nityanand jayaraman | 3 Nov 02:19 2007
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Scandal Brewing: GoTN v. TNIC over Land

Hello all:
Here're are two stories that appeared in response to the press release (pasted below) put out by us.
ciao, nity
 
TN govt, info panel lock horns

A tug-of-war between the Tamil Nadu industries department and the state information commission is throwing up new questions on the implementation of the RTI Act.
Full Story can be found at http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1131346

Industries Department failed to provide full information: NGO

PRESS RELEASE

Senior Industry Dept Officers Face Threat of Arrest over RTI Violation

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 2/11/2007: The Tamilnadu Information Commission is contemplating invoking its powers under Section 18(3) of the Right to Information Act to summon and enforce the attendance of the public information officer and senior bureaucrats of the Department of Industries in a case where the Department has refused to divulge information relating to Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Tamilnadu. If invoked, Section 18(3) allows the Commission to function as a Civil Court and issue summons and arrest warrants, and order attachment of properties of officials involved.

 

"It will be a landmark move and a first for the country if the Commission invokes Section 18 (3). It will send a strong signal nationwide that public authorities cannot stonewall information requests and that the parliament meant for transparency to prevail at any cost when passing this law," said Nity anand Jayaraman, an advisor to Corporate Accountability Desk of The Other Media, a Delhi and Chennai-based NGO.

 

SEZ, India's new mantra for industrial development, is seen by many as a state-sponsored land grab on behalf of industries. Researchers studying the issue of land acquisition for Special Economic Zones in Tamilnadu have discovered that secrecy and behind-the-scenes dealings are key to the State Government's strategy of taking over land for industrial houses and commercial interests.

 

On 8.12.2006, Madhumita Dutta, a Chennai-based public interest researcher with Corporate Accountability Desk, requested information from the Department of Industries regarding the status of SEZ applications in the state, and for inspection of files including MoUs, and details of lands to be acquired for the 36 approved SEZ proposals

 

For seven months, the Department of Industries refused to even acknowledge the information request. At the first Commission hearing on 16.7.07 , the Department lied to the Commission that it never received the requests, despite proof of delivery from the postal department. The applicant's right to inspect the files was conceded pursuant to the Commission's directions. But, during inspection, the applicant was harassed, interrogated, called a mercenary, and finally allowed access to only two out of 36 files. At a subsequent hearing, the Commissioner directed the Department to bring the files to the Commission office in order to avoid further inconvenience to the applicant. However, this and further directions of the Commission have been ignored by the Department.

 

Now, 11 months after the application was filed, the Department has accused the Commission of denying a fair hearing to the PIO. The Department has also alleged that the applicant is acquires such information and sells it to entrepreneurs for a profit.

 

Land is a hotly contested issue, and reports are rampant about involvement of politicians and their benamis in real estate speculation surrounding land acquisition for commercial purposes. In its order dated 4.10.07, the Commission has said that it "comes to the inevitable conclusion that the Public Information Officer has totally abdicated his responsibility in this case. . .The Commission therefore comes to the conclusion that there is an organized resistance on the part of the public authority to make the information available as the information pertains to the Special Economic Zones of Tamilnadu being established on which there has been considerable amount of cross-tape opinion."

 

In Tamilnadu alone, based on available information, the land requirement for 55 out of 66 approved SEZ proposals is about 32,235 acres, or 130 square kilometers – roughly the size of Coimbatore. 13 more proposals are pending approval with state government.

 

The Tamilnadu Government's refusal to honour the Information Commission's orders points to the hollowness of the Government's claims to transparency, and highlights the possibility of high-level irregularities. "The fact that the officials of the Department are prepared to face arrest and contempt proceedings to keep land-related information pertaining to SEZs a secret hints at possible land scams and high-level irregularities," said the applicant, Madhumita Dutta of the Corporate Accountablity Desk, a campaign of Delhi and Chennai-based NGO The Other Media.

 

For information contact:

Madhumita Dutta 9444390240     

Nityanand Jayaraman 9444082401

S Ramakrishnan, State Chief Information Commissioner: 24357581

Shaktikanta Das, Secretary,TN Industries Department: 25671383

LTA Peter, PIO TN Industries Department: 25670168

 

Issued by:

Corporate Accountability Desk of The Other Media

42A, 1st Floor, 5th Avenue , Besant Nagar, Chennai 600 090

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nityanand jayaraman | 3 Nov 02:56 2007
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TNIC GoTN on Collision course

Information on SEZs: TN Govt, CIC on collision course

Express News Service

Posted online: Saturday, November 03, 2007 at 0000 hrs

An activist had on December 8, 2006, filed an application under RTI Act requesting information about the 36 approved SEZs, besides list of expression of interest from promoters for setting up SEZs in the state

Chennai, November 2: The Tamil Nadu Government seems to be heading for a major confrontation with the state Chief Information Commissioner with the latter contemplating to invoke Section 18 (3) of the Right to Information Act against the Government for failing to provide information about land acquisitions pertaining to several approved SEZs to a petitioner.

Section 18 (3) of the RTI Act allows the Commission to function as a civil court and issue summons and arrest warrants.

A member of an activist group, 'The Other Media,' has accused the state Industries department (the Industries portfolio is held by the state Chief Minister) of failing to part with information regarding the status of SEZ applications in the state and for inspection of files including MOUs, and details of lands to be acquired for the 36 approved SEZ approvals, despite a formal request sent 11 months ago.

But what has added spice to the spat are the observations of the Chief Information Commissioner, S Ramakrishnan, who has been pressed upon by the petitioner, Madhumita Dutta, to invoke Section 18 (3) of the RTI Act.

"I am a little puzzled (by the Government's refusal to provide information). We have never faced such a problem with this Government before," CIC S Ramakrishnan told The Indian Express. As for invoking Section 18 (3), he admitted that it was a "possible process" available to the Commission to ensure information was provided to an applicant. Despite "repeated directions, nothing has happened" by way of the department heeding to the request of the petitioner, he said.

The state Industries Department has, however, claimed that it has obtained a High Court stay on the Commission's proceedings. "We have provided whatever information the petitioner (Madhumita Dutta) has requested under RTI. She says there was a delay, but we did not receive her original letter. Moreover, there is a provision under the RTI Act which prevents us from providing commercial information without the consent of the party concerned," a department official said. Chief Information Commissioner Ramakrishnan denied he had received any court notice about a stay.

The activist had on December 8, 2006, filed an application under RTI Act requesting information about the 36 approved SEZs, besides list of expression of interest from promoters for setting up SEZs in the state and asking in each case the terms, name of promoter, date of approval, location if available, nature of activity, land classification at identified site, government concessions/tax subsidies/economic incentives granted, pending or asked for and total investments.

Accusing the Industries department of lying to the CIC that it never received the information requests "despite proof of delivery from the postal department," she approached the Chief Information Commissioner. Also, her right to inspect the files was conceded only after the Commission gave the necessary directions, Dutta told reporters. "Finally, during inspection, I was harassed, interrogated, called a mercenary and finally allowed access to only four out of the 36 files. Even in those, several crucial pages pertaining to the MOU and project details were missing," she said.

Faced with "stonewalling" by the Industries Department's Principal Information Officer, L T A Peter, the Commissioner during an October 4 hearing, observed: "The Commission comes to the inevitable conclusion that the PIO has totally abdicated its responsibility in this case." He further added that there was "an organised resistance and reluctance on the part of the public authority to make information available as it pertains to the SEZs of Tamil Nadu being established on which there has been considerable amount of cross-tape opinion."

Meanwhile, two other Commissioners would be hearing the Industries department after complaints by the PIO that he was not given a fair hearing by Ramakrishnan.

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Some New Circulars of DoPT

Dear All
I came across a couple of circulars issued by the Ministry of Personnel and Administrative Reforms qiute recently for implementation of various provisions of RTI Act. I am sorry for posting these circulars again, if these circulars have already been discussed.There are six new circulars, that I came across, on the DoPT's RTI website and these can be found on following link:
 
First circular is related to foreign visits of State Information Commissioners. This circular dated 05th October 2007 clarifies that the approval of DoPT is not necessary for the foreign visits of State Chief Information Commission and other State Information Commission. Only the approval of the state Governor and the requisite clearance of the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of Foreign affairs is necessary. This circular is available on following link:
 
Second circular is a bad circular. It is an explanation of section 8(1) (j) to deny the disclosure of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) under the RTI Act. ACR, as per this circular, is a confidential document and the Official Secrets Act 1923 applies on it. RTI Act, as the circular states, does not supersede the Official Secrets Act completely. The disclosure of the ACR is an unwarranted invasion in the privacy of the officer, whose character, capability and other attributes are recorded in the ACR. Therefore, the PIO should be very careful and the disclosure of the ACRs should be done only after the approval of the competent authority only on the ground that the disclosure has a larger public interest, the circular says. This circular has been issued after the consultation of the Ministry of Law and Company Affairs. This circular can be seen on the website at the following link:
 
Third circular id related to the publication and updation of the records by the public authorities under section 4 of the RTI Act. The Circular mandates the Public Authorities, who have not yet complied with section 4 of the RTI Act to publish the details at the earliest and to update it every year thereafter. The circular can be seen on the following link:
 
Fourth circular is a very important one. This underlines the problem of disposal of appeals by the First Appellate Authority. The AA, while disposing the appeals, they do not act judiciously and they also express the agreement with the PIO. They also take more time to dispose the appeal off. Further there are cases, where the PIO does not comply with the orders of the AA. DoPT has suggested to dispose of the appeal within 30 days by the AA and in an exceptional case, in not more than 45 days- reason of which should be recorded in the decision. Further, it has also suggested that as the action of the AA is a quasi  judicial one, it should be ensured that the justice is not only done, but it should appear to have been done. For the implementation of the orders of the AA, the circul ar suggests that the AA should be an officer higher to the rank of PIO and the AA should also take the assistance of the even higher officer in the department for implementation of its order, in case the PIO does not obey his orders. The circular is available on following link:
 
Fifth circular is based on the recommendation of the first report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and it directs all Central Government offices to prepare an inventory of the Public Authorities under RTI Act and such an inventory is required to be posted on the website www.rit.gov.in. This circular also requires the ministry to prepare the list of NGOs which take grant from the government and are covered under the definition of the "Public Authority". This circular is available on the following link:
 
The last circular is also a good one. It is related to non implementation of provisions of RTI Act and it directs the Public Authorities to appoint immediately the PIOs and APIOs in the department, if the same has not been done. It also directs them to accept the fees through Postal Orders and other means of payment of fees as per the Fee Rules under RTI Act. The Drafts/ Postal Orders payable to the Accounts Officer of the concerned department now can not be denied by these Public Authorities as the Circular directs them to ensure that the instruments payable to such account are accepted. It also directs them not to reject the application under RTI Act on the ground that it is not in the format. The circular can be seen on following link:
 
Thanking you,
 
DIvyaJyoti Jaipuriar
Advocate
Public Cause Research Foundation
(A Parivartan Initiative)
Delhi

--
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
www.parivartan.com
jaipuriar <at> gmail.com
+91 9868002365
Visit my blogs also:
http://jaipuriar.blogspot.com
http://jaipuriar.blog.com

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nityanand jayaraman | 5 Nov 05:09 2007
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Re: Some New Circulars of DoPT

Hello Divya:
Thanks for these important circulars. I suppose these apply evenly to state and central public authorities. Please clarify.
ciao, nity

 
On 11/4/07, DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate <jaipuriar <at> gmail.com> wrote:

Dear All
I came across a couple of circulars issued by the Ministry of Personnel and Administrative Reforms qiute recently for implementation of various provisions of RTI Act. I am sorry for posting these circulars again, if these circulars have already been discussed.There are six new circulars, that I came across, on the DoPT's RTI website and these can be found on following link:
 
First circular is related to foreign visits of State Information Commissioners. This circular dated 05th October 2007 clarifies that the approval of DoPT is not necessary for the foreign visits of State Chief Information Commission and other State Information Commission. Only the approval of the state Governor and the requisite clearance of the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of Foreign affairs is necessary. This circular is available on following link:
 
Second circular is a bad circular. It is an explanation of section 8(1) (j) to deny the disclosure of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) under the RTI Act. ACR, as per this circular, is a confidential document and the Official Secrets Act 1923 applies on it. RTI Act, as the circular states, does not supersede the Official Secrets Act completely. The disclosure of the ACR is an unwarranted invasion in the privacy of the officer, whose character, capability and other attributes are recorded in the ACR. Therefore, the PIO should be very careful and the disclosure of the ACRs should be done only after the approval of the competent authority only on the ground that the disclosure has a larger public interest, the circular says. This circular has been issued after the consultation of the Ministry of Law and Company Affairs. This circular can be seen on the website at the following link:
 
Third circular id related to the publication and updation of the records by the public authorities under section 4 of the RTI Act. The Circular mandates the Public Authorities, who have not yet complied with section 4 of the RTI Act to publish the details at the earliest and to update it every year thereafter. The circular can be seen on the following link:
 
Fourth circular is a very important one. This underlines the problem of disposal of appeals by the First Appellate Authority. The AA, while disposing the appeals, they do not act judiciously and they also express the agreement with the PIO. They also take more time to dispose the appeal off. Further there are cases, where the PIO does not comply with the orders of the AA. DoPT has suggested to dispose of the appeal within 30 days by the AA and in an exceptional case, in not more than 45 days- reason of which should be recorded in the decision. Further, it has also suggested that as the action of the AA is a quasi  judicial one, it should be ensured that the justice is not only done, but it should appear to have been done. For the implementation of the orders of the AA, the circul ar suggests that the AA should be an officer higher to the rank of PIO and the AA should also take the assistance of the even higher officer in the department for implementation of its order, in case the PIO does not obey his orders. The circular is available on following link:
 
Fifth circular is based on the recommendation of the first report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and it directs all Central Government offices to prepare an inventory of the Public Authorities under RTI Act and such an inventory is required to be posted on the website www.rit.gov.in. This circular also requires the ministry to prepare the list of NGOs which take grant from the government and are covered under the definition of the "Public Authority". This circular is available on the following link:
 
The last circular is also a good one. It is related to non implementation of provisions of RTI Act and it directs the Public Authorities to appoint immediately the PIOs and APIOs in the department, if the same has not been done. It also directs them to accept the fees through Postal Orders and other means of payment of fees as per the Fee Rules under RTI Act. The Drafts/ Postal Orders payable to the Accounts Officer of the concerned department now can not be denied by these Public Authorities as the Circular directs them to ensure that the instruments payable to such account are accepted. It also directs them not to reject the application under RTI Act on the ground that it is not in the format. The circular can be seen on following link:
 
Thanking you,
 
DIvyaJyoti Jaipuriar
Advocate
Public Cause Research Foundation
(A Parivartan Initiative)
Delhi

--
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
www.parivartan.com
jaipuriar <at> gmail.com
+91 9868002365
Visit my blogs also:
http://jaipuriar.blogspot.com
http://jaipuriar.blog.com

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anjumanara begum | 5 Nov 11:21 2007
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Fwd: [NorthEastIndia] Official Secrets Act era gone; disclose Netaji records: CIC tells Govt



Note: forwarded message attached.

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Website:www.northeastnetwork.org

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From: Pradip Kumar Datta <pradip200@...>
Subject: [NorthEastIndia] Official Secrets Act era gone; disclose Netaji records: CIC tells Govt
Date: 2007-11-03 13:49:46 GMT

 

Why keep records secret if Bose had died in 1945?: Mission Netaji
Disclosure of Top Secret records will lead to chaos in country: MHA
Matter is of a serious national importance: Central Information Commission

In a major boost for the freedom of information movement in India, the full Bench of Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) must declassify records relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's reported death.
The CIC set aside the MHA's contention that disclosure "may lead to a serious law and order problem in the country, especially in West Bengal" as "facile hypothesis" which "seems to be a position repeated without any discernable application of mind".
The Bench comprising Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Information Commissioners Padma Balasubramanian, AN Tiwari, Dr OP Kejariwal and Prof MM Ansari hammered in that the matter was of "wide public concern and therefore of national importance" and rejected the Home Ministry's "considered view" to not to "supply the documents relating to various Commissions of Inquiry on disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in public interest".
The documents had been sought in June last year when Sayantan Dasgupta of Mission Netaji requested the MHA to "make available authenticated copies of documents used as exhibits by the Shah Nawaz Khan and GD Khosla panels".
The idea was to better the understanding about the conclusion drawn by these panels since the Government held their findings true even after receiving the latest report of Justice MK Mukherjee, a top criminal law expert and former judge of the Supreme Court of India. Full Story
 
               
                India's holy grail
 

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Re: Some New Circulars of DoPT

Hi Nity
Thanks for your mail. These circulars of DoPT are only indicative ones, but as these are issued by the nodal agency in charge of implementation of the RTI act, it certainly has a persuasive value on the decisions of the Public Authority and specifically PIOs. The interpretation of any provision of the act can only be done by the court and no other authority has the power to interpret any provision of the act. DoPT is not authorised to interpret the law, but as I earlier said, its interpretation of section 8(1)(j) - dealing with ACR- will certainly have some persuasive value on the decision of the PIOs.
 
But with respect to other circulars, that are with respect to the interpretation of the provisions of the RTI act, DoPT can certainly issue these circulars (and these will only be applicable to Central Govt offices, and the state govenrment can also issue similar circulars) and issue of these circulars is a welcome move on part of DoPT.
 
Regards!
 
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar
Advocate
Public Cause Research Foundation
(A Parivartan Initiative)
Delhi


 
On 05/11/2007, nityanand jayaraman <nity68 <at> gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Divya:
Thanks for these important circulars. I suppose these apply evenly to state and central public authorities. Please clarify.
ciao, nity

 
On 11/4/07, DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate <jaipuriar <at> gmail.com > wrote:

Dear All
I came across a couple of circulars issued by the Ministry of Personnel and Administrative Reforms qiute recently for implementation of various provisions of RTI Act. I am sorry for posting these circulars again, if these circulars have already been discussed.There are six new circulars, that I came across, on the DoPT's RTI website and these can be found on following link:
 
First circular is related to foreign visits of State Information Commissioners. This circular dated 05th October 2007 clarifies that the approval of DoPT is not necessary for the foreign visits of State Chief Information Commission and other State Information Commission. Only the approval of the state Governor and the requisite clearance of the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of Foreign affairs is necessary. This circular is available on following link:
 
Second circular is a bad circular. It is an explanation of section 8(1) (j) to deny the disclosure of the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) under the RTI Act. ACR, as per this circular, is a confidential document and the Official Secrets Act 1923 applies on it. RTI Act, as the circular states, does not supersede the Official Secrets Act completely. The disclosure of the ACR is an unwarranted invasion in the privacy of the officer, whose character, capability and other attributes are recorded in the ACR. Therefore, the PIO should be very careful and the disclosure of the ACRs should be done only after the approval of the competent authority only on the ground that the disclosure has a larger public interest, the circular says. This circular has been issued after the consultation of the Ministry of Law and Company Affairs. This circular can be seen on the website at the following link:
 
Third circular id related to the publication and updation of the records by the public authorities under section 4 of the RTI Act. The Circular mandates the Public Authorities, who have not yet complied with section 4 of the RTI Act to publish the details at the earliest and to update it every year thereafter. The circular can be seen on the following link:
 
Fourth circular is a very important one. This underlines the problem of disposal of appeals by the First Appellate Authority. The AA, while disposing the appeals, they do not act judiciously and they also express the agreement with the PIO. They also take more time to dispose the appeal off. Further there are cases, where the PIO does not comply with the orders of the AA. DoPT has suggested to dispose of the appeal within 30 days by the AA and in an exceptional case, in not more than 45 days- reason of which should be recorded in the decision. Further, it has also suggested that as the action of the AA is a quasi  judicial one, it should be ensured that the justice is not only done, but it should appear to have been done. For the implementation of the orders of the AA, the circul ar suggests that the AA should be an officer higher to the rank of PIO and the AA should also take the assistance of the even higher officer in the department for implementation of its order, in case the PIO does not obey his orders. The circular is available on following link:
 
Fifth circular is based on the recommendation of the first report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and it directs all Central Government offices to prepare an inventory of the Public Authorities under RTI Act and such an inventory is required to be posted on the website www.rit.gov.in. This circular also requires the ministry to prepare the list of NGOs which take grant from the government and are covered under the definition of the "Public Authority". This circular is available on the following link:
 
The last circular is also a good one. It is related to non implementation of provisions of RTI Act and it directs the Public Authorities to appoint immediately the PIOs and APIOs in the department, if the same has not been done. It also directs them to accept the fees through Postal Orders and other means of payment of fees as per the Fee Rules under RTI Act. The Drafts/ Postal Orders payable to the Accounts Officer of the concerned department now can not be denied by these Public Authorities as the Circular directs them to ensure that the instruments payable to such account are accepted. It also directs them not to reject the application under RTI Act on the ground that it is not in the format. The circular can be seen on following link:
 
Thanking you,
 
DIvyaJyoti Jaipuriar
Advocate
Public Cause Research Foundation
(A Parivartan Initiative)
Delhi

--
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
www.parivartan.com
jaipuriar <at> gmail.com
+91 9868002365
Visit my blogs also:
http://jaipuriar.blogspot.com
http://jaipuriar.blog.com

=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====
Notice: The information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachment(s) to it may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of the information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachment(s) to it are strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us by reply e-mail or telephone and immediately and permanently delete the message and any attachment(s). Before opening any mail and attachment(s) please check them for viruses and defect.

Thank you
=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====





--
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
www.parivartan.com
jaipuriar <at> gmail.com
+91 9868002365
Visit my blogs also:
http://jaipuriar.blogspot.com
http://jaipuriar.blog.com

=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====-----=====
Notice: The information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachment(s) to it may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, use, review, distribution, printing or copying of the information contained in this e-mail message and/or attachment(s) to it are strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us by reply e-mail or telephone and immediately and permanently delete the message and any attachment(s). Before opening any mail and attachment(s) please check them for viruses and defect.

Thank you
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Dhirendra Krishna | 6 Nov 04:30 2007
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Fwd: Recent Circulars of the D.O.P.T.

--- In rti4ngo <at> yahoogroups.com, "Dhirendra Krishna"
<dhirendrakrishna <at> ...> wrote:

Friends,

The message placed below highlights the recent circulars issued by
DOPT. It is unfortunate that DOPT continues to overlook the most
significant aspects of RTI Act: Sections 4(1)(a), 4(2) and 25.
Moreover there is no mention of financial outlay for implementation
of RTI Act; no executive action plan can get executed without
dedicated budget provisions.

Section 4(1)(a) makes it obligatory to computerise records and make
them accessable to public.

Section 4(2) envisages suo moto disclosure of information required
by the citizens to minimise their resort to RTI Act.

Section 25 talks of educational programs, to enable citizens to use
the RTI Act.

Implementation of aforesaid programs needs dedicated budget
allocations. DOPT is displaying their blatant lack of sincerity
towards implementation of RTI act by ignoring these aspects.

Dhirendra Krishna
................................................................

Dear All
I came across a couple of circulars issued by the Ministry of
Personnel and Administrative Reforms qiute recently for
implementation of various provisions of RTI Act. I am sorry for
posting these circulars again, if these circulars have already been
discussed.There are six new circulars, that I came across, on the
DoPT's RTI website and these can be found on following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ CirIndex. htm.

First circular is related to foreign visits of State Information
Commissioners. This circular dated 05th October 2007 clarifies that
the approval of DoPT is not necessary for the foreign visits of
State Chief Information Commission and other State Information
Commission. Only the approval of the state Governor and the
requisite clearance of the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of
Foreign affairs is necessary. This circular is available on
following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 4_16_2007( IR).pdf

Second circular is a bad circular. It is an explanation of section 8
(1) (j) to deny the disclosure of the Annual Confidential Report
(ACR) under the RTI Act. ACR, as per this circular, is a
confidential document and the Official Secrets Act 1923 applies on
it. RTI Act, as the circular states, does not supersede the Official
Secrets Act completely. The disclosure of the ACR is an unwarranted
invasion in the privacy of the officer, whose character, capability
and other attributes are recorded in the ACR. Therefore, the PIO
should be very careful and the disclosure of the ACRs should be done
only after the approval of the competent authority only on the
ground that the disclosure has a larger public interest, the
circular says. This circular has been issued after the consultation
of the Ministry of Law and Company Affairs. This circular can be
seen on the website at the following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 10_20_2006_ IR.pdf

Third circular id related to the publication and updation of the
records by the public authorities under section 4 of the RTI Act.
The Circular mandates the Public Authorities, who have not yet
complied with section 4 of the RTI Act to publish the details at the
earliest and to update it every year thereafter. The circular can be
seen on the following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_18_2007_ IR.pdf

Fourth circular is a very important one. This underlines the problem
of disposal of appeals by the First Appellate Authority. The AA,
while disposing the appeals, they do not act judiciously and they
also express the agreement with the PIO. They also take more time to
dispose the appeal off. Further there are cases, where the PIO does
not comply with the orders of the AA. DoPT has suggested to dispose
of the appeal within 30 days by the AA and in an exceptional case,
in not more than 45 days- reason of which should be recorded in the
decision. Further, it has also suggested that as the action of the
AA is a quasi judicial one, it should be ensured that the justice
is not only done, but it should appear to have been done. For the
implementation of the orders of the AA, the circular suggests that
the AA should be an officer higher to the rank of PIO and the AA
should also take the assistance of the even higher officer in the
department for implementation of its order, in case the PIO does not
obey his orders. The circular is available on following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 10_23_2007_ IR.pdf

Fifth circular is based on the recommendation of the first report of
the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and it directs all
Central Government offices to prepare an inventory of the Public
Authorities under RTI Act and such an inventory is required to be
posted on the website www.rit.gov. in. This circular also requires
the ministry to prepare the list of NGOs which take grant from the
government and are covered under the definition of the "Public
Authority". This circular is available on the following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_12_2007_ IR.pdf

The last circular is also a good one. It is related to non
implementation of provisions of RTI Act and it directs the Public
Authorities to appoint immediately the PIOs and APIOs in the
department, if the same has not been done. It also directs them to
accept the fees through Postal Orders and other means of payment of
fees as per the Fee Rules under RTI Act. The Drafts/ Postal Orders
payable to the Accounts Officer of the concerned department now can
not be denied by these Public Authorities as the Circular directs
them to ensure that the instruments payable to such account are
accepted. It also directs them not to reject the application under
RTI Act on the ground that it is not in the format. The circular can
be seen on following link:
http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_2_2007_ IR.pdf

Thanking you,

DIvyaJyoti Jaipuriar
Advocate
Public Cause Research Foundation
(A Parivartan Initiative)
Delhi

--
DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
www.parivartan. com
jaipuriar <at> gmail. com
+91 9868002365
Visit my blogs also:
http://jaipuriar. blogspot. com
http://jaipuriar. blog.com

--- End forwarded message ---

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Dhirendra Krishna | 7 Nov 11:11 2007
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Fwd: Use of RTI by "poor farmer"

--- In rti4ngo <at> yahoogroups.com, Dhirendra Krishna
<dhirendrakrishna <at> ...> wrote:

Dear Shri Gidwani,

I appreciate your sense of humour, Sir. If you regularly access
Internet and can send emails, perhaps you do not fall under the
category of "poor farmer."

Please join the yahoo group rti4ngo, where you may find several
ideas on what you can do as an enlightened citizen. RTI helps you to
demand better services from the Government. First step is to be
aware of the plans and programs of various Departments (such as
irrigation, education, pubic health, PWD, etc.) formulated for your
benefit.

All authorities at the "cutting edge" send regular progress
reports to their superiors about the achievements. Whether the
progress report reflects the ground realities can be Best judged by
the beneficiaries. RTI Act enables you to demand public documents,
so that authorities at the grass root are prevented from sending
fictitious progress reports.

If you use RTI to demand copy of public documents, the authorities
at the grass root may become more careful in performing their
duties. On the other hand, if you do not question them, you are not
performing you duties as an enlightened citizen.

If you articulate the problems faced in dealing with various
Government Departments OR your perception of waste of public money/
corruption/ etc., the group members may be able to suggest what
documents to demand under RTI Act.

Another major issue is non-implementation of RTI Act at the grass
roots. I can help you in drafting RTI application to demand public
records regarding implementation of RTI Act.

Dhirendra Krishna

vinod gidwani <vinnygidwani <at> ...> wrote:
dk, im a poor farmer getting screwed by everybody and his uncle.
ive browsed thro yr rti post and i dont understand much but willing
to help promote the cause. tell me how i can do that.

vinod v. gidwani
AQUAGEM FARMS
mapsa, goa 403507
cell: 9423322072 __________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

---------------------------------
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quick, easy and free. Do it now...

--- End forwarded message ---

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Dhirendra Krishna | 8 Nov 08:09 2007
Picon

Fwd: Implementation of RTI Act, through eGovernance Projects ?

--- In rti4ngo <at> yahoogroups.com, Dhirendra Krishna
<dhirendrakrishna <at> ...> wrote:

Dear Shri Habibullah,

I have not been able to find specific mention of implementation of
RTI in the eGovernance plans of GOI. You may be surprised that in
internet forums regarding eGovernance, there was recently exchange
of emails whether there is any link between eGovernance and RTI
Act. There is a lack of clarity, on this subject.

It would have been better if (i) Imlementations of RTI Act is
prominently stated as one of the objectives of eGovernance, (ii)
Persons working on eGovernance projects and providing content to web
site of public authorities are aware of the legal requirement of RTI
Act and (iii) Training program of such personnel has focus on
administrative advantages of transparency and decentralised public
accountability arising from RTI Act and thereby lead to positive
approach towards RTIAct.

In the absence of these basic administrative measures, it is
likely that eGovernance projects may not result in effective
implementation of RTI Act. Two years have passed, since RTI Act was
operationalised.. If any eGovernance project has led to
implementation of RTI Act, it should be given due publicity by
Central and State Governments, to restore confidence in their
sincerity towards transparency and enhanced public accountability.


Dhirendra Krishna

...................................................................
..........................................................
whabibullah <at> ... wrote:
Computerisation falls under the e-governance plan of DoAR &PG
Wajahat
> --- In rti4ngo <at> yahoogroups.com, "Dhirendra Krishna"
> wrote:
>
> Friends,
>
> The message placed below highlights the recent circulars issued by
> DOPT. It is unfortunate that DOPT continues to overlook the most
> significant aspects of RTI Act: Sections 4(1)(a), 4(2) and 25.
> Moreover there is no mention of financial outlay for implementation
> of RTI Act; no executive action plan can get executed without
> dedicated budget provisions.
>
> Section 4(1)(a) makes it obligatory to computerise records and make
> them accessable to public.
>
> Section 4(2) envisages suo moto disclosure of information required
> by the citizens to minimise their resort to RTI Act.
>
> Section 25 talks of educational programs, to enable citizens to use
> the RTI Act.
>
> Implementation of aforesaid programs needs dedicated budget
> allocations. DOPT is displaying their blatant lack of sincerity
> towards implementation of RTI act by ignoring these aspects.
>
> Dhirendra Krishna
> ................................................................
>
> Dear All
> I came across a couple of circulars issued by the Ministry of
> Personnel and Administrative Reforms qiute recently for
> implementation of various provisions of RTI Act. I am sorry for
> posting these circulars again, if these circulars have already been
> discussed.There are six new circulars, that I came across, on the
> DoPT's RTI website and these can be found on following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ CirIndex. htm.
>
> First circular is related to foreign visits of State Information
> Commissioners. This circular dated 05th October 2007 clarifies that
> the approval of DoPT is not necessary for the foreign visits of
> State Chief Information Commission and other State Information
> Commission. Only the approval of the state Governor and the
> requisite clearance of the Ministry of Home affairs and Ministry of
> Foreign affairs is necessary. This circular is available on
> following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 4_16_2007( IR).pdf
>
> Second circular is a bad circular. It is an explanation of section
8
> (1) (j) to deny the disclosure of the Annual Confidential Report
> (ACR) under the RTI Act. ACR, as per this circular, is a
> confidential document and the Official Secrets Act 1923 applies on
> it. RTI Act, as the circular states, does not supersede the
Official
> Secrets Act completely. The disclosure of the ACR is an unwarranted
> invasion in the privacy of the officer, whose character, capability
> and other attributes are recorded in the ACR. Therefore, the PIO
> should be very careful and the disclosure of the ACRs should be
done
> only after the approval of the competent authority only on the
> ground that the disclosure has a larger public interest, the
> circular says. This circular has been issued after the consultation
> of the Ministry of Law and Company Affairs. This circular can be
> seen on the website at the following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 10_20_2006_ IR.pdf
>
> Third circular id related to the publication and updation of the
> records by the public authorities under section 4 of the RTI Act.
> The Circular mandates the Public Authorities, who have not yet
> complied with section 4 of the RTI Act to publish the details at
the
> earliest and to update it every year thereafter. The circular can
be
> seen on the following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_18_2007_ IR.pdf
>
> Fourth circular is a very important one. This underlines the
problem
> of disposal of appeals by the First Appellate Authority. The AA,
> while disposing the appeals, they do not act judiciously and they
> also express the agreement with the PIO. They also take more time
to
> dispose the appeal off. Further there are cases, where the PIO does
> not comply with the orders of the AA. DoPT has suggested to dispose
> of the appeal within 30 days by the AA and in an exceptional case,
> in not more than 45 days- reason of which should be recorded in the
> decision. Further, it has also suggested that as the action of the
> AA is a quasi judicial one, it should be ensured that the justice
> is not only done, but it should appear to have been done. For the
> implementation of the orders of the AA, the circular suggests that
> the AA should be an officer higher to the rank of PIO and the AA
> should also take the assistance of the even higher officer in the
> department for implementation of its order, in case the PIO does
not
> obey his orders. The circular is available on following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 10_23_2007_ IR.pdf
>
> Fifth circular is based on the recommendation of the first report
of
> the Second Administrative Reforms Commission and it directs all
> Central Government offices to prepare an inventory of the Public
> Authorities under RTI Act and such an inventory is required to be
> posted on the website www.rit.gov. in. This circular also requires
> the ministry to prepare the list of NGOs which take grant from the
> government and are covered under the definition of the "Public
> Authority". This circular is available on the following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_12_2007_ IR.pdf
>
> The last circular is also a good one. It is related to non
> implementation of provisions of RTI Act and it directs the Public
> Authorities to appoint immediately the PIOs and APIOs in the
> department, if the same has not been done. It also directs them to
> accept the fees through Postal Orders and other means of payment of
> fees as per the Fee Rules under RTI Act. The Drafts/ Postal Orders
> payable to the Accounts Officer of the concerned department now can
> not be denied by these Public Authorities as the Circular directs
> them to ensure that the instruments payable to such account are
> accepted. It also directs them not to reject the application under
> RTI Act on the ground that it is not in the format. The circular
can
> be seen on following link:
> http://righttoinfor mation.gov. in/Circulars/ 1_2_2007_ IR.pdf
>
> Thanking you,
>
> DIvyaJyoti Jaipuriar
> Advocate
> Public Cause Research Foundation
> (A Parivartan Initiative)
> Delhi
>
> --
> DivyaJyoti Jaipuriar, Advocate
> www.parivartan. com
> jaipuriar <at> gmail. com
> +91 9868002365
> Visit my blogs also:
> http://jaipuriar. blogspot. com
> http://jaipuriar. blog.com
>
> --- End forwarded message ---
>
>
>

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this month.

--- End forwarded message ---

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Chandra Jain | 9 Nov 08:26 2007
Picon

Happy Deepawali


Happy Deepawali & Season's Greetings
 

Wish U & Ur Family a very Happy & Prosperous Deepawali
This Deepawali, may you be blessed with good Fortune as long as Ganeshji's trunk,
Wealth and Prosperity as big as his stomach,
Happiness as Sweet as his Ladoos &
May your trouble be as small as his Mouse.
 
May the lamps of love and devotion
burn brightly in your hearts

May the light of understanding
shine in your minds,

May the light of harmony
glow in your home

May the bright rays of service
shine forth ceaselessly from your hands.

May your smile, your words
and your actions be as sweet
as the sweets of this festive season.

May Maha Lakshmi bring you
the true wealth of
 peace, health, happiness, and love

--
Chandra k Jain
India
call: 93124 39464
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