Right to Information – Master key to good governance

You can now get info under RTI in 48 hrs

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 16, 2006

You can now get info under RTI in 48 hrs

[ 16 Jul, 2006 0316hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


 MUMBAI: In another possible first for the Right to Information (RTI) movement in Mumbai, activist Shailesh Gandhi has successfully used section 7(1) of the RTI Act which states that relevant information has to be provided within 48 hours if the life and liberty of the individual is at stake. Gandhi had filed an application about uncovered and unmarked drains.

As reported by TOI on July 11, Gandhi and his friend Sandeep Jalan filed applications under the RTI on July 4, seeking information from the assistant municipal commissioner, H (west) ward, after they noticed uncovered trenches and storm water drains near their houses in Bandra and Santa cruz.

The application referred to open drains at the entrance to shops at Mangal Bhavan building, Khar Pali Road, open pits and trenches opposite Standard Chartered Bank in Santacruz (W).

It asked for the names of the officers who are responsible for ensuring that such pits and trenches are filled and levelled and also the action being taken against them for failing to perform their duty.

It also asks the time- frame within which these trenches will be levelled. “One can fall into those pits and be seriously injured,”said Gandhi, explaining why he and Jalan wanted the information to be given within 48 hours.

In fact, three months ago, a schoolgirl from Bandra had a narrow escape when she fell into an open manhole at Carter Road, which was then being made concrete. Just weeks after this, an Andheri resident fell into an open manhole at a road on which concretisation work was underway and died.

After the assistant commissioner did not reply to Gandhi and Jalan, they forwarded their complaint directly to the information commission on July 10. On July 13, information commissioner Suresh Joshi called both parties for a hearing.

Joshi accepted that the 48-hour rule applied in this case, a possible first for the use of this section. His order notes that “possibly, public information officers and their superior officers are still not clear as to which information calls for action within 48 hours, which has bearing on the life and death of the applicants.”

It adds that “as regard giving information to them within 48 hours, the officers have clearly failed in their duty under the RTI Act”.

The power of the Act is clear from this case. BMC officers visited the spots before attending Joshi’s hearing and came armed with possible solutions. Even though the pit outside the Standard Chartered bank was dug by the MMRDA, Joshi asked the BMC to direct the MMRDA to fill the pits and put fencing.

“The pit outside my house has already been fenced,”Gandhi told TOI on Saturday. “We want that lots of more people should file RTI applications about similar problems, so that next year, civic officials will do all the work in time, knowing that otherwise they’ll be hauled up by the public,”said Gandhi.


6 Responses to “You can now get info under RTI in 48 hrs”

  1. He Must know that ‘NRIs’ and “Persons-of-Indian Origin”
    arrested under “Section 498A IPC” has to pay Rs. One Lakh to
    the magistrate apart from paying Police and Prosecutor in Mumbai to get the Bail.

    There is another Rs. 50,000/- Bribe payable to Magistrate through
    same Court Lawyers working as agents for release of each passport
    and permission to leave India, and come to your Home Land for

    The cost of getting “Bail” and return of “US Passport” with 2 days Jail and Police detaintion in India for 15 days was about
    RS 7 Lakhs (Appx US $15000 )paid as bribes.
    There was additional Cash Deposit of Rs. 20,000/- Each for Bail
    and Rs.10,000/- Each for Return of US Passport.

    My Son and Wife were arrested at Mumbai Airport on June 30, 2003
    in connection with FALSE complaint registered in COLLUSION and CONIVANCE of Nagpada Mumbai Police Station
    under F.I.R No, 405/2002 and pending under case No. 631/P/2003
    at Mazgaon Court at Mumbai.

    My Entire Family of US Citizens have been declared PROCLAIMED
    OFFENDERS by Indian corrupt Judicial System.

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