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  1. rtiindia

    RTI for Pension Benefits

    [caption id=attachment_102" align="alignright" width="186] How to get Pension benefit by using RTI[/caption] In one of the finest use of the Right to Information Act, on 08.06.2011 son came to know that his father who died in the year 2004, was already terminated from job 25 years earlier. It is surprising that the Father who was suspended in the year 1979, didn't knew for next 25 years that he was already terminated by his employer without informing him. When the Father died the son asked for releasing the retiral dues of their father in the form of Gratuity, suspension allowance and CPF. The said representation was decided by means of order dated 11.4.2012 and it was said that the son were not entitled for leave encashment, Gratuity and CPF. If the order would have been communicated to the father of the petitioners, then the same would have been put to challenge by him during that time itself. The court stated that "It appears that the said order was never supplied to the father of the petitioners and in absence of which, the same could not be challenged. The impugned order, which has been supplied to the petitioners under the Right to Information Act, also does not indicate that this order is an original order, which was passed against the father of the petitioners. The said order is in the form of information and in absence of any original order on record, it has to be presumed that principles of natural justice were violated and they were not followed and the termination order was passed against the father of the petitioners." RTI for Pension Benefits The Court stated that "On the face of it, the record reveals that service of the father of the petitioners were terminated in utter defiance of the principles of natural justice. The termination order, therefore, is illegal and cannot be sustained in law." The Court decided in favor of son and ordered release of Pension Benefit and in absence of any documents with the opposite parties, who are custodian of the record, an adverse inference was drawn against them too. The court therefore decided that "Writ petition is accordingly allowed and the orders dated 8.6.2011 and 31.12.1981 are hereby quashed. Opposite parties are directed to release the suspension allowance of the father of the petitioner up till 31.12.1981 and after 31.12.1981 the petitioner would be entitled to 25% of the back wages upto 1998, i,e, the date of retirement of the father of the petitioner." Had the RTI Act not into place, do you think son would have ever got to know that his Expired Father was removed from service without holding any enquiry or informing him that he has been removed? The order for 'RTI for Pension' can be downloaded from our main Portal rtiindia.org from here! If you want to use RTI for Pension benefit, please post your query here in our discussion forum. You can also read the discussion thread here about Family Pension and how to write RTI for Pension Benefits.
  2. Dear All Latest success stories in the field of RTI are invited from general public & Civil Society Organization located in the Himachal Pradesh to be presented at regional workshop on 30th November 2013 by DOP&T. 5 Best Success Stories will be awarded rs 5000/- each Interested citizens or NGO can post the briefs of their stories here and subsequently selected stories will be considered for the presentation & will be sent the invitation for the same.
  3. [caption id=attachment_110" align="alignright" width="300] RTI and Leaks[/caption] Before the enactment of Right to Information Act, there used to be times when obtaining information from Government would be an act of bravery or reserved to privilege few like Media. There are provisions in the Government Act, regulations and directions which ensures that most of the Government work was and is performed in secrecy and confidentiality. Each an every communication made by any Government official outside was considered to be 'Misconduct'. Rule 11 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 lays down that a Government servant may not communicate directly to other Government servant or to non-official persons or to press any documents or information which may have come into his possession in the course of his public duties. Retention of such documents or information by a Government servant in his personal custody for use in furtherance of his personal interest, e.g. in making representation to the authorities concerned is not only objectionable but also constitutes an offence under Section 5 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923. A person contravening the provisions of the above Act renders himself liable to prosecution. Contravention of the provisions of the Act and of the Conduct Rules can also be dealt with departmentally under the relevant Discipline Rules, and may well justify the imposition of a suitable penalty with reference to the fact and circumstances of each case. [MHA OM No. 24/54/58-Ests., dated the 12th April, 1954] The Official Secret Act is very clear as to what information is classified and how to deal with them. However, most of the Ministries either shall make a file classified by virtue of official norms or shall treat them virtually confidential otherwise. Thus, an information of Government outside Government was treated as 'Leaked'. We shall read newspapers with profound amusement and enthusiasm reading such information. The Medial would and still continues to draw statistical interpretations for our enlightenment on information of Government. But things changed with the enactment of Right to Information Act 2005 and in this subject DoPT states that: "Every Government servant shall, in performance of his duties in good faith, communicate information to a person in accordance with the Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005) and the rules made thereunder." The ccs conduct rules 1964 available over the DoPT website however continues after the above statement as follows: "Provided that no Government servant shall, except in accordance with any general or special order of the Government or in performance in good faith of the duties assigned to him, communicate, directly or indirectly, any official document or any part thereof or classified information to any Government servant or any other person to whom he is not authorised to communicate such document or classified information." From the above it is clear that on one hand there still hold the sword of Misconduct on giving information by Government Servant, there is a ray of hope by way of Right to Information Act. Recently there was again allegation over Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of leak of information to Press. Denying the allegations that the CAG draft report was leaked, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Shri. Vinod Rai has said that he has already cleared his stand to the PM and Lok Sabha speaker. Shri. Rai, who was in Jaipur on Saturday said the allegations that draft report was leaked. “CAG comes under Right to Information (RTI) Act. If someone wants information under RTI, we cannot deny him. Draft report was also given officially under RTI,” said Rai who had come to the city for the launch of International Centre for Environment Audit & Sustainable Development (ICED), the training and research facility of CAG. Thus the era of 'Leaks' is getting over with enactment of Right to Information Act. Do you think the media will loose the punch as more and more common citizen draws information and statistics from information obtained from Government by using Right to Information Act even before it is published?
  4. Content copied from an article here: Paper power | Society | Times Crest Paper power by Rukmini Shrinivasan | April 13, 2013 For common people, especially slum dwellers, RTI applications have become a means to access basic government services. One morning recently, Vikas Kumar, 20, stood in the courtyard of the sub-divisional magistrate's office in Mehrauli in the shade of the Qutub Minar with his paper arsenal. Originals and photocopies, attested and stamped, Vikas was armed with the inch-thick paper trail that he has accumulated in his year-and-a-half-long battle to wrest from the Delhi government a certificate that would acknowledge that he was the backward caste he said he was. On the top of the stack was a response to a Right To Information (RTI) application he filed one year ago, an application for information he already had, yet suddenly, all important. As the citizens of India get on with their daily wrestling match with the bureaucracy to get services they are legally entitled to, the 2005 Right To Information Act has emerged as an important weapon, despite the fact that information is not strictly what they need. The relatively well-functioning Act has provided citizens their first and often only chance to generate a paper trail that they can use in future entreaties or, for the more empowered, in legal action. "We are finding that the bulk of RTI applications that common people, especially in slum areas, file are simply ways to get in writing the fact that they have not yet received the service they applied months or years ago for, " says Anjali Bhardwaj, director of the Delhi-based Satark Nagarik Sangathan. The actual problem of a person walking in to the SNS office on a recent morning might be that she hasn't received her BPL card, is not getting the ration she is entitled to, has not been receiving her water bill or has applied for an income certificate and not yet received it. In addition to helping her approach the right authority, she is also told to put in an RTI application. "Pehle aap ek RTI daalo (First you should put an RTI), " is the most common advice that consumer forums and NGOs now give to citizens who come seeking help in accessing services. Former Central Information Commissioner and the indefatigable Mumbai-based RTI activist, Shailesh Gandhi, says that the penalty provision of the RTI Act has allowed the citizen to entertain a "reasonable expectation of a response in a situation where he or she cannot reasonably expect a reply from the government on anything else. " Added to that is the RTI's robust appellate mechanism. The paper trail that the RTI generates is as important to the citizen as it is to the government servant. "If you go in person, the official can just dismiss you by saying 'Application nahin aaya (the application has not come), ' says Gandhi, "but he'd be scared of putting it in writing that he hasn't done anything. " This fear of admitting one's inaction in writing is possibly driving a remarkable phenomenon observed by consumer activists and scholars: the immediate impact of the receipt of an RTI Act on service delivery. Public finance watchdog Moneylife recently reported the case of a Pune resident whose passport police clearance was instantly processed when he tried to submit an RTI application on the reasons for the delay. In 2010, Leonid V Peisakhin and Paul Pinto, both PhD candidates at Yale University's department of political science, conducted a field experiment in a Delhi slum that scientifically established this ability of the RTI Act to prod officials into action. The subjects, all of whom were poor slumdwellers, did not have a ration card but wanted to apply for one. They were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups. The first applied for the ration card and then did nothing more about it, the second attached a letter of recommendation from an NGO to their ration card application, the third paid a bribe after putting in their application, and the fourth enquired about the status of their ration card application through a RTI request shortly after the initial application. Peisakhin and Pinto found that the group that paid a bribe was by far the most successful, in that its application was processed faster. But interestingly, the group that put in an RTI request was almost as successful. Hardly anyone in the other two groups received their ration card during the eleven-month duration of the study. None of this means that the RTI Act is functioning impeccably. The RTI response to Vikas Kumar's application came late and was hand-written on a plain white sheet of paper, with no stamp, seal or letterhead of the SDM's office. The reply is sketchy at best;it answers some of Kumar's questions but chooses not to answer others, it answers with a yes/ no questions that included a request for a document. The RTI response does not mention, as it is required to, the name of the first appellate authority. Yet in Vikas' neatly flattened suitings-shirtings plastic bag, the RTI response occupies pride of place.
  5. drsushilkumar

    RTI is ROTI

    Success stories of File Notings (A FEW AMONG THE MILLIONS) Ø Wing Commander Dr Sushil Kumar had joined ICHR in July 1997. He was sidelined as he was espousing transparency in the distribution of research funds. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had observed in an Order dated 10 May 2002 passed by Hon’ble Justice Mr. Sanjay Kishan Kaul, after many hearings that there appeared to be a collusion between certain officers of the ICHR and of the Ministry of HRD against Kumar. o He was then placed under suspension by the Honorary Chairman on charges of exposing official secrets by writing to the CVC, CAG amongst others about the corruption within ICHR. The person, who had been incited to challenge Kumar’s appointment in Court, withdrew the case after probably realising the overall conspiracy where he had been merely used against an honest person. o The file notings now obtained by whistle blower Dr Sushil Kumar, exposes that the Honorary Chairman who had suspended him in 2003 had acted beyond his jurisdiction. Also the official (dealing officer of the Director rank in the Department of Secondary and Higher Education in the Min of HRD) who gave his honest and unbiased opinion that the “suspension was illegal and hence be revoked”, was subsequently shunted out. o As Dr Kumar put it, “I came to know this after three years plus. Only with file notings under RTI. RTI sans File Notings could snatch my RoTI(bread).” Independence Day Action Alert – Email and Fax Embassies and Ambassador! Right2Information
  6. It was a shocking revealation by few of the security staff members of USPIN, Khurda, Odisha that the minimum declared wage by Govt. of Odisha as per the order published as a Gazzette notification was ignored and the staffs were NOT provided with the minimum wage. After 2 RTI application with the Liquidator and the MD, SPINFED, Bhubaneswar Odisha, the dreams of getting the minimum wage as declared by Govt. of Odisha were fulfilled. They are very happy to see the result come within a time of 2-3 months which was hardly possible but for RTI. The RTIs were filed by me and the Labour officer of the district sprung into action to put a showcause notice on the door of the USPIN and SPINFED, Odisha. Long Live RTI !!
  7. Vannakkam Members As requested by Mr. Karira the success story is narrated hereunder: In Tamilnadu, Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation area Ward No: 53, one miscreant encroached corporation common lane area and the neighbour's area and constructed a over bridge from North side house to South side house owned by the miscreant and his wife. This was done in the year 2007. This illegal acts was informed to the Municipal Corporation Authorities through complaint petitions by the neighbour and the common public. There existed Laxity and Lack of Alertness on the part of the Municipal Corporation Planning Department Officials, since they were purchased by the miscrant. The neighbour who was affected approached me ( I am an Advocate) seeking my opinion and to file a suit in the appropriate Court. I have gone through the facts and events happened, and thoroughly gone through the complaints already lodged before the Municipal Corporation Authorities, and observed the inactiveness on the part of the Authorities concerned. It is a naked truth that the Judicial process is a lengthiest and expensive one, and hence I adviced my client to send an application U/s 6(1) RTI Act, 2005, seeking information about the date of approval of the buildings plans sanction for the houses constructed by the said miscreant and his wife. In the same application my client had sought information about the status of each Town Survey Number (as per Corporation Records) adjacent to the newly constructed buildings and the measurement of each number and ownership details along with certified copies. The Application under RTI Act, 2005, was sent in the month of November, 2008.to the PIO of the Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation. The PIO had failed to send the reply even after 50 days, and hence I advised my client to file first appial under RTI Act, 2005, Section 19(1). The appeal was filed before the appellate authority in the Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation (The Commissioner, Tirunelveli Municipal Corporation), in the last week of December 2008. The Corporation Officials were alerted and made to a fix to see the back files and to inspect the building sites. The Officials one by one visited to the sites in the month of January, 2009 and inspected and issued notice to the miscreants to remove the unauthorised construction by encroaching the corporation area, and the naighbour owned by my client. The miscreants are removing the unauthorised constructed area stage by stage and forced to clear the encroached area. This is a great success to a law abiding citizen of India through RTI Act with less expense. Balu A.
  8. hi every body, i am Dr. kamal, living in punjab , i m graduated from foreign medical university, i passed the screening test from india , and registred here in mci, but for getting job , i need my pass marks in that exam, but mci give certificate only if we pass or fail. the creteria for calculating pass marks in job recruitments is also given by mci, but still they dont provide us the marks, its frustrating, i have sent 3 reminders to them , they have replied only once that its in process, its already 9 months .what to do? hope u guys have understood my problem. and i have one question that can i make a RTI from my own city against MCI, or i have to go there.plz advice me. thanks
  9. We did it!! with the help of RTI, we have been able to get the photocopies of the entire documentation exchanged between our builder and the BMC. Till now we felt at the mercy of the builder and BMC ofcourse was a law unto itself - not now. we feel so much more empowered. Earlier applications for the same documents to the BMC in the past years drew a blank, but on the 2nd of April, exactly 2 mths to the date of application under RTI, 2005, we got what we wanted. May the Act live well and long into the future of our country. And all of you too!
  10. Meena Hariharan

    Refund of IT

    I have sent a postal order to accounts office Mumbai on 19th Feb and am awaiting to hear from Mumbai office. The refund is for the assessing year 2003 -2004 I request for information on the following points:, Why has my refund amount of Rs. 2205/- still not been processed, What is it that I need to do to ensure that the refund amount is sent to my address ,Bangaloreat the earliest?,Who is the person I need to contact to get the refund processed?, When will the refund amount of Rs. 2205/- be sent to my address in Bangalore?' Meena
  11. Hi, I am a member of a Co.op.Housing Soceity in Mumbai. majority members of our society decided to go for redevelopment of the existing buildings. But under influence of the Builder / Redeveloper contractor,the Managing Comittee of the Society misguided members and obtained certain undertakings on Rs.100/- Non-Judicial Stamp Papers. To do so, the Managing Comittee had promised and undertaken that this Indemnity bond will remain with the society only and in no case the same will be parted to any one, particularly, in no case the same will be given to the builder / redeveloper. Accordingly, in good faith all members executed such indemnity bond. The Society and the builder / redeveloper entered into an agreement and registered with The Sub. Registrar, Bandra, Mumbai. I came to knew from some of managing comittee members that, the builder has managed to enclose indemnitay bond executed by all members as an intergal part of redeverlopment contract. More ever, the redeveloper managed to get the thesame counter signed by the Secretery, the Chairman, treasurer and other two managing comittee members. Because of this, now non of the society members can file any kind of case against the redeveloper!! When I question the Secretery on the subject, he gave false reply ! I asked in writting the society to provide copy of redevelopment agreement signed and registered, but for more than two months, the society did not replied. I applied to the Sub.Registrar, Bandra, Mumbai and withing 4 daays, i received complete set of all 45 pages agreement registred there ! Its seems like a mirecle, thanks to the R.T.I. I wish that, who so ever read this, should know the availibility of such Act now existing and can be used.
  12. Posted by JEEVA in the Chennai Edition of The New Indian Express(Feb.28,2008) R L Saravanan (37), a resident of Pattabiram, is an RTI activist in the real sense of the word. An advocate at the Madras High Court, he has filed around 250 applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act in various departments over the last nine months to spur officials into action. On an average, Saravanan filed at least one RTI application a day for both professional and social causes. His first RTI application was made for a ‘process report’ to the office of the tahsildar at Poonamallee to get a patta for his client since some of the employees had demanded a bribe to do so. The application made the officials panic and they issued the patta the same day. “I realised the power of the law only then. Now, submitting applications under the RTI Act has become a part of my routine. I used the law for several purposes like getting ration cards, passports, FIR copies and field maps,” Saravanan said. In fact, the lawyer discovered the illegal sale of land belonging to a client carried out 13 years ago. His RTI application for a copy of the sale document with the Revenue Department helped deliver justice for his client. Another case involved officials of the Revenue Department who demanded a bribe of Rs 3,000 to provide a copy of the field map of a plot of land. However, his RTI application set things right when officials personally handed over the map the next day. As a member of Thandurai-Pattabiram Consumer Council, Saravanan also filed many applications under the RTI Act with the municipalities of Ambattur and Avadi, inspected road works and examined official documents. “It takes me only half an hour every day and a court fee of Rs 10 for every application. We need not even do it in person since we can send the applications by post,” the lawyer pointed out. Though the RTI Act is primarily meant to obtain information from the government, the applications can help get some work done, in most cases. Since officials usually give vague replies, one must take utmost care while forming the questionnaire, he noted. “Almost 80 per cent of my RTI applications have been successful without filing an appeal,” Saravanan said. In fact, his familiarity with the RTI Act has turned this activist into a consultant since several people approach him for guidance on how to file such applications. However, his RTI activism has also made Saravanan vulnerable to threats from a range of officials, starting from councillors to MLAS and MPs to withdraw his applications. ====== ( Incidentally, Shri Saravanan, is also an active member of our portal)
  13. Ralph Frammolino

    Introduce myself and a query

    Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ralph Frammolino and I'm a visiting professor of print journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore. I was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times for more than 26 years before coming to teach in India--the hottest journalism market in the world. I have been deeply impressed by the way Indian citizens, advocacy groups and journalists have seized on the RTI to expose governmental corruption, waste and fraud. As a result, I am currently gathering information for an article I'd like to write for a highly respected American publication (the editors had expressed a strong interest). I am looking for some notable RTI success stories to include in the article, and hope other members of retiIndia.org will share their results, large or small, with me. Even if you are being frustrated by the bureaucracy, or have insights about the short-comings of the law, that would be usefull information. Thanks.
  14. 5 women receive pension by simply attempting to file RTI's Ramkaran works with NGO in Tilona. He assisted 5 women in attempting to submit their Right to Information applications. The applications asked for information on their pending cases of old age pensions. As soon as 5 applications presented to the SDM, he directed the concerned officer to bring the filed related to five women to his office. The concerned officer stated that the applications were pending that the women had not submitted their birth certificates. The SDM instructed the officer to release their pensions & verify the birth dates from the patwari. the women was immediately given pension for the last 4 months. This entire incident took place without SDM accepting the RTI application. --> source:TVchannel:Kannada.
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