Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Archive for the ‘Uttar Pradesh RTI’ Category


Posted by rtiact2005 on December 29, 2007

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –
Respected sir ,

I am a social worker and works for right to information. Through use
of RTI I have unearthed many irregularities of social welfare
department of uttar pradesh. Today at around 11:47 AM sri A. K. Bajpai
principal G. B. Pant Polytechnic Mohan Road Lucknow made a phone call
to me and gave me life threats and said that he alongwith Pawan Kumar
Mishra and K. K. srivastava will implicate my husband in so many cases
that our life will become hell if I don’t stop using RTI against all
of them.

I have informed the matter to Sri S. K. Verma , Director Social
welfare Uttar pradesh by telephone ON HIS MOBILE at 15:55PM and he has
assured me to take action in this matter.

These persons are law breakers and one of them namely pawan kumar
mishra is a registered fraud .I have exposed darker side of their
characters and activities through use of RTI so they are threatening
me so that I should not go to State Information Commission to pursue
cases against them.Even after repeated orders of Honb’le Chief State
Information Commissioner J. Sri M. A. Khan , A K . Bajpai repeatedly
sends P. K. Mishra to information commission only to threaten me.

The life of my family is in danger so please at the earliest possible
institute a high level enquiry taking into consideration all the
frauds of these persons to punish the real culprits so that only
truth should win and I and my family should breathe in a fearless
Thanking you

yours truly

M- 09305463313

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 15 Comments »

States which had appointed a retired bureaucrat as the state Chief information commissioner, the Act had become almost a dead letter.

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 13, 2006

‘Changes cannot weaken RTI Act’


LUCKNOW: The chances of any amendments — weakening the Right to Information Act, 2005 — are unlikely. This was the opinion expressed by the state chief information commissioner, Justice (retd) MA Khan, at a talk organised by the Indian Industries Association in the city on Friday.

He also discussed the various difficulties he was facing in the implementation of the Act on a day to day level. Justice (retd) Khan said that RTI Act, 2005, is the most important Act passed since the formation of the Indian Constitution.

He said that the recent debate about whether the Act will be amended –to exclude file notings– is not going to bring any changes in the Act in the near future. He blamed the politicians for being corrupt and not adhering to the norms and rules of the land.

Taking a dig at the bureaucracy, Justice (retd) Khan stated that in all those states which had appointed a retired bureaucrat as the state Chief information commissioner, the Act had become almost a dead letter.

“The bureaucrats are the ones who take the decisions and they don’t want the others to know how or why they arrived at a certain decision,” he said.

Citing the Taj Corridor case, he said that as the High Court judge earlier he had asked for the relevant papers. “There was not even a single signature of Mayawati on any of the Taj Corridor papers,” he added.

Justice (retd) Khan said that RTI Act, 2005 was useful to the industrialists and businessmen as they can avail of this Act to know who got the tender for what reason. Corruption is rampant and the files don’t move unless businessmen do something about it, he lamented.

Explaining how he was facing problems from the state bureaucracy in implementing this Act, he said that he had suggested to the chief secretary to assign a hall for all the public information officers to sit in so that they are accessible to the people but it was shot down citing security reasons.

This Act is still active only in the urban areas, Justice Khan said. “India lives in its villages and it is here that this Act should be effective,” he added. The poor people should ask their netas how they got so much wealth in such a short time, Khan said.

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 3 Comments »

Stricken CCB depositors turn to RTI for succour

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 9, 2006

Stricken CCB depositors turn to RTI for succour


First, how much money was deposited with the bank on March 21, 2001, when the bank ceased operations, and how much is there at the present date? Secondly, in the three months preceding the bank’s closure in 2001, how many people were intimated about the impending closure and allowed to withdraw their money? Thirdly, how many outstanding loans have been recovered since the date of closure? And fourthly, did any employees of the bank or their family members get loans?

The questions become relevant in the context of a circular issued by the RBI in 2000 that states that “promoters should not be associated as directors of chit funds/non banking financial company’s or other cooperative banks.”

Saxena paid the mandatory Rs 10 and received an acknowledgement about receipt of the letter on July 31. He said, ‘‘The implementation of the Act is a blessing because government officers will respond only if RTI is used.”

Especially since he wrote a letter to the Chief Minister in 2005 raising essentially the same questions. The letter was copied to the Chief Secretary, Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Administrator of City Cooperative Bank and Agriculture Production Commissioner.

‘‘I did not receive a reply from any of them,” he says. Before that, he had written another letter to the District Magistrate, that had met with the same fate.

Under the Act, the PIO has 30 days to provide a reply, failing which, the petitioner can appeal to a higher authority called the appelate authority. If not satisfied, the State Information Commissioner can be approached. Saxena feels that the provisions in the Act are not stringent enough on the PIO if he fails to deliver information.

‘‘What punitive action can be taken if they do not give information? Right now, a fine of Rs 250 is the maximum. There has to be a change in the mindset of the bureaucracy for the Act to work,” intones Saxena.

Information sought
* how much money was deposited with the bank on March 21, 2001, when the bank ceased operations, and how much is there at the present date
* In the three months preceding the bank’s closure in 2001, how many people were intimated about the impending closure and allowed to withdraw their money
* How many outstanding loans have been recovered since the date of closure
* Did any employees of the bank or their family members get loans

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 1 Comment »

Status of RTI in Uttar Pradesh

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 5, 2006

1 Name of State: UTTAR PRADESH
2. Whether Rules have been framed? NO. Using Central RTI Act
If yes, whether they are available in the local language?   – do -.
If possible please send the link with the website. http://righttoinformation.gov.in/RTIAct/RTI-ActInHindi.pdf
3. Whether format has been specified for application and appeals? If yes, please try and send it. No.
4. Fees:
a) On Application: Rs. 10
b) For first appeal:
c) For second appeal:
5. Any significant problem in the rules: No proactive declaration by most PAs in the State. Even names of CPIOs/ PIOs/APIOs and Appellant Authorities not available
6. Name and email address of CIC of State. Sh. M.A. Khan
How many other Information Commissioners are there. None
7. If any data is available on the following:
a) Number of RTI applications in State
if no numbers are available, please give your impression of whether RTI is being used very little/reasonably/very actively. Very little. Besides public, even employees of PA are ignorant of the Act. Those designated to work for RTI are very uncooperative, try to misguide you and do not answer applications for months. The answer recd is never complete. Only one or two points of the application are answered.
b) Awareness of State Govt. Officials. Poor.
c) If report of Information Commission as required under Section 25 is ready. No idea
8. An idea of the Information Commission’s disposal preferably in this format::
For October 2005 to July 2006:  No idea.

Total no. of appeals & Complaints received
Total number of appeals and complaints in which final orders passed
Total number of appeals and complaints pending disposal

October to December 2005

January 2006

February 2006….

Upto July 2006.

If this information is not available please file a RTI application with the PIO of the Information Commission.

9. Your grading of the decisions by the Information Commission:  Bad/Fair/good.  (If possible get the opinion of a few others) He has been appointed only recently and no news so far.

10. Three major problems in the implementation of the Act.
Ignorance of the majority of population, lack of govt. publicity, absence of proactive declarations.

11. If available, three success stories of use of RTI.
I do not know if you will call them success stories. They revolve around two third parties (Ansal Housing and Constuction Ltd. and Delhi Towers Ltd), who have been the main beneficiaries of GDA and Ghaziabad Fire Dept.’s patronage, due to which  all flat owners of their complex “Neel Padam Kunj” in Vaishali are suffering.
Everyone knows that there are several stages which every builder has to go through before his building is certified to be fit for living. The two main organizations are GDA and Fire Dept. Both have been very benevolent to these third parties and have given them all approvals without any problems (natrually for some consideration). To get to the truth we filed 2 applications with the Fire Dept (one replied) and about 5 (only two replied with delay) with GDA.
Results: As a result of our application to the PIO of Gzbd Fire Dept., for the first time in past 10 yrs (this building exists), the Fire Dept. has not given the builder the “Fitness Certificate” for its fire fighting readiness in the building. They raised 12 objections, against which the builder has so far taken action only on one (putting “Fire Exit” signs).

In response to our RTI applications to GDA, for the first time we have come to know from the sanctioned map of the complex that GDA gave that unlike all housing societies, we can not have a boundary wall on one of our complex (security threat to property and life), because the builder was sanctioned to construct a group housing society on one big plot and instead, divided the plot into two parts and built a housing complex on one and a commercial mall on another.
Secondly, the commercial club, advertised as part of the complex is an unauthorised construction on Green Belt area outside our complex, where even the trees are not planted as per norm. The GDA issued orders for its demolition, but after palm greasing by the third party have not been implemented.

Thus, therefore there is  a long way to go and follow up these applications and take action to punish the people who have wronged us.

12. Any other questions you feel we should add; please add them with answers

Even if receive multiple answers come  from any State, it will help to understand the position better.

Salil and Sunita Gupta
C-1/802 Neel Padam Kunj
Ghaziabad 201010. U.P. India
Mobile: +91-9350505411/ 9810233017
Tel: 91-120-2816566/ 2774194
Pls reply to: salilsunita@yahoo.co.in

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 49 Comments »


Posted by rtiact2005 on August 4, 2006



Bureaucracy is not cooperating, it’s difficult to bring in RTI revolution

How many applications are entertained by the commission daily?
On an average, we entertain about 80-100 applications seeking information under RTI daily. However, these 80-100 applications include both genuine as well as non-genuine types of complaints. By non-genuine, I mean those applications of complaints which do not follow procedural norms to get an information under the RTI.
What is the nature of most of the complaints registered at the commission?
From serious matters to petty issues, all are reported here. However, a majority of the complaints pertain to corruption. It’s obvioius. After all the RTI aims at bringing transparency in the government’s ‘style of functioning’.

Name some of the government departments whose information is normally sought by the applicants
A majority of the applications come in seeking information pertaining to three departments, first comes the Lucknow Development Authority, followed by the Basic Education department and then the Public Works Department (PWD).

According to you, how powereful a tool is the RTI?
The RTI is a very potent tool in handling corruption, provided all government officials entrusted the job of entertaining RTI-related issues shoulder their responsibility seriously. But, the general (mis)conception is that I alone in my capacity of chief information officer can uproot corruption from every government department. Mind you, weeding out corruption is not one man’s job.

What’s your take on the recent cabinet decision of not bringing file notings under the purview of RTI ?
I can only say that the RTI has been brought in to help the masses. Taking this into account, I will only say that governmnet should make all efforts to strenghten the Act.

How do you rate the success of RTI in the state
Since some secretaries are not co-operating in the implementation of the Act, the RTI cannot be rated as excellent, especially at the state level. But, taking into account the co-operation shown by some district level officers, we can say that it is sastisfactory. Meanwhile, the success of this Act also depends a lot on the media. After all it’s the reach of the media which only can spread awareness of the Act farand wide.

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 6 Comments »

Appoint an eminent Hindu as Kashi Temple Trust chief: CIC

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 20, 2006

Appoint an eminent Hindu as Kashi Temple Trust chief: CIC

Lucknow, July 17

THE CHIEF Information Commissioner (CIC) Justice MA Khan has directed the
State Government to appoint a non-government and eminent Hindu as chairman
of the Kashi Viswanath Temple Trust within a week.

Disposing of a complaint filed by Samajwadi Party leader Shatrudh Prakash
challenging the appointment of Varanasi Commissioner CN Dubey as chairman of
the temple trust, here on Monday, the CIC asked principal secretary
(religious endowment) to take up the issue with the Chief Minister. “It is
indeed sad that the State Government has been unable to find a suitable
non-government candidate for such a prestigious position for the past three
years,” he observed.

SP leader Shatrudh Prakash had earlier moved an application under the Right
To Information Act (RTIA) wanting to know on what basis the Varanasi
Commissioner was continuing on the post.

He had sought papers related to his appointment on the Trust from the
Varanasi administration but the latter refused to part with the information
following which, he had filed a complaint before the CIC.

After hearing both parties to the dispute, Justice Khan said that the
Temple’s Act clearly stated that no government servant or non-Hindu can be
nominated to the Trust. “However, the Varanasi Commissioner was not only a
government servant but the post in future could also be occupied either by a
Muslim, Sikh or a Christian. As such the Commissioner’s appointment was
against the spirit and provisions of the Act,” he pointed. “Was the
Commissioner’s appointment merely a stop-gap arrangement? I am sure the CM
would look into the issue as to why no effort was made to fill up the
prestigious post with a suitable candidate,” he added. A total of 16 cases
were taken up for hearing on Monday.

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 1 Comment »

Varanasi Commissioner, principal secy summoned

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 20, 2006

Varanasi Commissioner, principal secy summoned

HT Correspondent
Lucknow, July 18


THE CHIEF Information Commissioner Justice MA Khan has again summoned Varanasi Commissioner CN Dubey and principal secretary (Religious Endowment) on August 2 in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust (KVTT).

The CIC issued the order on a fresh application moved by Samajwadi Party leader Shatrudh Prakash alleging that the KVTT paid an advance of Rs 50 lakh to Jaunpur division of the Rajkiye Nirman Nigam towards civil work without inviting tenders. Prakash said that the money from the temple trust was paid to the RNN project manager of Jaunpur on May 9. On whose orders and for what purpose the advance payment was made? Were tenders invited, if not, then on what basis an agreement was entered into with the Jaunpur division when RNN already has a branch in Varanasi?, the SP leader has asked.

“As per my information, the present Varanasi Commissioner had cleared the payment of Rs 50 lakh and signed the file related to the work on May 9 and the same day the money was withdrawn from the trust,” said Prakash. It is not clear in what capacity the Varanasi Commissioner okayed the payment as till then the State Government had not appointed any CEO for the Temple Trust.

Moreover, who withdrew the money, he asked? Since devotees give money to the trust, it is in public interest that this information be made public, he said.

Acting on the application, the CIC directed that Varanasi Commissioner CN Dubey and principal secretary (Religious Endowment) PL Loi shall appear in person before the commission on August 2 and furnish the desired information.

CIC order kicks up row
Chief Information Commissioner Justice MA Khan’s order directing the Government to appoint a non-governmental Hindu scholar as chairman of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust within a week has kicked up a controversy.

Even as officials here questioned the CIC’s power to pass such an order under the Right To Information (RTI), Justice Khan told the Hindustan Times that he had acted well within his domain on the issue. “Unlike the Lok Ayukt, who has merely recommendatory powers, the order passed by the CIC is binding and no appeal can lie against it,” said Justice Khan.

On the other hand, Chief Secretary NC Bajpai was evasive on the issue when asked whether the State Government would comply with the Commission’s order.
Bajpai said that any decision would be taken only after obtaining legal opinion on the issue.

Former IPS officer and an RTI activist, SR Darapuri, was however, more candid in his opinion on the issue.

“The CIC has no business passing such an order,” he said.


Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 1 Comment »

UP RTI Update

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 13, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: asha <ashaashram@yahoo.com>
Date: 12-Jul-2006 23:26

dear friends,

the campaign in UP is doing relatively well. here are some highlights:

* police dept. accepts first application in sitapur yesterday.
* DG police office sends an employee to collect applications from lucknow
centre today after 3 applications were torn by them 3-4 days back.
* 175 applications filed in hardoi and 110 in sitapur. cash fees being
accepted in all departments in these two districts now. however, in most
other districts people have to pay by chalan, bank draft or postal order.
progress in sultanpur, chandauli is slow with about 15-20 applications filed
so far. less than 10 applications filed in unnao, deoria, moradabad. bigger
cities like lucknow, gorakhpur and varanasi doing relatively better.
* first applications under RTI were filed in hardoi, chandauli and deoria
during this campaign.
* one man in lucknow gets his pension after waiting for 11 years.
* one disabled man invited to join in nagar nigam, varanasi, after being
offered a job 1.5 years back. he was being made to run.
* new camp starts in mau district today. contact person arvind kumar,
mobile: 09839835032
* first tehsil level camp organized in chandauli district at sakaldiha
today, contact jayashankar, mobile: 09839716248.
* demand for camps in azamgarh, mirzapur, ballia, jaunpur, rae bareli,
barabanki, gonda, kushinagar, bijnore, kanpur districts. a one day camp
going to be organized in azamgarh on 21st july. activists from varanasi will
help organize this, contact vallabhacharya, 09415256848.

an evaluation meeting on the campaign in UP has been invited at dr. ambedkar
mahasabha, opposite vidhan bhawan, lucknow, on 17th july. activists from
about a dozen centres being organized throughout UP during this campaign
likely to attend this.
love, sandeep

Posted in Uttar Pradesh RTI | 4 Comments »

RTI campaign takes off in UP

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: asha <ashaashram@yahoo.com>
Date: 04-Jul-2006 00:46
Subject: [antibriberycampaign] RTI campaign takes off in UP
To: antibriberycampaign@yahoogroups.com
Cc: ashakashi@yahoo.com, shailendraksingh1@indiatimes.com,

   dear friends, although we were slow in the preparatory phase but we seem
to be catching up. in addition to the cities announced earlier VARANASI,
CHANDAULI, DEORIA, MAU, SULTANPUR, UNNAO have decided to join the national
campaign. here are brief updates.

LUCKNOW: tremendous response. venue – ambedkar mahasabha, opposite vidhan
bhawan. attendance: 1st july – 52 people. 2nd july – 40 people. 3rd july –
96 people. telephones of s.r. darapuri, arundhati dhuru, shailendra singh,
i.c. dwivedi and naveen tiwari, which were given in the hindi daily
‘hindustan’ keep ringing. people are calling even from other districts like
gonda, bahraich, rae bareli, faizabad, bara banki, sultanpur, unnao,
kushinagar, gorakhpur, deoria, hardoi, sitapur, mau. in all, our rough
estimate is that the five contact people have received more than 500 phone
calls so far.
most of the complaints relate to nagar nigam, passport, pension, insurance,
revenue, education dept., etc.
lucknow contact persons: s.r. darapuri – 9415164845, arundahti dhuru –
9415022772, shailendra singh – 9415006470

HARDOI: venue – outside DDC office in the verandah. furniture has been made
available by the DDC & SDM offices. number of RTI applications prepared: 1st
july – 5, 2nd july – 4, 3rd july – 18.
although the DM had agreed to receive applications in the office of PIO,
city magistrate, no arrangement was made till today. it has been decided
that the activists of asha parivar, janta party and congress party, who are
part of this campaign will stage a dharna at the office of the city
magistrate if he doesn’t make an arrangement to receive applications with a
Rs. 10 fees tomorrow (4th july).
hardoi contact persons: shiv kumar tiwari – 9451209799, radhey shyam kapoor
– 9838646247, vikram pandey – 9839893930

SITAPUR: venue – dharna spot on DM office premises. camp started on 3rd
july. about 20 people visited. applications were prepared and people took
them to submit in respective offices.
sitapur contact persons: ram sagar verma ‘guddu’ – 9451209863, richa singh –

UNNAO: camp started on 3rd july. deatils awaited.
contact person: neel kamal – 9451148061

VARANASI: venue – dharna spot (bargad tree) outside DM office. camp started
on 3rd july. the PIO ADM was not available on the entire first day of the
camp. more details awaited.
contact person: vallabhacharya pandey: 9415256848

CHANDAULI: camp started on 3rd july. details awaited.
contact person: jayashankar – 9839716248

DEORIA: camp started on 3rd july. details awaited.
contact person: keshav chand – 9839883518

SULTANPUR: camp will begin on 8th july.
contact person: sanjay singh – 9838698664

MAU: details awaited.
contact person: arvind kumar – 9839835032

in the following days we’ll feed in more details as we receive them.
love, sandeep

Posted in Antibirbery Campaign, Uttar Pradesh RTI | 3 Comments »

HT DRIVE AGAINST BRIBE : Now, babus out to scuttle RTI drive

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

Now, babus out to scuttle RTI drive
HT Correspondent
Lucknow, July 3


WHY SHOULD you pay Rs 40 for obtaining information that should rightfully be furnished to you on a fee of Rs 10? This was the common refrain of scores of harried people, who flocked from all over the State to HT’s Drive Against Bribe camp, being held in association with several self-help groups here at the Bhim Rao Ambedkar Mahasabha office, on Monday.

Apparently, the ‘babus’ have devised their own devious ways to discourage and deny information being sought from them by the people under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. Not only the applicants are asked to provide the requisite Rs 10 fee through a bank draft and hence pay Rs 30 towards service charges to the bank but they are also being asked to make the application on a prescribed proforma. This ‘norm’ has been adopted by both the district administration and the LDA here, who have devised their own forms for entertaining applications under the Act.

“This is just another ploy that has been invented by the officials to dissuade people from applying,” said SR Darapuri, a retired IPS officer, who is supervising the awareness camp. He said the officials were duty bound to accept an application on just a simple sheet of paper and Rs 10 as fee under the Act, which did not specify any proforma for such applications. Sure enough, Chief Information Commissioner Justice MA Khan himself confirmed his contention. “I would be writing to the heads of all departments that they should desist from the practice of demanding bank draft and accept applications on simple paper,” Khan told Hindustan Times.

Besides 90 applicants, the camp got 150 calls from Varanasi, Bahraich, Sitapur, Unnao, Rae Bareli, Barabanki, Sultanpur, Allahabad and Gonda.

While majority of these people complained that several departments were yet to appoint their respective public information officer for receiving applications, some others pointed out how the State’s secretariat remained out of bounds for them.

The irony is that the State Government has appointed deputy secretary/under secretary level officers as PIOs, who neither have telephones nor the authority to get passes issued for those wishing to meet them in this connection, pointed out Darapuri. “In fact, I along with IC Dwivedi (an ex-IPS officer) and Sandeep Pandey had met principle secretary, administrative reforms GP Verma and apprised him of the problem but no remedial measure has been taken so far,” he added.    

Posted in RTI Campgain, Uttar Pradesh RTI | 14 Comments »