Right to Information – Master key to good governance

First RTI appointment runs into trouble

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 31, 2006

First RTI appointment runs into trouble
Wednesday September 21 2005 00:00 IST





Sep 21, 2005

NEW DELHI: Even before the Right to Information Act has come into force, the very first and so far the only appointment made under it has provoked a controversy.

Karnataka is the first state to have appointed its chief information commissioner as part of the independent appellate machinery that is required to be in place by October 12 in the states as well as the Centre.

But questions are already being raised on the appointment of the commissioner by the Dharam Singh Government: K K Misra was appointed on July 30 immediately after his retirement as chief secretary of Karnataka.

A local NGO, Ella Kannada Vedike International (E-KAVI), called upon the state Governor to suspend Misra immediately and initiate the process of his removal from office.

Reason: Barely four months ago, the Karnataka High Court passed strictures on Misra in the PIL related to the Rs 2,250 crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project.

The irony is, in its judgment delivered on May 3, the High Court directed that a complaint of perjury be filed against Misra for “knowingly withholding important facts and documents from the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka and making false statements in the affidavits filed in this Court.”

E-KAVI alleged that a person who “lies” to the High Court of Karnataka“cannot be called a person of eminence in public life” as envisaged by the RTI Act as a qualification for the post.

Misra, when contacted in Bangalore, said: “This is news to me. I didn’t know these issues had been raised. I would like to comment only after seeing the representation.”

Misra could well say in his defence that, within 10 days of the High Court verdict, the Supreme Court passed a stay on his prosecution. The appeal filed by Misra is still pending before the apex court.

The NGO also questioned the wisdom of appointing a recently retired chief secretary as the chief information commissioner of the state.

Since the information that is sought could relate to the period when he was himself chief secretary, Misra cannot be, it said, “considered independent enough to be the final appellate authority” under the RTI Act. The NGO contended that Misra cannot “legally or morally” decide such disputes.


RI Fee structure

In the run-up to the enforcement of the Right to Information Act, the Centre has notified a fee structure for any information that is sought under the law after it comes into effect on October 12.

Every request for information will have to be accompanied by an application fee of Rs 10.

Once the request is accepted, the applicant will have to pay Rs 2 for every page of information.

If the applicant asks for any samples or models, he will have to pay the actual cost or price.

For inspection of records, no charge for the first hour but a fee of Rs 5 for every 15 minutes thereafter.

A flat charge of Rs 50 for information provided in a floppy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: