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antibriberycampaign

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 11, 2006

To: antibriberycampaign@yahoogroups.com
CC: vrajgadia@yahoo.co.uk
From: "parivartan india" <parivartan_india@rediffmail.com>
Date: 2 Jun 2006 13:33:45 -0000
Subject: [antibriberycampaign] Very Important

Dear friends,

The workshop went off very well yesterday. It was attended by representatives from Madhubai (Bihar), MP, Chattisgarh, Bangalore, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Pune, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Chennai, Sirohi, Udaipur, Dehradoon, Ahmedabad, Orissa and Indore.

A workbook has been prepared, which can be used by the trainers to train volunteers in respective cities. The contents of workbook were discussed threadbare. Similarly, the questions which should be asked by applicants filing RTI applications during the campaign were also discussed threadbare and finalized. The final versions of RTI application and workbook are attached. This workbook has been designed very well by Mumbai based NGO NAMI. It is requested that all the trainers should use this workbook to train volunteers in respective cities. The trainer just needs to keep reading the workbook and follow the instructions given. It was also felt during the workshop that everyone, including RTI experts, should attend training sessions in respective cities. This is because the workbook not only talks of RTI but also talks in detail on how the camp has to be organized and the arrangements inside. Therefore, it is important that all of us are at same wavelength.

Do you need any help in training volunteers in your city? If yes, please let us know. We will try to persuade someone to go to your city to hold training workshop. We also need names of existing RTI experts  who could go to other cities to train other volunteers.

I am also attaching a detailed note on logistics. This note was also discussed threadbare in yesterday’s workshop. Final version is attached. I would request everyone to read this carefully and may start making arrangements accordingly. It is requested that the timelines mentioned in the note are adhered to. Immediately the following needs to be done:

By 5th June:  Address of Hall

By 10th June:  Send us the list of all partners, including NGOs, and all other establishments helping us with Food, printing etc etc.

By 10th June (latest by 15th June):  Send us the list of volunteers

15th June: Statement of receipt and expenditure for the campaign for that city to be posted on yahoogroup

By 23rd June: Training complete (This is important to enable new volunteers to file some applications on their own)

26th June: Volunteer assignment register ready

So, we immediately need the address of the hall in your city where the camp would be organized. NDTV needs this address immediately for their SMS programming. Saurav and Suchi from Kabir would keep pestering you if the details do not reach by the deadlines:)

The following cities have so far confirmed their participation:

Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Deogarh, Dhanbad, Raipur, Bhillai, Chhindwara, Shahdol, Satna, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Vizag, Gorakhpur, Faizabad, Sangli, Satara, Indore, Dehradoon, Guwahati.

Confirmation is awaited from the following:

Shillong, Rajasthan (MKSS has confirmed but the names of cities are yet to be finalized),
Chennai.

We will mail you the details of contact persons of these places by tomorrow.

The list of media with whom talks of partnerships are going on will also be sent tomorrow. Other than this, if you wish to talk to any other media house on your own, please go ahead. I am attaching a note titled “general understanding with media”. I am also attaching “Note on the Campaign” These two notes put together would constitute the relationship which you may like to have with media. But please ensure that we do not talk to more than one type of media (print, TV or radio) of same language in same region.

It came up during the workshop whether we should involve the local administration, State Government and the State Information Commissioners. It was decided that this decision will have to be made by the local groups. Wherever they wish to involve all or any of these Government agencies, they could go ahead and do that. But if they do not wish to do so, they may not. In Gorakhpur and Faizabad, the DMs are believed to be excellent officers. Here, the groups are organizing camp in close association with District administration. Friends from Indore informed that they have spoken to the local Post Master General and he has agreed to send an official to the camp for 15 days to collect RTI applications on the spot.

A layout plan has been prepared on how arrangements could be made inside the hall. I would request Saurav, who has made this plan, to post it in the group.

629 post offices across the country have been directed to accept RTI applications for any Central Govt Department. Their list is available at http://www.indiapost.gov.in/rtimanual16a.html

Best wishes

Arvind

__________________________________________

draft_application.doc

Dated:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________.

Sub: Application under Right to Information Act 2005

I had made an application/return/petition/grievance for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application/return/petition/grievance so far. i.e. when did my application/return/petition/grievance reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application/return/petition/grievance and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________

General understanding on logistics of the Campaign

Minimum requirements for any city to qualify to organize a camp:

  1. There should be at least three existing RTI activists willing to join in the campaign, who have been using RTI and have complete knowledge of the law, rules etc.
  2. It should be possible to mobilize sufficient (around 40 volunteers) for each camp site. We would not need them at all times, but if the crowds swell any time, we may need to deploy all of them then. The volunteers may not be RTI experts. They could be trained.
  3. The city should be willing to do the camp for 15 days from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm every day from 1st to 15th July. Volunteers should be available accordingly for these 15 days. 

Preparing the Volunteers:

  1. We should train at least 40 volunteers for each camp site. These could be students, retired people, or any other person willing to spare time from 11.00 am to 6.00 pm during this 15 day period. Even if some volunteers are not willing to come for all days, they could still be encouraged to join in. The local coordinators will have to make an appropriate duty chart.
  2. Since aggressive advertising is being done through TV, newspapers, etc, we anticipate that people will come in large numbers. Therefore, there would times when the rush would become so much that you would need at least 40 volunteers.
  3. There should be at least 3 volunteers, who have sufficient experience in the use of RTI, to supervise the entire operations. This is to assist any new volunteer who faces any difficulty in responding to any public query.
  4. We should have the list of trained volunteers, both at 1 and 2 above, ready by 10th June (and latest by 15th June), so that it could be put on the website.
  5. Training sessions for volunteers – Each volunteer (new or old) should attend one day training session. It is good for the old volunteers also to attend training sessions not to learn anything but to be on the same wavelength regarding logistics and responses to be given during the campaign. Therefore, it is sincerely requested that each volunteer, who would be present during the campaign, must attend the day long session.
  6. Training should be conducted by any existing RTI expert on the basis of “Workbook and Trainer’s guide”.
  7. Training should preferably be done by 23rd June, so that the volunteers do not forget what they learn.
  8. We should not discourage people who cannot give time for the entire period. Many volunteers can be used to distribute pamphlets outside public dealing offices everyday during this period and encourage people not to pay bribes, rather to go and attend the camp.

Preparing the Hall:

  1. We should hire a hall at some central place, where the camp would be organized. We need the address of the hall, preferably by 31st May and latest by 5th June. This is needed by NDTV to put it in website and SMS programming.
  2. We should have some banners and posters at the camp site. Some suggested banners are:
    • One banner explaining the campaign and the kind of problems that would be dealt at the camp should also be put up.
    • A banner giving time limits for some types of work in various Govt Departments should also be put so that people know they have to wait for that many days before filing RTI.
    • Banners on “How to submit your application?” – one for Central Government Department and the other for state govt department.

Samples of these banners are being designed and would be sent soon. It would be best to have similar banners and posters all over the country to give a look of the same campaign.

  1. Every partner should be requested to put up at least one banner in the hall. This campaign is being run by the entire civil society and the people should get that impression. The list of all partners, including NGOs, and all others helping us with food, printing etc, should be sent to us latest by 10th June, so that this list could be put up on website, NDTV scrolls and print ads.
  2. The Hall could be divided into following portions:
    • Reception: Just two tables and chairs with two or more volunteers to guide people. Reception would also register new volunteers and assign them work.
    • General queries on RTI: Two (or more, if needed) counters (i.e. two tables and two chairs with two volunteers). All people who wish to know more about RTI or about the campaign and do not have any specific problem, should be directed to these counters to avoid wasting time of volunteers drafting applications. Preferably, these counters should be just next to reception, so that the volunteers at reception and these counters could double up each other’s job if required.
    • New volunteer registration area: A number of people would come who would like to become volunteers or join the movement. One counter with one volunteer should be there to deal with them
    • Application counters: About 10 or more (depending on the rush) counters. On the first day, we could start with just 10 counters (depending on the city and expectation of no of volunteers), each counter to be manned by one volunteer. Rest of the volunteers would be in reserve. Number of counters could be increased or decreased depending upon public response. If there is a huge response, we should be in a position to call the volunteers in reserve at a short notice. There should also be tables and chairs readily available to increase the number of counters at short notice.
    • Seating arrangements for those waiting.
    • Finally preparing the application and filing them: A few counters for giving postal orders or judicial stamps or for depositing applications with a courier company (see below for details).
    • Film screening area: RTI films could keep going on in this area. However, this part is optional depending on finances or equipment availability.
    • Sale counter (optional): Material related to RTI could be displayed here and sold, like booklets, films etc.
  3. Some suggestions from different areas:
    • Mumbai people decided that they would call celebrities to drop in for a few minutes to express solidarity with RTI. This would become events for the media.
    • Bhilai has decided to hold seminars around RTI on some evenings by calling some eminent RTI activists during the campaign
    • In Delhi, we might have some street plays done some times in one corner of the hall.

Responses during the Campaign:

  1. Issues other than pending work: It is possible that some people would come up with issues other than the focus of the Campaign i.e. extortionist bribery. A separate workshop for all such people after the 15 day campaign is over, should be organized on the 16th July which is a Sunday at the same place. This is also due to the fact that each such application would need a lot of time and attention. So, we could inform each such person that his/her application would need time and since there is a big rush in this campaign, we would request that person to come on the 16th, when he/she would be provided personal attention. Contact details of all such people should be taken down at reception.
    • However, if there isn’t much rush at that time, we can even entertain that person if an RTI expert is present on the spot and he/she is capable of handling him/her.
  2. New volunteers: Several people would approach us during the campaign to become volunteers.
    • If these people are existing RTI users, they could either be immediately put on duty or they could be put in reserve.
    • If they are not existing RTI users, we could
      1. Place them with an existing volunteer at on a counter for a day. The new volunteer would get trained within a day and could be given an independent counter next day.
      2. Or use them for miscellaneous work during the Campaign
        1. like asking them to distribute pamphlets at public dealing offices during the campaign
        2. ask them to do any other miscellaneous work
      3. Hold a day long workshop cum meeting for all new volunteers on the 17th July.
  3. Daily press release during the campaign: A daily press release should be issued during the campaign giving details of the total no of applications filed (if possible, departmentwise) and details of any interesting cases experienced. This press release should be sent to the local media and to Delhi every evening.

Finances:

This entire Campaign is not being funded by anyone. It also does not belong to any one NGO, or individual or any group. It is everyone’s Campaign. Therefore, there is no funding available from any central source.

  1. Where could funding be required? Finances may be required for the following and some suggestions on how to deal with them:
    • To hire a hall: In most places, people are trying to get halls free of cost. For instance, Press Club has provided hall in Hyderabad. A Government Department is providing hall in Delhi. A College is providing hall in Mumbai. Officer’s union is providing it in Bhillai. These may give clues on who to approach for a hall.
    • To give stipend to volunteers: Most of the places, volunteers are being requested to join in free. In some cases, their conveyance is being provided wherever they come from poor economic backgrounds.
    • To give lunch and snacks to volunteers everyday: In Hyderabad and Delhi, some restaurants have been requested to join in the campaign and provide free lunch to all volunteers everyday. Of course, it would be a very simple lunch. The restaurants would be treated as partners in the campaign. In Mumbai, some volunteers are taking upon themselves to fund the lunch – one volunteer each day.
    • To make arrangements at the hall like tables, chairs, banners, posters etc.
    • To print pamphlets: It would be best if this could be done locally, else we can send it from Delhi. But for that, please tell us in advance.
  2. Therefore, some amounts of money would certainly be required. An estimate of the same should be made. This would need to be raised locally. If serious problems are being faced in raising resources, kindly let us know. All of us pool together to raise that amount.
  3. All amounts received for this campaign should be disclosed transparently. A statement giving name of donor, amount donated and list of expenses with amounts spent supported by proper bills or vouchers should be maintained by the concerned coordinators. Such a statement should be posted on yahoogroup of the campaign on 15th June and 15th July.

How to submit applications?

Central Government Departments:

  1. We should know in advance the nearest post office, which is notified as APIO. The list of nodal officers of Central Government Departments should be available (We will provide this). The applications should be made in the name of PIO, c/o HOD and address of the nodal officer of that Department.
  2. The people could be asked to go and submit applications directly at the post office.
  3. Alternately, an arrangement could be made with some courier company to send someone to the camp site to collect applications from the people, collect their application fee and courier charges and issue receipt for the same. The company should deposit the application at the post office and send the receipts received from post office to the applicant next day.

State Government Department:

  1. List of all PIOs should be available. However, if it is not possible to identify the right PIO, the application should be made in the name of the PIO, c/o HOD and address of that Department. Therefore, addresses of all Departments and their Heads should be available on the spot.
  2. If fee is acceptable as judicial stamps, then such stamps should be available in large no on the spot. If it is acceptable as postal order, then blank postal orders should be available on the spot.
  3. The applications thus ready could be given to the courier company by the applicant or he could decide to deliver it himself.

Movement within the Hall

When any citizen would enter a hall, he would go through the following process:

  1. The location of reception should be such that any one entering should first reach the reception. At reception, the volunteer would ascertain whether
    • He wants to file an RTI: Then send him to one of the counters. At the counter, his application is prepared, the following should be done by the volunteer:
      1. Understand his problem.
      2. Make his RTI application
      3. Ask him to attach a copy of his original grievance application or petition made to the concerned department
      4. Enter his details in register
      5. Give him the pamphlet on “What to do next”. The format of this pamphlet is given below
      6. Advise him to go to the counter to deposit fee
      7. Advise him to approach reception to register himself if he wishes to join the RTI movement
    • He wants to know about RTI or wants to know about the campaign: Send him to the counters dealing with general queries. General query counter would give him the pamphlet on “What is this Campaign?”, ask him to sit in the sitting area, read it carefully and then seek clarifications if he still had any doubts. If he does not have any doubts and if he wants to file an application, send him to one of the RTI counters.
    • He wants to become a volunteer or join RTI movement: Send him to new volunteer registration area. This volunteer should give him a registration form and the pamphlet on “What can you do as a volunteer?” After he fills it up, assign him an appropriate job and make a note of it in volunteer assignment register.

Volunteer assignment register

This would contain the following details and should be ready by 26th June:

Let each day be divided into a few time slots. Time slots would need to be made according to local convenience of volunteers. For each of the 15 days, the register would contain list of volunteers on duty for each time slot. The register should be made in such a way that a look at it immediately gives an idea on who is on duty when. The register may also contain details of who would man which desk on which day. A suggested format for the register is enclosed.

Appeals:

  1. First appeal: A day long workshop should be organized on 27th August i.e. 35 days after 15th July. Those who do not get satisfactory answers would have to be helped in filing appeals.
  2. Second appeal: Those who do not get satisfactory response after first appeal also, would need to be helped to file second appeal. This workshop could be held in September or October (date to be announced later)

Each RTI counter should have the following materials:

  1. Register for entering details of applicants (This register should contain the following columns: Name and address of applicant, Phone nos including mobile, Email, Department, Brief subject)
  2. “What to do next” pamphlets
  3. RTI application forms with questions pre-typed
  4. List of Central and State PIOs
  5. Copies of the Act, Rules, forms, etc if any, for the state and central departments

General Query Counter should have the following material:

  • Pamphlet on “What is this Campaign?”

New Volunteer Counter should have the following material:

  •  
    • Volunteer registration form
    • Pamphlet on “What can you do as a volunteer?”
    • Volunteer assignment register.

Submitting fee and application counter:

  • Postal Orders????
  • Courier company?????
  • Needs to be worked out ??????

Important dates:

By 5th June: Address of Hall

By 10th June: Send us the list of all partners, including NGOs, and all other establishments helping us with Food, printing etc etc.

By 10th June (latest by 15th June): Send us the list of volunteers

15th June: Statement of receipt and expenditure for the campaign for that city to be posted on yahoogroup

By 23rd June: Training complete (This is important to enable new volunteers to file some applications on their own)

26th June: Volunteer assignment register ready

1st July to 15th July: Campaign

15th July: Statement of receipt and expenditure for the campaign for that city to be posted on yahoogroup

16th July: Workshop for people with issues other than bribery

17th July: Workshop for new volunteers

27.8.06: Workshop for first appeal

Sep-Oct: Workshop for second appeal

Suggested format for Volunteer assignment register

1st st July

What should you do next?

You just filled an application under Right to Information Act 2005 to seek information from the Government. According to RTI Act 2005, the Department has to reply within 35 days.

In the next 35 days, one of the following would happen:

  1. Unsatisfactory response: You either get no response or the response is not satisfactory. In either case, you would need to file an appeal. We will hold a day long workshop on 27th August at the same place at 11.00 am, where the people will be helped in preparing and filing first appeal. Please do come for the workshop.
  2. Satisfactory response: Your pending work is done, in which case you are satisfied. But please do report back to us. We would be tracking every case received at the camp. Please do come for the above workshop to share your experiences. You should also post your experiences on http://www.righttoinformation.org

Would you like to be a part of the national Right to Information movement? If yes, fill in the form available at the reception. We will inform you of the next activity.

Please stay in touch with us. Our contact details are as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

General understanding with media partners

This nation wide awareness-cum–assistance programme is designed to benefit the common man. It does not aim at generating revenue for any NGO or media partners. Many print media, electronic media and several NGOs and citizens are coming together to give a big blow to bribery through this campaign.

Therefore, to build up a synergy for this nationwide campaign, a uniform communication strategy would be desirable for Print, TV and Radio media partners. Creative agency, Vishakha communications [for Print] and Small Screen in association with NDTV [For TV and Radio] are creating promotional material in Hindi and English. They are also creating a design and the schedule for the entire campaign. We would send this material in soft copy to all partners. Media partners could adopt it in their own languages. They may make changes in the contents and design also. However, it would be advisable to stick to the universal templates as much as possible to have uniform countrywide impact. Media partners are also requested to maintain the schedule so that synergy is maintained all over the country. The following material is being created, which would be shared with all media partners:

  1. Teasers: 7 different build up ads (teasers). Media partners could consume these ads during June 15, 2006 to June 30, 2006.
  1. Ads during the Campaign: During the campaign from 1st July to 15th July, tactical ads giving details of camps sites, website, helpline etc in their respective circulation/viewership footprint area are being created so that the readers/viewers can approach the RTI volunteers for helps. 
  1. As detailed in the proposal, to give the advertising campaign a logistic support, even editorial build up is being planned. Through this editorial build up plan, past RTI case study materials would be supplied to media partners in a feature format. These stories would aim at inspiring the audience to give up bribes and use RTI.

A media partner would be expected to mention names and logos of all other media partners and list of participating NGOs at the bottom in a print ad and at the end of the promo in electronic media.

Besides promoting the brand image of a media partner through other media partners, the campaign further enhances it as the media partner would be a part of this nationwide strike against bribery. The readers/ viewers/ listeners of that media partner would benefit immensely through the campaign, as they would learn how to get their work done in Government without paying bribes.

We are tying up with only one type (like TV, radio, print) of media in one language in one region to provide exclusiveness to the media partner.

_______________________________________________________________

Drive Against Bribe

Background:

In the last few years, Right to Information (RTI) has emerged as a very powerful tool in the hands of a common citizen to hold governments accountable. People have used it in various ways ranging from addressing issues related to their daily interface with government authorities to influencing major government policies. For instance,

  • Uday is a software engineer. He saw that the Outer Ring Road from IIT flyover to Panchsheel flyover was made last February and it came off within 10 days. He applied for inspection of files, inspection of road and sample of material used in the road. Two days before he was called for inspection, the entire road was relaid.
  • Shailesh Gandhi was able to reduce the extent of political interference in transfer postings in Mumbai Police using RTI.
  • Vijay Kumbhar applied for a refill of his empty gas cylinder. He did not get a refill for more than a month. Everyday, someone would come to his colony to sell gas in black. Obviously, his gas dealer was not providing refills to the people and was diverting them to the black market. When Vijay applied under RTI, he got his refill within a few hours.

One area where RTI has been most successful is – if you have a legitimate work pending in any Government Department and if they are not doing it for either expectation of bribe or due to simple bureaucratic delay, then use RTI and it gets done very fast. There are hundreds of such examples like

  • Nannu applied for a duplicate ration card in January 2004. Though his card should have been made in 10 days according to the rules, it wasn’t done despite several visits. Three months later, when he applied under RTI, the card was made within four days.
  • Ashok Gupta was demanded Rs 5000 bribe for a new electricity connection in the year 2000. Connection was denied to him when he refused to pay. Two years later, when he applied under RTI, he got his connection within 10 days.
  • Prem Sharma applied for a passport. It should be made in 45 days according to the rules. However, he kept running for six months. When he took his application under RTI to the Regional Passport Officer, the passport was done within 7 days.

Though RTI has such a huge potential, it hasn’t been able to make a big difference so far because not many people are using it. Because they are either not aware of it or of its potential. Earlier, RTI was available only in a few states like Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka. But with the passage of the Right to Information Act 2005 by the Parliament of India, now it is available to all citizens against all public authorities in India.

Broadly, the use of RTI has been of two types:

  • To get your legitimate individual work done in a Government department like getting a ration card, getting a passport, getting widow pension, getting PF etc without paying bribe and without facing harassment.
  • To use it for wider public interest like getting roads repaired, exposing corruption in government expenditure, influencing government policies etc.

The Campaign:

It is proposed to launch a massive nationwide awareness-cum-assistance program. Awareness about RTI would be created through mainstream media. Assistance would be provided to those who wish to use RTI but do not know how to use it through website, phone, direct physical assistance and letters.

The campaign is divided into two parts:

1. 1st July to 15th July: During these 15 days, people would be encouraged not to pay bribes for their personal works like getting your ration card, getting passport etc. Rather they should use RTI. This campaign would be called “Drive Against Bribe”. During this 15 day period, interesting on following lines would be promoted by partner TV Channels, newspapers and radio stations:

“Now you don’t need to pay bribes in India. Use Right to Information. Often, it works faster than bribes.”

A media partner would be expected to create awareness during these 15 days by

  • Advertisement space/ Time for promoting the awareness and process 
  • Telling one success story a day in news bulletins or in editorial space
  • Explaining the process of filing RTI applications in news bulletins or in editorial space
  • Daily coverage of public response to the campaign.
  • Teasers to the campaign, 15 days prior to the start of the campaign i.e. from 15th June to 30th June

During these 15 days, various citizens’ groups and NGOs will set up camps in several cities across the country. People would be provided assistance at these camps in preparing and filing RTI applications. Such arrangements have already been made in more than 20 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Sangli, Gorakhpur, Faizabad, Lucknow, Shillong, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi, Patna etc The list of these cities is growing with each passing day.

If media partners would need assistance in training volunteers of their specified cities, the same can also be organized in Delhi.

Citizens would also be provided assistance through e-mails, letters and a phone helpline. This assistance is likely to continue after the 15 day period also.

Since it would be promoted by several prominent media houses, large number of people are likely to respond either to use RTI or to volunteer their services or to simply express their solidarity. The campaign would inspire confidence amongst people that now they could actually get their work done without bribes. It would be a big blow to bribery.

2. Post 15th July: After 15th July, it develops into a full RTI campaign. The issues would no more be confined to individual issues but would cover all aspects of governance. Media partners would be expected to publish success stories and to guide their readers/ viewers/ listeners on how to address various issues of governance using RTI. Camps at various cities would stop after 15 days, but assistance through e-mails, phone helpline and letters would continue. People who sign up as volunteers during 15 days would be expected to use RTI related to their city problems and other issues of governance. Their experiences would feed as stories for media partners.

Partners in the campaign:

The campaign would be run by several citizens, NGOs, businesses, media houses, government departments etc. coming together. It is being actively promoted by NDTV and Prabhat Khabar. The Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Mr Shankar has already committed his support to this campaign.

The main objective of the campaign is to inspire and enable people to influence governance by actively participating in it rather than just criticizing it. Earlier, it was not possible. Now, it is possible to do through RTI.

We invite you to participate in this campaign.

______________________________________________________________

Workbook & Trainer’s guide

For

Drive Against Bribe Campaign

Using

RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT

As a Volunteer I pledge that

“ I will never pay any bribe. I will rather use RTI.”

"As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the lawgivers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end." Adlai Stevenson (1956)

(General instructions for the trainers: Please try and make sessions participatory.)

Introductions of trainer and participants – Each participant and the trainer introduce themselves. Their names, area and organization, if any, to which they belong.

Objectives of the Campaign– It is an anti-bribery campaign. People have to pay bribes in their daily interaction with Government Departments – be it getting a passport or a ration card or a license or an income tax refund etc. Everyone has to either pay a bribe or face harassment. Sometimes, even if a bribe is not directly asked, still your work is not done because of laziness or simple bureaucratic delay. What does one do in such a situation? So far people were helpless. They could only curse the system and do nothing. Each one of us when faced in a similar situation wondered whether there would ever be a time when our country would get rid of this curse of bribery. Maybe that time has come. Now we need not pay a bribe in such a situation. We have Right to Information Act which gets the work done. You are going to be a part of this campaign which is about helping people in getting their work done without facing bribery or harassment using Right to Information.

Therefore, you are going to be a part of a historic campaign. Since many important media houses are involved and it is a huge national campaign, it is important that we learn the issue well so that we are able to help people properly. If you make a mistake in helping people and if they do not get relief, he/she would lose faith in such a powerful tool. So, please understand everything carefully today.

(Instructions for trainer: Ask the participants, “What is Right to Information?” and let there be a response from some of them before proceeding.)

What is Right to Information?

(Some participant to read it out loudly) Right to Information is a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19 (1) says that every citizen has freedom of speech and _expression. As early as in 1976, the Supreme Court said in the case of Raj Narain vs State of UP, that people cannot speak or express themselves unless they know. Therefore, right to information is embedded in article 19 and is a fundamental right. In the same case, Supreme Court further said that India is a democracy. People are the masters. Therefore, the masters have a right to know how the governments, meant to serve them, are functioning. Further, every citizen pays taxes. The citizens therefore, have a right to know how their money was being spent. These three principles were laid down by the Supreme Court while saying that RTI is a fundamental right of the people of India. 

If RTI is a fundamental right, then why do we need an Act?

(Some participant to read it out loudly) This is because if you went to any Government Department and told the officer there, “RTI is my fundamental right, and that I am the master of this country. Therefore, please show me all your files”, he would not do that. In all probability, he would throw you out of his room. Therefore, we need a machinery or a process through which we can exercise this fundamental right. Right to Information Act 2005, which became effective on 13th October 2005, provides that machinery. It lays down the process on how to apply for information, where to apply, how much fees etc.

(Any questions from participants?)

Important provisions of RTI Act 2005:

(Some participant to read it out loudly) Right to Information Act 2005 empowers every citizen to

  • Ask any questions from the Government or seek any information
  • Take copies of any government documents
  • Inspect any government documents.
  • Inspect any Government works
  • Take samples of materials of any Government work.

One or more officers in every Government Department have been designated as Public Information Officers (PIO). These are the nodal officers, who are supposed to accept any application under RTI, collect information from that Department and provide it to the applicant. If the desired information is not provided within 30 days of application or if the information provided is incomplete, the concerned officer becomes liable for a penalty of Rs 250 per day of default upto a maximum of Rs 25,000 per application. And if wrong information is provided, a penalty upto a maximum of Rs 25,000 can be imposed on the officer.

Read sec 2(f), 2(j), 4(1)(d), 5(1), 5(2), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, briefly explain State IC and CIC, 18, 19, 20, 22 of the RTI Act and discuss in detail. These are the most important sections. But if you wish to use RTI frequently in your life, you must carefully read the entire Act in detail later.

Read all the rules (both Central rules and rules of your state) in detail.

Also, discuss the composition of CIC and State IC

How has RTI Act been used? Some instances:

Before this law was enacted, similar laws existed in 9 states. In the last few years, people have used RTI in several ways.

Some instances:

(One participant to read one case loudly)

  • Uday is a software engineer. He saw that the Outer Ring Road from IIT flyover to Panchsheel flyover was made last February and it came off within 10 days. He applied for inspection of files, inspection of road and sample of material used in the road. Two days before he was called for inspection, the entire road was relaid.
  • Triveni is a matriculate. She was shocked to discover that her ration shopkeeper was siphoning off rations meant for her by making false thumb impressions on cash memos in her name. Actually, she didn’t receive any grains for the last six months. Whenever she would go to the shop, the shop would either be closed or the shopkeeper would say that there was no stock. Triveni is a poor woman, who lives in a slum colony in East Delhi. She holds an Antyodaya card issued by the government to the poorest of the poor. However, it isn’t easy to get ration from a ration shop. In February 2003, Triveni filed an application under the Right to Information Act asking for the quantity of ration issued to her as per records and also copies of cash memos purported to have been issued to her. After a month, she received a reply stating that she had been issued 25 Kgs of wheat @ Rs 2 per Kg and 10 Kgs of rice @ Rs 3 per Kg every month in the last three months. The cash memos showed thumb impressions having been made in her name. She is a literate woman. She never puts thumb but always signs. Naturally, the thumb impressions do not belong to her but are fakes. This shows that the shopkeeper had been drawing her ration by faking thumb impressions in her name for the last so many months. Triveni was shocked. But now she was equipped with evidence to proceed against the shopkeeper. Before she could take any action, the shopkeeper came to her house and pleaded with her not to take any action and that he would mend his ways in future. Since then, Triveni is getting right amount of ration at the right price for the last year and a half.
  • Nannu is a daily wage earner. He lives in Welcome Mazdoor Colony, another slum habitation in East Delhi. He lost his ration card and applied for a duplicate one in January this year. He made several rounds of the local Food & Civil Supplies office for the next three months. But the clerks and officials would not even look at him, leave alone do his job or bother to tell him the status of his application. Ultimately, he filed an application under the Right to Information Act asking for the daily progress made on his application, names of the officials who were supposed to act on his application and what action would be taken against these officials. Within a week of filing application under Right to Information Act, he was visited by an inspector from the Food Department, who informed him that the card had been made and he could collect it from the office. When Nannu went to collect his card next day, he was given a very warm treatment by the Food & Supply Officer (FSO), who is the head of a Circle. The FSO offered him tea and requested him to withdraw his application under Right to Information, since his work had already been done.

The focus of this campaign is only to address those issues through RTI, like that of Nannu, where someone has a legitimate pending work in any Government Department, but they are not doing it either due to some bureaucratic delay or an expectation of bribe. It has been the experience so far that such cases get resolved very fast through the use of RTI. This is being called an Anti-Bribery Campaign.

Have you in the past or anyone in your family had any work pending in any government office? Do you have any work pending in any Government Office today? If there is no such real life case, imagine any case where you have a pending work in any Government Department and they are not doing it. Please right it down on a note pad. (3 minutes)

Case Studies for Anti-Bribery Campaign

(One participant to read out one story)

1. Nannu’s case – already discussed earlier.

2. Mrs Bakshi has a house in South Delhi. She rent a part of her house to someone, who was using it for commercial purposes. Therefore, a commercial water connection for that part of the house was taken. When the tenant vacated the house, she applied to Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for converting water connection back to domestic. She kept running around for several months. None listened to her. She was even told by some DJB men that the work would be done in no time if she paid a bribe. She refused. Her Neighbour, Saurav, one day told her about RTI and helped her in filing an application. She filed one and her job was done in the next few days.

3. Mr Sharma had to go to Germany. His daughter-in-law was expecting a baby. He needed a passport urgently. He applied for one. Acccording to the rules, it should be made in 45 days. For six months he kept running around. But no one listened. When he finally applied under RTI, his passport was made in a weeks time.

4. Pabitra is a Chartered Accountant, who refuses to pay bribes. There was a tax refund due to his client. Despite repeated letters and running around for a year, nothing happened. Pabitra suggested to his client that an RTI application be filed. Client agreed. Refund was received within a few days of filing RTI.

What did these people ask? How did this magic happen?

Nannu asked the following questions in his RTI application: (Some participant to read it out loudly)

  1. I filed an application for a duplicate ration card on 27th January 2004. Please tell me the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. According to the rules, my card should have been made in 10 days. However, it is more than three months now. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would I get my card now?

In normal circumstances, such an application would be thrown in a dustbin. But this law says that the Government has to reply in 30 days. If they don’t do that, their salary could be deducted. Now, it is not easy to answer these questions.

The first question is – please provide the daily progress made on my application.

There is no progress made. But the government officials cannot write in these many words that they have not acted for so many months. Else that would be admission of guilt on paper.

The next question is – please provide the names and designations of the officers who were supposed to take action on my application and who had not done so

If the government provides names and designations of the officials, their responsibility gets fixed. Any officer is most scared of fixing of responsibility against him in this manner. So, the moment one files such an application, his/her pending work is done.

What did Pabitra’s client ask? He also asked similar questions: (Some participant to read it out loudly)

  1. The appellate Commissioner decided an appeal in my favor, which should result in refund of taxes to me. I have made written requests earlier for the same. Please tell me the daily progress made on my requests so far. i.e. when did my application reach which official, for how long did it stay with that official and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. According to the rules, the appeal effect should have been given in 30 days. However, it is more than a year now. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would I get my refund now?

And within a few days of filing this RTI application, Pabitra’s client got his refund.

What did Mr Sharma ask? He asked the following questions from the Passport Officer: (Some participant to read it out loudly)

  1. I made an application for issue of a new passport (copy attached). Please tell me the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. According to the rules, my passport should have been made in 45 days. However, it is more than six months now. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would I get my passport now?

And he got his passport within the next few days.

What did Mrs Bakshi ask? (Some participant to read it out loudly)

  1. I made an application for conversion of commercial connection to domestic on ________. Please tell me the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when will my work be done now?

Let’s apply our learning. What questions will you ask in the case that you noted on your note pad? Write it down on your pad (5 minutes)

(Some participants to read out what they wrote. A small discussion on that)

Can we refine our questions further? Though these people asked just four of the above questions, let us add the following four more questions to make our application more sharp and effective:

(Some participant to read out following questions loudly)

  1. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    1. Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    2. Receipt no
    3. Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    4. Date of disposal
  2. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  3. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  4. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

(A small discussion on how the above questions would make application more effective)

If you put all these together you can make a letter that is an application under the Right to Information Act 2005.

Finally draft RTI application:

Samples of application for Nannu and Mr Sharma are given in Annexure 1. Please take a look at them. (Everyone to take a look at applications for about 3 minutes. Any questions?)

Before you can assist someone to draft a letter, you need to draft one yourself. Remember the case you noted down earlier.

First ascertain whether the concerned Department is a State Government Department or a Central Government Department. If you do not know, ask RTI expert present on the spot.

For Central Government Department, the RTI application has to be filed as a simple application on a plain piece of paper. For state government departments, some state governments have prescribed forms, whereas others accept applications on plain paper. If there is a form, fill RTI form.

Now draft your RTI application- Take not more than 10 minutes. Please write on your note pad. Please feel free to add more questions or modify the above questions if you think that would make your application effective.

(Let any three applicants read out their applications. Let there be a discussion on their applications on whether these are correct or could be improved)

The present Campaign

RTI has been used in several ways by the people, like developmental works, rations, etc. However, the present campaign is about making an appeal to the people to stop paying any bribes for their works in Government Departments and to start using RTI instead. Therefore, the present campaign is limited to addressing only those issues of the people, wherein they have a pending legitimate work in any Government Department, either due to expectation of bribe, loss of a file, not being aware of rules or due to simple laziness of the concerned officials. The Campaign would start from 1st July. It will be a 15 day campaign. Some national and regional newspapers and TV Channels would partner. In these 15 days, the following message will be aggressively promoted through advertisements and various programs:

“You need not pay bribes any more in this country. Now you have an effective alternative – Right to Information. Use RTI. Often, it works faster than bribes.”

The people would be informed that if they want any help in using RTI, they could approach volunteers at such and such place in such and such city from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm during these 15 days – volunteers would be present at these addresses to provide on the spot assistance to the people. Therefore, we would need to have volunteers at as many places in the country as possible.

Assistance would also be provided to the people through a telephone help line and through e-mails.

What are the types of issues, which might come at the Campaign?

Wherever you have a legitimate work pending, you have filed all the documents, you have completed all formalities, you have a genuine case, which the official ought to do in his normal course of duty but is not doing either for expectation of bribe or merely laziness. We call it extortionist bribery. For instance,

  • Issue of passport
  • Issue of any type of license
  • Issue of various certificates like marriage certificate, death certificate, birth certificate, SC/ST certificate, OBC certificate etc
  • Inclusion of name in voters’ list
  • Issue of voter ID card
  • Correction of water, electricity, telephone bills
  • Any legitimate problem with a department like change of faulty meter, providing new water or electricity connection, etc
  • Filing of FIR
  • Claiming various kinds of refunds or payments etc like tax refund, medical reimbursement, Provident Fund etc
  • etc

Pre-requisites before starting to draft an RTI application:

So, as you saw that you are basically asking the status of your application in each of the situations. By doing so, their inefficiency gets exposed. But suppose you apply for your passport today and file your RTI application the next day. Then RTI application will not help. Because they will just get back to you and say that they are still processing it and are well within the time prescribed for that work. So, an RTI application can be filed only after the end of the time limit prescribed for that work. Normally, the Govt has prescribed time limits for most such works either in the form of some rules or in citizens’ charters. For instance, an ordinary passport should be made within 45 days of application. A tatkal passport should be made within 10 days. The Income Tax Department normally takes about a year to send your Income Tax refund. Some more time limits are:

  1. Passport: 45 days for a normal passport, 10 days for a tatkal passport
  2. Income Tax refund: Give a year after filing your return. But 30 days for appeal effect or after making a rectification application. This is according to their citizens’ charter.
  3. Two months for a ration card.
  4. 30 days in case of general grievances

Every department will have its own time limits for different kinds of works. We cannot be expected to know all of them. Let us just remember the above few time limits. For cases other than the above types of cases, we should ask the applicant himself “How much is the time limit for disposal of such applications in the Government?” If he knows and tells you the time limit, ensure that the time limit is over before you attempt to make his RTI application. Otherwise ask him to wait for the time limit to get over. But if he does not know the time limit, tell him that the RTI would work only if the prescribed time limit is over. If he still wants us to make his RTI application, please do that.

What will you actually have to do at the camp?

When anyone approaches you, listen to his problem carefully.

  1. If he simply wants to know more about RTI or wants to become a volunteer, please do not entertain him and send him to a separate set of volunteers in the hall specifically meant for this purpose.
  2. Whether he/she is Below Poverty Line and whether there is proof in terms of the Ration Card etc. Then he won’t need to deposit fee.
  3. Enter his basic details in a register lying on your desk. The details are name, address, e-mail, phone nos, brief description of problem, name of Department, whether the application was finally filed.
  4. Ascertain whether it is the type of case, where a legitimate work is pending in a Government Department, which the Government should have done in normal course. Ascertain whether it is the type of case which we are supposed to handle during the Campaign. If it is not, send him to the coordinator.
  5. Find out whether it is a State or Central Government Department
  6. Ascertain the time limit prescribed for that job. If no time limit known, go ahead and draft the RTI application but caution him that RTI will work only if the time limit is over.
  7. You would not need to actually draft an RTI application. A draft application in the format enclosed would be available. You would just need to fill in the blanks. The basic questions are already there in the format. But if you think that asking some additional specific questions in that particular case might help, please write those questions also. (we will practice filling some such forms just now)
  8. In filling up the draft application, you would need to fill in the details of the PIO. You would get it from the list of PIOs available on the spot. But we should practice on how to use this list during training sessions also.
  9. You should then ask the applicant to attach a copy of his grievance petition or his application submitted to that Department.
  10. Important tips:
    1. Suppose he/she does not have a receipted copy of application. Ask the applicant to attach the copy of application submitted even if it is not a receipted copy. If he/she does not even have a copy of the application, then please mention the date (if he/she remembers it or the month) when the application was submitted. But tell the applicant that this fact could become the reason for not getting good results. In that case, please advise him/her to submit another grievance petition separately in addition to the RTI application. Ask him to take a receipted copy of application this time. This would enable him to file an RTI after a few days.
    2. Several people would come and tell their problems. But they would not have filed any application or any grievance petition. They would simply ask you to solve their problem through RTI. Ask them to first file a proper grievance petition or an application. For instance, someone comes and says that he has got an inflated electricity bill. What should he do? He has not filed any grievance application so far for the rectification of the same. Ask him to first file an application to the electricity department requesting them to solve your problem. Then he should wait for a few days. When the work is not done on his application in the next few days, that he should file RTI
    3. Please remember. We should entertain only those cases where there is some application or a grievance petition or some such work pending. This entire campaign is about asking for the status of progress of that work using RTI.

Now let us practice to draft applications for the following case studies. In addition to the 8 questions already discussed, please feel free to add more questions at the end of the application, to make it sharper and more effective:

You have a faulty electricity meter in your house. But the authorities are not replacing it despite repeated requests. Please make the following application:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    1. Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    2. Receipt no
    3. Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    4. Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss if anyone had a problem in filling up the application. Let one of the participants read out filled blanks and ask others to compare. Has anyone added new questions? Discuss the same and whether they are good/bad?)

Next application:

You made a complaint to the police but they are not registering FIR. Please make the following application:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss if anyone had a problem in filling up the application. Let one of the participants read out filled blanks and ask others to compare. Has anyone added new questions? Discuss the same and whether they are good/bad?)

Next application:

You want to know balance in your PF account. You have retired and want to claim your PF but the authorities are not responding to your letters. Please make the following application:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss if anyone had a problem in filling up the application. Let one of the participants read out filled blanks and ask others to compare. Has anyone added new questions? Discuss the same and whether they are good/bad?)

Deposit fee and submit an application:

Having made the application, the fee has to be deposited and the application has to be submitted. For a Central Government Department, some post offices have been designated as Assistant Public Information Offices (APIOs) to accept RTI applications for all Central Government Departments. There would be a banner giving details of the nearest post office which would accept applications. The volunteers should request the applicants to read that banner.

For State Departments, every state has made its own rules. If fee is acceptable as postal orders or through stamps, then arrangements would be made to provide stamps or postal orders to the people at the camp. Having completed the application and taken stamps or postal order for equivalent amount, the applicant may now send his application to the PIO by post or in person.

The application has been filled. What should the applicant do now? Hand over a pamphlet to the applicant, which would contain on what to do next. This pamphlet would contain details on what he should do if he does not get information in 30 days. It contains the dates, when we will hold a day long workshop for helping people file first and second appeals.

Role Plays

  1. Imagine one of you is manning a counter and the other approaches you with a case.
  2. Others will be observe. Enter the observation sheet below.
  3. This will be done three times with different Volunteers.
  4. Also, in each case, draft applications in the standard format given below.
  5. The following material should be present at the counter: A register for noting down the details of each applicant, standard RTI application forms and pamphlets.

(Discuss the observation sheets) 
RTI application for Role Play 1:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss it after the first role play)

RTI application for Role Play 2:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss it after the second role play)

RTI application for Role Play 3:

To

The PIO,

__________________________,

__________________________,

__________________________.

I had made an application for the following reason (copy of application is attached) but no satisfactory action has been taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

  1. Please indicate the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would my work be done now?
  5. Please give me a list of all the applications/returns/petitions/grievances received, after my application/return/petition/grievance was received. The list should contain the following information:
    • Name of applicant/taxpayer/petitioner/aggrieved person
    • Receipt no
    • Date of application/return/petition/grievance
    • Date of disposal
  6. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records, which contains details of receipt of the above applications/returns/petitions/grievances
  7. Please give reasons for out of turn disposal of the applications/ returns/ petitions/ grievances, if any, which were received after me.
  8. By when would vigilance enquiries be initiated in the above matter of out of turn disposal of applications/returns/petitions/grievances, if any?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(Discuss it after the third role play)

Practice to deposit application:

This session is to acquaint volunteers on how to file applications and to deposit fee.

Please draft three applications under RTI – one for any Central Government Department and two for any State Government Departments. These applications could be for any issue (need not be an anti-bribery issue)

Next day, please go and deposit your applications by following methods:

1. Application for the Central Government Department through Post Office

2. One of the applications of the State Government Department by going in person to that Department and depositing fee in cash.

3. The other application of State Department by affixing stamp or using postal order (if any of these methods exist in your state. We should be trained to use this method because this is the method which might be used for filing applications during the campaign)

Please report back your experiences to the trainer either on phone or through e-mail. Trainer should ensure that he gets response from each volunteer within the next five days.  
Annexure 1

RTI application of Nannu

To

The PIO,

Food & Supplies Department,

K Block, Vikas Bhavan,

I P Estate, New Delhi – 1

Sub: Application under Right to Information Act 2005

Dear Sir,

Please provide the following information under Right to Information Act 2005. Since I am a person living below poverty line (copy of my earlier ration card attached as a proof that I belong to BPL category), I am not depositing application fee:

  1. I filed an application for a duplicate ration card on 27th January 2004. Please tell me the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. According to the rules, my card should have been made in 10 days. However, it is more than three months now. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would I get my card now?

Yours sincerely,

(Nannu)

E Block, Welcome Colony,

Seelampur, Delhi-93

RTI application of Mr Sharma

To

The PIO,

Regional Passport Office,

Bhikaji Cama Place,

New Delhi

Sub: Application under Right to Information Act 2005

Dear Sir,

Please provide the following information under Right to Information Act 2005:

  1. I made an application for issue of a new passport (copy attached). Please tell me the daily progress made on my application so far. i.e. when did my application reach which officer, for how long did it stay with that officer and what did he/she do during that period?
  2. According to the rules, my passport should have been made in 45 days. However, it is more than six months now. Please give the names and designations of the officials who were supposed to take action on my application and who have not done so?
  3. What action would be taken against these officials for not doing their work and for causing harassment to the public? By when would that action be taken?
  4. By when would I get my passport now?

I am separately depositing Rs 10 as application fee.

Yours sincerely,

(S Sharma)

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