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slchowdhary

Section 18

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slchowdhary

Recently I read section 18 more carefully. I did not find any clause under which I can complain against a PA for not following section 4 properly. I am particularly concerned with Raj High Court Rules not available either on net or with book sellers. My one complaint to IC was dismissed perfunctorily. When I made one RTI appl to Raj High Court, I was asked to submit it on a prescribed form. But not informed where the form will be available. They also require a fee of Rs 100 in nonjudicial stamps along with a photo. I want a set of rules before I can make a fresh RTI appl or a petition to High court to protest the people unfriendly rules.

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SomeGuy

Dear slchowdhary,

 

Rajasthan RTI (HC and Subordinate Courts) Rules, 2006: http://hcraj.nic.in/rti-rules-2006.pdf

 

Forms are included.

 

The requirement of photograph appears to violate Section 6(2) of the RTI Act. If possible, submit the form without photograph and then press the issue in a Complaint to SIC.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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SomeGuy

Oh! and regarding,

I did not find any clause under which I can complain against a PA for not following section 4 properly.

That would be section 18(1)(f).

18. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person,—

.....

(f) in respect of any other matter relating to requesting or obtaining access to records under this Act.

Kariraji has already done this (with varying success in different cases). If you are planning to go ahead in filing this complaint, you should file a similar complaint against the state govt press for not having copies of the HC rules for sale as well. Ask to have both heard together. Otherwise both PAs may try to pin the responsibility for making these rules available on the other.

 

You could also try and file RTI applications to both the HC as well as the Govt Press, asking for certified copies of the said rules. Proceed with an appeal cum complaint in case they fail to provide it.

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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slchowdhary

Mr. someguy,

Thanks for getting me the file. I was searching for more than 6 months.

But how did you reach it.

Even to when i got home page of hcraj.nic.in I don't find where to click.

I shall appreciate if you will inform me.

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SomeGuy

Dear Shri slchowdhary,

 

I found it by doing a Google search for >. However, the homepage of the RHC website appears to have a link titled "RTI Rules 2006". There is a blinking icon flashing "new" next to it, which may explain why you didn't find it sometime ago.

 

Good luck on finding the HC rules. What's surprising is that no private publisher offers copies for sale either. Have you checked the Govt Press Offices?

 

I'm guessing that if no "official" copies are available from either the HC or the Govt Press, all the Advocates and Judges of RHC operate off N^th order Xeroxes made from someone's old, dog-eared copy. Or, some enterprising Xerox-wala offers bound copies originating from such a dog-eared original for sale.

 

I have encountered similar situations regarding other commonly used rules and regulations as well. Neither Govt Press, nor the department obligated by statute to offer copies for sale carry it, or Govt Press carries versions a few years old devoid of more recent amendments.

 

So kindly keep me (and the forum) posted on the progress of your application(s).

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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slchowdhary

Thanks dear someguy.

I have noticed now on the site. It is obvious that it is a recent addition.

It should be there on options on left panel.

Any way, first RTI application, I am making is to get a certified copy of the rules.

Then I propose to file PIL for correcting deficiencies in the rules and modifying those which are against letter and/or spirit of the act. I have jotted down some points. I am not a good drafter. You can help adding/improving on these.

 

1. Why form A –it is against the letter and spirit of the act. sec 6.1

2. Why photo - ag sec 6.2

3. Fee high

4. Why fee by non-judicial stamps only. why not indian postal order which is easily available. So that a person outside raj can also apply.

5. no clause for providing info free of charge if info not provided in time sec 7.6

6. no prov for transfr of appl to appropriate authority. why reject the appl and gobble the fee.

 

And where is the list of authorised persons i.e. PIO's and their addresses in High Court and lower courts. Kindly help to get this list.

with best wishes

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SomeGuy

Dear slchowdhary,

 

You can help adding/improving on these.

At this point it seems prudent to point out that I am not a Lawyer. My knowledge of the law is limited solely to those aspects that I have encountered as a curious and interested litigant. That understood; I'll be glad to render any help that I can. If desired, please post your drafts here for comments from all members.

 

If you are planning a PIL related to the RTI Act, I think the most significant issue which you can take up would be the leniency of ICs with PIOs and AAs in accepting completely flimsy excuses as valid as well as their tendency to not impose penalty despite finding that the PIO/AA was at fault. A ruling in a PIL, directing the SIC that -

1. Penalty is mandatory if delay not justified and burden of justification is entirely on the PIO/AA.

2. Timely response to RTI Applications is a statutory obligation of the PIO/AA. "Dog ate my homework" grade excuses such as - I was busy with other
very important work
(then direct someone to answer as deemed PIO), or I have not been adequately trained under RTI Act (ignorance of law is no excuse), etc.
do not constitute justification
as required by the law.

3. It is not necessary for the PIO/AA to have acted in a mala-fide manner; mere unjustified delay is sufficient cause for inviting mandatory penalty.

might be helpful in this regard.

5. no clause for providing info free of charge if info not provided in time sec 7.6

6. no prov for transfr of appl to appropriate authority. why reject the appl and gobble the fee.

I haven't gone through the rules in detail myself. Do they include explicit clauses contravening sections 7(6) and 6(3) of the RTI Act of 2005? Because if not, there is no need for such clauses in the rules. The rules, being "delegated legislation" are considered to become part and parcel of the Act, to be read along with it once they have been properly enacted. At least that is my (non Advocate's) understanding of the matter.

 

And where is the list of authorised persons i.e. PIO's and their addresses in High Court and lower courts. Kindly help to get this list.
This, being a required disclosure under section 4 of the act, would come under the jurisdiction of the SIC. See this thread: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/21427-right-information-application-pre-requisite-filing-direct-complaint-central-information-commission-state-information-commission-under-sec-18-1-f.html, for an example of Kariraji's ongoing attempts at a section 4 complaint with CIC. Given that High Courts refuse to take up matters for which an "alternate remedy/forum" exists under their writ jurisdiction, RHC may not entertain a petition solely on this issue. However, they may let the issue slide if PIL status is granted, or if it is just a minor part of other significant complaints. However, as I don't live in Rajasthan and don't think I've read even one ruling of the RHC, you are probably better situated to judge this. :-)

 

regards,

SomeGuy

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