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  1. There is a drastic fall in the number of government orders (GOs) being uploaded on various state-run websites. Around 10 government departments headed by Telangana ministers, are not uploading all the orders on the official website. The Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) department headed by Minister K.T. Rama Rao, uploaded 776 GOs in 2015. In 2016 this dropped to 508 and in 2017 to just five. The rule under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act says the state government must publish all relevant documents while formulating important policies that affect the public. Also, Section 4 (1) (d) of the Act says that the government should provide reasons for its administrative decisions that are in connection with citizens. However, the decrease in number of GOs being uploaded shows that the government is operating contrary to the rules. Citizens should note that if the government issues a GO against the public interest, one has the right to question and hold the government accountable in a court. Congress leader Dasoju Shravan in 2016 filed a writ petition in the High Court against the decision of the government to shut down certain websites publishing GOs. He told Deccan Chronicle, “There is lack of transparency; why is the government concealing a few GOs? When questioned in the Assembly the government termed these GOs as confidential. Why are people kept in the dark if it’s in public interest?”
  2. There is a drastic fall in the number of government orders (GOs) being uploaded on various state-run websites. Around 10 government departments headed by Telangana ministers, are not uploading all the orders on the official website. The Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) department headed by Minister K.T. Rama Rao, uploaded 776 GOs in 2015. In 2016 this dropped to 508 and in 2017 to just five. The rule under Section 4 (1) (c) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act says the state government must publish all relevant documents while formulating important policies that affect the public. Also, Section 4 (1) (d) of the Act says that the government should provide reasons for its administrative decisions that are in connection with citizens. However, the decrease in number of GOs being uploaded shows that the government is operating contrary to the rules. Citizens should note that if the government issues a GO against the public interest, one has the right to question and hold the government accountable in a court. Congress leader Dasoju Shravan in 2016 filed a writ petition in the High Court against the decision of the government to shut down certain websites publishing GOs. He told Deccan Chronicle, “There is lack of transparency; why is the government concealing a few GOs? When questioned in the Assembly the government termed these GOs as confidential. Why are people kept in the dark if it’s in public interest?” View full entry
  3. The CPIO need not provide information regarding those proposals that were received, but were rejected and no disbursal was made.- CIC He (the Appellant) has sought information regarding the financing proposals under the subsidy scheme, received by the bank from the District Rural Development Agency, Balasore. Rejected proposal under subsidy scheme Taking into account the above and Section 4 (1) (b) (xii) of the RTI Act, we direct the CPIO to provide to the Appellant, the names of those who were given financial assistance under the subsidy programme on the basis of proposals received from the District Rural Development Agency, Balasore from 2009 to 2011 and the amount of subsidy disbursed in each case. The decision can be downloaded from our repository here: Rejected proposal under RTI. If you have queries and want to help others go to our forums here!
  4. During the time of digitization, Delhi Food and Supply Department still cannot put the details of Fair Price Shops online. Department of Food and Supply of Delhi should disclose monthly stocks released to the Fair Price Shops (FPS) and the distribution of that stock along with the list of names of eligible ration card holders. This information should have been uploaded into the Public Domain and a hard copy of the same should have been displayed on the notice board of the Circle office and the respective ration shops. However, in the RTI hearing at CIC, the department submitted that the stocks available at the respective ration shops are displayed at the ration shops and the record is also kept at their circle office. At present, there is no system of uploading the stocks and sale position of the respective Fair Price Shops in their Circle. Therefore in the RTI reply asking for rations issued by this shop, Copy of the master register/daily sale register/inspection register etc the authority had asked the appellant to deposit Rs.2,808/towards costs for supplying the copies of information. You can read and find about how many requests we receive at our forum regarding ration cards here. One of the oldest cards of Government of India still faces digitisation blues, during the time when you have Aadhar cards, NPR and PAN cards. If you are interested in filing RTI for ration card, visit our website which explains how to become RTI Activist and also take help from our Forum active members. The commission rightly recorded that the appellant who is a common man, cannot be expected to deposit this much money for general information and on the contrary, the respondent authority is expected to disclose monthly stocks released to the FPSs and the distribution of that stock along with the list of names of eligible ration card holders. Stock and Sale Records of Ration in Delhi not online The Department of Food & Supply officer was also directed to check the ration shops about the display of this information at the shops every month. The CIC decision can be read and downloaded from here! You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website!
  5. CIC has issued a "Directive": to all public authorities under the Centre, for implementation of Sec 4. The full directive is attached to this post. CIC Directiove on Sec 4.pdf
  6. In a significant decision, Commission has asked the Chief Secretary of Delhi and Union Cabinet Secretary to disclose their policy on usage of photos of political leaders on various kinds of advertisements issued by state at the cost of tax payer’s money under Section 4 of Right to Information Act. Earlier Lokayuktha of Delhi have given recommendations for effective prevention of photo publicity of the political rulers. The Lokayuktha has found usage of photographs of Chief Minister of Delhi Smt Sheila Dixit and former Minister Shri Rajkumar Chouhana Government on Loan Application Forms of SC/ST/OBC Minority Finance and Development Corporation, which was sold at Rs 100 per application, being unusual and without any justification. They were intended to glorify and develop personality cult of the individuals. Putting photos on such official forms is only to gain unfair political advantage over the rivals especially during the elections. Policy on political publicity The Lokayuktha has recommended issuance of an advisory by the President of India to the respondents to desist from printing their photographs on the application forms under the Dilli Swarojgar Yojna, efface or block the photographs if any printed on the existing forms prior to their use. Supreme Court earlier had constituted a Committee consisting of Prof. (Dr.) N.R. Madhava Menon, former Director, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, Mr. T.K. Viswanathan, former Secretary General, Lok Sabha and Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Senior Advocate to study and make recommendations on this serious issue. This Committee has presented its report recommending that government advertisements in media must not have faces of ministers and leaders of ruling party. It recommended that government advertisements should avoid photographs of political leaders and if it was essential then it should be restricted to photographs of the President/PM or Governor/Chief Minister. It said that name or symbol of political party in power should not be mentioned in advertisements which should maintain political neutrality and for projecting positive impression of the party. The Government of India and similarly the Governments of states have an obligation under Section 4 of Right to Information Act, to disclose on their own what their policy is and when they would start implementing it. The RTI applicant wanted information about implementation about the steps taken by the Government to stop photo­ publicity of the political leaders, as indicted and recommended by Lok Ayukta. The Commission directed the Union of India which now governs the Union Territory of Delhi, to disclose its policy on recommendations of Prof Madhava Menon Committee and Lokayuktha of Delhi regarding usage of photos of political leaders on various kinds of advertisements issued by state at the cost of tax payer’s money, in the best interests of democracy and proper representation to the people before they exercise their franchise. The decision can be downloaded from here! You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website!
  7. MANOJ B. PATEL

    Section 4 - Lacuna in the RTI Act.

    If section 4 is effectively implemented and entire of organisation, entire data, scheme policies, benefits and list of beneficiaries are made available, the citizens will get really empowered and is definitely a correct step towards the democratic and transparent form of governance. However, it is sad because there is no penalty or statutory consequences if duty under section 4 is not performed or violated. This is a major lacuna in law and requires immediate attention of the law makers to empower this law to be more citizen friendly.
  8. Secretary DoPT issued guidelines to all State Governments for suo-moto disclosure under Sec-4(1) of the Act "The purpose of suo moto disclosure under section 4 is to place large amount of information in public domain on a proactive basis to make the functioning of the public authorities more transparent and also to reduce the need for filing individual RTI Applications." "The Task force also recommended guidelines for disclosure by State Governments along with Templates for disclosure at various levels. Copy of the Guidelines along with templates is enclosed as Annexure." DOPT - Suo moto disclosure directions & templates dt 21-11-13pdf.pdf
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