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Found 9 results

  1. ashakantasharma

    Attacks on RTI activists in India

    Many Right to Information Act (RTI) activists, including policemen, have been harassed and even murdered for seeking information to "promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority" in India. Many face assaults on a regular basis. People seeking information from their gram panchayat and the local administration also face social ostracism. A few activists who sought information under RTI related to MNREGA scams, were killed.[1][2][3] Many threats and attacks (including murder) go unreported by the media.[4][5] Media reports of more than 300 instances of attacks on or harassment of citizens and at least 51 murders and five suicides can be linked to information sought under The Right to Information Act. Maharashtra followed by Gujarat tops the list for states with the most attacks on RTI users.[6] RTI activists are vulnerable human rights defenders (HRDs) in India. Unlike other HRDs, a majority of the RTI activists are not part of an organisation; they often act alone, moved by anger at corruption and other illegal activities. RTI activists are vulnerable because they live in the same areas as public authorities and political leaders who do not want information about their activities to be disclosed. For the most part, human rights defenders receive media attention only when killed or seriously injured. When complaints are made by RTI activists, law enforcement personnel (who often work with corrupt officials) do not take appropriate action. The Right to Information Act, 2005 provides inadequate protection to whistleblowers. The Central Information Commission and the State Information Commissions are not mandated to deal with such threats or attacks or to provide protection when needed.[7] Attacks on RTI users have not ceased despite directions from several information commissions and state governments to protect them from harm. While RTI activism became an industry, attacks on RTI activists followed. The number of such attacks now number hundreds and dozens have been killed. Lalit Mehta was exposing a NREGA scam and was killed in 2008. Satish Shetty was exposing land scams in Maharashtra and was stabbed to death in 2010. In the same year Amit Jethwa was shot in the Ahmedabad High Court complex. He was exposing a mining scam. There are many such stories which talk of the bravery of RTI activists. SO WHY THERE IS NO PROTECTION FROM THE GOVERNMENT ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attacks_on_RTI_activists_in_India
  2. MUMBAI: The civic administration sends out notices to buildings that do not follow fire norms, yet, it has failed to ensure that its schools are safe in case of a fire, an RTI query has revealed.Read more at: Over 240 civic schools lack fire safety measures - The Times of India
  3. NEW DELHI: Even as a part of Parliament shot up in flames on Sunday, the Delhi fire department had admitted that the building faced serious fire hazard less than four months earlier. In response to an RTI query, the fire department said the Parliament building was last inspected in 2013 when several shortcomings were found. The response prompted the Central Information Commission to pull up the department and seek remedial action. Read at: CIC alert failed to wake up authorities - The Times of India
  4. Mandar More

    Safety Zone Land

    Hello, Please advice whether self can build a house in safety zone area, Naval Station is with 500 metres distance from my land.
  5. RTI application was denied by Public Information Officer, Tihar Jail who wanted date wise list of visitors who had met Tihar Jail inmate, in connection with Delhi High Court Blast case. Central Information Commission upheld the decision and denied disclosure of information as it would cause harm to the personal safety of the third party or the persons who had met him. (Please read the RTI Act 2005 regarding what is third party information here. If you have any questions regarding Right to Information, kindly post it at our forum here) The PIO replied stating that it was third party information and that concerned person has objected to its disclosure. In response to the appeal, the Appellate Authority upheld the decision of the PIO. During the hearing at CIC, the Respondents submitted that they apprehend security concern as the disclosure of information would cause harm to the third party or to the persons who had met him. Disclosing list of visitors shall harm the personal safety of Tihar jail inmate The Commission after hearing the submissions denies disclosure of information as it would cause harm to the personal safety of the third party or the persons who had met him. The appeal is rejected and the case closed at the Commission’s end. What is Third Party? It is clearly stated at Section 11 (1) that ‘submission of third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information’. Section 11 does not give a third party an unrestrained veto to refuse disclosing information. It only gives the third party an opportunity to voice its objections to disclosing information. The PIO will keep these in mind and denial of information can only be on the basis of exemption under Section 8 (1) of the RTI act. REFERENCE: Mahesh Kumar Sharma v. PIO, Delhi Jal Board Decision No. CIC /A T/A/2008/01262SG/2109 CItation : Afiya Malik vs Tihar Jail CIC/AD/A/2013/001262­SA 24.6.2014 The article has been taken from the CIC public website and is meant only for generating interest in RTI amongst our readers. You must read and get the authentic copy of the case from the official website of CIC.
  6. ambrish.p has just uploaded DOPT REPLY ON SECURITY OF RTI ACTIVISTS! I would like to get following information & relevant documents under Right to Information Act 2005: 1. Please provide me with the certified copies of all the information (each and every document) on record within the meaning of section 2 (f), 2(i) read with 2 (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 related to circular/proposal/official document for ensuring safety of RTI Activists in India (from January 2013 to till the date of reply to this application) and it shall include: a. Certified copies of all file notings drawn (wherein it was discussed and finalized) in the matter. b. Certified copy of the Circular/ proposal/official document by which it was conveyed to state authorities. c. Details of the action ensured by your office/Ministry in follow up of it. d. List of states, who have taken action after receipt of this communication from your office/Ministry and details of the action taken by them. Signature of the applicant (Ambrish Pandey) CPIO of MHA didnt respond so the FA was filed and was transferred to DOPT and this info was provided.
  7. rtiindia

    Safety of Activist

    This article has been posted at our Law segment. To read the full article follow this link: Safety of Activist Guidelines for the safety of RTI Activists issued by MHA. Download the guidelines available here at our portal: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/123211-new-download-dopt-reply-security-rti-activists.html In the RTI filed by our team member Ambrish Pandey, DoPT has replied that Central Government can only make a request…Read more › The law segment is available here RTI INDIA More...
  8. The Right to Information Act, 2005 (herein after referred as RTI Act) contains provisions enough to provide safety to the RTI activists. It another thing that neither the CIC nor the courts observing those provisions and thus are responsible for killing the RTI activists. As per my understanding of the act in the background of the number of lost RTI activists, not a single RTI activist will be exposed to any degree of threats to his life not even his property. If the provisions of the act will be implemented in it true sprit. To my understanding, RTI activists are exposed to threats only due to the reasons that his personal details necessary for contacting him are exposed to all. Had his personal details necessary for contacting him not been exposed to all, RTI activists would have not been killed. Hence following study of the act is how to keep unexposed the personal details of a RTI activist necessary for contacting him. Section 6 provides how to make a “Request for obtaining information” as under: A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request a) in writing or b) through electronic means in English or Hindi or in the official language of the area in which the application is being made…………..” An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give a) any reason for requesting the information or b) any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him. When an RTI activist makes a request in writing to obtain the information in compliance of section 6(1) of the act, he has to disclose all the personal details necessary for contacting him. And based upon these personal details, persons affected adversely by these information, harm the RTI activist. Taking support from the sub-section 1 of the section 6 of the act, Hon’ble CIC should compel all public authorities to make arrangement for making the request for obtaining the information through electronic means. Upon implementation of this, an RTI activist will use an anonymous email id such as abcd@gmail.com or xyz@yahoo.co.in or mks@rediffmail.com or dk12m@siffy.com etc and no one will be able to trace his physical address so that any harm can be done to an RTI activist. Filing of the First or the Second Appeal under the act should also be done through electronic means giving effect to letter and spirit of the act and the safety of the RTI activists as well. Because "It is well recognised principle of interpretation of a statute that conferment of rule making power by an Act does not enable the rule making authority to make rule which travels beyond the scope of the enabling Act or which is inconsistent therewith or repugnant thereto." Held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Addl.District Magistrate (Rev.) Delhi Admn. v Shri Siri Ram AIR 2000 SC 2143. The Supreme Court has also observed in Hukam Chand v Union of India AIR 1972 SC 2427 that: "The underlying principle is that unlike Sovereign Legislature which has power to enact laws with retrospective operation, authority vested with the power of making subordinate legislation has to act within the limits of its power and cannot transgress the same. The initial difference between subordinate legislation and the statute laws lies in the fact that a subordinate law making body is bound by the terms of its delegated or derived authority..." Both the judgment quoted herein above has been used by the Hon'ble CIC in Mr._Vijay_Kumar_vs_District_Sessions_Judge,_Delhi_on_11_January,_2010 file attached herewith. On the basis of aforesaid decisions some part of The Central Information Commission (Management) Regulations, 2007 are not valid that mandatorily requires to disclose the personal details beyond necessary for contacting him. Even otherwise section 22 under the heading of “Act to have overriding effect” says: The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in a) the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and b)any other law for the time being in force or c) in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. “ And even in writ proceeding before any courts including the Hon’ble Supreme Court RTI activist need not to disclose any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him. Mr._Vijay_Kumar_vs_District_Sessions_Judge,_Delhi_on_11_January,_2010.pdf
  9. New Delhi, Dec 03: The instances of people using the Right to Information Act have been increased in the recent times and this landmark legislation has forced the bureaucracy to shed its colonial mindset on holding government files, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah today said. "More people are using the RTI Act to get information. It is only in ten per cent cases where information is not provided. The commission has imposed a penalty on such cases," Habibullah said at a function here. There should be "no cloak of secrecy in matters where public interest is involved", he said adding, "the colonial mindset of bureaucracy was changing after the passage of the act". Magsaysay winner and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, however, critisiced the government saying that the RTI act was being used as safety valve by it. "The CIC is a body which can change the history of the nation, but unfortunately, it is acting as an agent of government," he alleged. (The emphasis is mine--Ganpat) He also said in a number of instances, information was being denied on one ground or another, even by the CIC itself. He also emphasised the need for simplifying the act so that common people can use it. Zee News - RTI forcing bureaucracy to change colonial mindset: CIC
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