Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Phones ring again, thanks to RTI – HT DRIVE AGAINST BRIBE

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 15, 2006

Phones ring again, thanks to RTI – HT DRIVE AGAINST BRIBE


HT Correspondent
Lucknow, July 14


A CONSUMER had been running from pillar to post to get his telephone connection restored. Then came the RTI Act.  He exercised the RTI Act to know what all had been done to repair his telephone. Instead of providing information, the Telephone Department sent its staff to repair the fault. All this happened because of the RTI Act.

Vishnu Gupta’s telephone was out of order for the past three months. The Telephone Department staff even asked for ‘kharcha paani’ to get the phone ringing again. Gupta was not ready to pay the bribe and continued to write to the department asking it to do the needful. Then he learnt about the ongoing RTI camp being run at Ambedkar Mahasabha in association with the Hindustan Times. Gupta approached the camp. Here the volunteers told Gupta about the RTI Act and how to use it. They helped him to fill the application form to seek information under RTI.

In the form, he gave reference of his previous applications and sought information under RTI. He sought the information as to who all are responsible and accountable in the department for his phone connection. He also sought to know the time by when the department will repair the fault. Within a week of RTI application, the department staff visited Gupta home and the phone is ringing.

Despite these success stories, there are many others who came back to the camp to tell that some departments were not accepting RTI applications easily.
Md Khalid Fahim complained that for past one and half year he had been trying to get his passport done. Finally, applied under RTI to know the status of his passport. He was made to run from one desk to another to get his application accepted. Officers kept passing the buck, but the form was accepted. There were several others who said that the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, the Education Department and even the SSP office were reluctant to accept application under RTIA.

CIC reprimands secy on temple issue

CHIEF INFORMATION commissioner MA Khan reprimanded principal secretary (Religious Issues) PL Loi and divisional commissioner Varanasi VV Singh Vishwen in the Shatrudra Prakash vs Divisional Commissioner Varanasi case on Friday. He reserved the decision in the case till Monday.

The case is related to the appointment of divisional commissioner of Varanasi as president of  the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust.

Khan was also annoyed at the absence of the municipal commissioner of Varanasi during the hearing in connection with the Tarkeshwar temple. He served a show-cause notice on the municipal commissioner asking him why a warrant should not be issued to ensure his presence during the next  hearing that will take place on August 10.

Leader of the Samajwadi Party Shatrudra Prakash was present during the hearing of the case. Khan said that according to Kashi Vishwanath Temple laws, a Hindu, who is not a government servant, should be the president of the temple Nyas. Then how was the divisional commissioner appointed president of the Nyas? he asked.


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