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RTI, nuisance, corruption and future


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Dear members,

 

Yes U r right, the corruption can not be resolved by RTI. Also there are so many issues, which also could not be resolved under RTI. U being an PIO know this very well. My opinion towards the RTI, it stands for Right to Ignore Act not the Information Act. The Commissioner of the Information Commission either are the head of the departments or the head of Government who were retired and take the responsibility to lead the commission. Similar is the story of Central Vigilance Commission. A Few months ago, one of the Vigilance Commissioner, Central Vigilance Commission paid his/her un-official visit to Amritsar. I had seen at that time various officers were there to receive the said Vigilance Commissioner. This is also a type of corruption. How we can eradicate or resolved such a major problem thro RTI. It is impossible for the society. Here in this world all are full of attachment, seeks fruit of actions and is greedy and always oppressive by nature and of impure conduct and is always affected by joy n sorrow.

 

Thanx a lot

 

P C Sharma

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Dear Sir,

 

Dear Mr. Bhatia. Thank you for the observations. Nice, we have to be caring towards the ordinary citizen of this country. No doubt in that. And only if they get the real power which they are entitled India can be truly democratic as Gandhiji dreamed. I am merely not advocating for the PIOs and other officers who are some times being harassed. Harassing is superfluous issue. If some public nuisance harrasses me in the shadow of the act, I wont care at all. But through this discussion I would rise the point that, if nuisances are not avoided, and if there is no control over the volume of information one can ask (presently no such proivisions in the act), our offices are likely to be flooded in the near future by RTi requests and complaints and the genuine common man will not get the real information in time. That is not the purpose of the RTI act. Please look at the example of our judiciary. If you file a civil case, it takes at least 5 years to get it settled in the lowest court. Appeals and others may take another 10 years. See a long 15 years to settle a case. Who suffers? We all. The same is likely to happen with RTI also. We must not allow that. RTI is such a treasure to the common man of this country. So instead of addressing the emotional happiness that RTI gives one, let us address the issueon actual and practical grounds.

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dear prince,

 

Thank you mahekovoor, dear friend, it is really sorry about your pathetic experience. I dont know why some useless PIOs are reluctant to give information. May be the psychology of them. I can proudly say that I respond to the maximum to all RTI questions I get. I have got some 30 RTI applications so far. 10 of them was from a nuisance. The rest 20 I gave nice answers I think. They even didnot file any first appeal. The case of the nuisance- he filed appeal for each of his application. Now I am negelecting him. I had a discussion with the commision too on the said nuisance. The rest is all good. Again since there is some nuisance, the greatness of the act does not vanish. My point is if we dont do something initially to control such things, I am afraid, the act may not be taken seriously in the near future.We cannot allow that.

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P C Sharma

 

 

Dear Mr. Sharma,

Thanks a lot. Yes exactly you are. As far as I understand, the problem of our society non-implementation of acts and laws. There are plenty of laws. 90% of them people even dont know. And majorities are not implemented. Or there are plenty of loop holes. See the typical example of traffic police. They catch people for alcohol mixed driving. Most of the times the culprit bribes the officers and escape. Yes again not all officers are making bribes. They charge fine. The horrible part is the very same drunk driver is released with the very same vehicle then and there. See, he is capable of killing many in a road mishap. Still the police do that. It is not a problem of the police alone. They will be in trouble if they abandon the vehicle and driver there. Because they have to take the vehicle to a shelter and like that. For that, they may not have gor instructions from the superior. These types of social problems exist in this country.

 

But RTI may help a little in fighting corruption. And atleast it is capable of making public offices and officers accountable. That is the virtue of the RTI, I feel.But we require a radical change. Otherwise we the people will go on suffering

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dev_chakraverty

Thanks for this thought provoking (seems to be unending) discussion.

If the Act is carefully read, there is a provision / direction wherein in all departments are required to be computerise, catalog and properly maintain information/data (A separate discussion is available in this forum). But the Govt depts are lethargic in using computers and modern methods and try to find new innovative excuses in not following the Act else providing information should be just a mouse click and mailing (e-mailing of course; free of cost without burdening the exchequer).

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colnrkurup

Mr.Prince,

 

" I have got some 30 RTI applications so far. 10 of them was from a nuisance "

 

Atleast I am curious to know a brief of the information sought in each of the above 10 applications and the dates of second appeals of all these 10 cases. It can throw light on the concept of "misuse" , how a PIO can survive by neglecting such application/appeals and how SIC could help a PIO to keep it neglected.

 

Your cooperation can open a pindora's box. In case you are not in a position to post those information, you may post it to me as private message . Your reply could be answer fo many unresolved riddles.

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My experience with RTI application was that I got a reply from CPIO, EPFO stating that since the Indian postal order is not enclosed, we cannot provide the necessary information.

I remember keeping the postal order but it has been destroyed by the epfo staff to avoid answering the questions.

We need to educated the genuine info seekers on how to handle such cases.

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colnrkurup

Unfortunately there is no solution to such degradated moral turptitude other than exempliarary deterrant punishment when the authorities get opportunity to catch such culprits.

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Thanks for this thought provoking (seems to be unending) discussion.

If the Act is carefully read, there is a provision / direction wherein in all departments are required to be computerise,

 

Exactly you are. If we have a nice system of keeping records in the offices, half the struggle is over.

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colnrkurup

Thank you Mr.Prince. You were correct. Those messages were nuisance and were correctly neglected by you though it would have been more appropriate to reply that "The information sought by you is not held " . Thank you once again.

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Thank you Mr.Prince. You were correct. Those messages were nuisance and were correctly neglected by you

Thank you Mr.colnrkurup. Considering the virtue and right that the act gives one, such nuisances are negligible. But there must have certain control. All acts and laws have provisions to that.

 

RTI is the sword against the evil and every citizen must be responsible in using it. Imagine a situation without RTI. So we must be careful.

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My experience with RTI application was that I got a reply from CPIO, EPFO stating that since the Indian postal order is not enclosed, we cannot provide the necessary information.

.

 

In such cases, you can goto the PIO's office directly with your application and obtain a receipt then and there. It seems the only option. All the best. There are some other cases in which a PIO may say " I have received an envelope alone with a Postal order. There was no application in side it" - You can use a registered inland letter in that case

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I have both types of experience with RTI. First one is good. I was not getting my salary arrears for 4 years, although I had requested the Office to deposit in my account. Then I asked through RTI, the amunt of arrears due to me, the date from which it is due, the interest the office has earned from this arrears, based on which law this arrears and the acquired interest is being held up. Within One Week, I got a call from the office to withdraw the application since they had deposited the arrears with interest in my account.

 

The second one is bad. I was executing a project on office automation. Some of my colleagues were against implementation of such progressive project. They arranged few people to put corruption charges against the project. They knew that I am not corrupt, so there was no charge against my name. But, they falsely entangled the names of other known corrupt people with the project. After some time, one RTI application regarding the corruption charges against these people and their involvement came. I had to answer that, which was a wastage of time. But, it followed with series of applications. The PIO was only too happy to forward them to me for answering. In fact, the PIO was not very keen for the failure of the project. Thereafter, I have to spend a lot of time on answering these RTI questions. The progress of the project hampered like any thing, because I was unable to think coherently for the project and could not focus on it due to the barrage of RTI questions I was getting almost every alternative day. Finally, I request the authority to leave me out of the project. After I left the project, it failed because no body took interest in its success. However, no RTI application has been received about the project since then for almost one year now. The money spend on this project is from public account, and is now useless.

 

Therefore, I believe that RTI is a double edged sword. It is upto us how to use it. We can use it for good or for bad. We in this forum are for the proper use of the RTI and not for its misuse. May be we can find ways to reduce its misuse in this forum.

 

There must be some laws which restrict misuse of any facility. That can be used to stop the misuse of RTI. It may require some effort. But, we should not do away with RTI. I strongly believe that RTI can be a weapon against its misuse also.

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