clause was attracted. D'Souza then filed his first appeal before the inspector general of police Kishan Kumar, who also upheld the denial of information by the SP PHQ. The counsel for D'Souza submitted that he required the statements recorded in the inquiry conducted against PSI Navlesh Dessai by senior superintendent of police (SSP) V B Chowdhury and that as D'Souza is the complainant in the inquiry, he is entitled to the copies of statements of witnesses whose names are mentioned in the application. The counsel also produced copies of application and order of anticipatory bail, order of State Police Complaints Authority and stated that a false case was filed against D'Souza. He stated that the exemption from disclosure clause was not attracted in this case. On the other hand, counsel for police submitted that D'Souza was one of the accused and that there was no need of the inquiry as charge sheet has been filed in the court. Police counsel stated that the information was rightly denied under section 8(1)(h) of the Act as the appellant may use those statements in the case and damage the prosecution case. The state information commissioner, however, noted that the mere fact that a chargesheet is filed in the court and the appellant being an offender facing prosecution, does not mean that he is not entitled for the information required. The commissioner made several observations; the appellant always maintained that a false case was registered against him by PSI Dessai for which an inquiry was conducted; the SP Headquarters has not indicated how the statements of the witnesses recorded in the inquiry will affect the prosecution of the appellant. The commissioner also noted that although the appellant was implicated in a serious offence of extortion, the State Police Authority indicated prima facie a case of misconduct of PSI Dessai. Noting that providing the statements of the witnesses recorded in the inquiry in no way will hamper the prosecution case, the commissioner ordered that the information be provided to D'Souza within 15 days of the order. Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Chargsheeted-appellant-cant-be-denied-info-under-RTI/articleshow/4573073.cms
  18. As reported by Nitin Sethi, TNN at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 23 April 2009 NEW DELHI: In a far-reaching order, the Central Information Commission has ruled that any specialized committee formed by the Supreme Court is also a public authority and therefore falls under the purview of the Right To Information Act. The order came in the specific case before the CIC about the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) created under the orders of the apex court. The CEC, initially a five-member body and later enlarged after a long-running controversy about its original members, was set up by the court to handle all the forest-related matters before it. The CEC had contended that it was not a `public' authority under the RTI Act as it was not created or funded by the government but formed by the court. But the commission disagreed with the contention pointing out that any body created under the Constitution is an agency that is answerable under the information Act. The order has come as a reaction to a controversial case that TOI had first reported. A forest official was persecuted by the Haryana government for booking culprits pointing out violations of the Wildlife Protection Act and the Forest Conservation Act in a wildlife sanctuary in the state. While he was shunted out and discriminated against, the case was taken up in the apex court. The case went before the CEC. It ruled that there had been clear violations of not only the Forest Conservation Act, the Wildlife Protection Act, which attract penalties including jail, but also of earlier apex court orders. But the CEC then went on to condone the acts and give a reprieve to officials and others involved with a mere warning. It asked for a compensatory amount of Rs 1 crore against the crimes committed. The applicants asked the CEC under what powers granted by which rule or regulation had it condoned the acts as the acts violated did not provide for such authority to any agency. The CEC did not reply to the applicants and instead claimed that it was not answerable under the RTI and the information asked pertained to one of its report that was in public domain. Now, the Central Information Commission has ordered that not only should the CEC reply to the queries as they are not part of the report it had put out but also set up adequate offices under the RTI Act to answer all future applicants Source: Panels formed by SC under RTI ambit, rules CIC - India - The Times of India
  19. Atul Patankar

    Credit societies too under RTI purview

    As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on April 6, 2009 CHANDIGARH: In a major development bringing transparency in the affairs of various credit and thrift cooperative societies registered under the Act and operative in the city, the Central Information Commission has asked registrar, cooperative societies, UT, to provide information related to one such society, thus bringing it under the purview of RTI. With this order, anybody having doubt and smelling foul play in the functioning of these societies can now seek the entire records under the RTI Act. Central information commissioner (CIC) ML Sharma passed these orders while hearing an appeal filed by Sector-27 resident Satish Chander Ummat. The appellant was a member of Chandigarh SBI MMBE Thrift And Credit Society Limited and had sought some information pertaining to the affairs of the society under the RTI Act from the office of cooperative department, Chandigarh. But when the appellant failed to get the sought information for more than one year, he moved an appeal before the CIC, New Delhi. While passing the order, central information commissioner ML Sharma directed the registrar, cooperative department, UT, through its superintendent SK Bansal, to provide all information related to the society sought by the appellant in six weeks. In UT alone, around 100 cooperative thrift and credit societies registered under the Society Registration Act are in operation. Such societies are incorporated by various bank employees, government employees and other employees and usually majority of these organization remain in news for allegations of non-transparency in their affairs. Even the office-bearers of the said Chandigarh SBI MMBE Thrift and Credit Society were booked under various sections of IPC for forging documents and criminal conspiracy. The appellant in the present case had sought information about discrepancies brought out in the audit reports of the society and number of disputes in which the society was involved with its members Source: Credit societies too under RTI purview - Chandigarh - Cities - The Times of India
  20. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 13 March 2009 NEW DELHI: Should the assets of ministers and their kin be available for public scrutiny? The Central Information Commission (CIC) will take up the issue for consideration on Friday. The controversial matter comes at a time when the Delhi High Court has overturned the CIC order for assets of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to be made public. Applicant Subhash Chandra Agarwal had demanded information related to the assets owned by Union ministers and their kin in the past two years. Incidentally, the Prime Minister's Office had initially forwarded the application to the cabinet secretariat asking for information to be disclosed. In his appeal, Agarwal pointed out that in a letter on May 19, 2008, the PMO had provided details of assets and liabilities of Union ministers to cabinet secretariat to deal with such RTI applications. However, Agarwal was later informed by the PMO that the information sought was exempt under section 8 of the RTI Act. After six months, PMO in a letter dated December 17, 2008, told Agarwal that the information sought could not be provided as it was exempt under the RTI Act. The PMO sought exemption under clauses 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) which relate to immunity granted to "documents fiduciary relationship" and "Cabinet documents" under the RTI Act. Source: CIC to take up issue of making public assets of ministers & kin-India-The Times of India
  21. As reported at www.thaindian.com on 12 March 2009 Panaji, March 12 (IANS) Fiona Mackeown, the mother of slain British teenager Scarlett Keeling, has filed a Right to Information (RTI) application seeking details of the Goa police’s investigation into her daughter’s mysterious death February last year. The application was received by the police early this week. Police authorities, who have been target of Fiona’s criticism for bungling the investigations into Scarlett’s murder, are not sure how the RTI application should be handled. A senior police official maintained foreigners do not have the right to apply under the Right to Information Act. “Only citizens can ask queries under RTI. Foreigners cannot. Plus she has sent it across from UK by e-mail without paying the mandatory court fees,” the official said. The preamble to the RTI Act clearly says that it can be used only by Indian citizens, the official added. Confirming the receipt of the RTI query from Fiona, Superintendent of Police (North) Tony Fernandes Thursday said: “We have received the RTI application. In all likelihood, we’ll forward it to the Central Bureau of Investigation, because they are investigating the case now. “I have brought the matter to the notice of my superiors, who will take a final call.” Source: Under Right to Information Act, Scarlett’s mother questions murder probe
  22. As reported by timesofindia.indiatimes.com on January 22, 2008 Ahmedabad : Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) has ruled that even though an NGO is not owned, controlled or substantially financed by the state government, it qualifies to be a public authority and has to maintain transparency and accountability in its working. Citizens hve a right under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek information on those activities for which the government has given financial aid to the NGO, GIC ruled. For non-government funded activity of the NGO, information can be sought from its controlling public authority. HC Mehta of Visnagar had sought some information about Visnagar Grahak Suraksha Mandal from the director (consumer affairs), Ahmedabad. The deputy director of consumer affairs in turn transferred it to the Mandal asking it to furnish the information. Gordhan Patel, president of the Mandal, submitted before GIC that it needed to be first decided whether RTI provisions are applicable to his organisation. Patel argued that the Mandal was not set up by the state government nor was it substantially financed by it and so would not fall under the definition of a public authority under RTI. Mandal did admit it received grants from the government but the bulk of the funds were collected by way of membership fees and donations. When asked by GIC about its total annual expenditure and grant received from the government, Patel submitted that Mandal's annual expenditure was Rs 2.5 lakh and government aid, Rs 60,000. GIC observed that the definition of public authority includes an NGO substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the government. But the term substantially financed' has not been defined in RTI and is hence open for interpretation. Patel submitted that since the annual grant received from government is only Rs 60,000, it does not establish that the Mandal is substantially financed by the government. GIC then observed that the Central Information Commission had ruled Delhi International Authority Limited (DIAL) as a public authority for 26% stake in it was held by government and was substantial. But GIC held that having government contribution to the equity is different from getting government grant-in aid. GIC ruled that as public money would be given to NGOs for a specific purpose, for that part of its activity it would become a public authority under RTI and would be required to furnish information. Source: NGO activity funded by govt under RTI purview-Ahmedabad-Cities-The Times of India
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