Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

RTI power: Govt officer’s pension upgraded

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

RTI power: Govt officer’s pension upgraded

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NDTV Correspondent

Watch story

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 (Pune):

A nationwide awareness-cum-assistance campaign has been launched where people will be encouraged not to pay bribes.

The Drive Against Bribes campaign began on July 1 and will be on till July 15.

Nearly 1500 trained volunteers are available at centres in 48 cities around the country. Eight media partners and more than 700 civil society groups are a part of this initiative.

Common citizens are using the Right to Information as a powerful tool in order 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.

Payment errors

For Ramesh Phongde, who worked for the government for forty years, the RTI came as a blessing.

After retirement when his first pension cheque arrived he was puzzled to see that the total amount on the cheque was less that the amount due.

“I have been working with the Pune Municipal Corporation for the last 27 years. When I retired they sanctioned a pension of Rs 5000 when I should have got Rs 7000,” he said.

Ramesh Phongde then made several attempts to figure out why such an error occurred.

He wrote numerous letters from the Pune Municipal Corporation to the Government of India, however he was unable to get any response.

“For four years I fought for my rights. In the last four years I have filed 16 applications and have visited the pension court five times, but I never got any positive response,” he said.

Refusing bribe

He also tried to get his pension papers released from the Corporation but access to those papers was restricted until a bribe was paid.

Throughout his career as a government officer, Ramesh Phongde had never demanded nor paid a bribe and he was certainly not going to pay one now.

Frustrated with the manner in which his own department was dealing with his request Ramesh Phongde soon realised that he will eventually have to make do with Rs 5000.

Just when he was going to give into the systems inefficiencies he learnt about the Right to Information Act.

Phongde decided to make one last attempt and made use of the RTI Act to access all the papers related to his pension from the PMC.

He also asked for the status of his grievance applications made to the PMC in relation to his pension.

In three months Phongde’s papers were revaluated and his pension was upgraded to Rs 8000 per month. He also received a cheque of Rs 1,78,000 as payment due to him for the last four years.

“I do not believe in giving bribes. I knew my case was strong and I had all my paper work in place. I got all my pending money with the help of RTI. More than anything, my experience sets an example for others, I think I set a good example,” he added.

For four years, Ramesh Phongde could not get officials to act on his grievance, but as soon as he fixed the responsibility on each one of them in his RTI application, the same officers had no choice but to act.

2 Responses to “RTI power: Govt officer’s pension upgraded”

  1. dr. sanjay kumar pandey said

    TO. R.T.I. OFFICER,
    RESPECTED SIR MADAM,
    I MPOST DACTORAL RESEARSH FELLOW IN D.D.U. UNIVERSITY GORAKHPUR.
    I HAVE APPLIED FOR THE POST CHAIR MAN OF ACHARYA NARENDRADEVE INTERNATIONAL BAUDDH SANSTHAN GOMTINAGER, IN MAYAVATI GAVERNMENT AND PRESENT CHIEF MINISTER AKILESH YADAV GAVERNMENT. I I LAST MY 4 YEARS FOR REPLY AND FULFILL MY EXPECTATIONBUT . THERE IS NO REPLY FROM BOTH GOVERNMENT AND BY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURE.
    SO I M BEIANG DEPRESSED.NOW I WANT JASTIS.
    WITH REGARDS
    DR. SANJAY PANDEY
    SANJUBHU@REDIFFMAIL.COM

    • dr. sanjay kumar pandey said

      TO. R.T.I. OFFICER,
      RESPECTED SIR MADAM,
      I MPOST DACTORAL RESEARSH FELLOW IN D.D.U. UNIVERSITY GORAKHPUR.
      I HAVE APPLIED FOR THE POST of additional director for buddhist circuit in tourism department. GOMTINAGER, IN MAYAVATI GAVERNMENT AND PRESENT CHIEF MINISTER AKILESH YADAV GAVERNMENT. I LAST MY 4 YEARS FOR REPLY AND FULFILL MY EXPECTATION BUT . THERE IS NO REPLY FROM BOTH GOVERNMENT AND BY DEPARTMENT OF tourism.
      SO I M BEIANG DEPRESSEDand haressed by bouth department.NOW I WANT JASTIS.
      WITH REGARDS
      DR. SANJAY PANDEY
      SANJUBHU@REDIFFMAIL.COM

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