Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

New Bill for RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on September 8, 2006

New Bill for RTIAdd to Clippings

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1967687.cms

NEW DELHI: In a bid to give fillip to the Right to Information (RTI) Act and bring errant government officials to book, Delhi is preparing a new legislation — Delhi Public Grievances Act 2006.

The draft bill, which is likely to be introduced in the next Assembly session, attempts to give more teeth to the Public Grievances Commission (PGC) — the appellate body for RTI.

The legislation will make the commission a statutory body and will bring many administrative changes to help in checking corrupt practices and harassment by government officials.

At present, PGC is a non-statutory body comprising one chairman and three members (one full-time and two part-time members).

It addresses grievances of the people and hears appeals under the Delhi RTI Act 2001. However, the government takes a long time in the implementation of the commission’s decisions or recommendations and can even reduce the quantum of punishment.

If the government ignores PGC’s recommendations, which it has regularly been doing, the commission has no powers to take any action.

The new legislation aims at making PGC a statutory body. This would give the commission powers of a civil court. It would be able to summon any officer on a complaint of the common man and order production of government records.

PGC chairman Baleshwar Rai said: “The draft legislation is ready. We have incorporated the suggestions made by the law department. Now we will send it to Delhi government. Through this legislation we have aimed at giving more powers to the commission for effective grievance redressal of the common man.”

The draft Bill empowers the commission to levy heavy penalties if there is delay or violation of its directions. PGC, under the legislation, levies a fine of Rs 250 per day extending to a maximum of Rs 10,000 on an officer for dereliction of duty or even harassment.

Even civic bodies, corporations or departments can be directed to pay damages to an individual in case they are found violating rules or causing harassment. The draft Bill lays down that PGC would review grievance redressal system of different departments at least twice a year.

One of the biggest changes proposed would be in the administrative set-up. The draft has tried to nudge out retired bureaucrats from PGC.

So far, there has been a tradition to post retired bureaucrats as the chairman and members. The draft says that any public servant would be given the responsibility of PGC.

The commission would be headed by a chairman. It would have a member secretary and three full-time members. They would have a fixed tenure of three years, unlike the present members who can serve till the age of 65 years.

If the Bill comes through in its present form, PGC would not be dependent on Delhi government for its day-to-day budget. It would be given an annual grant, which will be earmarked at the beginning of the financial year.

It would also have an annual accounting and auditing system.

2 Responses to “New Bill for RTI”

  1. John E.T. said

    Awaiting exmaination report from Railway Board, New Delhi . Around one year to be completed but keeping mom only.

  2. John E.T. said

    6TH REMINDER REGISTERED A/D
    15/03/2012 JOHN E.T.
    46, NEW VITHALNAGAR CO-OP. SOCIETY
    (PART-2), HARIOM NAGAR
    NR. D’CABIN RAILWAY CROSSING
    NEW RAILWAY COLONY PO
    AHMEDABAD 380 019
    March 15, 2012
    The Dy. Director
    Government of India
    Ministry of Railways (Railway Board)
    NEW DEL 110 011

    Kind Attention: Shri V.D. SHARMAJI SAHEB.
    Sub: Reg. Re-instatement of Rly.Service of myself OR my son.

    Ref: Your letter no.MSR(B)/B/496 2011 dated 5/5/2011 &
    My letters dated 11/6/2011, 4/8/2011, 9/11/2011, 24/11/2011 & 2/02/2012
    Respected Sir,

    In your good office letter No. MSR(B)/B/496 2011 dated 5/5/2011 informed me that my case will be examined. Copy of your letter enclosed herewith for ready reference.

    Originally, I had worked in Dy. CSTE (Const.) Ahmedabad, Western Railway, Ahmedabad-380 002, I had met him on 3/11/2011 on his Chamber, copy of discussion report enclosed herewith for your reference.

    During course of discussion, he had informed me that he already sent the examination report to The General Manager, Western Railway, Churchgate, Mumbai around 6 months back and I believe, by now, you must have received the inspection report from him.

    In this regards, I had sent to you 4 requests but no response from your side so this 5th request sent to you.

    Humbly request to your kind honour, please spare few minutes for me in your busy scheduled and kindly arrange to settle this very old issue favourably and oblige.

    With Warm Regards,

    JOHN E.T.

    Encl: Your letter + My report on 3/11/2011 with DY.CSTE (CONST.) ADI.

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