Saturday, April 25, 2015

जानकारी न देने पर कमिशन का निगम को नोटिस

दैनिक जागरण: पठानकोट: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
सूचना के अधिकार के तहत मांगी गई जानकारी न देने पर राज्य सूचना कमिश्नर चंद्र प्रकाश ने पठानकोट कारपोरेशन के पीआइओ सतीश सैनी के खिलाफ सख्त रुख अख्तियार किया है।
कमिश्नर ने तथ्यों की पड़ताल के बाद माना कि पठानकोट नगर निगम में म्यूनिसीपल इंजीनियर कम पीआइओ सतीश सैनी ने सूचना के अधिकार के तहत आरटीआइ कार्यकत्र्ता सुकृत शारदा को मांगी गई जानकारी नहीं दी। सुकृत शारदा ने 19 अगस्त,2014 को पठानकोट के पटेल चौक के पास फ्रेंड्स कॉलोनी में निर्माणाधीन मल्टीस्टोरी बिल्डिंग के निगम की ओर से पास किए गए दस्तावेजों की प्रतियां मांगी थी। मांग अनुसार सूचना देने की बजाए निगम ने 16 सितंबर,2014 को जवाब दिया कि उक्त बिल्डिंग से संबंधित ऐरिया इम्प्रूवमेंट ट्रस्ट के अधीन है अतएव याची इसकी सूचना ट्रस्ट से ले।
याची सुकृत शारदा ने जब निगम को स्पष्ट किया कि कैसे उक्त बिल्डिंग निगम के ही अधिकार क्षेत्र में है तो निगम ने यह कहते हुए सूचना देने से इंकार कर दिया कि बिल्डिंग के मालिक ने सूचना सार्वजनिक नहीं करने के लिए कहा है। याची शारदा ने जब इसकी अपील नगर निगम के प्रथम अपीलीय अधिकारी के पास की तो जनवरी 2015 में निगम के पीआइओ ने उक्त बहाना बना दिया।
नगर निगम के प्रथम अपीलीय अधिकारी कम कमिश्नर एवं एसडीएम पठानकोट ने इसकी सूचना भी सुकृत शारदा को दे दी। निगम का यह जवाब लेकर याची ने जब स्टेट इंफर्मेशन कमिशन के पास बात रखी तो कमिशन ने तथ्यों का विश्लेषण करते हुए पाया कि बिल्डिंग के मालिक ने नगर निगम को सूचना सार्वजनिक नहीं करने के लिए 6 जनवरी, 2015 को पत्र लिखा था, जबकि नगर निगम 2 जनवरी 2015 को ही यह फैसला कर चुका था कि बिल्डिंग मालिक सूचना सार्वजनिक नहीं करना चाहता है। कमिशन ने माना कि नगर निगम ने ऐसा करके योजनाबद्ध तरीके से सुकृत शारदा को सूचना के अधिकार से वंचित रखा है। कमिशन ने नगर निगम के पीआइओ सतीश सैनी के खिलाफ सख्त रुख अख्तियार करते हुए पूछा है कि वह इस संबंध में व्यक्तिगत तौर पर कमिशन के समक्ष पेश होकर अपना पक्ष रखें तथा यह भी बताए कि क्यों न उनके खिलाफ अनुशासनात्मक कार्रवाई किए जाने की अनुशंसा की जाए। इसके साथ ही कमिशन ने पीआइओ से यह भी सवाल किया है कि क्यों न इस मामले में उस पर जुर्माना लगाया जाए और याची को मुआवजा दिलाया जाए।

हालात के मारे लोगों के हक वापसी की लड़ाई, जंतर मंतर पर धरना

एनडीटीवी खबर: नई दिल्ली: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
दिल्ली के जंतर मंतर पर 12 राज्यों के लोग घर वापसी की जगह हक वापसी की मांग को लेकर गुरुवार से बैठे हैं। विरोध भूमि अध्यादेश को लेकर भी है। मांग खाद्‌य सुरक्षा से लेकर व्हि‍सल ब्लोअर लागू करवाने की भी।
जोधपुर के बुद्धाराम बिश्नोई ने अपने दोस्त शंभूराम बिश्नोई के साथ 2012-13 में तीन घोटाले उजागर किए। इसके बाद शंभूराम की हत्या कर दी गई। बुद्धाराम कहते हैं कि जब तक व्हि‍सल ब्लोअर प्रोटेक्शन एक्ट लागू नहीं हो जाता तब तक किसी को भी हम जैसे लोगों पर हमला करने से डर नहीं लगेगा। अब तो किसी घपला घोटाले को उजागर करने में डर लगा रहता है।
प्रताप सिंह राठौड़ अजमेर के किशनगढ़ से आए हैं, जिनकी करीब 30 बीघे जमीन हवाई अड्डे के नाम पर ले ली गई, पर जायज़ मुआवज़ा नहीं मिला। प्रताप कहते हैं कि भरोसा ज्यादा मुआवजा का मिला, लेकिन अमल नहीं हुआ। करीब 150 परिवारों की जमीन औने पौने दामों में 2011 में ले ली गई। मुआवजा 2013 में मिला, लेकिन बहुत कम। लिहाजा राठौड़ों की ढाणी में 40 दिनों से धरना कर रहे हैं। अब भूख हड़ताल पर बैठेंगे।
इसके अलावा मांगें और भी हैं जिनमें खाद्य सुरक्षा, RTI आयुक्त की नियुक्ति, लोकपाल कानून और गरीबों की योजनाओं में कटौती नहीं शामिल हैं।
सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता निखिल डे कहते हैं कि नई सरकार जनता के अधिकारों पर प्रहार कर रही है। हमें आश्वासन मिला है कि पांच केंद्रीय मंत्रियों से मिलवाया जाएगा। हमारी मांगें उनतक पहुंचाने का मौका मिलेगा। लिहाजा हमने संसद तक मार्च करने का इरादा छोड़ दिया। कृषि भवन पर इकट्ठा जरूर हुए थे, लेकिन पुलिस ने भरोसा दिलाया कि मंत्रियों से शाम तक मुलाकात करवाएगी।

Maoists urged to join mainstream

The Hindu: Telangana: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
The Maoist party cadre who gave up arms and joined the mainstream have appealed to their former comrades to follow them and come out of the party.
The surrendered naxals ‘Tech’ Madhu, Shanigarapu Uma and others said they are happy with the rehabilitation package offered by the government and wanted the other underground cadre to make use of the same to build a good life.
A meeting of the surrendered naxals was held at the district police office here on Friday.
Collector Vakati Karuna, Superintendent of Police A.K. Jha, OSD Sanpreeth Singh and other officials attended the event and interacted with the surrendered naxals. They also interacted with the parents of underground cadre.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Karuna said it is good to have an ideal to do good to the society. However, means are also important. In a democratic set up, one could succeed in doing well to the society in acceptable method. We find youngsters doing their bit helping the underprivileged. We find the RTI activists doing wonders awakening people. There are several instances and methods to serve society than taking up arms, she opined.
Mr. Jha asked the underground cadre to introspect and give up arms. It was always better to serve parents first and build a life before embarking upon helping others. The Telangana government has announced special packages to the surrendered Maoists. This is an opportunity to come out and settle down in society, he appealed.
The SP said the underground cadre could approach any police or revenue officials without any fear. We are here to help you, he said.
Parents of Maoist KKW secretary Yapa Narayana alias Haribhushan, Chhattisgarh platoon commander Sunil’s mother Susheelamma, Bade Chokka Rao alias Damodar’s mother Padigamma and others urged their children to give up arms.

Sexual harassment complaint files have gone missing: NCW

Times of India: Mumbai: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
In reply to a query under the Right to Information Act (RTI), the National Commission for Women (NCW) has informed that files containing 1,000 pages in a complaint of sexual harassment have gone missing. This is the second time that documents have gone missing.
The complainant, a former director with KPMG, had sought information from the NCW in December 2013. But when she did not receive any information after seven months, she filed an appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). When no order was passed by the FAA, she filed a second appeal before the chief information commissioner (CIC).
The NCW informed the commission that the files relating to the case were in the custody of the Maharashtra State Women's Commission and it would call back the file and provide the information. In a letter to the complainant, which she received last month, the NCW said that in January this year, the central commission had written to the state commission, asking for the files and documents relating to the RTI query. It had also sent a reminder but got no response.
"An NCW law officer personally visited the MSWC for compliance of the CIC order and found that the files were badly maintained. No pagination and docketing were done. Around eight files containing more than 1,000 pages were reported as not traceable by the MSWC."
The NCW said that it has taken the issue seriously and the matter will be reported to the Maharashtra chief minister and women and child welfare department for appropriate action.
The complaint, relating to sexual harassment at workplace, was filed in June 2007. The case has moved from the NCW to the state commission to the Bombay high court, the Supreme Court and back to the high court, which in 2010, directed the NCW to complete the inquiry.
In 2013, following an article in TOI, an enquiry was initiated but was again challenged by KPMG in the high court, which quashed the NCW enquiry on the grounds that findings are not binding or legally enforceable and a criminal case is pending. The accused has now filed a writ petition in the high court, seeking quashing of the criminal case, seven years after filing of chargesheet. TNN

Delhi: RTI activist shot by unknown assailants

ANINEWS: New Delhi: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
Right to Information ( RTI ) activist Chetan Sharma has been shot at by unknown assailants in the national capital.
Sharma is in hospital and is currently recuperating.
"My husband was taking the dog for a walk when two unknown assailants fired at him. The dog has been killed but he was only shot in the arm and is still alive. The police are not taking his statement properly and are threatening him... The SHO is warning him that his name should be kept out of his statement," Sharma's wife Sarita told ANI.
Nobody has been arrested in the case so far.

आरटीआई से फर्जी दावेदारों का खुलासा

नवभारत टाइम्स: लखनऊ: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
आरटीआई में सूचना मांगे जाने के दौरान जमीन के लिए फर्जी दावेदारी का मामला सामने आया है। राज्य सूचना आयुक्त हाफिज उस्मान ने एसपी बिजनौर को मामले की जांच कराने और जनसूचना अधिकारी से पूरे मामले में 30 दिन के अंदर रिपोर्ट मांगी है। बिजनौर की मिथिलेश कुमारी ने सहकारी गन्ना विकास समिति लिमिटेड अफजलगढ़ के सचिव प्रकाशवीर के खिलाफ वाद किया था। आयोग के निर्देश पर प्रकाशवीर ने सूचनाएं उपलब्ध कराईं और साथ ही बताया कि चितरंजन कुमार की संपत्ति हड़पने के लिए मिथिलेश नाम की दो महिलाओं ने दावेदारी की है। मामला जानकारी में आने के बाद आयोग ने दोनों मिथिलेश कुमारी को दस्तावेजों के साथ पेश होने के निर्देश दिए हैं।
11 अफसरों पर 2.25 लाख रुपये का जुर्माना
राज्य सूचना आयुक्त स्वदेश कुमार ने सूचना का अधिकार अधिनियम की अनदेखी करने वाले 11 जनसूचना अधिकारियों पर 2.25 लाख रुपये का अर्थदंड लगाया है। इसमें देवीपाटन मंडल के अपर आयुक्त प्रशासन, गोंडा के मनकापुर के एसडीएम, गोंडा के बीडीओ नवाबगंज, बीडीओ छपिया, बलरामपुर के गैण्डास बुजुर्ग के बड़हरी गांव के ग्राम पंचायत अधिकारी और सुल्तानपुर के जिला विद्यालय निरीक्षक पर 15-15 हजार रुपये का जुर्माना लगाया है। वहीं सुलतानपुर के वितरण खण्ड दिव्तीय के अधिशाषी अभियंता पर दस हजार रुपये का जुर्माना लगाया है। सुलतानपुर के कूरेभार के बीडीओ इन्द्रजीत सिंह पर दो मामलों में 25-25 हजार, बीडीओ मोतिगपुर, सुल्तानपुर, एसडीएम बलरामपुर, तुलसीपुर ब्लाक के सुखरामपुर के ग्राम पंचायत अधिकारी पर 25-25 हजार का दंड लगाया है।

RTI on boundary pillars

The Sangai Express: Imphal: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
The boundary pillars on the boundary lines of India and Myanmar are properly maintained, said the office of the Surveyor General of India in reply to an RTI application submitted by one Yengkhom Sunil of Kakwa Ningomthong Sairom Leirak.
The information further said that the boundary pillar (border points) of Manipur begins from BP 32 at the trijunction of Manipur, Mizoram and Myanmar and ends at BP 130 at the trijunction of Nagaland, Manipur and Myanmar and there is no portion designated as line of control along Manipur-Myanmar sector.
The erstwhile figure of Manipur is not available at the office of Surveyor General of India, the information said.

IT department against RTI disclosure of Ajit Pawar’s returns details

Times of India: Mumbai: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
The income tax department on Friday submitted through its counsel that the law laid down by the Supreme Court makes it clear that IT returns are personal information that cannot be disclosed on an RTI query.
The IT counsel was making submissions to oppose a petition that challenged an order of the Central Information Commission refusing a plea under the Right to Information Act for details of the IT returns of NCP leader and former state minister Ajit Pawar. "In case of public officials there should be a relationship between disclosure sought and discharge of duty of that public official," the counsel said.
He said no such relationship was shown despite the repeated submission that information which can not be denied to Parliament can not be denied under RTI.
The petition, filed by former information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi and argued by his lawyer, Jabbar Shaikh, said such information is not personal and can not hide behind exemptions in the act.

Sri Lanka to pass RTI legislation

The Hindu: Colombo: Saturday, 25 April 2015.
Sri Lanka may soon have its own RTI (Right to Information) law.
Called the “Right to Know Information” legislation, the proposed law is part of the new regime’s 100 Days Programme.
On Thursday, the present coalition government, comprising members of the two principal parties, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) along with those from a few other parties such as Jathika Hela Urumaya and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, completed its 100th day.
Announcing the government’s decision to introduce a draft bill in Parliament, Rajitha Senaratne, Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister, told a media conference that the Cabinet, at its meeting on Wednesday night, approved a proposal presented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. President Maithripala Sirisena was also present.
While a national-level commission would be established, there would not be any such body at the level of provinces, the Minister said, replying to a query. To another question whether the clauses of exemption were so wide as to defeat the spirit behind the law, he replied in the negative and said what was now done was to come up with a Cabinet document.
Once the Bill had been presented, Parliament could make amendments and suggestions from outside might also be incorporated. “We are quite open,” he said.
Recalling the discussion at the Cabinet meeting, Mr Senaratne said Mr Wickremasinghe told him that media organisations had been taken into confidence while preparing the draft Bill.
Electoral reforms
The Cabinet spokesperson said the President presented a draft proposal to the Cabinet, envisaging an electoral system that would combine features of the First Past The Post system and proportional representation (PR). The proposed system would abolish the existing PR system.
At present, two models were under consideration. Under one of the options, the number of members in Parliament would go up from the present 225 to 238 while under another, the figure would be 255. Hinting that “there would be many more formulas,” the Minister added that there would be no reduction in the number of constituencies even though there were adverse demographic changes in certain parts of the country such as Jaffna. He explained how in places such as Jaffna and Kandy, adequate number of representatives could not be found for the given figure of constituencies. To ensure fair representation to minorities in Parliament, the revival of multi-member constituencies had been mooted.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Court Notice to Centre on Filling CIC Post

Indian Express: Chennai: Friday, April 24, 2015.
Madras High Court on Thursday ordered notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking to fill up the vacant post of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
The post of CIC remains vacant since August 8, 2014, resulting in mounting pendency in the disposal of appeals which in effect defeats the very purpose of enacting the RTI Act, the PIL said.
The petitioner, Jawaharlal Shanmugam of Tiruvanmiyur, submitted that details in the Central Information Commission’s website, reveal that 11,228 cases are pending before the CIC.
When his RTI application to income tax department and the appeal to the appellate authority were rejected he filed a second appeal to the CIC, New Delhi. “Though the appeal was registered, I did not receive any communication from the CIC. This was, however, not a rare instance, as scores of petitions were pending before the CIC,” said Shanmugam.
He pointed out that the CIC holds important portfolios and the vacant post would add to the woes of people seeking RTI replies.

Lanka to Usher in Right to Information Urgently

Indian Express: Colombo: Friday, April 24, 2015.
The Sri Lankan cabinet has decided to urgently bring a bill to provide Lankans the Right to Information (RTI) as in India and several other democracies.
Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told the media here on Thursday, that it will be presented to parliament as an “emergency bill” under clause 122 of the Lankan constitution.
Senaratne said that the urgency was on account of the fact that bringing about an RTI Act within the first hundred days of his rule was one of the major election promises of President Maithripala Sirisena. Such an Act was to be part of several measures to loosen the tight control over information exercised by Mahinda Rajapaksa during his rule from 2005 to 2014.
No Go Zones
However, while giving Lankans the right to get information about State institutions, the bill will specify certain “no go” zones. As per the press release on the cabinet decision, there will be no obligation to part with information of a private and personal nature. Information that might jeopardize national security, territorial integrity and the economy of Lanka need not be given. The State could withhold information that might harm Lanka’s relations with other countries or reveal the trade secrets of a person or harm a fiduciary relationship.
Information that could jeopardize the investigation of a crime or be a contempt of court or of parliament could also be withheld. The ban also covers information about public examinations. On top of all this, a State institution can keep under wraps information it feels must be safeguarded.
It appears that the Lankan act may not be as liberal as its Indian counterpart. The Indian RTI Act has many exemptions but it also says that  “a public authority may allow access to information if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm done to the protected interest.” 
Like India, Lanka too will have an Information Commission. But its powers are yet to be revealed.

Law Student Alleges Threat for Filing RTI

Indian Express: Chennai: Friday, April 24, 2015.
The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the police to conduct an enquiry in connection with a petition moved by a law student, alleging death threats and verbal abuse through repeated phone calls.
H B Saravana Kumar (24)  submitted that he filed an RTI application seeking certain details about PWD official G Parthiban from East Police Station Thanjavur. The next morning, he received a phone call from Velayudham, a sub-inspector attached to the station, who enquired about the information sought by him. Thereafter, Saravana Kumar received several phone calls from a person claiming to be Parthiban. He abused Kumar stating that he was close to a High Court judge and several advocates.
Kumar alleged that Parthiban threatened to kill him for seeking information through RTI. He then filed a complaint with the inspector of police, High Court Police Station. The police, without registering an FIR, provided a Community Service Receipt.
Alleging that despite the complaint being a cognizable offence, the police had failed to investigate it, Kumar sought the court to issue directions to the police to register a case and investigate it. When the matter came up before Justice P N Prakash, Kumar submitted the recorded conversation of the alleged threats.

RTI Act: Info Officer Gets Protection

Indian Express: Thiruvanathpuram: Friday, April 24, 2015.
Section 21 of the Right to Information Act (RTI), which guarantees legal protection to public information officers has never been invoked in the state or in the country for that matter. In a clear deviation from this, it was invoked for the first time in a case in which a public information officer was victimised by his higher official for giving out information on an RTI query.
Highlighting Section 21 of the RTI Act, the State Information Commission observed: “No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this act or any rule made thereunder.’’ It also pointed out that the public information officer does not have to seek the permission of his higher-ups before disseminating any information.
K G Vijayakumar, then an administrative officer of Horticorp and currently, the Director of Printing, Government Press, Thiruvananthapuram approached the State Information Commission alleging that the Principal Secretary of the General Administration Department had ordered a probe against him as the then MD of the Horticorp, Pratapan, had lodged a complaint against him.
“My fault was that I have handed over every details sought in an RTI query. I was first transferred to Child Rights Commission,” he said.

Denying RTI info on MG Road eviction: Notice to two officials

Times of India: Kochi: Friday, April 24, 2015.
State Information Commission has issued notices to two revenue officials in Ernakulam for not providing information under Right to Information Act (RTI) on use of land reoccupied in the eviction drive on MG Road in 2007.
The drive against encroachments on MG Road was launched by the district administration while A P M Mohammed Hanish was the district collector.
In an RTI query filed to Ernakulam Collectorate, advocate D B Binu, secretary of Human Rights Defence Forum, sought information on how the land that was reoccupied by the government through the 2007 eviction was put to public use.
Records related to the eviction, including the sketch prepared for the eviction and the directions issued, were sought by the RTI activist.
Further, information was sought as to how many encroachments were evicted on MG Road, from whom all the evictions were made, and for what public use, such as parking, was the reoccupied land used.
State information commission said in its order that then deputy collector EJ Gracy, who was the public information officer, and Kanayannoor additional tahasildar C K Venu failed to provide timely and correct information to the applicant under RTI.
The commission will take action against the two revenue officials as per section 20 of RTI Act, the order issued by state information commissioner MN Gunavardhanan said. As per section 20, the commission can recommend for disciplinary action under the service rules applicable as well as order the officers at fault to pay a fine up to Rs 25,000.
Asking the officials to showcause for not taking action against them, the Commission has ordered the revenue officials to provide the information sought for under RTI within 10 days.

Student’s suicide: NTRUHS Registrar appears before RTI Commissioner

The Hindu: Vijayawada: Friday, April 24, 2015.
NTR University of Health Sciences (NTRUHS) Registrar S. Babulal appeared before State Information Commissioner M. Vijaya Nirmala at the Sub-Collector’s office here on Thursday to explain the status of a petition filed under the Right to Information Act.
The petition is related to the suicide of M. Srilakshmi, a post-graduate student of G.S.L. Medical College at Rajanagaram in East Godavari district on February 13, 2014.
Petition
Ms. Srilakshmi’s father Sankar Prasad filed the petition on April 9, 2014 seeking information on the departmental action which the NTRUHS was supposed to take against those responsible for the suicide of his daughter but according to him there was no response from the university.
Finding fault with the negligent attitude of NTRUHS officials, Ms. Vijaya Nirmala told Mr. Babulal that she would organise an inquiry at the NTRUHS in about three weeks if the information sought by the petitioner is not furnished. Mr. Sankar Prasad told The Hindu that NTRUHS officials cited different excuses for not providing the information to him in spite of several reminders.
The petition is related to the suicide of M. Srilakshmi, a post-graduate student of G.S.L. Medical College at Rajanagaram in East Godavari district on February 13, 2014

MMOPL accepts public authority tag, provides info under RTI

DNA: Mumbai: Friday, April 24, 2015.
Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), a special purpose vehicle that runs the city's first Metro service between Versova and Ghatkopar, has accepted the public authority tag. MMOPL is a consortium between Veolia, MMRDA and Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra). Citizens can now seek information about Metro rail operations from MMOPL by filing an RTI application with them.
Providing information under the RTI Act, MMPOL in a covering letter mentioned who the public information officer (PIO) is. Information is also put up on the website, which lists the details of PIO, first appellate authority (FAA) and second appellate authority, which is the state information commission.
Not so long ago, the state information commission had declared the body as public authority on a complaint of former central information commissioner, Shailesh Gandhi. The order was passed on March 19 by joint bench of state chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad and state information commissioner (Brihanmumbai bench), Ajit Kumar Jain.
Gandhi had sought information on the safety report given by the commissioner of railways from MMOPL. MMOPL in its reply stated that the letter was transferred to MMRDA as it does not come under the RTI. Before Gandhi's RTI application to MMOPL, dna had sought same information from MMRDA. MMRDA then denied having information and stated that MMOPL did not share it with them.
In a letter dated April 17, 2015, MMOPL provided Gandhi the required information he had sought earlier. However, it is yet to provide any other information under section 4 of the RTI Act, which makes it mandatory for a public authority to provide any information, suo motu, that will be helpful to citizens.
The state information commission, in its landmark order, stated that the body comes under the RTI. It is now in the category of other bodies that have been held as public authority by the information commissions.
Gandhi expressed his happiness at the move, saying: "In a way, I compliment Reliance for not trying this thing in court unnecessarily. I have filed a caveat and they seem to have decided not to challenge the information commission order that declared them a public authority. It is a good way to tackle things. The government should now raise their conditions in all PPP models that they are a public authority and come under RTI."
When MMOPL was asked if they would voluntarily share information as mentioned in the RTI Act, a spokesperson responded: "MMOPL is following the process and procedures as provided in RTI Act, 2005."
Where to file RTI for Mumbai Metro?
Public Information Officer
Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd,
Mumbai Metro One Depot,
D.N. Nagar, J.P. Road, 4 Bunglows,
Andheri (W), Mumbai 400053
Email: rti@reliancemumbaimetro.com
Public Information Officer
Vineet Nadgir, Deputy General Manager
Appellate Authority
Debasis Mohanty, Director
Second Appellate Authority
Maharashtra State Information Commission
13th Floor, New Administrative Building,
Opp. Mantralaya, Mumbai

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rajya Sabha TV appointments: HC seeks RS, Centre's response

DNA: New Delhi: Thursday, 23 April 2015.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre and Rajya Sabha secretariat after taking note of advocate Prashant Bhushan's PIL which highlighted irregularities in the appointment of senior officers like Joint Secretary and above in the secretariat, including the officer on special duty to vice-president Hamid Ansari and RSTV CEO Gurdeep Singh Sappal and the present Sesecretary General.
In the PIL through the ANGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, Bhushan challenged the validity of clause 6 (A) of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for Appointment) Order, 2009 and sought an order directing an independent inquiry into all the appointments made in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat since 2008. He also sought inquiry into appointment of the CEO of RS TV channel.
"An inquiry to be conducted into all the discretionary appointments made through deputation in violation of the RS Secretariat (Methods of Recruitment and Qualifications for appointments) order 2009 in the RS Secretariat in past few years and also the appointment of the CEO of RSTV," the plea said.
RTI reveals
dna, which has access to some official documents, has reported on April 6 that RSTV CEO Gurdeep Sappal is the first ever non-bureaucrat CEO of government-run TV. According to RTI information, job of RSTV CEO was never advertised. Unlike (Lok Sabha) LSTV CEO, whose job was prominently advertised, Sappal was handpicked for the job without any competition.

MPs to be shifted to govt guest houses from hotel

Times of India: New Delhi: Thursday, 23 April 2015.
With the burden on public exchequer increasing on account of accommodating 30 Lok Sabha MPs in Hotel Ashok, the parliamentary House committee has decided to shift them to government guest houses by Saturday.
A government source said the decision was taken at the panel's meeting on Wednesday. "If anyone stays in the hotel beyond April 25, he has to pay the charges. We will find transit accommodation for the MPs," a source said.
The MPs staying in Hotel Ashok are from Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and one from Delhi. Sources said representatives of state guest houses, who were present in the House Committee meeting, expressed their inability to provide transit accommodation since they have high accommodation demand from MLAs, state government officials and other dignitaries who visit the national capital.
TOI has learnt that houses have been allotted to 13 of the MPs staying in Hotel Ashok. But they have expressed reservations regarding the allotted houses. In the case of the remaining 17 MPs, it will take little longer to allot them government houses. "This is because already these houses are occupied by senior MPs who are now entitled for bigger houses. Until they get new houses, first time MPs cannot move in. Efforts are on to resolve all these issues," said an urban development ministry official.
As per details disclosed by UD ministry in an RTI response, Hotel Ashok was charging Rs 7,000 per day only for accommodation till September 2014, and now it has been increased to Rs 9,000. Similarly, in the case of Samrat and Janpath the rent has been revised from Rs 6,000 per day to Rs 7,000.

No court to try child abuse cases

Deccan Chronicle: Kochi: Thursday, 23 April 2015.
Three years have passed since the central government asked the state to constitute special courts to try cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012.
Till date,  the government has not constituted a single court. As per the data provided  by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) under the RTI,  so far the state has not convicted a single person under the Act.
In the wake of increase in child abuse cases, the High Court had sent a proposal to the government to constitute a special court four months ago but it is yet to consider the same.
“At present,  there are no special courts to try POCSO cases. The principal sessions courts are dealing with the cases related to such offences,” said Registrar-General of Kerala High Court S. Jagadees.
In  an RTI reply to S. Dhanraj of  Kochi,  the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights stated that the state had not provided any information yet on the number of cases registered and convictions under the Act.
The principal sessions judges are already burdened with  several cases leading to the delay in completing the cases. As per the POCSO Act, the investigative agency should help the courts in completing the trial of the case within one year.
The RTI reply shows that the state continues to turn a blind eye to  the court  directive on trying cases related to the rape of minor girls.
The government, after the Delhi rape case, had constituted a special court in Kochi to consider sexual abuse cases against women and  promised more courts in the state.
The plan was to start new courts in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. Till date, it has not constituted  new courts.

CIC Complains to Guv about Spl Chief Secretary's Directive to AP Collectors

Indian Express: Hyderabad: Thursday, 23 April 2015.
Hitting back hard at the lackadaisical attitude of the state bureaucracy that has turned a blind eye towards the implementation of Right To Information Act, chief information commissioner (CIC) Jannat Hussain and his state information commissioners (SIC) met governor ESL Narasimhan on Wednesday at the Raj Bhavan to brief him on the ongoing situation. SICs P Vijaya Babu, M Ratan, Varre Venkateswarulu, Lam Thantiya Kumari, Vijaya Nirmala and S Imtiyaz Ahmed accompanied Jannat Hussain.
The SICs of Andhra Pradesh Information Commission, which falls in the schedule ten of the AP Reorganisation Act, had previously lodged complaints with the governor and AP chief secretary IYR Krishna Rao. They informed the governor about the practice of “denigration and degradation”  of the Information Commissioners.
“There is a directive from the Special chief secretary (GAD) Lingaraj Panigrahi to all commissioners and district collectors of AP asking them to ignore the blackmailing threats from SICs. He has cited the case of an age-old Blue Book formula to say that commissioners were not equal  to chief secretary in protocol,”  Vijaya Babu said. According to him, the RTI Act clearly states that all other Acts are overridden by it.
Under Section 16(5) of  the RTI Act 2005, the status of the State Information Commissioner shall be of that of a Chief Secretary. And State Information Commissioner is required to take up hearings of the complaints and appeals as per the provisions under Sections 18 and 19 of the said Act and to impose penalties against the defaulting Public Information Officers under Section 20 of the RTI Act 2005. An Information Commissioner is also vested with Quasi Judicial powers while discharging duties.
According to Vijaya Babu,  the governor told them that he was not aware of the said directive to all district collectors of Andhra Pradesh. He said that the matter would be looked into. “We have repeatedly said that a section of IAS officers do not want to come out of the colonial legacy and respect the Act and judgments of the Information Commissioners. To uphold the spirit of RTI Act, to prevent it from dilution and being turned into a toothless body, the issue should be looked into without any further delay,” Vijaya Babu added.