Anil kumar | 1 Mar 04:48 2010
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RTI digs out more Padma muck

 

RTI digs out more Padma muck

 

Names Of 19 Awardees Were Accepted Long After The Deadline

 

Himanshi Dhawan | TNN

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOINEW/navigator.asp?Daily=TOIBG&showST=true&login=default&pub=TOI

 

New Delhi: Barely has the dust settled on the controversial nomination of NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal for a Padma award, the ministry of home affairs appears to have embroiled itself in another controversy.
   

In an indication of the ‘discretionary’ process of choosing Padma awardees, the government admitted that not only did it accept recommendations well after its deadline of November 20, but 19 of these came from award committee members. Only the President, vice-president, Prime Minister and home minister can make recommendations after the cut-off date. The home ministry has also admitted that there was no change in process of selection despite a CIC order asking the ministry to be more transparent.
   

The information was given by MHA in response to an RTI application filed by Subhash Chandra Agrawal. When asked how many recommendations were received by the ministry after November 20, 2009, MHA said 31. While 12 names were recommended by either the President, PM, V-P or HM, 19 were recommended by awards committee members after the due date.
   

Incidentally, the high-level review committee under then Vice-President K R Narayanan — set up on the directions of the Supreme Court and whose recommendations were accepted by the government in 1996 — had advised the government to continue the practice of accepting nominations only till September 30.
   

In fact, ignoring the committee’s recommendations, MHA in an RTI reply dated September 22, 2009, admitted that the cut-off date for accepting recommendations was November 20 and four people — President, V-P, PM and HM — could recommend names even later.
   

In its reply, the ministry said, “The provision for cut-off date as November 20 to accept the nominations for Padma awards (with the exception of nominations made by the President, V-P, PM and HM) is in accordance with the decision taken with the approval of the competent authority.”
   

The MHA, in its recent reply dated February 24, 2010, also admitted that there was no change in procedure of selection. In an order related to the Padma awards, the CIC in October 2009 observed that the process of recommending names for the Padma awards is highly discretionary.
   

Information commissioner Satyendra Mishra urged the government to strive to lay down, as far as possible, transparent criteria for these nominations and make the selection process more objective. The appellant, Agrawal, had sought to know the number of phases in which the selection process for recommending nominations for Padma awards had been completed.
   

In violation of the CIC order, the ministry in its February 2010 reply said, “No fresh procedure was adopted by the Padma awards while considering the nominations this year.” It denied challenging the order in court showing disregard for the information watchdog.
   

This is not the first occasion when the government has come under flak for Padma awards. In a series of RTI replies, authorities admitted that nominations were sealed after telephonic confirmations from members of the Awards Committee after its meetings on December 26, 2003 and January 19, 2004.

THE AWARD GOES TO...

Government admits it did accept many recommendations well after its deadline Confesses that 19 of these names came from award committee members Only the President, vice-president, Prime Minister and home minister can make recommendations MHA admitted there was no change in procedure of selection


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LESLIE ALMEIDA | 1 Mar 06:02 2010
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Fw: 09 - My God.!!!!...Our V.I.P. MP's Salaries....

 

RTI report

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: leslie almeida <leslie_almeida <at> rediffmail.com>
To: lesals2000 <at> yahoo.com
Sent: Mon, March 1, 2010 9:56:04 AM
Subject: 09 - My God.!!!!...Our V.I.P. MP's Salaries....

Block reason: This message is above your Auto Block threshold | Approve sender | Approve domain

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From: leslie almeida <leslie_almeida@...>
Subject: My God.!!!!...Our V.I.P. MP's Salaries....
Date: 2010-03-01 04:19:42 GMT

Rahul Gandhi urges youth to join Politics (Congress )
Why break you head on studies?
Why do PGDMS (MBA)?
why work for 10 to 12 hours a day
why think of committing sucide

here is a good opportunity which every youth should try to achieve

uncle Les

Hi....what do they do for us...march out of Parliament..yet take our money for no work!!!
Seems they are all out on a picnic in Delhi 5 years overnight stay.
Richie
 

.ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Verdana;}
.
Dear Everyone,
Pass this one ON, to everyone whom you know....
To make everyone AWARE !!!!!!!
Regards.
Hoshang.
.


 This is a good mail that I received from my friend and thought to share it with you all. This is really a sorry state of affairs but in some way we our-self are a part of this issue. But the BIG question is what can we do to change this? Give a thought and is there any way to curb this lavishness/expenses?

 

Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

Monthly Salary :
Rs. 12,000/-

Expense for Constitution per month :
Rs. 10,000/-

Office expenditure per month :
Rs. 14,000/-

Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) :
Rs. 48,000/-

(eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return : 6000 km)

Daily DA TA during parliament meets :
Rs. 500/day

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train :
Free (For any number of times)  
(All over India )
 

Charge for Business Class in flights :
Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)  

Rent for MP hostel at
Delhi : Free.

Electricity
  costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units.

Local phone call charge :
Free up to 1, 70,000 calls..

TOTAL expense for a MP
[having no qualification] per year :  Rs.32, 00,000/-

[i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]
TOTAL expense for 5 years :
  Rs.. 1, 60, 00,000/-

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
Rs. 8,54,40,00,000/-

 (Nearly 855 crores)
AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES.....
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities.........
And this is the present condition of our country :



855 crores could make their lives livable!!  
Think of the great democracy we have

&

FORWARD

THIS MESSAGE TO ALL REAL CITIZENS OF INDIA !!
ARE YOU?
I know hitting the Delete button is easier...but.....try to press the Fwd button & make people aware !!!



Hotmail: Free, trusted and rich email service. Get it now.
Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft. Get it now.

Hi....what do they do for us...march out of Parliament..yet take our money for no work!!!
Seems they are all out on a picnic in Delhi 5 years overnight stay.
Richie
 

.ExternalClass .ecxhmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.ecxhmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Verdana;}
.
Dear Everyone,
Pass this one ON, to everyone whom you know....
To make everyone AWARE !!!!!!!
Regards.
Hoshang.
.


 This is a good mail that I received from my friend and thought to share it with you all. This is really a sorry state of affairs but in some way we our-self are a part of this issue. But the BIG question is what can we do to change this? Give a thought and is there any way to curb this lavishness/expenses?

 

Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

Monthly Salary :
Rs. 12,000/-

Expense for Constitution per month :
Rs. 10,000/-

Office expenditure per month :
Rs. 14,000/-

Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) :
Rs. 48,000/-

(eg. For a visit from South India to Delhi & return : 6000 km)

Daily DA TA during parliament meets :
Rs. 500/day

Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train :
Free (For any number of times)  
(All over India )
 

Charge for Business Class in flights :
Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)  

Rent for MP hostel at
Delhi : Free.

Electricity
  costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units.

Local phone call charge :
Free up to 1, 70,000 calls..

TOTAL expense for a MP
[having no qualification] per year :  Rs.32, 00,000/-

[i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]
TOTAL expense for 5 years :
  Rs.. 1, 60, 00,000/-

For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
Rs. 8,54,40,00,000/-

 (Nearly 855 crores)
AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES.....
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities.........
And this is the present condition of our country :



855 crores could make their lives livable!!  
Think of the great democracy we have

&

FORWARD

THIS MESSAGE TO ALL REAL CITIZENS OF INDIA !!
ARE YOU?
I know hitting the Delete button is easier...but.....try to press the Fwd button & make people aware !!!



Hotmail: Free, trusted and rich email service. Get it now.
Hotmail: Powerful Free email with security by Microsoft. Get it now.
Lalit Mohan Sharma | 1 Mar 21:07 2010
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Fw: Request: Please take into concern

 

Dear Friends
 
For Your Information

 

       Lalit



--- On Sun, 28/2/10, Prashant Bhatt <prashant.gbpec1 <at> gmail.com> wrote:

From: Prashant Bhatt <prashant.gbpec1 <at> gmail.com>
Subject: Request: Please take into concern
To: prashant.gbpec1 <at> gmail.com
Date: Sunday, 28 February, 2010, 3:37 AM

Dear Sir,

In a village Nelwala, in distrct Bidar(Karnataka). A group of 10-12 youths from the area who have made it their routine to kidnap young girls and married women from the village and rape them. They are repeating this from last few years.

Its really bad to know that in independent India, such thing can happen.

I am writing this mail to activist, officials and to the persons who can tack some action. Please take it a request to take concern on this issue.


Reference:

http://mobilepaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=11&sectid=edid=&edlabel=TOIBG&mydateHid=28-01-2010&pubname=Times+of+India+-+Bangalore&edname=&articleid=Ar01101&publabel=TOI

--
Regards
Prashant


The INTERNET now has a personality. YOURS! See your Yahoo! Homepage.
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Anil kumar | 2 Mar 05:08 2010
Picon

JUDGES’ APPOINTMENT

 

 

Expert: Let’s keep the process under wraps

 

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOINEW/navigator.asp?Daily=TOIBG&showST=true&login=default&pub=TOI

 

New Delhi: Chief Justice of Canada and the first woman to hold the post, Justice Beverley McLachlin, appears surprised by the RTI campaign in India for making public discussions in the collegium on appointment of judges to the high courts and the Supreme Court.
   

Transparency in appointment of judges could be achieved by putting in place a system that inspired confidence and each country had its peculiar system, she said. “But to make public discussions about a prospective candidate for the post of a judge is a little too much to ask for because it could unfairly harm the reputation of someone,” Justice McLachlin said.
   

Not everyone can be as comfortable in the hot seat of chief justice of a country as McLachlin has been for the last 10 years. Well, one reason could be that the seat is not as hot as that of the Chief Justice of India, who is facing pressure from judicial right-wingers to reveal everything that goes behind administrative decisions, including the collegium’s discussions on every person considered for appointment.
   

How comfortable is the Canadian system to Right to Information, especially relating to appointment of judges.The Canadian government selects judges from a panel of names recommended by a panel comprising judges, lawyers and laymen.


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Recent Activity:
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sarbajitr | 2 Mar 11:26 2010
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Re: Fw: Request: Please take into concern

 

Dear Lalit

Thanks for informing us. I'm sure that you would have read the ToI news story and learned that the Police is taking action. I openly invite (challenge) any activist / NGO to inform our group members what the real root cause behind these rapes is, and what action they should be taking at grass roots level using RTI.

Sarbajit

--- In rti_india <at> yahoogroups.com, Lalit Mohan Sharma <lmsdelhi <at> ...> wrote:
>
> Dear Friends
>
> For Your Information
>
> Lalit
>
> --- On Sun, 28/2/10, Prashant Bhatt <prashant.gbpec1 <at> ...> wrote:
>
>
> From: Prashant Bhatt <prashant.gbpec1 <at> ...>
> Subject: Request: Please take into concern
> To: prashant.gbpec1 <at> ...
> Date: Sunday, 28 February, 2010, 3:37 AM
>
>
> Dear Sir,
>
> In a village Nelwala, in distrct Bidar(Karnataka). A group of 10-12 youths from the area who have made it their routine to kidnap young girls and married women from the village and rape them. They are repeating this from last few years.
>
> Its really bad to know that in independent India, such thing can happen.
>
> I am writing this mail to activist, officials and to the persons who can tack some action. Please take it a request to take concern on this issue.
>
>
> Reference:
>
> http://mobilepaper.timesofindia.com/mobile.aspx?article=yes&pageid=11&sectid=edid=&edlabel=TOIBG&mydateHid=28-01-2010&pubname=Times+of+India+-+Bangalore&edname=&articleid=Ar01101&publabel=TOI
>
> --
> Regards
> Prashant

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Recent Activity:
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sarbajitr | 2 Mar 18:28 2010
Picon

Re: Proposed Amendment to State Rules a potential death blow to RTI in Orissa

 

Dear Chitta and group members

As you know we strive to ensure that this group [RTI_India] is the best RTI e-group in the country. For this purpose, it is crucial that correct and true information be disseminated over our group resources.

To this end we ensure that dishonest / incompetent views / opinions and disinformation from the touts / professional 'haraamis' / NGOs do not reach our members. Such people like Ms Aruna Roy, Mr Nikhil Dey etc (who enjoy such a undeserved status as "our" spokespeople in the mother dens of corruption - the Information Commissions) find no place in our forum. No easy task considering that ours is an absolutely uncensored group. Kindly therefor critically examine their messages before circulating to our group members.

For instance you wrote that the Orissa RTI Rules are required *MANDATORY* to have been published in draft prior to notification as required by section 23 of General Clauses Act 1897. You quite properly linked to an online copy of the said clause for our ready reference. The said section is not applicable because there is no requirement in the RTI Act itself requiring previous publication of the Rules. If we read what Aruna Roy / Nikhil Dey had circulated earlier (which you linked to) it turns out that they are relying upon the Orissa General Clauses Act 1937 to DEMAND prior publication of rules in draft for public consultation. Unfortunately such people know nothing of Law except how to incite others to break it. Section 2 of the Orissa GCA defines that it extends / is limited only to Acts of the Orissa State Legislature - and thereby draft Rule publication is hence NOT MANDATORY.

It is therefore better to stay away from such professional agitators and digest their self-serving garbage with large doses of salt.

Lastly, I hope all our members ensure that the posts to this group are of the highest standard. The quality of posts has gone down considerably of late.

Sarbajit

--- In rti_india <at> yahoogroups.com, Chitta Behera <chittabehera1 <at> ...> wrote:
>
> Proposed Amendment to State Rulesâ€" a potential death blow to RTI in Orissa
> Â
> (Download Oriya article- http://www.box.net/shared/mm3vb1eajo)
> Â
> Most people are yet in dark that there is afoot a surreptitious move by the State Govt of Orissa to amend the Orissa RTI Rules 2005 (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/RTI/rti-rule.pdf) and Orissa Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules 2006, (http://orissasoochanacommission.nic.in/Procedure%20 for%20Appeal%20(%20english).pdf), which would render the RTI regime worse for the citizens and further ultra vires the parent Act (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/RTI/Right_To_Information_Act.pdf). Instead of issuing a proper notification as mandated under Section 23 of General Clauses Act 1897 (http://www.vakilno1.com/bareacts/generalclausesact/s23.htm)to seek public opinion on the draft rules made under any central legislation like RTI Act 2005, the proposed Amendments are placed in an obscure corner of website of I&PR Dept (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/Amendment_Proceeding.asp?lnk=9), the State’s nodal agency for RTI and that too in the form of proceedings of two
> consecutive meetings of a 5-member Committee supposedly held on 18 and 27 Nov 2009 chaired by Mr.R.N.Dash, Commissioner-cum-Secretary of the said Dept. It reminds us of the old, notorious story of the State Government that notified the Orissa RTI Rules 2005 straightaway in the Gazette bypassing the mandatory phase of seeking public opinion, on account of which the said Rules have ever since been termed ‘illegitimate’ by a cross section of RTI activists including Mrs.Aruna Roy, a veteran RTI pioneer in the country (http://orissarti.com/articles/WhyORulesunjust/arunamemo.htm).
> Â Â
> Committee’s dubious Who’s WhoÂ
> Though the Committee claims to have based their proposals on the recommendations of Orissa Information Commission and as well on the ‘viewpoints of RTI activists, senior citizens and eminent social activists’, they have refrained from disclosing the latter sources, - a fact, which obviously breeds the public suspicion that the whole exercise was undertaken at the dictate of the Commission only and the reference to the ‘viewpoints of RTI activists . . . etc.’, a cosmetic one, made only for lending legitimacy to the otherwise objectionable procedure and proposals adopted by the Committee. There is also a valid reason for questioning the bona fides of the very composition of the said Committee, since the first meeting was attended by as many as 3 officer-members from the nodal dept. itself, out of a total five, the other two being an Additional Secretary of Law Dept, who is again a bureaucrat, and one obscure Mr.Jatindra Mohan Mohanty, projected in
> the proceedings as a ‘Former Advocate General, Govt of Orissa’ (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/Download/Amendment_1st_meeting.pdf). While there was never an Advocate General in Orissa bearing the above name, it seems, the Committee resorted to this fraudulent falsehood, only to muster credibility for its otherwise rubbish proceedings. In the 2nd meeting (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/Download/Amendment_2nd_meeting.pdf), the Officer-member from the nodal dept (Director, I&PR) kept absent and his place was filled by Prof. Radha Mohan, former State Information Commissioner, a weakling, whose decisions not only betrayed a horrible ignorance of and aversion to RTI Act but also reflected a pitiful lack of minimum language skill (For instance, Vide Second Appeal No.129/2007 decided by SIC Prof. Radhamohan on 4.1.2008, and SA Appeal No.7/2006 decided on 30 May 2006 by Chief SIC D.N.Padhi & SIC Prof. Radhamohan) and against whom several allegations of serious
> omissions and commissions are still pending in the Office of Governor under Section 17 of RTI Act. Above all, no matter who authored the proceedings, it is written so casually and mindlessly as to render it a heap of outrageous non-sense. For instance, the Para-5 of Proceedings of 2nd Meeting has proposed ‘a substitution of Point-5 in the Form-F’, while as a matter of fact, there is nothing called ‘Point-5’ at all in the ‘Form-F’ prescribed under Orissa RTI Rules 2005.
> Â
> Summons against complainants- a terrible twisting of law
> The real design behind the proposed Amendment is to arm the Orissa Information Commission with sweeping penal powers with an ulterior motive to stamp out once and for all the very possibility of an aggrieved applicant daring to complain or appeal before the Commission against any defaulter bureaucrat, be he a PIO, APIO or an Appellate Officer or Head of a Public Authority. For instance, the Proceedings of 1st Meeting in its section on Amendment to Orissa Information Commission (Appeal Procedure) Rules 2006, provide at Para-1 for vesting the Commission with an additional power to ‘issue summons to the appellant/ complainant to remain present during the hearing’. Perhaps quite many RTI activists would falter to grasp the disastrous implications of such ‘summons’ proposed against an appellant or complainant. As per the existing Civil Procedure Code 1908 and Criminal Procedure Code 1973, a bailable or non-bailable warrant for arrest can be issued
> against an accused person who fails to attend the hearing in response to the ‘summons’. And, if the said person keeps on absconding, then the concerned Court may order the attachment of his property movable or immovable. The fact of the matter is that the Orissa Information Commission having miserably failed to issue any summons against the defaulter, even absconding Officials, for which it is empowered under Section 18(3) of RTI Act, is now out to assume this punitive power against the appellants/ complainants. It is strange indeed, how the Commission could recommend to the Committee such a patently illegal provision to be added to the Rules? Do they not know that the RTI Act has emphatically and repeatedly (Section 19-5 and Section 20-1) placed the onus/burden of proof on the PIO, whose denial of information constituted the ground of complaint or appeal by an aggrieved applicant? As a matter of fact, in keeping with the letter and spirit of the
> RTI Act, the Rules made by the Centre (http://persmin.gov.in/WriteData/CircularNotification/ScanDocument/RTI/appealrules.pdf)or different States allowed the freedom to the complainant/ appellant to attend or not to attend the hearing in person or through an authorized representative. Even the existing Orissa Appeal Procedure Rules 2006 falls in line with the above dispensation. Under the circumstances, doesn’t it appear fishy and foul on the part of the Orissa Information Commission to recommend a total reversal of this sacrosanct provision in RTI Act?           Â
> Â
> Perpetuating the role anomalies
> An anomalous scenario has ever since dogged the RTI process in Orissa due to non-observance of the role demarcation between the Government and the Commission, which the RTI Act clearly laid down. Nowhere in the country was it so brazenly violated as in Orissa. Everybody knows, the Government of Orissa soon after notifying the Rules and forming the Commission continued to sit with folded hands, blissfully abdicating the host of administrative duties cast on it under Section 26 of the Act. For instance, while the said Section entrusted the task of organizing necessary awareness and training programmes for the officials and public on the Government, it was however left to the discretion of the Commission without any rhyme or reason. And the inevitable followed. The Commissioners neglecting their prime job of hearing and disposing the complaints and appeals, which continued to pile up day after day, were on the contrary, found frittering away their time and
> energy on a whole hog of financial and organizational activities that were none of their assigned business - distributing funds to NGOs, printing posters and pamphlets, arranging and addressing the meetings and camps, holding award giving ceremonies and the like. As a result, the status of the Commissioners as quasi-judicial authorities soon vanished to be replaced by that of a funding agency interested in image building and cheap publicity. (OSIC to mind its business only, by Chitta Behera 14.7.09 http://www.box.net/shared/ho5upcbhx0).It was expected that any Amendment worth the name would restore the mandatory role demarcation between the Government and Commission as prescribed under the Act. But, Alas! The proposed Amendment using a language crooked par excellence aims at perpetuating the role anomalies as before. For instance, Para-2 (v) of the Proceedings of 1st Meeting provides for exercise of ‘appropriate administrative control’ over PIOs,
> Appellate Officers and Public Authorities by the ‘Nodal Officer of the Nodal Department’ ‘as and when ordered by Orissa Information Commission’. In absence of a clear and categorical definition of the term ‘administrative control’ either in the parent Act or State Rules, it means and ought to mean the entire gamut of powers and obligations entrusted to the Government in relation to the public authorities as described under Section 26 of RTI Act. Needless to say, such powers and obligations of Government are not conditional or incidental to the occasional orders issued by the Commission but absolute and permanent. Again, Para-2 (iii) of the Proceedings of 1st Meeting proposes that ‘every nodal officer would be responsible to Orissa Information Commission to comply to mandatory provisions of Section 4 (1) (a) & (b). . .’. Such an amendment if at all it comes through would directly contravene Section 26 (3-g), which obligates the
> Government, not Commission, to exercise control over all the public authorities in respect of voluntary disclosures under Section 4. It is true, as per Section 19(8-a-vi) the Commission may, in course of a particular decision, ask the concerned public authority for ‘an annual report’ in compliance with Section 4(1-b). But that role of Commission arises only in course of drafting a particular decision, not otherwise and that too, in respect of a particular public authority, which is the opposite party in an appeal or complaint proceedings. This conditional and incidental power of the Commission can’t be substituted against the perennial control that the Government is mandated to exercise over all public authorities in respect of Section 4.
> Â
> Apparently well meaning, but practically anti-people
> The Para-3 of Proceedings of 1st Meeting says that payment of any fee under Orissa RTI Rules can henceforth be made through a variety of modes, such as Cash, Treasury Challan, Money Order, Indian Postal Order or even E-payment. So far, so good. To say the least, this provision should have been in place right since the day one, in keeping with the similar norm in force at Centre and in other States. With Cash or Treasury Challan as the only permissible modes of payment of application fees, it was not only tedious on the of part of any applicant from Orissa to arrange the Treasury Challan, but simply impossible altogether on the part of any person stationed outside Orissa to submit an RTI application to any public authority located in Orissa, the obvious reason being non-availability of Orissa’s Treasury Challan anywhere outside the State. Now that this unacceptable limitation in modes of payment is slated for removal, one may feel elated about the
> future of RTI in the State. But there is a cryptic snag in the very formulation of the amendment, which nullifies its apparent benefits. The amendment requires the applicant citizen to submit the application fee to the PIO ‘under the appropriate Head of Account’. Here arises the moot question, how is an applicant citizen supposed to know ‘Head of Account’ of a particular fee, which is a jargon in budgetary parlance? What was the harm if the proposed Amendment would have straightaway provided for the submission of Application Fee or any other Fee addressed to the concerned Public Authority just as the Central Rules provide for the submission of any Fee to the Accounts Officer of the concerned Public Authority (http://persmin.gov.in/WriteData/CircularNotification/ScanDocument/RTI/FeeCostRTI.pdf) ? Even if the applicant is free to choose any mode of payment out of many, he or she would, at the end of the day, surely fail to submit the application
> fee and consequently the RTI application too, simply because he knows not ‘Appropriate Head of Account’. Earlier in the past, the applicant stumbled due to the burden of Treasury Challan, now he would simply opt out from the RTI process thanks to the unknown ‘Head of Account’. A great conspiracy indeed to stamp out RTI from Orissa by a stroke of pen!Â
> Â
> The wish list, which the Minister ignored
> It is worth mentioning that the present Minister for I&PR, Orissa was apprised in detail of the various anti-people and illegitimate features of Orissa RTI Rules 2005 along with the facts about the malfunctioning of Orissa Information Commission in course of a Workshop held at Bhubaneswar on 22nd & 23rd Oct 2009 under the aegis of Orissa Right to Food Campaign (A Report circulated in Common Concern http://www.box.net/shared/02l2bbqkmz, and A Brief Press Release by Convener Pradip Pradhan http://www.box.net/shared/tc3yooxlqk). Kindling a ray of hope among the RTI activists the Minister assured to do the needful to rectify the same. But considering the awful nuances of the proposed amendment, a grave anxiety arises as to whether at all and how did the Minister share the civil society’s wish list with the concerned bureaucrats and Commissioners. To briefly reiterate the kinds of amendment to Orissa Rules the civil society expected from the Minister, these
> are briefly as follows-
> Â
> -        Withdrawal of compulsory provision of Form-A for Application, which requires the copy of Voter’s Card to be attached as a proof of citizenship. This provision not only deprives the citizens below 18 years of their right to make an application for information, but also discloses personal details like name of father/spouse, permanent address, age and sex etc. (as mentioned in the voter card) in contravention of the Section 6(2) of the Act.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Withdrawal of compulsory nature of Forms for 1st & 2nd Appeals and also of Appeal fees of Rs.20/- and Rs.25/- ,which are simply ultra vires the parent Act.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Withdrawal of fees against cost of information now being charged in Orissa in contravention to Section 7(5) of RTI Act.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Withdrawal of Rule 12 of Orissa RTI Rules 2005 which obligates the appellant to bear expenditure in connection with production of evidence or witness before the Commission. It contravenes the Sections 19(5) and 20(1) that put the burden of proof solely on the PIO.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Withdrawal of Rule 10 of Orissa RTI Rules 2005, which requires an applicant for information through Sample to compensate for the loss or damage if any caused to the concerned structure during the sample collection.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Amendment to Form-B (letter of intimation) for mentioning the detail calculation and break-up of the total amount charged against the cost of information along the particulars of first appellate authority before whom the applicant, if aggrieved by the decision of PIO, may lodge appeal or complaint. This is required under Section 7(3) of RTI Act.
> Â
> -        Amendment to Form-C (rejection), which cites such arbitrary grounds for rejection of an Application as ‘Your Application is not complete in all respects’, ‘Your identity is not satisfactory’ and ‘For any other reason’. All these grounds are ultra vires the parent Act, which lays down clearly the possible grounds of rejection in Sections 8, 9, 10, 11 and 24.
> Â
> -         Correction of absurd expressions, such as Rule 2(1-c) of Orissa RTI Rules 2005, [“’fee’ means amount payable by the applicant for obtaining any information under the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 6 and sub-sections (1) and (5) of Section 5 excluding the cost of information”].
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Orissa Notification on Security & Intelligence Agencies dated 29 Oct 2005 to be amended (http://orissarti.com/rtiorissa/Notif_Exempted_Agencies_29_10_05.htm) to provide for regular appointment of PIO, APIO and Appellate Officer in each such agency for disclosing information relating to cases of corruption or human rights violation in the manner as described under Section 24(4) of parent Act.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The present practice of the Commission in ignoring the complaints around Section 4 (for instance, C.C.No.04/2006 filed by Shri Taranisen Padhan & 3 Others decided on 20/06/2006 & C.C.No.05/2006 filed by Shri Jaganath Panda & 3 Others decided on 20/06/2006 )being patently ultra vires must be given up.
> Â
> -        The present practice of the Commission to arbitrarily select the cases of their choice for urgent hearing on out-of-turn basis on the dubious plea of ‘public interest’ (http://orissasoochanacommission.nic.in/Imp.%20Adm%20Decision.html) must be given up.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The present practice of the Commission not to issue acknowledgement of the Complaints and Appeals and not to mention the date of regn. of each case in its Decisions must be given up.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The present practice of the Commission hijacking the powers and obligations of Government as mentioned under Section 26 and neglecting their quasi-judicial functions with the Government sitting idle round the year must be given up and the role demarcation between the Government and the Commission as clearly laid down in the parent Act must be strictly adhered to.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The present practice of the Commission in making erratic publication of translation of Act and Rules (OSIC not to play havoc to Oriya language, by Chitta Behera 13.7.2009Â Â http://www.box.net/shared/6cpvv0x3f2)and of FAQ must be given up and the said publications be withdrawn from circulation immediately.
> Â
> -        The present practice of the Commission in respect of the other statutory function i.e. drafting the Annual Report on the RTI scenario in the State as per the requirements of Section 25 being too deficient and error-ridden (Complaint to Governor against OSIC by Pradip Pradhan,   http://www.box.net/shared/gn6qq3bf7y)there should be a Committee of experts including RTI activists constituted to ensure the authenticity and quality of draft reports before their submission to the Government for onward presentation to the Assembly.
> Â
> -         The objectionable practice by the Commissioners in producing legally defective decisions (Vide ‘Orissa Information Commission and its weird verdicts’ by Pradip Pradhan 13 Feb 2007, http://orissarti.com/articles/WhyORulesunjust/Orissa_Information_Commission_verdicts.pdf)
> and in writing the decisions with erratic, rubbish language (Information Commissioners of Orissa to mind their language by Chitta Behera, 7.7.2009 http://www.box.net/shared/yrnv0kdo30)must be stopped, and an elaborate list of errata on the defective decisions already made in the past to be published, simply to restore the lost sanctity of a statutory authority like Orissa State Information Commission.
> Â
> -    In keeping with the mandate of Section 4(4) of RTI Act, Orissa Information Commission ought to bring out its decisions and draft Annual Reports in the regional language ‘Oriya’ in addition to the existing practice of writing in English, so as to make its writings easily intelligible to the common people of Orissa. Quite many States such as Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujurat are already practicing it.  Â
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Orissa RTI Rules ought to provide for a time-bound enquiry and disposal of each complaint made against the Information Commissioners by the citizens before the Governor under Section 17 of RTI Act.
> Â
> -        The present practice of both Government and Commission in skirting around a progressive, citizen-friendly legislation ‘Orissa RTI (Amendment) Rules 2006’ (http://203.193.146.66/ipr/RTI/amendment%20to%20ORTI%20Rules,2005.pdf)must give way to an honest implementation of the latter, especially in respect of citizens’ right to instant inspection of voluntary disclosures made under Section 4.
> Â
> -         To avoid casual and lackadaisical practice by the public authorities in Orissa in respect of suo motu disclosures under Section 4 of the Act, the proposed Amendment should make it binding on each and every public authority to follow ‘The Template for Information Handbook’ prescribed for the purpose by the national nodal agency for RTI Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Public Grievances, GoI (http://persmin.gov.in/WriteData/CircularNotification/ScanDocument/RTI/RTI-Templates.pdf).
> Â
> -        The proposed Amendment must provide that the Governor, who is as per Section 2(e-iv) of RTI Act Competent Authority in respect of ‘other authorities established or constituted by or under the Constitution’ (e.g. State Election Commission, State Tribal Advisory Body and State Finance Commission), must frame rules for setting up RTI regime in each such authority in the manner prescribed under Section 28 of the Act.
> Â
> -Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Any Rule or Amendment to Rule to be made by the State under a central legislation like RTI Act, must pass the indispensable test of Section 23 of General Clauses Act 1897, which mandates the publication by the Government of a notice along with the draft proposal to seek the public opinion thereon before finalizing the draft Rules.
> Â
> Resistance, the only way out                       Â
> Despite the fact that the Minister was made sufficiently aware of the above concerns and expectations of the civil society groups, none of them has found space in the proposed amendment to Orissa RTI Rules or Appeal Procedure Rules. On the contrary, he has allowed a clique of bureaucrats to design in collaboration with the malfunctioning Commissioners a blue print for the final blow against the cause of RTI in Orissa, using of course the spacious alibi of amending the objectionable State Rules. It now therefore behooves the civil society groups, who have been all these years working in defense of RTI in the State to mount a stout resistance afresh against the ongoing conspiracy of the bureaucracy-commission combine to push the RTI into a permanent limbo in the State.
> Â
> Chitta Behera,
> 4A Jubilee Tower, Choudhury Bazar, Cuttack-9, Orissa
> Email: chittabehera1 <at> ..., Mobile: 9437577546
> Date: 28th Feb. 2010Â Â Â Â Â
>
>
> Your Mail works best with the New Yahoo Optimized IE8. Get it NOW! http://downloads.yahoo.com/in/internetexplorer/
>

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M K Singhal | 2 Mar 12:12 2010
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Does India need a Federal Chief Information Officer?

 

Interesting - for information of RTI enthusiasts...

Extracted from Silicon India:

http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/Does_India_really_need_a_Federal_Chief_Information_Officer-nid-65839.html?utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Subscriber

Does India need a Federal Chief Information Officer?

By   Sudarshan Kumar

Bangalore: The U.S. intelligence agencies had all the authentic information about 9/11 terror attacks, but failing to get systems to talk to each other that time resulted in a catastrophe. Waking up to the challenge after this attack, the Bush government decided to appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO), who could integrate these IT departments and also help the government deliver its strategy for the transformation of public services, enabled by technology. Following the U.S. several other countries like UK, Australia and Canada too realized the importance of CIO post, and included this portfolio in their cabinet. But India which dreams of becoming one of the economic powers along with China by 2020, has failed to understa nd the importance of a CIO till now.

With the country set to spend nearly $6 billion on IT over next few years, and planning to roll-out large number of e-governance projects; a national level CIO is really needed, who can drive effective services designed around the needs of citizens and businesses. Explaining the need of a Federal CIO, Akshaya Gaur, Executive Vice President and Head - Software Solutions of Standard Chartered says, "India does need a CIO to run the major initiatives that emerge from national governance requirements, and also I believe that this post should be staffed by leaders from the IT Industry rather than bureaucrats." Till now Indian IT Secretary has been responsible for drafting the government's $6 billion National e-governance plan. Gaur said that IT Secretary can only be involved in determining strategy; he can't identify and deliver a complex technology solution. This can only be done by a CIO. Speaking on the similar lines, Ajay Dhir, Chief Information Officer of JSL explains that the IT Secretary is a Bureaucrat whereas the Federal CIO should be from the CIO Community and not a Bureaucrat by any means. The IT Secretary can keep doing what the Government has designated him to do, but the Federal CIO should be the custodian of the IT Assets of the country, the protector of the IT Systems of the country and should work closely with stakeholders in Government, Defence, Public and Private Sectors.

Unlike India, in other countries, it is the Federal CIO, who establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and maintai ns information security and privacy across the federal government. Also, a CIO plays an important role in ensuring that the government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible. While talking at NASSCOM Leadership Summit in Mumbai, John Suffolk, CIO of UK said, "A CIO's role is like a chief integration officer, who ensures that the right supplier marries the right departments for smooth flow of information." In this role, Suffolk has been providing leadership to the IT profession across the wider public sector, enabling public service transformation through the strategic deployment of technology and driving the development of shared services.

The country could benefit immensely from the creation of such a high profile post, where a professional, drawn either from the public sector, the IT industry or academia, could spearhead the central government technology and e-governance initiatives. The person at the helm would not only be the 'face' of the Indian government's IT strategy both at home and overseas, he/she would also be responsible for directing the policy and planning of technology investments and IT spends. "CIO would be the vehicle for delivering transparency in the way the government works," said Gaur.

Suggesting Indian Government to choose someone like Nandan Nilekani for this extremely respected post, Indian IT Secretary R Chandrasekhar said that the person need not be too familiar with technical aspects of the job, but he/she should be excellent with envisioning how digital means can be used to change the way services are being delivered to citizens in the country. The technical aspect can be taken care by the technical people, and the respective project IT heads. Such a person typically plays a key role in leading the implementation of the Transformational government strategy, centred on the roll out of e-governance initiatives. AN>

 


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Vikram Simha | 2 Mar 20:19 2010
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Re: Does India need a Federal Chief Information Officer?

 

I Do not Understand the Rationale Behind Posting This Snippet Culled From a Magazine Meant For Soft ware People . Yes as RTI Enthusiasts We are Interested in several Other Gamuts of this Argument and The News but We are Least Interested in an Federal Chief Information Officer In the realm of RTI Act 2005  or in its Present Form .
Already we Encountered Once Such Chief Public Information Officer designated In Canara Bank , Head office Bangalore and through A Appeal Filed Before CIC , Then ICPB was Hearing the case we pointed out this Great Blunder and she Has pointed Out No such extraneous post be Created in any public authority And present One Be Cor rected ( probably this is one Case where ICPB had Delivered a Valid order , that too in an sitting in bangalore )

N vikramsimha ,Trustee RTI study center & KRIA Katte , #12 Sumeru Sir M N Krishna Rao Road , Basvangudi < Bangalore 560004.

--- On Tue, 2/3/10, M K Singhal <mk.singhal <at> yahoo.co.in> wrote:

From: M K Singhal <mk.singhal <at> yahoo.co.in>
Subject: [rti_india] Does India need a Federal Chief Information Officer?
To:
Date: Tuesday, 2 March, 2010, 4:42 PM

 

Interesting - for information of RTI enthusiasts. ..

Extracted from Silicon India:

http://www.siliconi ndia.com/ shownews/ Does_India_ really_need_ a_Federal_ Chief_Informatio n_Officer- nid-65839. html?utm_ campaign= Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Subscrib er

Does India need a Federal Chief Information Officer?

By   Sudarshan Kumar

Bangalore: The U.S. intelligence agencies had all the authentic information about 9/11 terror attacks, but failing to get systems to talk to each other that time resulted in a catastrophe. Waking up to the challenge after this attack, the Bush government decided to appoint a Chief Information Officer (CIO), who could integrate these IT departments and also help the government deliver its strategy for the transformation of public services, enabled by technology. Following the U.S. several other countries like UK, Australia and Canada too realized the importance of CIO post, and included this portfolio in their cabinet. But India which dreams of becoming one of the economic powers along with China by 2020, has failed to understand the importance of a CIO till now.

With the country set to spend nearly $6 billion on IT over next few years, and planning to roll-out large number of e-governance projects; a national level CIO is really needed, who can drive effective services designed around the needs of citizens and businesses. Explaining the need of a Federal CIO, Akshaya Gaur, Executive Vice President and Head - Software Solutions of Standard Chartered says, "India does need a CIO to run the major initiatives that emerge from national governance requirements, and also I believe that this post should be staffed by leaders from the IT Industry rather than bureaucrats. " Till now Indian IT Secretary has been responsible for drafting the government's $6 billion National e-governance plan. Gaur said that IT Secretary can only be involved in determining strategy; he can't identify and deliver a complex technology solution. This can only be done by a CIO. Speaking on the similar lines, Ajay Dhir, Chief Information Officer of JSL explains that the IT Secretary is a Bureaucrat whereas the Federal CIO should be from the CIO Community and not a Bureaucrat by any means. The IT Secretary can keep doing what the Government has designated him to do, but the Federal CIO should be the custodian of the IT Assets of the country, the protector of the IT Systems of the country and should work closely with stakeholders in Government, Defence, Public and Private Sectors.

Unlike India, in other countries, it is the Federal CIO, who establishes and oversees enterprise architecture to ensure system interoperability and information sharing and maintai ns information security and privacy across the federal government. Also, a CIO plays an important role in ensuring that the government is running in the most secure, open, and efficient way possible. While talking at NASSCOM Leadership Summit in Mumbai, John Suffolk, CIO of UK said, "A CIO's role is like a chief integration officer, who ensures that the right supplier marries the right departments for smooth flow of information. " In this role, Suffolk has been providing leadership to the IT profession across the wider public sector, enabling public service transformation through the strategic deployment of technology and driving the development of shared services.

The country could benefit immensely from the creation of such a high profile post, where a professional, drawn either from the public sector, the IT industry or academia, could spearhead the central government technology and e-governance initiatives. The person at the helm would not only be the 'face' of the Indian government's IT strategy both at home and overseas, he/she would also be responsible for directing the policy and planning of technology investments and IT spends. "CIO would be the vehicle for delivering transparency in the way the government works," said Gaur.

Suggesting Indian Government to choose someone like Nandan Nilekani for this extremely respected post, Indian IT Secretary R Chandrasekhar said that the person need not be too familiar with technical aspects of the job, but he/she should be excellent with envisioning how digital means can be used to change the way services are being delivered to citizens in the country. The technical aspect can be taken care by the technical people, and the respective project IT heads. Such a person typically plays a key role in leading the implementation of the Transformational government strategy, centred on the roll out of e-governance initiatives.

 


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C K Jam | 3 Mar 15:26 2010
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Re: Re: Proposed Amendment to State Rules a potential death blow to RTI in Orissa

 

Re: Proposed Amendment to Orissa RTI Rules:

Dear Mr Sarbajit,

Can it be insisted upon under Sec 4(1)(c) ?

RTIwanted


.


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sarbajitr | 3 Mar 16:10 2010
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Re: Proposed Amendment to State Rules a potential death blow to RTI in Orissa

 

No and Yes,

4(1)(c) has 2 parts

A) "while formulating important policies" (this is before the fact)
B) "announcing the decisions which affect the public"

NO, because - Issuing of rules for NRTI 2005 would not fall under A), because i) it is not a "policy" and arguably is also not "important". Legally speaking Rules under an Act are merely delegated legislation which the Legislature has pushed down to the Executive branch for procedural implementation. To emphasise that this is legislative business and NOT executive business, the RTI Act mandates "tabling" of the Rules in Parliament / State Legislature (section 29). Unfortunately section 29 does not fit well with the language of the Orissa GC Act 1937. There is a grey area when Rules issued by a State Govt under a Central Act are tabled before a State Legislature. This is Constitutionally irregular and open to challenge if there is any conflict with the Central Rules (BIG HINT for Mr Chitta Behuria - but you need a very good (and progressive) advocate - not Prashant Bhushan - to argue this)!!

YES. After the Rules are notified and come into force, the concerned P/A is obliged by 4(1)(c) to publish the final Rules as these affect the public.

Sarbajit

--- In rti_india <at> yahoogroups.com, C K Jam <rtiwanted <at> ...> wrote:
>
> Re: Proposed Amendment to Orissa RTI Rules:
>
> Dear Mr Sarbajit,
>
> Can it be insisted upon under Sec 4(1)(c) ?
>
> RTIwanted
>

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