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Archive for the ‘RTI Cases’ Category

Rs 56,000 for information under RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on November 2, 2006

Rs 56,000 for information under RTI

Manish Pachouly & Dhaval Kulkarni

Mumbai, November 1, 2006

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1833687,0008.htm

Seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act can be costly at times. Especially when you are asked to cough up as much as Rs 56,000 for some information, you would probably think again before using the Act.

Advocate Vinod Sampat, too, was shocked when he was asked by the Andheri Land Records office to pay an amount of Rs 56, 268 to get information on the structures located on collector’s land across the city.

Sampat had made an application on September 21 to inquire about it. He needed the accurate information to be part of the reference books he is writing on property matters. “I wanted information on such properties because buying properties situated on collector’s land costs an extra amount,” said Sampat.

“However, I was shocked to see the amount asked by the Andheri office,” he said. And the amount was asked only for information on the properties situated under the jurisdiction of Andheri office.

A shocked Sampat wrote to the Chief Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi, on Wednesday, asking him to ascertain the amount demanded from him. He also wrote to the Land Records Officer, Andheri, MT Ingle seeking a clarification on how the amount was arrived.

As per RTI rules, Rs 2 per page is demanded to provide information. “That means they were giving me 28,000 pages as information,” said an amused Sampat.

He said that if his queries were not answered, he would file an appeal with the appellate authority.

When contacted, Ingle said he had charged Sampat according to the rates specified by the state government and the revenue department.

Joshi said that in such cases, it is better for the applicants to ask for the inspection of the files so that they can pin-point the actual documents needed. They can also come in appeal to the commission, he said.

“The information officers can charge rates only as prescribed by the state government and in this case, it is found that the concerned officer is trying to willfully mislead the people, strict action will be taken,” he added.

However, Sampat said that the inspection point should have been mentioned in the letter, “instead of just frightening the applicant by demanding such an astronomical amount.”

“Do you believe that the Land Records office must have counted all the 28,000 pages?”

manish.pachouly@hindustantimes.com

Posted in RTI Cases | 2 Comments »

Re: Letter to CJ, Bom HC re: RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 6, 2006

Dear Mr. Rebello,
My apologies but I probably missed the mail, asking for the legal notice.
I am attaching the copy of the Legal Notice with this mail.
Love
shailesh
022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.
http://www.satyamevajayate.info

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: E group KARMAYOG ; KARMAYOG GROUP
Cc: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:54 PM
Subject: Letter to CJ, Bom HC re: RTI

Dear members of Karmayog,

Please see the following letter written to the CJ of Bom HC. We would appreciate if some of you can write to the Bom HC on your organisation letter-head on the same, with a copy to us. The first letter can go from Karmayog itself. Please send us a hard copy.

We are even surprised that Shailesh Gandhi who regularly posts emails on this egroup and declares that his emails are in public domain has not even responded to our request to share his notice on behalf of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information to the CJ. We feel that NCPRI can play a more pro-active role on this issue in colloboration with Justice Corps and Karmayog.

We shall be waiting for another 20 days, till we receive a response from the Central Information Commission and CJ’s office, after which we shall be taking up a PIL.

Sincerely,

Ronald L. Rebello
Sanket Kashid
Ganesh Sodaye

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI ; NN Ganesh comrade
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 10:18 PM
Subject: RTI — Important- your notice to CJ

Dear Shaileshji,

My colleague Ganesh has already spoken to you in this regard when you were at Tata Institute of Social Sciences a few days ago. Can you send us a copy of your notice to the CJ of Bombay HC as also other details in the matter such as, copy of Registrar notice, developments after your notice etc.

Thanks

Ronald Rebello

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 4:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Your notice to CJ: RTI — Important

—– Original Message —–
From: RONALD REBELLO
To: Shailesh Gandhi RTI
Cc: NN Ganesh comrade
Sent: Sunday, June 25, 2006 3:44 PM
Subject: Your notice to CJ: RTI — Important

To

Shailesh Gandhi

NCPRI

Dear Shaileshji,

A couple of months ago newspapers had reported that you had issued a notice to the Chief Justice and Registrar of the Bombay High Court in the matter of their dereliction in providing information under the Right to Information Act and not appointing a PIO.

We are a youth action group working for reform and transparency in the Judicial and legal system. We are concerned that the Bombay HC had still not looked into the matter and were contemplating a PIL, till we read about your notice to the CJ.

Therefore, please let us know whether any change took place after the notice was served. Have the authorities or CJ replied saying that they will comply with the Act?.

If you have still not received any response, then I think we can take up a PIL jointly. In the meanwhile, I too shall issue a second notice accordingly.

Please provide me by email any circular or document issued by the Registrar in this regard, that you may have in your possession. I would also be happy to receive a copy of your notice to the CJ and Registrar.

Yours faithfully,

Ronald L. Rebello

Justice Corps

Email: yoursfrankly@rediffmail.com

Cell: 9869 650 870

JUSTICE CORPS

(Action group for judicial transparency and justice reforms)

C/o:  28 Sunrise, Samta Nagar, Kandivali (East), Mumbai 400 101

Mob: 9869 650 870, Email: yoursfrankly@rediffmail.com

To

The Hon’ble Chief Justice                                                                     July 19, 2006.

Bombay High Court

Fort, Mumbai.

Dereliction by Bombay High Court in implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Circular issued by Registrar General, Bombay High Court is ultra vires to the Information Act.

Sir,

This is an official complaint and your attention is invited against the excessive circular of the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court. The said administrative circular issued on February 15, 2006 directs all courts to withhold information asked under the RTI Act till further communication is received from the High Court. The Circular states that the matter of supplying information under the Act is under active consideration by the Supreme Court as well as the Bombay High Court. The complainants rely on the information provided in the news report of the Times of India, attached as Annexure I.

Now therefore, such a circular of the Registrar General is ultra vires to the Right to Information Act 2005; is excessive and unjustified on following grounds:

1.. The Right to Information Act contains a clear provision making it obligatory for the public authorities to appoint Public Information Officers within one hundred days of the enactment of the Act as per section 5, and to publish detailed information about its working within 120 days, as per section 4. This sufficient period of 120 days expired on October 19, 2005, the day the Act came into force.

2.. Under section 2(h)(a) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 the Bombay High Court is a public authority and under section 2(e)(iii) the Chief Justice is the competent authority, both who are enjoined to implement the Act. Even after eight-and-half months since the day the Act came into force, the Act remains unimplemented by the Bombay High Court. No provision in the RTI Act excuses the public authority or you as the competent authority by giving extension in period to implement the Act.

3.. No time-frame for implementation of the Act has been given by you as a competent authority and the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court. Infact, the Registrar had initially stated in an interview to the Times of India in November 02, 2005 that the process of implementation of the Act was likely to resume after November 14, 2005 (Please see TOI report as Annexure II). Five months later in April 2006, inspite of a notice issued by activists to the then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court to implement the Act, no response was received from the Bombay High Court. The Registrar General in a response to the Press, repeated that the HC was yet to decide to what extent the Act should be made applicable to the judiciary. (Please see Annexure III).

4.. The circular of the Registrar General does not fit in any provision or rule made under the Right to Information Act and is inconsistent with the same. The circular is an administrative order, non-judicial in nature and is excessive.

5.. The circular amounts to circumventing a central legislation, which is Constitutionally sound and remains unchallenged so far in any court of law.

6.. The Judiciary does not come within the purview of the 18 intelligence and security organizations that are exempt from the RTI Act.

7.. That, other than the regular practice of obtaining copies of judgements, there is enough scope to seek information under the RTI Act from the Judiciary and hence there is certainly a need to appoint Public Information Officers for the purpose. Please refer to Annexure IV, a letter to the editor of Times of India on the scope of using the Act vis-à-vis judiciary.

8.. That, as the competent authority, you are empowered under section 28 of the Act to make rules in terms of cost of the medium or print cost price of materials to be disseminated, the fee payable for providing information. Therefore, the duration in deciding the costs and fees payable for providing information is too long. The so-called “active consideration” as cited by the Registrar General of the court is nothing but an excuse and amounts to dereliction of duty.

Now therefore, in the interests of justice and transparency, the following reliefs are sought:

i.. That, as the competent authority, you direct the Registrar General to revoke the said circular forthwith.

ii..  That, information under section 4 of the Act is published immediately.

iii.. That, Public Information Officers under section 5 of the Act be appointed forthwith.

iv.. That, rules under section 28 of the Act should be framed forthwith.

The Supreme Court has in various judgments held in the past that the citizens enjoy the fundamental right to information. The Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted “to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”. It is therefore hoped, that as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court and competent authority appointed under the Act, you would take immediate cognizance of this letter and pass the necessary directives.
Yours faithfully,

Ronald L. Rebello

Social Activist and Founder, Justice Corps

Sanket Kashid

Co-founder, Justice Corps

Ganesh Sodaye

Member, Justice Corps

Copy by email to:

1.. Central Information Commission, New Delhi

2.. Registrar General, Bombay High Court

3.. Organisations and individuals working on the right to information.

4.. Print and electronic media.

In solidarity with the above assertions and demands:

No
Name
Designation and Organisation

1..        Dr. Leo Rebello                                  President, All India (Press) Letter Writers Association

& Litigants Welfare Forum

2..        Mrs. Prabha Tirmare                         Sr. Lecturer, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan

3..        Dr. J. Adsule                                    Member, HC Legal Aid Committee, Mumbai

4..        Ms. Ulka Mahajan                             Sarvahara Jan Andolan

5..        Mrs. Farida Lambay                          Vice-Principal, College of Social Work

6..        Mr. Datta Balsaraf                            NavMaharashtra Yuva Abhiyan, Y. B Chavan Centre

7..        Ms. Medha Kulkarni                          Trustee, Sampark, Mumbai

8..        Mr. Ramesh Kadam                          General Secretary, Police-Janta Parivartan Dal

9..        Mr. Shuddodan Kathade                     President, Janvikas

10.        Mr. John D’souza                              Director, Centre for Education & Documentation

11..       Mrs. Leena Joshi                               Director, Apnalaya

12..       Ms. Seema Pawaskar                        Systems Elite to Endeavor Development

13..       Mr. Vijay Najaraj                              Tata Institute of Social Sciences

14..       Mr. Allyn D’Silva                              Justice & Peace Commission

15..       Ms. Juliet Maben                               Documentation Research & Training Centre

16..       Mrs. Pamela Fernandes                     ACCP, Hotline

17..       Ms. Patsy Khan                                President, Institute of Social Service

18..       Ms. Philomina Vaz                            Anubhav Mumbai

19..       Mr. Pravin More                               State Secretary, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights

20..       Mr. Sanjay Lokhande                        Executive Secretary, Konkan Vikas Samanvaya Vyaspith

21..       Mr. Mohan Surve                              Executive Director, Vikas Sahyog Pratishthan

22..       Mr. Lalit Babar                                 Dr. Ambedkar Setivikas Sanstha.

23..       Mr. Anil Borkar                                Gramin Vikas Pragati Mandal, Bhandara

24..       Mr. Datta Patil                                  S. G. V. M

25..       Mr. Sachin Jakhi                               Sahil Sanstha, Ratnagiri

26..       Mr. Anant Kadam                             Lokadhikar Andolan

27..       Mr. Devidas Kumbhar                      Somling Gram Vikas

28..       Mr. Ashok Bhosale                           Samajik Nyay Pratisthan

29..       Mr. Gajanan Bhoir                            Sakav, Raigad

30..       Mr. Ajit Karde                                  Vikalp, Satara

31..       Mr. Sachin M.                                   Constructive Catalyst, Pune

32..       Mr. Ramesh Sagare                          Human Resource Development Corporation

33..       Mr. Suresh Sawant                            Co-ordinator, Rationing Kruti Samiti

34..       Mrs. Asunta D’souza                        Social Worker, Salokha

35..       Ms. Sneha Khandekar                       Social Activist

36..       Mr. Prasad Manjrekar                       Action Aid International, India office

* We had also approached former law minister of Maharashtra, Shri Husein Dalvai, who declined to sign the letter saying that he would rather prefer to follow-up the matter with the government directly. Similarly, Dean of Law, Mumbai University and Principal, New Law College,  Mr. N. M Rajadyaksha said that he would follow-up the matter directly with the Judges of the Bombay High Court.

Posted in RTI Cases | 1 Comment »

Discoms accused of running away from RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 5, 2006

Discoms accused of running away from RTI

Staff Reporter

http://www.hindu.com/2006/08/06/stories/2006080607450400.htm

RWAs lodge protest against the failure of Government to ensure their accountability

 

 

 

NEW DELHI: Representatives of the residents’ welfare associations attending the two-day “Bhagidari” workshop on Right to Information organised by the Chief Minister’s Office have expressed surprise at the decision of the authorities to keep out the functioning of private power distribution companies from the ambit of the RTI Act and the discussions held during the workshop. Lodging their protest against the “indifferent attitude” of the discoms and the failure of the Delhi Government to ensure their accountability, the RWA representatives said they were bemused that the most crucial issue of power sector reforms — private distribution companies — had been kept out of the ambit of RTI.

“If Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is really concerned about empowerment of consumers, why this silence when the discoms are fighting tooth and nail to be kept out of the ambit of RTI,” asked Atul Goyal of the Karol Bagh RWA and United Residents’ Joint Association (URJA) coordinator for West Delhi.

He said the discoms have gone to court to resist being brought under the RTI regime and are understood to have obtained a stay on the issue. The residents and their associations had wanted to use RTI as a weapon to force discoms to fall under scrutiny on various issues including filing of Annual Revenue Receipts, loss reduction targets, investments in infrastructure and the entire range of the conditions of agreement with the Delhi Government. The residents were convinced that they would have managed to unearth crucial information to indict private companies which many believe have taken unrestrained advantage of beneficial clauses included in the agreement at the behest of vested interests. URJA member and lawyer P.S. Sharda said there has been a concerted attempt to shield the Delhi Vidyut Board privatisation deal from public scrutiny.

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Land deals: Jan Morcha Alliance to exercise RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 22, 2006

Land deals: Jan Morcha Alliance to exercise RTI

HT Correspondent
Varanasi, July 20

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1748856,0015002500030002.htm

FORMER PRIME Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh said his newly-formed Jan Morcha Alliance would seek details of all anti-farmer land deals in the country under the Right to Information Act.

The JMA has given a nationwide call to farmers to join its protest against anti-farmer policies of some State Governments, especially in UP and Haryana where two industrialist brothers have got cultivators’ land at throwaway prices.

Speaking to HT on the phone, he said the JMA wanted to broadbase its pro-farmer movement. “To begin with, a massive farmers’ rally will be held at Dadri on August 17. We expect farmers from all over the country to join.”

Besides VP Singh, Agra MP Raj Babbar will organise the Dadri rally against the Mulayam Singh Yadav Government’s “capitalist-friendly and anti-farmer policies”.

Singh said the Jan Morcha would also hold rallies in Varanasi, Moradabad, Agra, Mathura, Kanpur and Lucknow from where there were reports of farmers’ land being usurped on the instructions of the State Government.

“We will not allow the farmers to suffer,” he reiterated.

He said land allotted to Reliance at a throwaway price for setting up a power project was in no way going to better the lot of people of Uttar Pradesh, as the power would be sold to big business houses at exorbitant rates. In Varanasi, farmers took to the streets in protest against the acquisition of agricultural land by Unitech for construction of Hi-Tech City.

In this case and elsewhere also, the State Government entered into agreements with the big corporate houses for sale of land without even taking the farmers into confidence.

Unitech officials said the State Government would empower the police to forcibly acquire land for the company.

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Blog blocking stalemate continues

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 21, 2006

Blog blocking stalemate continues
Pragya Singh
Posted online: Friday, July 21, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/8908.html
Cyberwar: DoT now puts blame on ISPs, asks for selective blocking

NEW DELHI, JULY 20:Three days into the unhappy skirmish with bloggers,
the government on Thursday double-barrelled its decision to gag 17
websites and blogs in India.

'Blogs will be back soon

On Thursday, the Department of Telecom (DoT) sent Internet Service
Providers (ISPs) yet another letter—this one ''ordering'' them to
selectively block only those websites that it had specified in the
July 13 ban order.

All other websites, DoT has told the Internet companies, must continue
to be accessed ''unhindered''. In a statement issued today, DoT has
said that by blocking more websites than the 17 in the hot seat, ISPs
are in ''contravention'' of its orders.

This is the first time that DoT is placing its cards on the table on
the July 13 ban, but its position is remains marred, since not all
ISPs seem to have the required technology to selectively block
webpages maintained on blogs.

But the government is not playing along with niceties. The official
statement issued today paraphrases the new order as saying: ''It has
come to notice that in some cases the parent website had been blocked
in contravention to what was stated in its earlier order.''

As if on cue, the ISP Association of India (ISPAI) has also said that
there is technology available to block websites and web pages
selectively, and that though not all ISPs may have it now, they can
acquire it soon.

On Thursday, one representative of a Delhi-based ISP confirmed that
the July 13 order did only mention a few blogspot.com pages and some
other websites. ''That's why ISPs cannot block blogspot.com
completely,'' he said. This is complicated, because the blocking of
pin-pointed 17 websites was not effective and most bloggers had railed
against the extensive nature this ban had taken on.

The Thursday order, however, has given some bloggers more teeth to
bite the official hand with. An informal coalition-in-the-making of
bloggers has now decided to address the government on the blog issue
by bringing up tricky legal questions.

''By next week we will approach the Supreme Court and sue the
government and ISPs on restricting everybody's access to the
Internet,'' says Sarbajit Roy, who plans to lead the bloggers. Roy
says he had previously, in 2004, sued all telecom companies in Delhi
over restricting calls.

The pivot of this legal action is ironically to be based on the
Information Technology Act, 2000. This Act defines ''hacking,'' in
Section 66, as gaining illegal access to any website, or preventing
access to a website through illegal means.

''If this is Section 66, isn't the government and the ISPs both in
contravention of the law by preventing thousands of bloggers from
getting online? Now, even the government says the ISPs had no right to
block access to blogspot.com except those sites mentioned in the July
13 order.'' says Roy.

Tired of bad publicity, the DoT has turned against ISPs in its July 20
order. It has asked ISPs ''Why action (should) be not taken against
them for blocking unintended websites/webpages.''

pragya.singh@expressindia.com

Posted in RTI Cases | 1 Comment »

Gag off, bloggers plan legal step

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 21, 2006

Gag off, bloggers plan legal step
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060721/asp/nation/story_6505919.asp

New Delhi, July 20: Bloggers are working on plans to file a petition
against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for blocking blog sites.

Faced with an avalanche of national and international criticism, the
government today asked the ISPs to provide unhindered access to
blogging sites.

In a notice to the ISPs, it said it had only asked them to block
certain anti-national web pages, not entire blog sites. The Centre
threatened to take action against the ISPs if they failed to open up
these sites.

Bloggers, however, said they would legally target the ISPs as well as
the government for denying access to sites.

Sarbajit Roy, a blogger on the popular web site Blogspot.com, which is
among the sites blocked for over a week now, is spearheading the
action.

He said: "We plan to file a petition seeking compensation from the
government for wrongfully denying access to legitimate blogs by ISPs."

Indian bloggers are forming a legal coalition to fight the case, he
said, adding that the ISPs were "unlawfully denying bloggers access to
some of the popular blogging web sites".

In its letter to the ISPs, the department of telecommunications said:
"It had come to notice that in some cases the parent web site had been
blocked in contravention of what was stated in its earlier order dated
13th July 2006 whereby it ordered the ISPs to block certain web
sites/web pages." The department has sought an explanation from the
ISPs why other web sites were blocked.

Bloggers are filing incident reports with the government's Computer
Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In), specifying how they have been
affected. They will need to establish the quantum of damages in each
case.

A petition is expected to be filed in the Supreme Court, claiming
damages of up to Rs 1 crore each on behalf of the affected bloggers
who have registered with CERT-In.

Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court lawyer, said bloggers have remedies
under Section 43 of the IT Act, which covers unlawful denial of
services.

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You get infomation that is no information

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 21, 2006

Friends

From my own experience and the following to test cases you will get a glimpse how the bobus avoid or what tactics they adopt in circumventing the RTI Act.

Test Cases:

 

A: Getting Information that is No Information

 

I filed application under RTI querying GVC about the status of my complaint that I had lodged against corrupt officials of Gujarat State Financial Corporation.

 

I got a demand note in time for Rs.10/- to make available the 5 sheets of documents. I sent a draft and subsequently received the 5 sheets. These so called docs were copies of the forwarding letters from the GVC to GSFC & ACB.

 

I have filed an appeal to AA today. Copies of my appeal and application are attached herewith.

 

You will find how cleverly the Public Authority provides information within time frame but practically without parting any useful information at all!

 

To make change in the mind set of the babudom particularly the departments like Police, ACB, GVC or Departmental Vigilance Cell etc would not be easy task. Till now they were questioning and hardly got questioned and perhaps that is why they squirm on slightest provocation.

 

Text from My Application –

 

“……The copy of my last letter dated 29/4/2003 is enclosed with email herewith for your

ready reference.

 

Nothing has been communicated to me so far about the action taken on my application so far.

Please provide the following information with respect to the same:

 

1. Please indicate progress made on my application/return/petition/grievance so far i.e., status.

 

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 or shall be complete if the investigation is yet pending?

 

3. I have spent considerable time, energy and there have been considerable financial losses as the corrupt officials of the GSFC are not bothered to redress my grievances as they no fear of any action from the ACB or GVC.

 

4. By when would that action be taken? By when I would know the status and action taken

against my complaint?

 

5. Please give copy or print out of those portions of records whether my contentions supplied

as notes and copies of documents attached and submitted were found to be true or rejected on some ground by officer conducting inquiry.

 

6. Please give a copy of the reply and all copies of documents received by you from ACB and/or GSFC in this mater as well as your report of findings on investigation.

The hard copy of this application under RTI Act 2005 is being posted to you with non-judicial stamps of value Rs 20 as application fee….”

 

Text from Appeal:

“3        Reasons for Appeal:   

1.     I had submitted my application dated 30/6/06 under section-6 of the RTI Act 2005 to the Pubic Information Officer, GVC. I received a letter dated 06/07/2006 on 11th July asking me to pay Rs.10/- for fee for making 5 sheets of docs. On 12th I sent a DD of Rs.10/- by courier.  I received 5 sheets of the documents on July 18, 2006 vide Ref let no GNN/51/06/G dated 14/7/2006. This appeal is being lodged within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the reply from PIO i.e., within limitation period.

2.     All of these 5 copies of the documents given to me are copies of forwarding letters addressed time to time to GSFC or ACB for action sent by GVC.

3.       However the PIO has been candid while stating that he was providing only partial information against my application. The fact remains that none of these forwarding letters even remotely provide any information with regards to the query – 6 points, I had made in may RTI Application dated 30/6/2006. As none of my six points are touched upon I say I have been given NO INFORMATION.

4.       The PIO further states that the information is being collected from ACB & GSFC. The APIO /PIO GSFC has informed me that the Departmental Vigilance Inquiry was completed and the GSFC has already submitted the Departmental Vigilance Report to ACB & GVC.

4.        Prayer:

My simple prayer is to please provide me requested information and certified copies of the requested documents….”

 

 

B: Vigilance Inquiry Report about corruption – whether it is in wider public interest or not?

 

Another application was filed with the GSFC about the same matter requesting departmental vigilance report. I got refusal and I made appeal thereof to AA. It is also annexed.

 

Text from My Application –

 

Particulars of Information required (in brief)

· As per letter date 30/12/2002, a vigilance inquiry was pending. Kindly let us know the status of the matter and make available to us all relevant documents pertaining to this departmental vigilance inquiry including inquiry report and details furnished to Anti Corruption Bureau & Gujarat Vigilance Commission in this matter.

 

Text from Appeal:

 

3          Reasons for Appeal:        

 

1.      I had submitted my application no 2 under section-6 of the RTI Act 2005 to the Pubic Information Officer, GSFC. The application was transmitted electronically by email on 18/06/2006: 6:25 AM.

2.      The appeal is being filed within 30 days of the receipt of information from APIO with respect to my application no2 dated 18/6/07.

3.      I have been denied requested information from Asst Public Information Officer. 

 

Quote:

 

The Vigilance Department of the Corporation has completed the enquuy and the required informationl reply has been given to ACB and Gujarat Vigilance Commission The reporl of concerned department of the Corporation is very confilentiaI and we are unable to provide the copy of the same as mentioned in Clause-8″ of the RTI Act 2005 Further to inform that the instant demand wherein public interest is not invoived in the matter.

 

End Quote.

 

The APIO/PIO has committed grave error by denying me making the report available as he has made wrong interpretation of the Section-8 (giving exemptions in certain cases). As per provision of the law information can be denied if an inquiry is ongoing.

As per section 8 (e) that PIO may deny information in case of fiduciary relationship. Even law permits its disclosure by the public authority in wider public interest. 

 

From no stretch of imagination it can be inferred that the departmental vigilance inquiry report about its own employees establishes any fiduciary relationship.

 

The information pertains to a vigilance inquiry on my complaint of corruption. The corruption falls in public domain and when the inquiry is completed no exemption is available under Section 8 or any of its sub-sections.

 

4.        Prayer:

My simple prayer is to please provide me requested information –

1.       A copy of the departmental vigilance repot on my complaint be made available to me.

….”

 

Now I am awaiting what happens and how my appeals get disposed of by the concerned Appellant Authorities.

 

Y Singh

20/7/2006

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Priyadarshini’s father seeks retrial – the RTI applications

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 19, 2006

Priyadarshini’s father seeks retrial – the RTI applications

http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=RTI&slug=

Priyadarshini%27s+father+seeks+retrial&id=19857&callid=0&category=National

Anasuya Roy

Watch story Priyadarshini~s father seeks retrial

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 (New Delhi):

Encouraged by public anger and the RTI applications, Chaman Lal Mattoo, Priyadarshini Mattoo’s father, has come out in open and demanded a retrial for the murder of his daughter.

He has also asked the CBI to take a fresh look at all the evidence.

Priyadarshini Mattoo, a third-year law student, was raped and strangled to death in the bedroom of her South Delhi flat on January 23, 1996.

For ten and a half years Chaman Lal Mattoo has been let down by the system. However, now he has gone directly to the people with a one-point agenda.

“I want a retrial in the case,” said Chaman Lal Mattoo.

The man originally accused of murdering his daughter was acquitted even though the judge hearing the case said that, “though I know he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him, giving him the benefit of doubt.”

Since then, Chaman Lal Mattoo has watched in relative silence as this decision was appealed in court.

In the six years thereafter, the case has been not been heard. In 2002, the CBI appealed in the high court for a speedy trial.

After the Jessica Lall acquittal, the sheer force of public opinion that emerged convinced the 70-year-old father of Priyadarshini to push for justice for his daughter.

Public support

At his side are a group of young people, most of whom were children when Priyadarshini was murdered, who now stand at the forefront of this new movement.

They’ve already used the Right to Information Act to ask for documents that will show how the investigation was mishandled the first time around.

“We feel it is a cause that one should speak up for,” said Aditya Raj, Justice for Priyadarshini.

The group are fighting for justice for Priyadarshini and have one simple appeal that if you believe and want to support their cause, join them in their rally at India Gate on July 23 – the day Priyadarshini would have turned 34 had she been alive.

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Want info under RTI? Pay Rs 4.7 lakh!

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 11, 2006

Want info under RTI? Pay Rs 4.7 lakh!
[ 10 Jul, 2006 2358hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1725357.cms

Want info under RTI? Pay Rs 4.7 lakh!

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Ahmedabad: Guess how much it can cost a man for seeking information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act? If he is asking for information from the Gujarat State Wakf Board, it can cost him close to Rs 5 lakh!

Setting a record of sorts, the Wakf Board has demanded a fee of Rs 4,74,690 from Hussain Arab, an Ahmedabad-based member of Hazrat-Bada-Adrus Trust, for answering five questions under the RTI Act. This amount is claimed to be highest fee asked by any authority ever since the Act was passed by the Centre on October 12, 2005.

Arab, 61, a resident of Paldi in Ahmedabad, had applied for information on February 6. He had sought an explanation on the board’s alleged irregular administration and reasons for not implementing a scheme passed by the Gujarat charity commissioner in 2001. Arab had also sought information about properties owned by Muslim trusts in Ahmedabad, Surat and Bharuch.

“The board responded to my application within the stipulated 30 days. However, what I received was a quotation signed by the public information officer of the board, M A Shaikh, demanding a fee of Rs 4,74,690 for documents and information,” Arab said. TOI has a copy of the letter, dated March 1, 2006.

Chief executive officer of the board, A K Ansari said, “We are ready to provide him with the information. It was estimated that the information will require 57,345 copies of A-4 size and 24,000 copies of larger sized paper. This amount is the governmentspecified fee that we are demanding for printouts and copies of the records and documents.”

City-based human rights’ activist, Harinesh Pandya, from Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel, however, says, “The board just wants to cover up its irregularities. All that he has sought for can come in few sheets of papers. Arab has asked for information and not records.” Pandya said. According to the RTI Act , application fees have to be reasonable. If further fees are required, then the information officer must intimate in writing with details of the calculations.

Posted in RTI Cases | 1 Comment »

DIFFERENT STROKES: F I I in realty – Sucheta Dalal – RTI Activist Veeresh Malik using the ACT to get answers

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 2, 2006

DIFFERENT STROKES

FII in realty

Sucheta Dalal

http://www.indianexpress.com/sunday/story/7690.html

Posted online: Sunday, July 02, 2006 at 0000 hrs

FII in realty

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) reported move to clear Foreign Institutional Investment (FII) in IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) of realty companies is rather surprising, even if it comes with the stipulation of a three year lock-in. The question that the RBI must ask is why would any FII want to lock itself in for three years, unless it is getting shares at a massive discount to market price? If these are genuine institutional investors, they would not dare to put themselves in a position where an exit route is shut tight and they cannot dump the shares even if the company performs very badly. On the other hand, we know that large chunks of Indian promoters’ money round trips its way back to India in the guise of FII investment, usually through Participatory Notes (PNs). Obviously this investment will not be averse to a 3-year lock-in. Interestingly, when former MP and investor activist Kirit Somaiya wrote to the RBI seeking a break-up of FII investment, especially the quantum of PNs, the central bank said that the break up was not available with it. In fact, now that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has plugged the loophole of Venture Capital funds being able to take pre-IPO allotments without a lock-in, the RBI would do well to be equally careful. If it is really concerned about FII investment leading to a realty bubble, then a lock-in for FIIs will not prevent it.

STT invasion

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), says a pink paper, is getting ready to crack down on investors and stock brokers who evaded Securities Transaction Tax (STT) and wealth tax. This is interesting, because STT was considered the neatest possible tax because it was deducted directly by the stock exchanges and easily verifiable from the bourses. Moreover, it has fetched the Finance Ministry Rs 2,500 crore bonanza while the capital market has boomed and trading volumes have soared to over Rs 60,000 crore a day. Further, STT is collected on every single transaction irrespective of whether an investor makes a profit or a loss, but nobody complained, because the Finance Minister in his budget speech led them to believe they were in for a major concession on long term and short term capital gains tax. If the tax department is just starting its scrutiny of assets, one wonders how it has concluded that there is large scale evasion of STT. In fact, if brokers and investors have really claimed a set off of STT in such large numbers, it only means that they are declaring their investment as business income and willing to be taxed at the highest applicable rate. Investors believe that the CBDT’s scrutiny guidelines just another way of harassing them, even as hundreds of crores of tax evaded money continues to be go out of the country to return as Foreign Institutional Investment (FII).

Paying their taxes

If the CBDT really wants to keep busy, here is something it ought to look at. A Chandigarh-based paper has reported that the Punjab government has passed a law whereby the state exchequer not only pays the salaries and perks of its MLAs but also their income tax. The paper reports that this began as a perk for the Chief Minister during Pratap Singh Kairon’s time, but it was quietly extended to all MLAs without a squeak two years ago. If true, this would mean that when the Finance Minister (FM) was plotting a Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) for the ‘aam aadmi’, one set of elected representatives were getting the public to pay their entire tax liability. Was the alert CBDT unaware of this? Activist Veeresh Malik has decided to use the Right to Information Act to get some answers. He has asked how many categories of persons have had their taxes paid by Central or State government or any public authority and under what law do they do so. His sources say that when a foreign airline had paid tax for its employees the tax department cracked down by adding it to their income and claiming a higher tax payment. The answers to Malik’s queries should help the Finance Minister while drafting his next budget.

‘World cup air’

An enterprising Chinese businessman, Li Jie, who had once involved in a failed attempt to sell plots of land on the moon through a company called Lunar Village New Energy Science and Technology Co Ltd, is now hawking plastic bags of ‘World Cup Air’, says a report in Beijing’s Star Daily. He has apparently filled tiny 3 x 9 cms plastic bags with air that was allegedly gathered from the ”German stadia when the workers mowed the grass in the field before the matches”. So far, he has no sales licence and is only offering free samples to people, but hopes to charge 50 Yuan for the sachets. The American judiciary was clearly far-sighted in anticipating such schemes. Way back in the 1900s, a Supreme Court Judge ruled against ”speculative schemes which have no more basis than so many feet of ‘blue sky”’ leading to the framing of Blue Sky laws to protect investors.

suchetadalal@yahoo.com  

Posted in RTI Cases | 3 Comments »

 
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