Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Landmark RTI Decision :: Shailesh Gandhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 16, 2006

shailesh gandhi
B2 Gokul Apartment, Near Asha Parekh Hospital,Poddar Road, Santacruz (W),Mumbai-400054 ,

Tel: 022-32903776; 26001003, 98200 27305. Email: shailesh2@vsnl.com

July 16, 2006

The time for providing information for requisitions filed under Right To Information is 30 days. While Section 7 (1) of the RTI Act specifies a period of 30 days for the Public Information Officer(PIO) to give the information, it also states  “Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.”

Citizens have tried to use this proviso in some cases, but I am not aware of any case, where the Information Commission has upheld this contention. Now we have, what may be a landmark decision with far-reaching implications for Citizens to correct the general apathy of many Government agencies to the safety of lives of Citizens. This may also be one of fastest decisions from the Chief Information Commissioner of Maharashtra, Dr.Suresh Joshi. Sandeep Jalan and I filed two RTI requisitions with the PIO of  H-West ward of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. Sandeep had mentioned open drains in Khar, and I had mentioned three large open trenches and pits in Santacruz.  The Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai had assured Citizens that all construction and digging on the roads would be over by 31 May,- before the advent of the monsoon. This was evidently a promise which neither he, nor any other officials meant to fulfill. When heavy rains struck in the first few days of July, and the roads had waterlogging, the open drains and large open pits and trenches (some over 5 feet deep), certainly posed a danger to lives of Citizens.

Sandeep and I filed the RTI requisitions asking for the names of officials responsible, and the action taken against them on 4 July. We had also asked by when action would be taken to correct this life-threatening danger. The PIO did not reply even in over 100 hours. We therefore filed  complaints to the Chief Information Commissioner on 10th July. Accepting our contention that a life-threatening issue needed a fast disposal, Dr.Joshi fixed a hearing on 13th July. During the hearing he pointed out to the PIO and the Ward officer who had come that they had failed in providing the information in the stipulated time. He pointed out that he would take penal action, unless they acted fast to take corrective action. In Santacruz, they finished the work on one trench and got MMRDA to fence the others within 12 hours, so that atleast the danger to Citizen’s life would not be there. In Mumbai itself I would encourage Citizens to file similar RTI requisitions wherever such open manholes or large trenches -over 5 feet,- are there, and are not fenced properly. If we put enough requisitions this year and force the authorities to take remedial action immediately. Maybe next year they will not repeat this criminal neglect.

For other such matters wherever Public utilities are working in a manner which could endanger people’s lives, we could act to make our Public Authorities more accountable.

Giving a proposed application below for such instances in Maharashtra.

In other States, with a change of format, it could be used by all Citizens.

Also attaching the landmark decision of the Information Commission, for easy reference

Annexure A

(see rule 3)

Format of application for obtaining information under the

Right To Information Act, 2005

To,

The Public information Officer,

.. Ward,

Address of Municipal Ward office.

(1)    Full name of applicant:

(2)    Address:                                                 Telephone number:

(3)    Particulars of the information required

(i)   Subject matter of Information:   Dangerous & Life threatening manholes/pits.

(ii)  The period to which the information relates:. Current

(iii)      Description of the information required:  There are dangerous and Life threatening open

manholes/pits at ..(mention locations)

For these I want the following information:

1.. Names of officials responsible for this.
2.. When would corrective action be taken to remove the threat to Citizens lives.
3.. Details of action taken against the officials responsible.
I wish to point out that under the provisions of Section 7(1),  when the “information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.”. This open manhole/pit can cause loss of life to Citizens.

(iv)      Whether the information is required by post or in person:  In Person-Please phone me, or send the information by hand-delivery. I will pay the necessary charges.

(the actual postal charges shall be included in additional fees)

(v)  In case by post:

(Ordinary, Registered or Speed)

(4)    Whether the applicant is below poverty line:  Not applicable

(if yes, attach the photocopy of the proof thereof.)

Place:

Date:                                                               Signature of applicant

022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain,
and do share them if you wish.
http://www.satyamevajayate.info

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9 Responses to “Landmark RTI Decision :: Shailesh Gandhi”

  1. TUSHAR MANDLEKAR said

    DEAR SHAILESH SIR
    VANDEMATARAM.
    I SINCERELY APPRICIATE YOUR EFFORTS IN THE FEILD OF RTI
    AND WISH THAT GOVT SHOULD AWARD YOU PADMASHREE.
    I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SOME LANDMARK AND IMPORTANT CASES FROM YOU, WHICH ARE RELATED TO LIFE,LIBERTY AND RAMPANT CORRUPTION IN THE GOVT DEPARTMENT.
    TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I HAVE ALSO SUCCESSFULY FILED 150 RTI APPLICATIONS IN VARIOUS GOVT DEPARTMENTS. THESE QUESTIONS FURTHER FORCED ME TO FILE FOUR PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATIONS.
    WIHSING U A GREAT AND SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR AHEAD
    JAIHIND
    TUSHAR MANDLEKAR
    20,NIT COMPLEX, HILL ROAD, GANDHINAGAR, NAGPUR 440010
    PH NO:-09422101632

    • rajendra narayan panda said

      Dear
      a ruler often like the people interrupted in governence .and apparently todays ruler totaly not then how we expect such award besides that why it needed for warior

  2. Raabbu said

    Dear Sir ,
    My self rs from Mumbai,Ihave heard a lot about u and want to know more about you.Your efforts In doing such a great job Should be awarded.Sir where and how can i filr an rti to get informations of election cards of a third party who is the consult officer for the same
    RS
    Worli mumbai

  3. Nivedan said

    Respected sir !
    This is Nivedan.
    i would like to know 1. whether any ” verification ” carried out by the Police in order to register an offence is allowed or not?
    2.The said ” verification ” if mentioned in the F.I.R. should be handed over along with the F.I.R. to the Accused if accused demands the copy of the same under R.T.I.?

  4. Prakash Ganoo said

    Commendable missionary work being done by Mr Shailesh Gandhi. One good idea could be to have a common website where people can lodge their complaints, observations, suggestions which the Govt Offices and department should attend daily and should be made acounatable for clearing the log.

    With many govt organisations, the experience is that they have an attractice website just to fulfil the RTI ACt requirement but when the mail is sent it is returned/ it bounces back. How can we solve this melady.

    Mr Shailesh, please advise.

  5. colonel pankaj mehta said

    dear mr gandhi
    1. it is wonderful to note the success ur efforts are having, i believe the govt servants of departments must be accountable for there misdeed and should be exposed in public for corrupt practices.
    2. i am holding a house in a society in deolali,nasik which has been taken over by a contractor using political pull. THough the society after my efforts is now under a administrator but to my horror the administrator( appointed by the registrar of society) is more corrupt and has been dragging his feet on the matter for last 1 1/2 yrs and he is working in collusion with the contractor.
    3. i am a serving officer posted in the western bordersand my various RTI applications have yielded very little.
    4. pl guide me to take up to his matter and if possible recommend me some one who can understand the whole issue and help me take on the corrupt officials of the registrar office.
    i will be grateful for ur reply (i have people of the society in mumbai who can get in contact with anyone your direct us to)
    regards
    col pankaj mehta

  6. UMESH said

    dear sir
    rti is very much helpfuil to me
    and i would like to tnank you for your efforts in keeping this act alive
    and also other activist who are using this BRAHMAASTRA OF THE COOMMON MAN WE CAN SAY FOR FIGHTING AGAINST THE CORRUPTION
    i one of the rti activist would like to be part of your activism
    and want to meet u
    please give me the APPOINTMENT

  7. vinod.parmar said

    Dear sir .

    im vinod parmar and i want info about murchant Nevy and Govt Dg.Marine office some info requier please send me a proper chenal to ask my info

    Thanks.
    Vinod.parmar

  8. rakesh gupta said

    I THINK EVERY RTI ACTIVIST SHOULD FIGHT AGAINST MUNCIPAL CORPORATION OPEN AND DANGEROUS MAINHOLES I WILL DO IT. I ALSO REQUEST TO SEE IF ANYWHERE IN DIST. TRANSPORT OFFICE REQUIRED FORMS FOR DRIVING LICENCE ETC. ARE BEING SOLD IN BLACK OUTSIDE THE DTM OFFICE. I SENT RTI APPLICATION TO DC AMRITSAR FOR THIS KIND OF BLACK MARKETING. REPLY AWAITED . RGUPTA

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