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Found 10 results

  1. ashakantasharma

    Important State Initiatives

    Important State Initiatives Inspired and encouraged by the exercises taken up by the central government, many state governments yielded under popular pressure and prepared draft legislations on the right to information. A number of states introduced their own transparency legislations before the Freedom of Information Bill was finally introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 25, 2000. i) Goa: One of the earliest and most progressive legislations, it had the fewest categories of exceptions, provision for urgent processing of requests pertaining to life and liberty, and a penalty clause. It also applied to private bodies executing government works. One weakness was that it had no provision for pro-active disclosure by government. ii) Tamil Nadu: The legislation stipulated that authorities must part with information within 30 days of it being sought. Following this legislation, all public distribution system (PDS) shops in the state were asked to display details of stocks available. All government departments also brought out citizens charters listing information on what the public was entitled to know and get. iii) Karnataka: The right to information legislation contained standard exception clauses covering 12 categories of information. It had limited provisions for pro-active disclosure, contained a penalty clause, and provided for an appeal to an independent tribunal. iv) Delhi: This law was along the lines of the Goa Act, containing standard exceptions and providing for an appeal to an independent body, as well as the establishment of an advisory body, the State Council for Right to Information. Residents of the capital can seek any type of information -- with some exceptions -- from the civic body, after paying a nominal fee. It was also clearly stated that if the information was found to be false, or had been deliberately tampered with, the official could face a penalty of Rs 1,000 per application. v) Rajasthan: After five years of dithering, the Right to Information Act was passed in 2000. The movement was initiated at the grassroots level. Village-based public hearings, jan sunwais, organised by the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), gave space and opportunity to the rural poor to articulate their priorities and suggest changes. The four formal demands that emerged from these jan sunwais were: i) Transparency of panchayat functioning; ii) accountability of officials; iii) social audit; and iv) redressal of grievances. The Bill when it was eventually passed, however, placed at least 19 restrictions on the right of access to information. Besides having weak penalty provisions, it gave too much discretionary power to bureaucrats. Despite this, the right to information movement thrived at the grassroots level in Rajasthan, following systematic campaigns waged by concerned groups and growing awareness about the people‘s role in participatory governance. It was the jan sunwais that exposed the corruption in several panchayats and also campaigned extensively for the right to food after the revelation of hunger and starvation-related deaths in drought-ravaged districts. vi) Maharashtra: The Maharashtra assembly passed the Maharashtra Right to Information (RTI) Bill in 2002, following sustained pressure from social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. The Maharashtra legislation was the most progressive of its kind. The Act brought not only government and semi-government bodies within its purview but also state public sector units, cooperatives, registered societies (including educational institutions) and public trusts. Public information officers who failed to perform their duties could be fined up to Rs 250 for each day‘s delay in furnishing information. Where an information officer had wilfully provided incorrect and misleading information, or information that was incomplete, the appellate authority hearing the matter could impose a fine of up to Rs 2,000. The information officer concerned could also be subject to internal disciplinary action. The Act even provided for the setting up of a council to monitor the workings of the Act. The council comprised senior members of government, members of the press, and representatives of NGOs. They were expected to review the functioning of the Act at least once every six months. ..It needs to be noted that not only is the Right to Information Act, 2005 a landmark legislation in the Indian context, it also places India among a group of some of the more evolved democracies of the world, to have enacted such a law in an effort towards deepening democracy. It also needs to be noted that the RTI Act is in keeping with the provisions of some of the path-breaking international covenants. However, progress on the part of public authorities towards effective implementation of the Act in right earnest, and the Act‘s large scale acceptance and use by the people, as an instrument for pressing transparency and accountability of public bodies or officials – will be the true indicator of the success of the Act. In order for the Act to achieve its objectives, all the stakeholders concerned with implementation of the Act – both from supply and demand sides – will have to work in partnership and in a mission mode.
  2. To strengthen the security situation in 10 naxal-affected States, the Centre has given approval for setting up of 400 police stations and posts, an RTI query has found. According to information received from the Left-Wing Extremism Division of Union Home Ministry, the government is building 400 fortified police stations in 10 States, each of which will be allocated Rs. 2 crore each. Among the States identified under the plan are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The Centre would bear 80 per cent of the cost of construction, while the state, the remaining 20 per cent. Read at: 400 police stations to be built in naxal-affected states - The Hindu
  3. Nine rice-producing States, some of which had been requesting revision of milling charges in favour of millers, did not provide the requisite data to the Department of Food & Public Distribution to facilitate feasibility study despite repeated reminders, according to an RTI reply. Read at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/data-on-millers-profits-not-given-by-states/article7041512.ece
  4. Respected sir, First Applelate authority states that information can not be given due to old record about 30 years. The information i asked will reveal how the department issue forged TC.The same issue wsa also raised by rajasthan patrika, I made second appeal with Rajasthan information commission . request please guide me or give some jugement referance so that i can make my ground strong during 2 appeal hearing. I also sent newspapaer cutting along with 2 appeal to Rajasthan information commission.
  5. Hello, Can someone have two gas connections with same name but different address (two states). Is it legal ? Kindly respond M
  6. As per the media news ,Hyderabad , ANDHRA BANK STAFF HAVE STAGED DHARNA IN FRONT OF SEVERAL LOAN DEFAULTERS REQUESTING THEM TO CLEAR THEIR DUES AS THE BANK IS INCURRING LOSSES. This is a novel method of forcing the defaulters to pay their dues unlike private banks who send recovery agents with muscles to threaten, if this method works all other nationalised banks can adopt this to recover more than one lakh crores which are the dues mostly from the influential persons who have taken loans in the name of business and starting industries and mostly avoid payments since they know the property which they have shown as surity will be worthless and even if the bank uses Securitisation act nothing will happen to them. let us hope the public money will be recovered from the defaulters.
  7. Hi All, I have a query and would require your guidance for the same. Is RTI Act applicable on all the states and Goverment offices in the same manner. Ex:- I have asked certain information from Mumbai Municipal corporation , kolkata municipal corporation and Delhi municipal corporation. Mumbai municipal corporation provided me the desired information after paying the fees asked by them however the same information was denied by the other two. Now first query is that are they allowed to deny me information when one municipal corporation has already furnished the desired information. Secondly does it make my case stronger during first appeal as I have recieved information from one municipal corporation but denied by other two.
  8. Hi, I want to bring my Tamilnadu registered vehicle to Andhrapradesh and drive it for a year or two. After one or two years i will go back to Tamilnadu. So i dont want to change my current Tamilnadu registration. Can you tell me what should i do to drive my bike in AP with out any legal issues?
  9. sagitta

    Sikkim

    Hi.. I am sagitta from Sikkim. Being close to WB, we need to deal with WB Govt. machinaries pretty frequently. I read lot of sites. Some were discouraging but some did give-out hope. I have presently some problem. I do hope that would be sorted out. Meanwhile I would be grateful to know how RTI matter between two states work, I mean to say I am from Sikkim and I need information from the WB Govt. offices, who then would be "appallate authority", the one who sits in Sikkim or the one who is in WB ?
  10. States yet to set up panel for GM crops NEW DELHI: Field trials for the genetically modified (GM) varieties of eight major food crops, including rice, potato, mustard and tomato, are in the pipeline but guess how prepared India is to handle threat of contamination: 18 years after the Centre asked each state to set up a state biotechnology coordination committee (SBCC) to monitor GM crops, several key states are yet to do so. Worse, among the defaulters are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu which are the hotspots for trials of new GM crops. This information has come out of documents revealed through several RTI applications. The SBCCs are empowered under the Environment Protection Act to monitor and inspect GM crop trials and can take punitive action in case of any violation. Besides, in view of possible threat of contamination of regular crops from GM crop trials and issues about safe storage, these committees are also responsible for reviewing safety and control measures in the industries and institutions handling genetically engineered organisms. In the absence of any other legal mechanism, these committees are the only monitors in what essentially becomes a state issue once the Union government approves the trials. Among the defaulters, while some states have admitted they failed to create such committees, Kerala is unsure. While the Kerala directorate of agriculture claims the body has been set up, the science and technology department says no such body has been constituted. The situation seems to be no better in states that can at least on paper claim to have the committees. West Bengal constituted the SBCC only two months back, spurred by the controversy over some GM field trials in the state. In Punjab, the SBCC met for the first time only in 2005. All these documents have been included in a petition filed before the Supreme Court as evidence of laxity in the regulations governing GM regulation in the country. The petition has demanded that the government ensure all mandatory state-level bodies and procedures for monitoring are in place before the commencement of any field trial. It has also called for permission from the state authorities concerned. States yet to set up panel for GM crops -India-The Times of India
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