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  1. I want to know can another organisation ask for information from another organisation? Can the Railway department ask for information from the bank, about the pension payment details made by them?
  2. September 07, 2007 15:45 IST [Rediff.com] The Central Information Commission has ruled that SBI Cards -- a joint venture between state-owned SBI and General Electric -- is a public authority, allowing customers to seek any information about the entity under the Right to Information Act. Disposing of separate applications by SBI Cards customers Arun Kumar Verma and Dileep Ayachit, CIC has directed the SBI to take a decision on setting up a proper information redressal mechanism within 15 days. The CIC has given SBI the option to either designate its own officers for providing information about SBI Cards or set up a separate mechanism within the subsidiary to provide information under the provisions of the RTI Act. "...SBI, being a public authority, should ensure that some agency is available to answer the citizens when they seek information about their own cards. It can not wash off its responsibility after having allowed SBI Cards to use its brand name and logo," Information Commissioner Padma Balasubramanian said in his decision. The card holders filed the application with CIC after SBI and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) turned down their request for information on the ground that SBI Cards was not a "public authority" within the meaning of the RTI Act. The CIC ruled that SBI Cards was a public authority as SBI owns more than 51 per cent shares in the JV. State Bank of India cards under RTI net http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_01092007_01.pdf
  3. Chandigarh, April 1: In a recent judgement, the office of the State Information Commission, Punjab (SICP) has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Public Information Officer (PIO) on his failure to provide information to the complainant within the stipulated period of 30 days under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The two-member Bench of State Information Commissioners P.P.S. Gill and R.K. Gupta has taken serious cognisance of the fact that despite orders from the Commission, the required information was not supplied within the prescribed time period. Gurdial Singh, Finance Secretary, Pensioners, Ludhiana, had sought information from the PIO, Director of Employment, Punjab, regarding some recruitments since 2004, but even after over two months, Prem Singh, Under Secretary, PIO, along with Harbans Sharma, Employment Officer, and Harjit Singh, Senior Assistant, failed to provide the information. Even when Gurdial Singh approached the Commission in December, the PIO failed to comply. On March 16, the respondent, on behalf of the PIO, told the Commission that the information has been dispatched by them on March 12. However, the complainant denied having received any information and nor could the respondent produce any documentary proof. The Commission not only imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the PIO, but also ordered that compensation be paid to Gurdial Singh for harassment. Since he had to come from Ludhiana to attend five hearings, the respondent department has been ordered to pay Rs 500, along with Rs 500 as diet charges, for five days to Gurdial Singh. A spokesman of the Commission said this is first time in the country that a commission of any state has provided harassment and diet charges. Complainant gets compensation under RTI Act
  4. File notings under RTI after debate with section of society: Wajahat Habibullah Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said if the government decides to bring the bill to keep file notings outside the purview of the Right To Information (RTI) Act in the winter session, it will only be after debate with all sections of the society. "The civil society and the government are the decision makers on the Act. The Central Information Commission job is only to implement the Act, ' Habibullah said speaking at an interactive session on Right to Information Amendment Bill, 2006 organised by the NGO CUTS International. He said that all government departments have been directed to make a comprehensive compliance report of Section 4 of the Act dealing with maintaining data and information catalogue of information related to the department and submit it to CIC. The report will be submitted to the Parliament in the forthcoming winter session. Arvind Kejriwal, CEO of Parivartan and 2006 Magsaysay Award winner, said that the amendments do not pertain to file notings only as has been projected in the media. "If the amendments come through, the government will be able to keep the entire country out of the decision-making process. This is because the amendments provide that the departments will not give information on any issue till such time the matter is completed," Kejriwal said. Another important lacuna, he said, was that even after the decision was made, the entire information would not be provided and only file notings related to social and development work will be available. "So, if a citizen wants to know the status of his ration card or passport he would not get any information because this did not pertain to any social or developmental work," Kejriwal said. Also, all matters related to personnel will be out of the purview of RTI. Any information related to examinations process will also not be shown, he said. Pradeep S Mehta, secretary general of CUTS International, urged CIC to take up the role of advocacy given the extremely low public awareness on the usage of the act. [sourse: Business Standerd Aricle published dated 15th Sept 2006]
  5. There are several projects prepared by research institute and several research results recorded in such institutes which are normally supplied with a price. Can I apply for that information under RTI?
  6. I wanted to know are there any exception by which any organizations are exempt from disclosure under RTI Act?
  7. Wednesday April 11 2007 00:00 IST KANNUR: The letters written by leaders of various political parties, extending support to Manmohan Singh for the formation of a government at the Centre, have become a matter of controversy with the refusal of the President’s Secretariat to issue photocopies of these letters under the Right to Information Act. Various political parties including the Karunanidhi-led DMK, CPM, CPI, RJD and other allies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had handed over letters extending support to Manmohan Singh to the President before the formation of the Union Government. The reason cited for refusing to issue the copies of the letters by Nitin Wakankar, Central Public Information Officer, Rashtrapathi Bhavan, is that these letters were given under a ‘‘fiduciary relationship’’ between the authors of the letter and the President and that this came under Section 8(e) of the RTI Act. The argument of the Central Public Information Officer of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is now being challenged by the Thalassery-based People’s Council for Civil Rights headed by T Asafali through an appeal petition filed with the Internal Financial Adiviser and Appellate Authority under the RTI Act at the President’s Secretariat. Asafali’s request seeking photocopies of the letters written by the leaders of the UPA allies had earlier been rejected by the Central Public Information Officer. In his appeal petition filed with Rasika Chaube, Appellate authority under the RTI Act at the President’s Secretariat, Asafali has contented that ‘‘there is no question of existence of a fiduciary relationship’’ between President of India and the leaders of the parliamentary parties. ‘‘Since some of the coalition partners who offered support to Manmohan Singh for forming government at the Centre are now speaking against it as if there is a change of circumstance, people are entitled to know the contents of the letters,’’ argues Asafali in his appeal petition. The Appellate authority at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is yet to respond to the appeal petition filed by Asafali. Welcome to Newindpress.com
  8. NAGPUR: A farmer was allegedly beaten up by the sub-divisional agriculture department officials on Monday evening in Yavatmal district. The farmer had reportedly gone to the department office to seek details about the prime minister's relief package. Sandesh Rathod of Gawli Heti village (Yavatmal), wanted to know whether electrical agriculture pumps were included in the PM's package or not. Rathod also claimed that despite there being a provision for agriculture pumps in the PM’s package, the farmers were yet to get Rs 5,000 as subsidy to install the same on their farms. The farmer got into an argument with an employee for not providing details of the scheme. Later, he was allegedly beaten up by officials. The police have registered an FIR. Farmer bashed up for seeking info under RTI-RTI-The Times of India
  9. Practise Filing One Application in Month under RTI Mangalore, Nov 5: �For the betterment of your own, make a practice of filing at least one application in a month under the Right To Information (RTI) Act,� said renowned RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi. He was addressing the Citizens at Lions Seva Mandir here on Saturday November 3. He further said that by filing the application one can shake the government. The entire administrative machinery can be reformed in three years, if 25 to 30 lac people, out of 100 crore population, file the application seeking information under the RTI Act, he informed. In order to make effective use of the most powerful weapon, it is necessary that all should have a strong will in the form of the RTI Act, he added. After a long, continued struggle the Act came into existence, said Gandhi. It was also an ideal democratic tool to realize the dream of Sampurna Swaraj, he added. All these year the biggest democracy remained a participatory democracy and not functional democracy. So today with the RTI act in hand, we can make it function for the betterment of the country, he added. RTI Act will help in getting rid of the habit of blaming the system and will give the strength to shake the system, he said. D A I J I W O R L D
  10. Hello, My question is: Should the application for information be confined to the administrative matters of the public authorities only or can citizens ask for matters in which his own personal rights or individual crimes involved?
  11. Hi, Can Municipal Committee covered under RTI Act. I live in Bahadurgarh,can I ask question under RTI Act to Municipal Committee.
  12. Application under RTI caught in blame game CHENNAI: An application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act questioning the non-implementation of the directive from the Madras High Court is caught up in a blame game amid the Revenue department, the Tiruvallur District Collectorate and the Avadi Municipality. Vamshi S Dixit, an advocate, had submitted an application to the Revenue Secretary and the Tiruvallur District Collector in September, 2007, asking for reasons to account for the non-removal of 137 encroachments on six acres of poromboke land (along the MTH Road) near Pattabiram railway station, despite a directive issued by the High Court to do so eight months ago. The Revenue department first forwarded the application to the Collectorate which, in turn, sent it to the Poonamallee tahsildar, who forwarded it to the Avadi Municipality. The civic body, on its part, sent it back to the tashildar saying that the removal of encroachments was the duty of the Revenue department. Since he could not get a reply for his queries within the legally stipulated time of 30 days, the RTI applicant had filed his appeal petitions both before the District Collector and the Revenue Secretary a few weeks ago. However, he did not get a reply from them either. “If we cannot get any response for the appeals also within the prescribed time limit, we have no other option except to move the State Information Commission,” said R L Saravanan, a resident and a lawyer in Pattabiram. It may be recalled that for over two decades, the residents in the area had been demanding that a bus terminus be constructed on the said piece of land for which Sriperumbudur MP A Krishnasamy had also allotted Rs 20 lakh from his area development fund. Many residents in the area were furious with the official callousness. “We never expected the authorities to show such scant regard for a High Court directive, in addition to violating the terms of the Right To Information (RTI) Act,” said T Sadagopan, local resident and office bearer of the Thandurai-Pattabiram Consumer Centre. Application under RTI caught in blame game - Newindpress.com&
  13. vashisthvivek

    Rules framed under the RTI Act

    Dear members, The Himachal Pradesh Government have framed rules under the RTI Act, 2005. Rule 3 of these rules provides that separate applications shall be made in respect of each subject and in respect of each year to which the information relates. It means that if someone has to obtain information on a issue, which may extend to more than a year, then he has to file separate application for each year, even if the subject matter is the same and the Public Authority is same. Secondly if the person does not know exact year of the information and has only knowledge that the information relates to the last decade, then he has to file ten applications annexing application fee for each year. I am of the view that this rule is against the spirit of the RTI Act, which imposes an obligation on the PA to disseminate the maximum information suo-motu at regular intervals, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of the Act (S.4(2)). I request the members to offer their useful suggestions as to how these rules can be agitated?
  14. Tamil Nadu, which has been promoting special economic zones (SEZs) since the 1950s, has switched to damage-control mode after allegations of farmland acquisition through unlawful and devious means. The state's Information Commission has pulled up the industries department for denying information under the Right to Information Act 2005 about land acquisition for industry. This was followed by media reports in Nakeeran magazine about land scams. Soon after, the DMK government removed its powerful industry secretary Shaktikanta Das from his post. It also transferred other top officials, including Hans Raj Verma, chairman of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, who have been accused of involvement in the scam. The state then went public with a new industrial policy, announcing plans to build a land bank of 10,000 acres. In its new policy, the state government said that 10 percent of the area in new industrial parks promoted by the State Industries Promotion Corp of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp (TIDCO) would be set apart for social infrastructure. But accusations still continue to fly thick and fast. DMK ally PMK has criticised the government's land use guidelines in the new policy. PMK leader S. Ramadoss said: 'Overall, the (industrial) policy appears to favour MNCs and large industries, with a bias towards land-based industrial parks and SEZ development suited to highly skilled workers and not aimed at gainful employment and dignified livelihood for Tamil Nadu's vast less-skilled workforce.' For the past year or so, Corporate Accountability Desk (CAD)- The Other Media, an NGO, has been researching the status of SEZs in the state. It has accused the state government of persistently following a policy of turning rich farmland into fallow land, so that it could be handed over to industry. It cited examples in Kancheepuram district of how land near waterways was acquired in the higher reaches and the flow blocked off so that land downstream became fallow. The revenue department then stopped collecting taxes from the target agricultural land to prove it was uncultivable. The NGO also said that in Oragadam, on Chennai's western outskirts, and in Cuddalore, new land registration by people was discouraged from the 1990s. 'As a result, people had to sell their land only to the government, which bought and thus acquired huge tracts for SEZs here at very low costs,' the NGO stated. 'Village officers across the state are playing brokers,' alleged Madhumita Dutta, coordinator, CAD. The government has told the CAD that 55 SEZs have been approved in Tamil Nadu, holding 32,235 acres of land. Besides, proposals are pending for another 13 SEZs. But Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has denied allegations that farmland is being acquired for SEZs. He informed the state assembly that only 345 acres out of the 10,000 acres that the Tatas need for their titanium project in Tuticorin district was farmland, and the rest was fallow. In August 2006, CAD activist Nityanand Jayaraman had filed an RTI application, seeking information on Tatas' titanium project but met with a blank wall. In December last year, Dutta moved another RTI application, seeking detailed information on 36 SEZs in Tamil Nadu. She also sought to inspect relevant documents under Section 5 of the Act. She again got no reply. The Tamil Nadu State Information Commission then took up the matter and, after two hearings, reprimanded the industries department for denying information. CAD has since urged the commission to invoke Sec 18 (3) of the RTI Act, which gives it the powers of a civil court and investigate the matter further. Chennai, Nov 12 (IANS) Land acquisition for Tamil Nadu SEZs under fire - Yahoo! India News
  15. ganpat1956

    Public's right to know under threat

    Suppression of court verdicts for lengthy periods; inordinate delays in Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, FoI chases abandoned because of spiralling costs, and journalists dragged through the courts for not revealing sources. These are some of the failings Irene Moss confronted in her audit of the state of free speech in Australia, commissioned by a collection of media groups acting under the banner of Australia's Right to Know Coalition. The former New South Wales ombudsman stopped short of calling it a crisis, but her report, released this week, paints a less than rosy picture. Take the case of Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun, which had to abandon a two-year FoI campaign about federal politicians' travel, after being quoted a fee of A$1.25 million ($1.5 million) for the information. Or the trial and subsequent contempt of court convictions for journalists Michael Harvey and Gerard McManus, who refused to name a source behind a leaked story about a federal government proposal to slash war veterans' benefits. The Herald Sun journalists were fined A$7000 for their troubles. Then there is the federal government's refusal to give access to an opinion poll on the success of the federal government's A$32 million WorkChoices advertising campaign - at least until after the election. Restricted, flawed, hindered by secrecy and mistrust are just a smattering of terms Moss used. "The audit would broadly conclude that free speech and media freedom are being whittled away by gradual and sometimes almost imperceptible degrees," she said at the launch of her report in Sydney. "Many of the mechanisms vital to a well-functioning democracy are beginning to wear thin." The audit found 500 pieces of legislation and at least 1000 court suppression orders restricting media reporting in Australia, are still in force. There are 365 Acts of Parliament at both federal and state levels, with specific secrecy provisions blocking public access to information. They include the Commonwealth's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act and, surprisingly, the NSW Gaming Machines Act, the Commonwealth Wool Legislation Act and Victorian Grain Marketing Act. Laws protecting journalists were also inadequate, while the flow of information from the court system was "found wanting", stifled by a raft of suppression orders, she said. One example cited in the report concerned Melbourne gangster Carl Williams, who is appealing a life sentence handed down early this year for the murder of crime patriarch Lewis Moran, his son Jason Moran and gangland identity Mark Mallia. According to the report, when Williams was convicted for another murder in November 2005, that of drug world identity Michael Marshall, the verdict was suppressed for two years because he was facing other charges. "Even though Williams faced later charges (including murder), the passing of time, together with the huge public interest in reporting his result, meant the suppression order should not have been made," the report said. Moss, who is also a former chairwoman of NSW watchdog the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), bemoaned the "growing culture of secrecy, defensiveness and mutual distrust" shown by governments and the courts. "The greatest loss in this battle is not to the media but to the Australian people and their right to know about important matters that affect them," she said. Also speaking at the launch, media company Fairfax's chief executive David Kirk called on the federal government to match a Labor promise to improve free speech provisions if elected. Two weeks ago, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd pledged to review FoI, journalistic privilege, whistleblower protection and privacy laws. Kirk said he could not think of a better moment for "some me-too policies from the coalition". "I think it is incumbent on the prime minister and the attorney general to be fully responsive to the issues presented in the Moss report," he said. "It is a great opportunity to lock in these reforms now, on a fully bipartisan basis, before the campaign is over." Prime Minister John Howard has promised an announcement on FoI reforms during the election campaign, and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said he would look at the Moss report "very closely". "I have the utmost respect for Irene Moss," Ruddock said. "Her ideas, I might not agree with all of them, but they are worthy of looking at and they will see proper consideration." However, Howard has already dampened expectations, saying any changes were unlikely to satisfy the media. Cameron Murphy from the NSW Council for Civil Liberties said the issues raised by the Moss report echoed his organisation's experiences, particularly with FoI requests. "We've put in hundreds of freedom of information requests to try to identify what the Australian Federal Police have done in relation to Australians who are facing the death penalty overseas ... and we simply can't get information out of them," Murphy said. "They cite operational reasons and other reasons which are nothing more than dubious excuses to hide embarrassing information." Murphy said action was needed to reform the system, rather than further reviews. "What we need is action, and what we need is a plan from the coalition that details what they're going to do to fix it," he said. He said Labor's plan "was not good enough" because it amounted to little more than an inquiry. Public's right to know under threat - 10 Nov 2007 - NZ Herald: World / International News
  16. From the day start the RTI is not getting favour of so many person and so many persons trying to get it modified. Actually these fellows are the real criminals having good set up at present. Some time this man will in `Q` he will feel need of RTI. In my opinion if the retirement age in Govt services have been done 55 years no will oppose the RTI. The fellows who is sitting in Govt. so long is only interested to effective implementation and they are in position to purchase these politicians also. I am sorry to say that there is a provision in constitution that any group B or above officer recruitted before age of 35 must retire on age of 55 and rest all on age of 58. The retirement age of class IV was 60 from very begining. The beaurocrats are so much power ful person who made these politician foolish and made the age of retirement from 55 to 60. I am seeking the opinion of other fellows if they are supporting my opinion that to run the fair Govt it is neede to refresh the Govt. At present our independence is only to elect the 545 MP`s or MLA`s. The beuracrats having such a talent to manage the elected MP`s and MLA`s. The real indepence is only there must be fast change in beuracrats also. 20 to 25 years is to be allowed to work in Govt.
  17. The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to clarify whether the exemption granted under the provision of Right To Information Act (RTI) and a government order could be made applicable to cases in which information relating to corruption charges were made. Justice V Dhanapalan gave the direction while disposing of a petition of one Vishwanath Swami, seeking a direction to the Commissioner of Police and Superintendent of Police, CBCID to supply information sought by him and to take departmental acton against officials who failed to furnish the information. The judge said the government has to clarify the position of exemption available under Section 24 (4) of RTI Act, as the notification has not made anything clear about the exemption granted. Since the issue in question related to corruption charges, the applicability of the Act precludes certain documents to be revealed can be considered only when the Government Order (G.O) was clarified. Therefore, the public department has to clarify the G.O dated October 14, 2005, the judge added. The judge said the petitioner, police officials and the Secretary to Tamil Nadu Information Commission can approach the government, which has to come out with the clarification to make it clear as to whether the applicability of the act can be considered in case of allegations of corruption. Therefore, it was left open to the parties to clarify the position from the government, the judge added. CHENNAI, 30 Oct 2007, 2123 hrs IST,PTI Timesofindia
  18. The question was forwarded to me thourgh Private Message: Can RBI seek exemption under Section 8(1)(e) of RTI for information related with Cooperative Banks collected as part of their monitoring?
  19. Right use of information sought under RTI important Pune, October 13 The real impact of the Right to Information (RTI) Act lies in how the procured information is used, was the general theme of discussion at an RTI workshop organised by the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), to commemorate the second anniversary of the implementation of the RTI Act at the Police Sanskrutik Bhavan on Saturday . State Information Commissioner, Pune division Vijay Kuvalekar spoke about the transition of the Act, citing examples of its reach in rural areas along with urban prevalence. “The process just begins with the RTI application and the implementation is another issue altogether,” Kuvalekar said. “While individual applications reach a satisfactory conclusion when the information sought is acquired, for applications pertaining to the interests of the larger society, the process does not end until some change has been brought about,” he added. RTI activist Major General S C N Jatar (retd) who also spoke on the occasion said that the Act was an antidote to corruption and bribery. “Often despite RTI applications which have exposed corruption, the problem recurs owing to short public memory and poor follow-up as well as hesitation on part of the media to highlight the same stories.” Social activist Arvind Kejriwal who was conducting the workshop said that though over 70 countries have adopted similar Acts, the RTI Act in India is the broadest of all. Express news service ‘Right use of information sought under RTI important’
  20. Punjab official fined Rs.20250 for delaying info under RTI GURPREET SINGH MEHAK Wednesday, 10 October 2007 FATEHGARH SAHIB: The Punjab State Information Commission has fined an Executive Officer of Rs 20,250 for not providing information under Right to Information Act. Information commissioners R.K. Gupta and P.P.S. Gill imposed fine on Sukhdev Singh, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Rampura Phul in Bathinda district. Bathinda Deputy Commissioner has been asked to recover the amount from the EO’s salary in four equal monthly equal installments and report compliance on Monday of third week of February, 2008. The case relates to information sought by a lawyer Amandeep Goyal, a resident of Rampura Phul. It was observed by the information commissioners that the complainant has asked for a photocopy of the gazette notification issued by the Punjab Government. It has taken four months for the department in supplying of such a simple information. This does not speak well of the respondent-department. It is also seen that the present incumbent Sukhdev Singh, EO, Municipal Council, Rampura Phul who joined the department on July 3, 2007 has not bothered to appear in person or to deputy any body before the Commission on July 13, August 6 and September 3. The EO finally appeared before the Information Commission on October 1. The Commission took serious view of such negligence on his part and he is, accordingly, fined at the rate of Rs.250 per day from July 13, 2007 to October 1, 2007 subject to a maximum of Rs.25,000 . The commission observed that as far as supply of information is concerned, the case stands disposed of. Now the EO will have to deposit Rs 20,250 as fine for 81 days at the rate of Rs 250 per day. PunjabNewsline.com - Punjab official fined Rs.20250 for delaying info under RTI
  21. Hi.. I have asked few information/ documents from Sr. Inspector (health Dept, BMC) abt a Hotel under RTI, but they refused to provide the information saying that 'The Indian Hotel & resturatant association has objection in providing the info'. Can any non-government organisation like this can put objection to provide the information asked under RTI ?? Thanks in advance.. //Nik
  22. 1. I do need help of fellow RTI Activists to locate the PIO name and address of Calcutta High Court. 2. Court appoints receiver or Administrator in different legal cases who are nothing but "Court Officers" . They are generally advocates or Legal Practitioners who are members of Bar Association. 3. All courts are wholly financed by Govt. Hence courts are PA and comes under RTI Act 2005 ?? 4. All district courts come under High Court of that state. Hence PIO of High Court should be questioned for a "court officer" or receiver appointed by District court ?
  23. The Central Information Commission has held that a committee functioning under the directions of Supreme Court is a public authority and is obliged to provide information under the RTI Act. "The Supreme Court of India itself is covered under the RTI Act, and has repeatedly submitted itself to enquiry by this Commission...it cannot be argued that a Committee functioning under its directions sees itself outside the purview of the Act," said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah. The direction came after appellant Poonam Sharma, who sought information on the criteria adopted by the State Fee Committee to fix the fees of self-financing institutions from Deputy Director of Higher Education, Delhi, moved an appeal saying that she received a reply that the Director's office is not competent to divulge information on proceedings of the Fee Committee. In its response, the Department of Higher Education said that since the sought information pertains to the State Fee Committee, the matter had been referred to Justice Usha Mehra, (former Judge of Delhi HC) , Chairperson of State Fee Committee, to obtain prior permission to supply the required information. The Chairperson returned the file saying the panel does not fall under the purview of RTI Act as it acts as per directions of the Supreme Court. Rejecting this contention, the CIC said that when the Supreme Court itself is covered under the RTI Act, and has repeatedly submitted itself to enquiry by the Commission, it cannot be argued that a Committee functioning under the directions of a public authority sees itself as outside the purview of the Act. Indian Express news at : State Fee panel falls under RTI Act: CIC - Yahoo! India News
  24. Top officials of the Orissa Forest Department have been rewarded with luxury cars and vehicles for looking the other way and allowing companies or individuals to carry out mining or other illegal activity on forestland. Now, thanks to an RTI filed by an activist, it might become clear where those vehicles really came from. The fleet of cars at Aranya Bhawan headquarters does not belong to the Orissa Forest Department. They come as gifts from various companies, a thank you for allowing them to mine or carry out industrial activity on forestland. The Orissa Forest Department has got 40 such vehicles including luxury cars being used by top officials now. Act of extortion This can be interpreted as an act of extortion under the garb of legality and activists say it's plain and simple - bribing. While forest guards and field officials don't have patrol vehicles, top officials have quite openly asked various companies for air-conditioned luxury cars. This led green activist Biswajit Mohanty to file a petition under the RTI Act. ''This is a very incestuous relationship because the department is supposed to be a regulatory agency. This is totally condemnable, this is unethical and I would say this is illegal to a large extent. How can you expect an officer to take action against a mine, which has given him a vehicle?,'' said Biswajit Mohanty, Environmentalist. Fortunately, the new state Forest Secretary is open to investigating the matter. ''Yes, I think someone did tell me about it and I shall surely look into it. In fact, when someone told me this I said, no, I will not use that car and I said I would use a government vehicle. So let's see how it's happening and why it is happening,'' said Hrishikesh Panda, Secretary, Forest & Environment. Such practices do raise questions about top officials who decide on whether or not forestland is to be allotted for mining and other industrial purposes. So the least the department can do now is return the cars and make sure it doesn't happen again. NDTV.com: Orrisa forest officials under scanner
  25. State Information Commission (SIC) has ordered the MS University authorities reply to all the queries that one Ramesh Kadam had asked under the Right to Information Act (RTI) for the Faculty of Performing Arts in November 2006, within 15 days. As per Kadam, he had applied for detail of electricity connections used for Play Box and open-air-theatre at performing arts faculty. Kadam sought information about why as per the cinema rules, the annual inspection has not been carried out for the two electricity connections between 1999 and 2006. And, what steps MSU took against errant employee and what steps the faculty authorities took when faults were detected in previous inspections carried out in earlier years. Kadam had also asked for copies of power load checking approved plan by assistant electricity inspector. (Source: Express News Service-Ahmedabad News 09Aug 2007)
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