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rti sucess stories

RTI File notings helps 70-yr-old uses RTI to get dead son’s records

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 5, 2006

70-yr-old uses RTI to get dead son’s records
 
New Delhi, PTI:
A 70-year-old woman from Haryana has used the Right To Information Act to gain access to files regarding the pension and other benefits of her son, a Delhi Traffic Police constable who was killed in a road accident over five years ago.
 

A 70-year-old woman from Haryana has used the Right To Information Act to gain access to files regarding the pension and other benefits of her son, a Delhi Traffic Police constable who was killed in a road accident over five years ago.

Laxmi Devi of Bhiwani district in Haryana had appealed to the Central Information Commission (CIC) for gaining access to file notings made by authorities on her son’s dossier regarding the payment of terminal benefits totalling about Rs 4 lakh and his family pension.

The CIC’s ruling giving her access comes amidst a controversy over a government proposal to amend the RTI Act to prevent the public from viewing most file notings.

Laxmi was left penniless after her son Anoop Singh’s death on January 29, 2001 as her daughter-in-law Mamta, who was drawing the family pension, re-married in August 2005, her petition said.

Posted in RTI Success Stories | 1 Comment »

Press in INDIA playing into the hands of BABUS and Politicians by not reporting about RTI and it’s effectiveness ?

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 23, 2006

hello,

we just  organised during 18 – 21 july 2006, a four day awareness campaign at Distt head quarter of Juanpur, a small town in eastern UP.

when the distt admin knew abt it they suggested that there was no need for such campaihn as the distt admin was itself doing a campaign. but we persisted. and the response was very good. ppl from all over the district flocked the camp whcih was lcoated at  the DM office itself.

the first two days press gave very good coverage. but next two days there was a complete black out from ALL Newspapers. we have unconfirmed reports from insiders in the press and the distt admin that the distt admin asked the press not to carry our reports as they were having a tough time handling the difficult public questions plus it was leading the ‘babudom’ in  trouble.

i will post a complete report shortly,

regards,

sachin agarwal
Society for People’s Action Change and Enforcement (SPACE)
ph: 94152 55042 : 93350 15366

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RTI exposes Janawad scam

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 16, 2006

Rajan Mahan

http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?category=National&template=Rti&slug=RTI+exposes+Janawad+scam&id=90240&callid=1

Sunday, July 16, 2006 (Rajsamand):

RTI has once again helped come to the rescue of people in nailing those responsible for the “mother of all Rural Development scams” in Rajasthan.

In the 1990s, the Janawad Panchayat in Rajsamand district began spending over Rs one crore annually the highest among the 9000 panchayats in the state.

Over 70 per cent of the money was siphoned off by a corrupt nexus between the Sarpanch and government officials.

The scam was not exposed with the help of any sting operation or hidden cameras but by villagers who used their Right to Information to nab the culprits.

A government dispensary in the district is at the heart of the scam in Janawad Panchayat.

Though it was built in 1960s but in 1998 the then Sarpanch siphoned off nearly Rs two lakh claiming it to be a new building.

Compulsory details

Two years later the Rajasthan Information Act made it compulsory to display on Panchayat offices the details of all development works. And villagers soon caught the Sarpanch’s corruption.

“They never built a new dispensary, they just fudged government records to make this false claim. In reality, this was built about 40 years ago when I used to study in school,” said Chaman Lal, Resident, Janawad village.

Using their Information rights over 70 villagers then collectively demanded the records of their Panchayat and the frauds this revealed is truly staggering.

Forty-nine out of the 146 works undertaken simply did not exist.

The list includes five wells, seven roads and six primary schools, which existed only in government records but were never built on the ground.

“The Right to Information is a strong law and people must use it. In Janawad, government officials colluded from top to bottom for their corrupt deals. Similarly, we need to constantly monitor their work and fight collectively if we want to curb corruption,” said Shanker Singh, Coordinator, MKSS.

Tough action

Once the government took tough action against the corrupt.

The Sarpanch was jailed and 13 government officials involved in the scam were suspended. And annual social audits of Panchayat funds were made mandatory.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had once stated frankly that of every rupee of development funds, barely 15 paisa actually reach the poor on the ground.

But villagers here have shown that if people fight together, the Right to Information can help change this situation and combat corruption effectively.

Posted in RTI Success Stories | 1 Comment »

Khetramani finally gets her land records through RTI – a case successful

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 15, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: nishikanta mohapatra <nishimohapatra@yahoo.co.in>
Date: 15-Jul-2006 12:04
Subject: [antibriberycampaign] Khetramani finally gets her land records
through RTI – a case successful

Khetramani finally gets her land records through RTI Submitted by CYSD,
Bhubaneswar

Khetramani Samantrai bought a small piece of land near Dhauli, Bhubaneswar
from Subha Behera.  Karunakar Swain a notary prepared the land deed
documents, which was submitted at the District Sub-Register Office (DSO) in
Bhubaneswar after completion of the legal formalities. But Khetramani did
not receive the original documents in spite of producing the receipt of the
deed.

Khetramani Samantrai and Karunakar Swain have been constantly visiting the
DSO since the last one and a half years but the clerk concerned did not hand
over the documents to them.

On 13th July 2006 she came to the RTI camp held in CYSD Bhubaneswar, seeking
guidance as to how she could redress her grievances using RTI.

At the camp, Khetramani was assisted by volunteers in filling up the
application for information under section 6 (1). A few volunteers
accompanied her to the DSO and approached the head clerk to know the cause
of the delay in providing the original documents. The response from the
clerk was not very convincing.

The case was discussed with the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the DSO.
When the volunteers insisted in registering the complain through RTI, the
PIO intervened and asked the officials to look into the case and produce the
land deed papers immediately. The head clerk then produced the document in *15
minutes* and officially handed it over to Khetramani who finally got justice
after resorting to the RTI tool.


“From today you have to wear a crown of thorns. Strive ceaselessly to
cultivate truth and non-violence. Be humble. Be forbearing. The British rule
no doubt put you on your mettle. But now you will be tested through and
through. Beware of power; power corrupts. Do not let yourself to be
entrapped by its pomp and pageantry. Remember you are in office to serve the
poor in Indian villages. May God help you.” – Mahatma Gandhi on August 15,
1947
http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL096.PDF

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Victim’s father exercises RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006

Victim’s father exercises RTI

SURYA Agarwal
Lucknow, July 11

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1741758,0015002500000005.htm

THE AASHIANA rape victim’s father has turned to the Right to Information Act in a bid to pin the accused down.

Sabruddin has filed an application at the district magistrate’s office under the Act. He has sought information on whether three of the accused, who are lodged in a juvenile jail, are actually minors.

While surrendering in court, the trio had submitted documents which said they were minors. They are on trial in a juvenile court. The rest of the accused are facing trial in the court of the additional district judge.

Sabruddin wants to know if the three accused possess arms licences. If these licences have been issued in their names, no other evidence is required to prove that the accused are not juvenile.

Sabruddin will also seek information from the Regional Transport Officer’s office on whether driving licences were issued in their names.  He said, “They are not juvenile. All the evidence supporting their claim is fake.”  The victim, too, had said that the accused were not juvenile. The father, however, feared that influential family members of the main accused could cause obstacles in getting details from the departments concerned.

The main accused, nephew of a don-turned ruling party leader, had first surrendered before a court and claimed he was a minor. Earlier, he had obtained a stay against arrest from the High Court. Police investigation and the evidence corroborated that the don’s nephew was the first to abduct the girl from Aashiana area on May 2, 2004.

This was confirmed by the victim herself. The car used in the crime was owned by the elder brother of the main accused. The victim had also stated that it was this youth only who was leading a group of goons in the car.

The girl was later taken to the Kapoorthala shop of the youth and  from there to a plot owned by the family of the main accused. The accused had taken turns on the girl there, too, before throwing her out of the car near Daliganj railway crossing in a semi-unconscious and critically injured state.

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RTI is very powerfull and effective tool in our hands – So, go ahead and use it

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 8, 2006

Take heart, they used RTI to defeat LDA-builder nexus HT Correspondent
Lucknow, July 7

 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922_1738669,0015002500000000.htm

 

 

THE BUILDER-LDA nexus is a familiar story. The combine’s invincibility is an equally familiar knowledge. But, it’s not so now. On October 12, 2005 the Right To Information Act (RTIA) was born and an 85-old-woman-grandson duo utilised its lethal power to optimum effect.

Ashish’s grandmother had entered into an agreement with M/s Smart Builders for constructing the Gauri Apartments on their Hilton Road land near the Meera Bai Marg.

Everything was fine till the builder had violated the agreement. Gauri Apartments was to be a seven-storey building but the promoters had made it into a nine-storey mansion.

“We were aghast,” said Ashish. “This would have landed us in big trouble as we had signed documents for seven floors. We found that be it the map, compounding, application or affidavits – all had been forged and submitted to the LDA. So we approached LDA to show and give us original documents. But they refused.”  But Ashish was desperate to take the battle to its logical end.

He had quits in the US and in Mumbai to be by his grandma’s side and fight the case.

From January 2005 till October 2005 Ashish had made umpteen rounds of the LDA office. For obvious reasons, LDA officers did not let him have a look at the documents. “From the chief engineer to the LDA secretary and the V-C, we approached all but none helped,” Ashish said.

By then the RTIA had been announced. Ashish was bracing up for another round of battle, this time armed with the newborn Act. Even before the RTIA came into force, Ashish procured a copy of the Act. He studied it well, did his homework and launched the battle afresh.

“On October 12, 2005 the RTIA came into force and on that very day I filed an application demanding various documents and information. Ours was the first application under RTI. In fact, all the first 16 applications under RTI were ours.

When the 30-day period elapsed after the first application was filed, I reminded LDA of it. That did the trick. The LDA did their best to delay things but eventually gave in bit by bit. Towards the end of November 2005 they had to show me some files,” Ashish told the people who had come to the RTI camp at the Ambedkar Mahasabha office on Vidhan Sabha Marg on Friday.

Speaking on the importance of studying the Act properly he said, “Had I not read the RTIA properly they would have fooled me. I would have been happy that they showed me the files. But instead, I asked them to give me copies of the documents. They asked me to pay Rs 3,000. I did. But again they dithered.

Finally, they gave me unsigned and unstamped photocopies. But I demanded certified documents. And then finally in first week of December they gave me a lot of documents that I had demanded. On the basis of it, I filed an FIR against the builder.”

The increase in the number of floors was not the only anomaly that the builders had managed, they violated other things too, Ashish said.

He said when all this was going on, the builder had started giving possession of the flats to the owners. “They did it even when the Fire Department was yet to give its NOC to the building. In fact, the Fire Department had raised objections regarding fire safety standards adopted,” he added.

After the duo won their war, a citizen filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the LDA, while Ashish Dixit moved the High Court.

Though the story tells what the RTI can do, Ashish could not but resist a comment, “Believe me. RTI is very powerful and an effective tool in our hands.”
So, go ahead and use it.

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Power of RTI : read this : Can have adverse entry on PIO officals PR

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 8, 2006

  1. ramesh wasudeo Says:
    July 8th, 2006 at 10:03 am emy wife’s as well as my income tax assessments were not fianlized for past 6 years although they were filed in time with requisite papers.

    i realised that my IT file was not complete for overseas travel last year. my CA had been visiting IT office regularly since last year but invariably returned with mere promises.

    during November 2005, i personally went to ITO and handed over an application givingphotp copesof all past returns with enclosures and requested them to finalize. there was no rssponse since then inspite of visits and enquiry by my CA.

    i therefore filed and RTI application seeking progress on my letter of november and present status on my past six years assessment.

    the divisional commissioner told me that if i did not get any intimation during course of next year, my return is deemed accpeted and ITO need not send you assessment order in such cases where there is no discrepancy or recovery.

    i told hom that during past 6 years, my self and wife had filed 12 returns and except one, all rest 11 returns were filed with demand for refund order and none were received. he then agreed and asked me to hand over my RTI application a inward clerk who was summoned.

    i followed the clerk to his desk and he placed acknowledgement stamps on my second copy and made entry in his inward register and rose from his chair for lunch. i asked him as to where i can pay Rs.10/- by cash or through court fee stamp that i carried. he said he had no idea and i must meet commissioner again.

    commissioner called establishment officer who was totally clue less as to how i was to make payment. finally he gave me a contact asst commissioner at aaykar bhawan. at my instance he tore the office copies taht i handed him.

    then there was wild goose chase. i went to aaykar bhawan and met one of the PIO asst commissioner there. he spent over two hours to find out as to what is the procedure, what is the chalan number and what are the heads of account under which the cash is to be realized by tresury.

    finally he got me specific challan form xeroxed in his office and after a lond delay, the specific accounts head details for major and minor account.

    i completed the challan and went to SBI versova only to learn that i must go to RBI alone for deposit. from kewal semlani, i learnt his friend’s number who told me to go to churchgate RBI near nirmala niketan. after waiting for an hour at 1 p.m the accoy=untant opened his cage and accepted my money. he returned two copies of challan duly stamped.

    next i visited my ITO office and seposited RTI applications with challan and returned.

    my phone started ringing after two days and the ITOs – there are seperate ITO for me and wife, have been pestering me to visit ITO office ay my convenience. now when i go there, i get the senior OTO to offer me tea and snacks while my assessment is getting finalized. they have lareadt given me to checks totalling 41,000/- for others, they have asked for indemnity bond and some proof like xerox of bank passbook etc. most of atatchments they have lost and are untracable.

    now they are pleading that i shold withdarw my RTI application as by 11thjuly, fine will commnse on commissioner who is official PIO. he may also get adverse entry in his CR.

    in next two days, they are finalizing all my claims and issue refund cheques so that i give them discharge.

    taht is the power of RTI.

    rameshw asudeo.

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Couple uses RTI for self-empowerment

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 8, 2006

Couple uses RTI for self-empowerment

http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?template=rti&slug=Couple+uses+RTI+for+self%2Dempowerment&id

=89940&callid=1&category=National

NDTV Correspondent

Watch story Couple uses RTI for self-empowerment

Saturday, July 8, 2006 (New Delhi):

The Right to Information (RTI) has emerged as a powerful tool that can be used to hold governments accountable.

Besides resolving issues of everyday life, it also helps in influencing major government policies.

In the continuing series, NDTV tracks the self-empowerment story of Arif and Zamila Banu.

“I bought a flat two and a half years back in my wife’s name. After I bought the flat, the builder gave me a copy of the registry. But I found out later that I needed to get a transfer copy and a blueprint for the flat. I went back to the bank officials, but they said that all the papers had been given.

“I had prior knowledge of RTI and that is how I filed one in my wife’s name. I sent this RTI to an officer in the RBI. I received a call within five days from the bank. They asked me about the harassment I had faced. I told them everything. After which they told me that I would have all my paper work done by the next day.

“Sure enough, by morning, all my papers were with me. With the help of RTI, I broke the nexus of the bankers and builders who were making me run around. I appeal to all my fellow citizens to understand the power of RTI. We must remember that all these government officers are answerable to us,” said Arif.

The RTI is being described by most people as one of the most important pieces of legislation, which makes the bureaucracy and government accountable.

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Spy who came back from Pak jail resorts to RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 7, 2006

Spy who came back from Pak jail resorts to RTI
 
Incarcerated in various Pakistani jails for eight years, Kishori Lal Sharma is yet to get any compensation from the government.
 
Raakhi Jagga

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=191643
 
Ludhiana, July 6: For 61-yr-old Kishori Lal Sharma, a former agent of the Indian military intelligence, the years between 1966-1974 was spent in various jails of Pakistan. Today, he is yet to be compensated.

The financial promised by the state government is yet to come.

On September 5, 2005, Punjab government had announced that it would provide financial aid for people like Sharma. The money was to be given from the discretionary quota of the Chief Minister within a month.“I submitted my file with all supporting documents on September 9, 2005, to then Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma. But I’ve not heard anything about my case since. Whenever I ask, the file is untraceable,” says Sharma. “After I had sent my file to the DC office, I was told that it has been forwarded to the secretary, Department of Home Affairs and Justice, Chandigarh. I checked there as well, but they told me that they are not aware of any such file.”

Finally on Tuesday, he filed an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, asking the Deputy Commissioner about the status of his case.

Sharma did this through the group of youngsters who have organised a 15-day RTI awareness camp at Model Town Extension.

Jaskirat Singh, the coordinator of the RTI campaign in the city, told Newsline: “We have asked the first appellant (DC) to tell the status of the case and the dispatch number of the file, when it was forwarded to Chandigarh.”

“I am a trained automobile engineer and was assigned the task of finding out the faults in the tanks supplied to Pakistan by China in the aftermath of the 1965 war. But I was caught in 1966 and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment,” Sharma says.

In 1974, however, he was released under the Simla Agreement along with a few others. “I was just 32 and got married four years later. In jail, I had to bear all sorts of tortures.

But they don’t let you die.” Sharma started work in a private firm and now lives in BRS Nagar.

But the government “did not provide any financial help since then and at 32 I had to make a fresh start. I was lucky. Because of my professional qualifications, I managed to get a job. But even after the announcement by CM in September, 2005, nothing has happened. Perhaps RTI can be a ray of hope for me.”

The RTI awareness camp has entered its sixth day. Till date, over 50 complaints have been received pertaining to the DC office, MC, SSP, income tax department, PUDA, DTO, Chief Secretary, Punjab and many other departments. Apart from Ludhiana, a few complainants had come from Jalandhar and Amritsar as well, said Jaskirat Singh.

Posted in RTI Success Stories | 1 Comment »

The TN Right to Information Awareness Campaign

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 5, 2006

 From: Guru Subbaraman <guru.subbaraman@gmail.com>

Reply-To: chennairti@googlegroups.com

To: chennairti@googlegroups.com

Date: Jul 3, 2006 10:50 AM

Subject: The TN Right to Information Awareness Campaign.

Hi,

The national RTI awareness campaign titled “Drive Against Bribe”

has started and will go on till July 15.

Information about this campaign can be found at www.rightoinformation.org .
The Tamil Nadu campaign will begin on Monday, the 10th of July.

Around 45 organizations in 19 districts will work together in this campaign.

We will soon update all information related to this campaign on our blog/website.

We encourage all of you to step forward and volunteer for a

few hours during the two weeks of the campaign.

Regards,
Guru

Posted in RTI Success Stories | 2 Comments »

 
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