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Online Petition in Kannada against Amendment to Karnataka RTI Act 2005

Posted by rtiact2005 on May 19, 2008

Online Petition in Kannada against Amendment to Karnataka RTI Act 2005

http://www.petitiononline.com/kmhk2008/ (Kannada)

http://www.petitiononline.com/krti2008/ (English)

http://www.hindu.com/2008/05/10/stories/2008051056860300.htm (My online campaign)







http://www.petitiononline.com/savertia/ (National RTI)

The signatures and optional comments may be please made either in English or Kannada or both.

Syed Tanveeruddin


Posted in Karnataka RTI, RTI Activists, RTI Campgain | 14 Comments »


Posted by rtiact2005 on April 22, 2008

Request to all Citizens of INDIA to ACT on this  ” SMS CAMPAIGN – RULE 14 ” and SAVE RTI Act in INDIA.

Let us show the all BUREAUCRATS that Citizens of INDIA means Business.

IT’S OUR RIGHT. An inalienable right has been conferred on citizens.

`Right to Information Act will empower common people’

The legislative intent is clear; we are entitled to know how our money is spent. The onus is on us to make the Act work.

In effect, therefore, the right conferred on the citizen is an exhaustive one. It allows him to assess and examine every government decision, to study the reasons recorded by the government for taking a particular step, and to utilise information so gathered to ensure that government acts in a transparent and just manner.

Indeed, the preamble to the Act puts it well when it says, “democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information” and adds these “are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed”.

SMS message to send is:

SIC KKM sir,
“Your Malafides proved in amending RTI rules — We demand your resignation to ensure Supremacy of Democracy”

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________

Karnataka State Information Commissioner for Right to Information Act is   Mr. K. K. Mishra.

The mobile numbers for KKM are:

1.   9448291111 ,
2.    9844491100

Please SMS the above message to SIC KKM.

Please tell your friends to do the same. Send this to as many as possible. So that we can put presurre on SIC  KKM.

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ __________


Please go through the following Statements:

A. On March 15th 2008, In Raichur, SIC K K Mishra as per Hindu article,

RTI Act is fine, says Misra .
Raichur: The former Chief Secretary and State Chief Information Commissioner K.K. Misra has said that there was no need to bring any amendment to the Right to Information Act (2005).
Mr. Misra was here on Friday to attend to some pending cases related to the Act.
He said the Act had been formulated with an intention to streamline the administration and protect the interest of the public.


______________________________ ______________________________ ___

B. On April 19th 2008 meeting with RTI Activists SIC K K Mishra told them that he did not know anything about the Ammended Rule 14 of the RTI Rules , which Empowers an PIO to limit replying to RTI Request for only one first Question , if the RTI Request is covering two are more Subjects and is worder beyond 150 Words .

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______

C. As per Hindu article dated APRIL 20, 2008, says RTI: new rule restricts quantum of information.

It looks like SIC K K Mishra was responsible to bring about chnages to RTI Act 2005 in Karnataka State. Please read the article below. URL is provided. Thanks to RTI Activist Mr. Y. G. Muralidhran from CREAT to explain these things clearly to Hindu paper, other press people and to general Public.
BANGALORE: It has come to light that the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) recommended that the State Government amend the Karnataka Right to Information (RTI) Rules 2005 to restrict the quantum of information sought in a single application.
This was discovered by Y.G. Muralidharan, consumer rights activist and founder of Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT), who evoked the RTI Act only to receive this startling piece of information.
“Having grown in a culture of secrecy, the tendency to find reasons for denying information to the citizens is not surprising. But one never expected that the KIC would advise the Government to take the drastic step of amending the rules, which cuts the roots of citizens’ right to information,” Mr. Muralidharan told The Hindu.
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _______

” KKM Malafidely has given misleading statement that RTI does not need any Ammendement and KKM became instrumental in Ammending the RTI rules to curtail citizens right, as such KKM has become tainted, hence KKM need to resign honorably to ensure supremacy of democracy ”

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ___________

There are other reasons also why SIC KKM need to RESIGN. Please go through the following.

D. on May 3, 2005 the Karnataka State 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.”

______________________________ ______________________________ _________________

The above events shows the CHARACTER and INTEGRITY of K K Mishra.
Also KKM’s appointment as SIC is allready in question since 2005.
With all these things how can KKM continue as SIC of GoK ???
How did GoK appointed K K MIshra as the SIC of GoK with all the baggage.
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _______________________________
Now it is very clear that Shri.K. K. Mishra is:
ž       Not a person having Eminence In Public Life, hence not qualified to the office of the State Chief Information Commissioner.
ž       Prima facie held to be involved in an offence involving moral turpitude, by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka, which as good as conviction.
ž       Has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _______
Please read this SC ruling:
Any officer whose integrity is doubtful should not be promoted to a sensitive post.
Supreme court Orders Transfer Of UP Chief Secretary within 7 days
Just recently Supreme Court of INDIA has given a ruling that a tainted person should not be occupying a SENSITIVE and RESPONSIBLE POST in the State of UP.
SCIC is such a Sensitive and Responsible post.
SC tells UP govt to shift Neera Yadav

http://www.ndtv.com/topstories /showtopstory.asp?id=17905 &frmsrch=1&txtsrch=Chief +Secretary+of+UP <http://www.ndtv.com/topstories /showtopstory.asp?id=17905 &frmsrch=1&txtsrch=Chief +Secretary+of+UP>
NDTV Correspondent
Thursday, October 6, 2005 (New Delhi):
The Supreme Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to shift controversial official Neera Yadav from the post of Chief Secretary within seven days.
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _______________
KK Mishra’s has lost his Integrity as per High Court Order of Karnataka State //

KK Mishra is a TAINTED PERSON // TAINTED PERSON can’t be occupying Sensitive and Responsible post. //
KK Mishra was sworn on Saturday 30/7/2005, BEFORE the retirement date of 31/07/2005. This as per records available from GoK. //
This looks like BOGUS APPOINTMENT of KK Mishra to the post of SIC of Karnataka State.
This was done by then CM Dharm Singh, Opposition Leader Yeddiyurappa and then Information Minister Shivaram.
All these THREE people need to be questioned now.

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _________________

Please read this article.
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.”
______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ _____________________

All of this shows that SIC K K Mishra is a person without CHARACTER and INTEGRITY.
HENCE, EKAVI had written to Governor of Karnataka State in 2005.

______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ ___________________

Demand For Removal of Shri.KK Misra, Karnataka State Chief Information Commissioner under Section 17 (3) (b) & 17 (3) (e) of the Right To Information Act-2005.

Demand For Removal of Shri.KK Misra, Karnataka State Chief Information Commissioner under Section 17 (3) (b) & 17 (3) (e) of the Right To Information Act-2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005
The Hon’ble Governor,
Sub: Demand For Removal of Shri.KK Misra, Karnataka State Chief Information Commissioner under Section 17 (3) (b) & 17 (3) (e) of the Right To Information Act-2005
We wish to bring following acts of omissions during implementation of the Right To Information Act-2005 by Government Of Karnataka:
1. Section 15 of the Right To Information Act-2005 stipulates a minimum qualification for a candidate who shall be appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner, which are as under:
” The State Chief Information Commissioner and the State Information Commissioners shall be Persons Of Eminence In Public Life with wide knowledge and experience in Law, Science And Technology, Social Service, Management, Journalism, Mass Media Or Administration And Governance.”
2. We understand that that Mr.KK Misra who has been appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner vide notification number DPAR 77 RTI 2005 Bangalore Dated 30th July 2005, does not have the required qualifications for appointment as State Chief Information Commissioner.
3. The basic qualification required is of “Eminence In Public Life”. Government of Karnataka has been directed by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka to File criminal cases against Shri.KK Misra and prosecute him as under:
ž Under Sec. 340 of Cr.PC 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” in the Rs 2,250 Crores Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project Case.
ž On charges of ” Perjury And Withholding “ documents in the Rs 2,250 Crores Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project Case. Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka also directed the Registrar General to file a complaint in this regard under section 388 Cr.PC.
4. A person who Lies And Cheats to Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka as above cannot be called as a Person Of Eminence In Public Life.
5. Shri.KK Misra’s appointment seems to have been made fraudulently violating the stipulated norms as laid down under section 15 of the Right To Information Act-2005, which are as follows:
ž There is no documentary proof in public knowledge that, a meeting of the committee formed for the appointment of State Chief Information Commissioner was held. Hence it seems only minutes were drawn
ž In view of the circumstantial evidence in above Para it can be deduced that List of eligible candidates for appointment as State Chief Information Commissioner was never prepared.
ž Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council were never consulted while appointing Shri.KK Misra as State Chief Information Commissioner, which is the normal practice in any appointments made by government to important positions.
6. It appears that Shri.KK Misra has appointed himself as State Chief Information Commissioner by abusing his position of Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka. It is very brazen attempt to misuse his official capacity as he retired on 31st July 2005 and Appointed as State Chief Information Commissioner on the same day i.e. 31st July 2005
7. A bureaucrat who presided over the state govt administration till recently cannot be considered independent enough to be the final apex appellate authority under the Right To Information Act. There would be disputes regarding requisitioning of information elicited from government functionaries when he was the chief secretary. He cannot legally/morally decide these disputes now as the information commissioner.
8. This principle is followed scrupulously by the judiciary. Judges do not hear cases where any person who was their client while their practicing law figures in, or if there is anyone closely related, closely connected etc involved. The matter is passed on to other judges.
9. Here we have only one chief information commissioner. Even if we presume that such matters will be passed on to the information commissioners, it must be noted that they are subordinate to the chief info commissioner who continues to be the boss and final arbitrator of the decision being dished out by the commission. So we cannot have such a person as State Chief Information Commissioner.
10. His continuation in the post will seriously jeopardize / violate people’s fundamental right to information which has been upheld as an integral part of article 13 (1) of the constitution of India.
11. From all above submissions it becomes clear that Shri.KK Misra is prima facie held to be involved in an offence involving moral turpitude, that too by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka. This as good as conviction, for an institution as important as State Chief Information Commissioner, whose duty is to set up practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.
12. From all above submissions it also becomes clear that Shri.KK Misra has developed Other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.
13. Now it is very clear that Shri.KK Misra is:
ž Not a person having Eminence In Public Life, hence not qualified to the office of the State Chief Information Commissioner.
ž Prima facie held to be involved in an offence involving moral turpitude, by Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka, which as good as conviction.
ž Has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.
14. Hence we request you utilise the powers vested in your office and your discretion to act under following Sections of the Right To Information Act-2005 and REMOVE KK MISRA FROM THE POSITION OF STATE CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER IMEADIATLY To Save Sanctity Of New Born Right To Information Act-2005 for charges summarized in Para number 13:
Section 17 (3): Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the Governor may by order remove from office the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner if a State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner, as the case may be,—
Section 17 (3) (b): Has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of the Governor, involves moral turpitude; or
Section 17 (3) (e): Has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as the State Chief Information Commissioner or a State Information Commissioner.15. The whole nation is anxiously awaiting your action in this regard. The success or failure of the Right To Information Act-2005 depends upon your quick and rightful action.
Yours Truly,
Copy to:
1. The Hon’ble President of India.
2. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
3. The Hon’ble Chief Minister Of Karnataka.
4. The Hon’ble Dy Chief Minister Of Karnataka.
5. Smt.Sonia Gandhi ji, The Chairperson United Progressive Alliance, The Chairperson National Advisory Council, and President, Indian National Congress, New Delhi.
6. Shri.H.D.Devegowda, Former Prime Minister, National President Janata Dal (Secular) & Member of Parliament.
7. Shri.Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI (M).
8. Shri.A.B.Bardhan, General Secretary, CPI (I).
9. Shri.L.K.Advani, Leader of Opposition, Loka Sabha.
10. Shri.Jaswant Singh, Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha.
11. The Central Vigilance Commissioner, New Delhi.
12. The Loka Ayukta, Karnataka.

______________________________ ___________________________

Posted in Govt. of INDIA, Karnataka RTI, RTI Activists, RTI Campgain | 3 Comments »

Suggested draft for statement from MPs

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 3, 2006

We are distressed at the proposed amendments to the Right To Information Act passed by the Cabinet. We have een recieving a lot of representation sfrom Citizens that they see this move as curtailing their New-found Freedom in the Right To Information Act 22 of 2005.

Citizens have just started using this act, and have begun to understand the immense empowerment which will convert India into a true participatory democracy.

The Cabinet decision to amend the most important Act which allows Citizens to monitor and improve Governance, by disallowing File Notings is a Citizen-unfriendly act and strikes at the roots of Freedom. The move to amend the Act is not a move giving more powers to Citizens as the Government statements have claimed.

If that was true, the Government would have been willing to make a public declaration of the proposed changes and engaged in an open discussion with Citizens. The move to dilute, what to Citizens is very important smacks of the arrogance of power, which Right To Information seeks to challenge. We would also like to list the following:

1. Putting file notings in the realm of exemptions will make the Act weaker. There are a lot of instances where honest officers have recorded their objections to illegal proposals, and the higher officers/Ministers have overruled them, which would come to light. What was have percieved as Right To Information is being sought to be converted to Right To Corruption. Citizens are making the connection of the proposed amendment to the Act coming soon after an All-India Antibribery Campaign using RTI. What is important and paramount in a democracy is the Citizen’s perception.

2. The move smacks of arrogance of power and arbitrariness. The Government has made no attempt to disclose to the Public, what great harm has accrued to governance in the last few months, which could not be covered under the present exemptions under Section 8. Nor has it declared the proposed draft and been willing to discuss it with people.

3 It makes a mockery of over nine months (from August 2004 to May 2005) of a consultative-deliberative process between Beaureucrats, Ministers, a Parliamentary Committee and Citizens, by an arbitrary decision of the cabinet. This is violative of the basic principles of transparency and democracy.

Citizens have made representations against the amendments, and we respect these. We  shall oppose the Government’s retrograde step. This is an opportunity to bring about participatory democracy which allows Citizens the right to monitor the Government. Any move which people consider violative of their fundamental right is a step to curtail their freedom, and must be condemned.

Adresses of all MPs available on  internet at:

022 32903776; 26001003
All my mails are in Public domain, and do share them if you wish.

Posted in RTI Campgain | Leave a Comment »

ACT NOW : India Needs Your Voice to be Heard.

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 3, 2006

Dear friends,

Do you remember being filled with pride when people praise India for being the largest functioning democracy in the world?

Do you remember hanging your head in shame when people ridicule India’s reputation as one of the most corrupt nations?

If you answered yes to one or both of the above questions, then you should ACT NOW.

India Needs Your Voice to be Heard.

Why, What is Wrong?

A landmark and progressive Right to Information (RTI) Act, passed by the Indian parliament in October 2005, had ushered in a new hope for a nation under siege by the corrupt public officials. The enthusiastic use of the RTI Act by the citizenry to reveal scores of illegal dealings by the public authorities, promised the beginning of an era of true participatory democracy.

This campaign sent shivers down the spine of the corrupt bureaucracy and the government of India wilted under their pressure. In an arbitrary manner, the government introduced an amendment on July 20, 2006, that would exempt “file-notings” from the purview of the act – which means that the identity of the guilty officials will remain concealed under the garb of secrecy. This move dashes any hopes of accountability and transparency in the functioning of the government, thus allowing corruption to thrive unchecked.

So What is Happening in India?
This retrograde action has met with resistance across the country with RTI crusaders like Aruna Roy (Magsaysay award winner, 2000), Anna Hazare (Padma Bhushan, 1992), Arvind Kejriwal (Magsaysay award winner, 2006) leading the fight to save an important and potent tool against corruption.

The fight back has opened a new front –
Save the Right to Information Campaignhttp://rti.aidindia.org.

We are calling on all those who want the emergence of an empowered, democratic, strong India, free from the shackles of corruption. We need to raise our voices – ONE UNITED VOICE – calling for the landmark RTI Act to be left as is.

How Can I Help?

Here is how you too can help save our fundamental Right to Information:

  • Sending a FREE FAX to the Prime Minister, opposing the proposed amendments.
  • Signing the Save RTI petition addressed to the Prime Minister.
  • Emailing and calling the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Personnel (the govt dept in change of the RTI Act).
  • Calling the Indian Embassy and Consulates in the US asking our concerns to be conveyed to the PMO.
  • Writing letters to the editors, strongly opposing the amendments.
  • Endorsing a letter to the Prime Minister on behalf of the association, group or network you are part of.

Please forward this email far and wide, encouraging all your friends, family and colleagues to ACT NOW

Posted in RTI Campgain | 1 Comment »

CNN-IBN has also started a petition against prpopsed ammendment of RTI.

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 1, 2006

CNN-IBN has also started a petition against prpopsed ammendment of RTI.

This petition is available on


Posted in RTI Campgain | 5 Comments »

Let us INSTILL RTI Act to SCHOOL and COLLEGE Students all over INDIA

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 11, 2006

RTI Act 2005 and other National Issues and Acts needs to be part of a COURSE for Students in SCHOOLS and COLLEGES.

This should be done as a part of any CAMPAIGN on RTI.

RTI needs to reach out to 600000 Villages in INDIA.

RTI needs to reach all DISTRICTS, TALUQS of all STATES  in INDIA.

RTI needs to reach COMMON PEOPLE in INDIA. We need to make them aware of the RTI Act.

This is Mr. V. M. Kumaraswamy, MBA.

About eGovINDIA and it’s activties








Posted in RTI Campgain | 7 Comments »

Campaign on RTI awareness takes off in Delhi

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 5, 2006

Campaign on RTI awareness takes off in Delhi

Staff Reporter


Assistance centres set up at seven SDM offices and passport office at Bikaji Cama Place

NEW DELHI: Several student volunteers and non-government organisations on Wednesday joined hands to launch the campaign for creating awareness among citizens about how to use the Right to Information Act as a tool to counter corruption. The volunteers set up assistance centres in seven Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) offices and in the Regional Passport Office at Bikaji Cama Place for this purpose.

The volunteers are led by leading NGOs like Parivartan, Kabir, Sangharsh and local residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) to educate the citizens on how to fill in the RTI applications and how to get information in various sectors. The Delhi Government has already passed an order to all its departments that the RTI volunteers should be helped in every possible way to ensure that the relevant RTI applications reach their destinations. Help desks were also set up outside SDM offices in Nandnagri, Geeta Colony, Darya Ganj and Mehrauli. “The Nandnagri camp had such a tremendous impact on the bureaucracy that the officers who had been sitting on several ration cards and income certificates for the past so many years expecting some kind of gratification were compelled to part with those ration cards and income certificates. Interestingly, such was the fear of the campaign that the Food and Supply Department officials called some of the volunteers inside and informed that that they had taken out all the ration cards in their possession and the people could come an collect their cards right away,” Santosh a volunteer remarked.

“The impact was similar at the Darya Ganj camp where several people were given their income certificates and caste cards immediately for which they had running around for several months,” another volunteer Arif said.A similar scene was witnessed with the un-cooperating officials at the Regional Passport Office. As soon as the help desk was set up, a DDA official approached the volunteers and informed that they were encroaching on DDA land and that their desk was illegal. Soon after a police officer came and questioned the volunteers about the help desk. “This clearly indicated the nexus between the RPO officials, the DDA and the Delhi police. The money was being shared among the officials from these agencies. These help desks posed a serious threat to their regular income,” Sangeeta, a volunteer at the Bikaji Cama passport office claimed. Ms. Sangeeta said the volunteers, who were students did not give into the undue pressure from these agencies and were successful in filing 45 RTI applications. In all, 210 RTI applications were filed at the eight different centres. The centres will be operational for the next 10 days to educate and inform ordinary citizens that they have now been empowered with a powerful tool not to pay bribes and combat babudom through the use of RTI.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, RTI Campgain | 1 Comment »

RTI redresses water supply grievance

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 5, 2006

RTI redresses water supply grievance

NDTV Correspondent

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 (New Delhi):


The Right to Information can prove to be a powerful tool.

In the continuing series on the national campaign against bribery, NDTV brings you the story of Madhu Manaklata.

Madhu wanted to change her water connection from commercial to domestic supply. She was asked to pay bribe but she refused. She finally managed to get what she wanted in two weeks just by filing an RTI.

“I had a commercial water meter and wanted that changed to a domestic meter. I submitted a request for the change, since there was no commercial activity here anymore.

“The Jal Board gave me a bill of Rs 17,000 and they wanted me to pay them the entire amount. I told them that I would not pay the entire amount as I was not doing any commercial work.

“They are government servants but they behave as though they are kings. They harassed me a lot. They were disrespectful, and one man, called K K Chaudhary asked me for a bribe

“I am a single woman and have no help. Where am I supposed to get all this money from? Then I found out about the RTI Act. And once I filed my RTI, the same man who asked me for a bribe, came to me to apologise.

“RTI is a tool that helps you solve a problem very fast.”

Posted in RTI Campgain, RTI Success Stories | 1 Comment »

Denied information? Camp will make many clean up their Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

Denied information? Camp will make many clean up their Act



RTI camp has been organised by NGO at Kochrab Ashram, will help residents to cut through official red tape and

Ahmedabad, July 3: A CHARTERED accountant wanting to know why he was overcharged by the BSNL, a textile worker trying to find out why he was fired without being given a reason and a resident wanting to know why a builder built more houses than permitted in the plan. In an era of information explosion, all these and many more have been denied their basic right to know. But a Right to Information camp being organised by Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel, an initiative started by the NGO Janpat, at the Kochrab Ashram will soon help them cut through the official red tape to get the required information. Sunil Thadani, a chartered accountant who says he was overcharged by BSNL last June, has been asking for a bill statement of his landline phone since then. But authorities at BSNL have turned a deaf ear to his requests even after the RTI Act came into existence, and have denied him the statement on grounds that he did not mention that he wanted the statement under the RTI 2005 Act. “The only reason why BSNL has not given the statement is because Thadani didn’t mention that he was asking it ‘under the RTI Act’,’’ says Pankti Mittal Patel, a volunteer at the camp.

‘‘I have wasted 13 months trying to get the statement,’’ says Thadani, who is now sure that BSNL will produce the bill statement since it is obliged under the Act.

For Hasmukhbhai Ladani, the wait to find out why he was fired from his post of a machine operator in Reliance Textiles in 1991 has been too long. According to him, after he was discharged without being given a reason, the company agreed to pay his due salary but refused to take him back. He filed a petition in the High Court in 2002 which is still pending. He wants to know why his petition has not come up for hearing even even after four years.

‘‘It’s not about money or salary. It’s about my rights. I want to know why the court hasn’t held any hearing till date,’’ says Ladani.

Motibhai Patel, a resident of Ghatlodiya, has similar complaints. The builder of Yashsagar Society, where Patel resides, built 58 houses even though the original plan allowed only 47. The builder, Bhagwanbhai Patel, also built another house on a common plot adjoining Patel’s house and declared his house illegal. Since then, Patel has been running around trying to know why his house was declared illegal even though it featured in the original plan.

‘‘I want to know why the builder got away after constructing illegally. I still carry the original plan with me as a proof,’’ says Motibhai Patel.

Even political leaders are using the act to extract answers. NCP councillor at Umreth Nagarpalika in Anand, Devendra Patel, wants the Nagarpalika to show him the details of its leased plots and ponds. Under the Act, any government official is under obligation to give the information within 30 days. But even after 90 days of application, Patel is waiting for an answer.

‘‘It’s only after I came here that I found out that if there is a delay of more than 30 days, an amount of Rs 250 will be deducted from the respective information officer’s salary until he gives the information,’’ says Patel.

As per an ordinance passed in 2003 by the Gujarat Government, no Nagarpalika can lease more than one plot of land and no ponds can be leased without its permission. Patel claims that he has evidence that officials have leased more than one plot and ponds.

‘‘We have advised him to appeal once again and also told him to remind the officer of his obligation to do the same within 30 days,’’ says Mittal.

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, RTI Campgain | Leave a Comment »

RTI power: Govt officer’s pension upgraded

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

RTI power: Govt officer’s pension upgraded


NDTV Correspondent

Watch story

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 (Pune):

A nationwide awareness-cum-assistance campaign has been launched where people will be encouraged not to pay bribes.

The Drive Against Bribes campaign began on July 1 and will be on till July 15.

Nearly 1500 trained volunteers are available at centres in 48 cities around the country. Eight media partners and more than 700 civil society groups are a part of this initiative.

Common citizens are using the Right to Information as a powerful tool in order to hold governments accountable.

People have used it in various ways ranging from addressing issues related to their daily interface with government authorities to influencing major government policies.

Payment errors

For Ramesh Phongde, who worked for the government for forty years, the RTI came as a blessing.

After retirement when his first pension cheque arrived he was puzzled to see that the total amount on the cheque was less that the amount due.

“I have been working with the Pune Municipal Corporation for the last 27 years. When I retired they sanctioned a pension of Rs 5000 when I should have got Rs 7000,” he said.

Ramesh Phongde then made several attempts to figure out why such an error occurred.

He wrote numerous letters from the Pune Municipal Corporation to the Government of India, however he was unable to get any response.

“For four years I fought for my rights. In the last four years I have filed 16 applications and have visited the pension court five times, but I never got any positive response,” he said.

Refusing bribe

He also tried to get his pension papers released from the Corporation but access to those papers was restricted until a bribe was paid.

Throughout his career as a government officer, Ramesh Phongde had never demanded nor paid a bribe and he was certainly not going to pay one now.

Frustrated with the manner in which his own department was dealing with his request Ramesh Phongde soon realised that he will eventually have to make do with Rs 5000.

Just when he was going to give into the systems inefficiencies he learnt about the Right to Information Act.

Phongde decided to make one last attempt and made use of the RTI Act to access all the papers related to his pension from the PMC.

He also asked for the status of his grievance applications made to the PMC in relation to his pension.

In three months Phongde’s papers were revaluated and his pension was upgraded to Rs 8000 per month. He also received a cheque of Rs 1,78,000 as payment due to him for the last four years.

“I do not believe in giving bribes. I knew my case was strong and I had all my paper work in place. I got all my pending money with the help of RTI. More than anything, my experience sets an example for others, I think I set a good example,” he added.

For four years, Ramesh Phongde could not get officials to act on his grievance, but as soon as he fixed the responsibility on each one of them in his RTI application, the same officers had no choice but to act.

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