Sunday, May 24, 2015

જમીન સુધારણામાં અધધ ૧.ર૩ કરોડનું કૌભાંડ અધિકારી અને ત્રણ કર્મચારી સામે વધુ બે ફરિયાદ

Sandesh: Porbandar: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
પોરબંદર જિલ્લામાં જમીન સુધારણા અને જમીન વિકાસના કામોમાં જે તે વખતના ચાર કર્મચારીઓએ રૂ.૧.ર૩ કરોડનું કૌભાંડ આચર્યું હોવાની હવે બે અલગ અલગ પોલીસ મથકમાં ફરિયાદ નોંધાતા ભારે ચકચાર જાગી છે.આ અંગે રેવન્યુ વિભાગમાં જુદી જુદી ચર્ચાઓ ઉઠવા પામી છે.આ ચાર કર્મચારીઓમાંથી એક મૃત્યુ પામ્યો હોવાનું,એક નિવૃત અને બે બરતરફ થયા હોવાનું પોલીસ તપાસમાં ખૂલ્યું છે.
પોરબંદરમાં ગુજરાત રાજય જમીન વિકાસ નિગમ લી.ગાંધીનગરની ચાર અલગ અલગ યોજનાના કામો વર્ષ ર૦૦૬ થી ર૦૦૯ના સમયગાળા દરમિયાન થયા હતા.તેમાં તે વખતના ક્ષેત્ર મદદનીશ મુળ જાફરાબાદના ટીંબી ગામના તથા અત્યારે બરતરફ થયેલા ભુપેન્દ્રકુમાર વ્રજલાલ શુકલ,બીજા ક્ષેત્ર નિરીક્ષક મુળ મહેસાણાના બાલીસણાના તથા હાલ બરતરફ થયેલા જનક વિરમ દેસાઈ,ત્રીજા ઈન્ચાર્જ મદદનીશ નિયામક જમીન સંરક્ષણ કચેરી અને હાલ અમદાવાદમાં નિવૃત જીવન ગાળતા ઈશ્વરભાઈ હરગોવિંદભાઈ પ્રજાપતિ ઉપરાંત મુળ જૂનાગઢના તથા જે તે વખતે ક્ષેત્ર મદદનીશ તરીકે ફરજ બજાવતા અને હાલમાં જીવીત નથી તેવા મનસુખભાઈ ગોપાલભાઈ પરમાર સામે જમીન વિકાસ નિગમ અમરેલી સ્થિત કચેરીના ડે.ડાયરેકટર મોહનભાઈ ગોયાભાઈ વેગડાએ પોલીસમાં ફરિયાદ નોંધાવી છે.
પોરબંદર જિલ્લામાં માટીકામ થઈ શકે નહી તેવા વાહનોના રજીસ્ટ્રેશન નંબરો દર્શાવી બનાવટી વાઉચરો તૈયાર કરી, નાણાના ચુકવણા કરી જળ અને જમીન સંરક્ષણની વિવિધ કામગીરીમાં ગેરરીતિ કરી ચારેય શખ્સોએ એકબીજાને મદદગારી કરીને ખોટા બનાવના બીલો ઉભા કરી તથા તેના ખોટા કાલ્પનિક વાઉચરો બનાવી,ચેકના નાણા ખોટી રીતે ઉધારી કુલ રૂ.૮૮૧પરપ૮ ની ઉચાપત કરી કાવત્રાપૂર્વક સરકાર સાથે ગુનાઈત વિશ્વાસધાત અને છેતરપીંડી કરી હોવાની કલમ ૪૦૬,૪૦૯, ૪ર૦,૪૬૭, ૪૬૮, ૪૭૧ અને ૧ર૦ બી મુજબ ગુનો નોંધાતા કમલાબાગ પોલીસ સ્ટેશનના ઈન્સ્પેકટર કે.એ.મકવાણાએ વધુ તપાસ હાથ ધરી છે.
શું હતી યોજના ?
આ ચારેય શખ્સોએ જે યોજનામાંથી ઉચાપત કરી એ ચાર જેટલી યોજનાઓ હતી જેમાં સ્ટેટ લેવલ સ્કીમ હેઠળ ગામ તળાવ ઉંડા કરવા,સીમ તળાવ ઉંડા કરવા, ખેત તલાવડી, સીમ તલાવડી બનાવવી, નિર્મળ નીર યોજના અને ચેક ડેમ બનાવવાની રાજય સરકારની ચાર યોજનાઓ અંતર્ગત વિવિધ ખોટા બીલો બનાવી સરકારી નાણાની ઉચાપત કરી હતી.
શું હતું કૌભાંડ ?
આ ચારેય આરોપીઓએ જમીન અને તળાવોના ખોદકામમાં વપરાતા વાહનોના ખોટા બીલો બનાવ્યા હતા જેમાં જેસીબીના નંબરને બદલે મોપેડ અને સ્કુટર અને રિક્ષાના નંબરવાળા વાહનોના નામે બીલો બનાવ્યા હતા.આ વાહનો જેસીબી તરીકે બતાવ્યા હતા.
વધુ એક ફરિયાદ રાણાવાવમાં નોંધાઈ
આ જ મોડસ ઓપરેન્ડી અજમાવીને આ ચારેય શખ્સોમાં જનક દેસાઈ સિવાયના ત્રણ શખ્સોએ રાણાવાવના બાપોદર ગામે પણ કૌભાંડ આચર્યું હતું જેમાં ત્યાં પણ તેમની સામે રૂ.૩પ લાખની ઉચાપત અને સરકાર સાથે વિશ્વાસઘાતની ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ છે.અગાઉ બગવદર પોલીસમાં પણ આ શખ્સો સામે ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ હોવાનું જાણવા મળે છે.જેમાં ભુપેન્દ્ર શુકલ અને જનક દેસાઈ તો બરતરફ પણ થયા હતા તેવું સરકારી સુત્રોમાંથી જાણવા મળ્યું છે.
કઈ રીતે બહાર આવ્યું સમગ્ર કૌભાંડ ?
આ તમામ જમીન સુધારણાની વિવિધ કામગીરી માત્ર કાગળ પર જ થઈ હોવાનું કુતિયાણાના આરટીઆઈ એકટીવીસ્ટ અસલમ ખોખરના ધ્યાનમાં આવતા તેણે માહિતી અધિકાર હેઠળ આ કામોની વિગતો માગી હતી જેમાં માહિતી મળતા અનેક ચોંકાવનારી વિગતો બહાર આવી હતી.આથી ઉચ્ચકક્ષાએ રજૂઆત કરી અને તપાસની માગ કરી હતી.જેમાં પ્રાથમિક તપાસ રાજકોટના જમીન સંરક્ષણના નાયબ નિયામકે કરી હતી.જેમાં તથ્ય જણાતા જવાબદારો સામે ખાતાકીય તપાસ શરૂ થઈ હતી.તપાસમાં ગેરરીતિ બહાર આવતા આજે ચારેય સામે પોલીસ ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ છે.
ર૦૧૩માં ૮૭ લાખની ઉચાપતની ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ હતી
આ ચારેય શખ્સો સામે ર૦૧૩ના ડિસેમ્બર માસમાં પણ ૮૭ લાખની ઉચાપતની ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ હતી. ચારેય શખ્સો સામે ર૦૧૩માં રાણાવાવના બોરીયા ગામે કાગળ પર તળાવ ઉંડા ઉતારવની કામગીરી કરી સરકારને ૮૭ લાખનો ચુનો ચોપડાયો હોવાની ફરિયાદ નોંધાઈ હતી.જેમાં એમ.જી.પરમારનું મોત થયું હોઈ બાકીના ત્રણેય શખ્સોની ધરપકડ પણ થઈ હતી.બાદમાં જામીન પર છૂટી ગયા હતા.

Prayer of parent for revaluation dismissed

Business Standard: Chennai: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
The plea of a 10th standard girl student's parent, seeking revaluation of her answer paper, has been dismissed by Madras High Court bench in Madurai, which said it cannot compel the authorities to act in a particular manner in the absence of schemes or provisions for revaluation.
Justice S Vaidyanathan stated this while dismissing a petition filed by P Muthualagangan, seeking a directive to the Education department officials to furnish the key answer and also to issue the the mark sheet to his daughter, who wrote her 10th standard SSLC exam in March 2014.
The court noted that all the questions were properly corrected and some marks were awarded. Lesser marks were given for some questions, but this did not mean the petitioner's daughter was entitled to get full marks for all questions.
"Moreover, in the absence of any scheme or provision for revaluation of the mark sheet, this Court cannot compel the respondents to act in a particular manner as desired by the petitioner," the judge said.
The petitioner contended that his daughter was awarded 87 marks in Tamil second paper. Not satisfied, he had immediately sent a representation to authorities concerned with necessary payment and also applied for retotaling on May 26 2014. After publication of this result, there was no change in marks and her number did not appear in the subsequent publication.
Thereafter, he got the answer sheet under the RTI Act, in which he allegedly found irregularities in allotment of marks to some questions.
The petitioner submitted his daughter was the first rank holder all through in school. Pursuant to award of less marks, his daughter got only 488 marks and was unable to get scholarship from the school, which had announced free education to those who got 490 marks in the Board examination.
Hence he moved court, seeking a direction to the Education authorities to revalue answer sheets of his daughter M Kaavya.
The Additional Government Pleader pointed out that there was no scheme to revalue the answer sheets and only re- totaling was permitted under the scheme.
Accepting his contention, Justice Vaidyanathan dismissed the petition.

PM-led panels fail to agree on heads for CIC and CVC, to meet again

Calcutta Telegraph: New Delhi: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Selection committees headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not arrive at a decision on the appointment of chiefs for the Central Information Commission (CIC) and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) at its meeting Saturday and decided to meet again.
The Union minister of state for personnel, Jitender Singh, said some more information and details were being studied.
“Therefore, it was decided that another meeting will be called next week at a mutually-convenient date,” Singh told PTI after the meeting.
Saturday’s meeting was convened at the Prime Minister's residence and was attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Jitendra Singh and senior officials of the Prime Minister's Office.
The selection panels were also to finalise the names of Information Commissioners in CIC and Vigilance Commissioners in CVC, official sources said.
On May 6, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had questioned the delay in appointments of chiefs of CIC, CVC and Lokpal. The Right to Information Act, 2005, which ensures time bound reply to citizens query on governance matters, was brought by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
The CIC, which is mandated to resolve appeals and complaints filed against government departments or public authorities by information seekers under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, has been working without its chief for over nine months.
Rajiv Mathur's term as Chief Information Commissioner ended on August 22, 2014. Besides, posts of three Information Commissioners are vacant.
There are 203 applicants for the post of the Chief Information Commissioner and 553 for the post of Information Commissioners at the transparency panel. All the seven existing Information Commissioners have applied for the post of CIC.
Under the RTI Act, the CIC has one chief and ten Information Commissioners.
There are about 39,565 pending cases in the CIC as on date. Many RTI activists have also questioned the delay in appointments in the CIC.
In the CVC, Central Vigilance Commissioner Pradeep Kumar and Vigilance Commissioner J.M. Garg had completed their term on September 28 and September 7, last year, respectively.
The CVC is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner and has two Commissioners. About 130 applications have been received for the posts of CVC and Vigilance Commissioners.

CM in place, what about info panel head?

Times of India: Chennai: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
With J Jayalalithaa's return as chief minister on Saturday, RTI activists are keeping their fingers crossed. The government is yet to start the selection process for the new commissioners including the State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC). The post of SCIC has been lying vacant ever since K S Sripathi's term ended in April.
According to the RTI Act, selection of SCIC should be done by a three-member panel comprising the chief minister, the leader of opposition and a cabinet minister to be nominated by the chief minister. However, it is unclear whether Jayalalithaa would meet opposition leader Vijayakanth to select the new SCIC as both leaders don't see eye-to-eye, especially after their war of words in the assembly in 2012.
Vijayakanth is not attending the assembly sessions after he was suspended for 10 days. Jayalalithaa in 2010 had boycotted a meeting of the selection committee under then chief minister M Karunanidhi's chairmanship to choose the SCIC. Jayalalithaa reportedly skipped the meeting after she was denied advance information about the candidates being shortlisted for the post.
Personnel and administrative reforms department officials said the selection process would be initiated soon. "The new CM is expected to take a decision on the appointment of the new SCIC and the commissioners," said an official. Separately, an online petition (http://goo.gl/ynw6Db) demanding the appointment of eminent people as information commissioners who are not connected with bureaucracy or politics has received more than 150 signatures so far.
Activist Nityanand Jayaraman, who met Jayalalithaa in 2010 when she was the opposition leader to prevent the appointment of Sripathi as the SCIC, said successive ruling parties in TN are not bothered about transparency. "It's unfortunate that the SCIC has become a political nominee, defeating the purpose of the transparency act," he said.
Meanwhile, the number of appeals pending before the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission (TNSIC) has crossed 15,000. "The absence of an SCIC also affects coordination and functioning of the commission. RTI appeals to main departments are suppose to be disposed by SCIC," said TNSIC official. The act says that every state can have 11 information commissioners, including the chief information commissioner. However, there are only four information commissioners in TNSIC.
As per Section 15 of RTI Act, "the state chief information commissioner shall be a person of eminence in public life with knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance." SCIC can hold office for five years but should not be above the age of 65.
The post of State Chief Information Commissioner has been lying vacant ever since K S Sripathi's term ended in April.

RTI Blues A Decade On: A father’s fight for justice goes abegging

The Indian Express: Pune: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Despite repeated RTIs and appeals, Devendra Ingale, the father of 15-year-old Parag Ingale, who was shot during an NCC training session and is still lying in a coma in Command Hospital, is yet to get any concrete information from the Army’s National Cadet Corps wing. His applications, asking for information on what happened to the Army officers responsible, has been forwarded from one office to another since September last year.
Ingale’s tryst with RTIs started on September 10, 2014, when he sent an application to the Additional Director-General of Army Education, New Delhi, and the NCC headquarters, Pune. Among other details, he had asked for the action taken against Amod Ghanekar, the teacher who had fired the bullet, about the Army officers involved and for the copy of the court martial held.
“While they gave a reply on Amod Ghanekar, none of the questions about the Army officers have been answered. This letter was forwarded to Director General, NCC, R K Puram, on September 16 and NCC headquarters, Mumbai, on September 23 by the ADG, a copy of which was also sent to me. The entire process generated no information on the Army officers responsible or the court martial,” said Ingale.
“A chargesheet has been filed against Ghanekar, who is currently out on bail. We are waiting for the hearing to begin,” said a police official from Deccan Police Station.
The month after that, on October 7, 2014, Ingale once again sent an application under the RTI Act to Public Information Officer, NCC Headquarters, Pune, which was forwarded to Director General, NCC, New Delhi, by the Pune office on November 5. “A reply was received stating that information has been requested from the NCC directorate, Mumbai and the information will be collected and forwarded at the earliest. Again there was no concrete reply and I filed a first appeal on December 10 to Deputy Director General, NCC, Mumbai, which drew no reply. Another appeal was filed to ADG, Army Education, New Delhi, which forwarded the application to Deputy DG, NCC, Mumbai on February 18. Then again I wrote a letter to the NCC Mumbai office asking for a reply to my RTI appeals. Finally, a copy of Range Standing Orders was issued on February 24 which gave information on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ during firing practice. But still there is no reply to the actual questions I have asked,” said Ingale.
Now, as per the Range Standing Orders, Officer in Charge or OIC, should be of the rank of CO/OC and will be responsible for the safety aspects of firing. A Firing Point Officer of the rank of JCO should be physically present during firing. “None of these officers were present during the time of incidence. These were the people who should have made sure that when students are firing in lying position, nobody should stand behind them and fire because there is always a possibility one of them will get up and get hurt,” said Ingale. “The FIR report says that all of these officers were sitting inside when the incident happened, either having food or in other administrative work… I want to know what action has been taken on these officers because it is due to their carelessness that my son is in this state today. Army is protecting those officers despite the fact that I filed so many RTIs,” Ingale said.
Ingale has left no stone unturned for seeking justice. “I have written to the Prime Minister, President, Chief Minister etc. I have also given the entire case file to an MP who gave the file to Manohar Parrikar when he was in town last month. I know all this will not bring back my son. But people have to understand that when your 15-year-old son, who had his whole life ahead of him, is in a vegetative state because of sheer carelessness of others, what one hopes for is some sort of justice. I want the people responsible to be behind bars so that it sets some kind of precedence.”

Ajmal Kasab's letter to mother out of bounds under RTI, rules info panel

DNA: Pune: Sunday, May 24, 2015.
Demands made by Ajmal Kasab when he was in jail, his letter to his mother, and documents relating to the last few days before the terrorist was hanged, will be out of bounds under the Right to Information (RTI) Act for now.
Pune information commissioner Ravindra Jadhav has upheld the public information officer's response of not providing information under RTI. The information was sought by Pune based RTI activist, Vihar Durve. The order was given by Jadhav on May 17.
In his application, Durve had sough details with respect to interaction after Kasab's clemency petition was rejected, details for shifting Kasab from Arthur Road Jail to Yerwada Jail, copy of clemency petition, his letter to his mother and death warrant, among others.
The information chief stated that the larger public interest was 'not being justified' and hence, there was no reason to interfere in the order.
Durve said that what Kasab had done was 'against humanity', and stated why he filed the plea, saying: "A lot of things were being talked about him, including Kasab making several demands. I wanted to know if he stated regretting doing what he did in the letter he wrote to his mother. It would have sent a good message throughout the world. And if he would have justified it, then it would have been proved that he was brainwashed because no religion teaches such barbarity."
Durve added that he is thinking of going to court, alleging that the order was 'a wrong order'. "The PIO and FAA was the same person. The CM had given some information to the legislature. Any information given to the legislature cannot be denied to the public under RTI. The PIO has not applied his mind. He put all exemption clauses without thinking," he said.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How many beds has VS?

Times of India: Ahmedabad: Saturday, 23 May 2015.
Just how many beds does VS Hospital have? It was in January this year that mayor Meenakshi Patel had announced that VS Hospital trust controls just 123 beds while another newly formed AMC-run Medical Education Trust (MET), operating from the same campus, owns 1,068 beds.
But on May 8, in an RTI reply to Pankaj Bhatt, hospital's medical superintendent replied that VS Hospital has 1,155 beds while AMC-MET owns no bed. This controversy has once again come to haunt the AMC.
Earlier this year, a Rs 167 crore budget was earmarked by VS Hospital superintendent for a 123-bed hospital, which would mean Rs 1.35 crore budget per bed, the highest allocation in any public hospital in the country.

Haryana info commission expresses displeasure over PWD functioning

Hindustan Times: Haryana: Saturday, 23 May 2015.
The Haryana information commission has expressed “severe displeasure” on the functioning of the public works department (PWD) and directed top officials to fix responsibility and streamline the functioning of the department’s public information officers so the appellants were not harassed.
The case pertains to an application filed by a Faridabad resident, Dr Brahm Dutt, a recipient of Padma Shri for social work in 2014, who had sought information on July 28, 2014, about Dalbir Singh Dhanda, then working as an executive engineer, provincial division PWD, Faridabad. The appellant was informed that such a person did not exist in the department.
Since the appellant was not present on Thursday, information commissioner Hemant Atri sought to hear the case through video-conferencing with the appellant. However, it could not take place due to a technical glitch and the information commissioner heard it via audio-conferencing.
Perusing the replies of the department given to Dutt, the commission found that the then public information officer had replied “without any application of mind” that the information sought was personal and hence could not be furnished. The supplementary reply on November 10, 2014, was furnished after the orders of the first appellate authority (FAA) wherein information related to some Dilbag Singh Dhanda was furnished.
“This is sorry state of affairs in the department…. not only the public information officer but the FAA also does not apply its mind on the Right to Information (RTI) application pertaining to the department,” Atri held in his decision.
The commission also observed that such a careless and arrogant attitude of the department official should not be tolerated at any cost if the rights of the appellant were to be protected under the RTI Act.
The commission thus advised Rakesh Manocha, engineer-in-chief, PWD, to personally look into the matter and inquire into the facts which led to such a situation and fix the responsibility in a time-bound framework and streamline the functioning of the public information officers. If need be, arrange for their training, so the appellant’s were not harassed anymore. A copy of this order was also sent to the additional chief secretary of the department for information and necessary action, if any.

RTI reveals discrepancy in teachers’ appointments

Shillong Times: Shillong: Saturday, 23 May 2015.
RTI findings have revealed alleged discrepancy on the part of the Deputy Inspector of School, Jowai in the appointment of Assistant Lower Primary teachers in Mynkrem Government LP School.
The RTI was filed by the Dorbar Shnong of Mynkrem village following allegations that appointments to the posts of assistant teachers in the school were made on the recommendations of politicians.
The RTI revealed that applications candidates with lower percentage were preferred over those with higher marks.
“The Sub-Divisional School Education Officer (SDSEO) Jowai recommended the lesser qualified candidates to the Directorate of School Education and Literacy (DSEL) in March this year,” secretary of Mynkrem village, Hesperly Khyriem told newsmen here on Friday.
He added that the SDSEO also tampered with the number of applications for the post of assistant teachers.
“A total number of nine candidates submitted their applications for the post out of which the SDSEO only showed seven,” he said adding that the two missing applications belong to youths from his village.
In a similar incident at Nongjngi village, the same SDSEO allegedly failed to make appointments in Nongjngi Khliehshnong Government LP School on merit basis.
“I had submitted an application in January this year to the office of the SDSEO but it did not entertain my application for reasons unknown,” Patrikstone Daw, a resident of Nongjngi village who applied for the post told reporters here.
“It was only after repeated visits to the office of SDSEO that the application was accepted,” he said.
Daw is a trained teacher who recently completed his Diploma in Elementary Education.

3 convicted for trying to kill RTI activist

Pune Mirror: Pune: Saturday, 23 May 2015.
Three contract killers were convicted of attacking an RTI activist in 2011 and sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by asessions court on Friday. Additional sessions judge AG Bilolikar held Altaf Shabbir Momin (29), Azhar Kalim Shaikh (22) and Nasim Mohammad Ansari (22) guilty of attempting to murder Arvind Kaushal. Umesh Goel, a 56-year-old builder and partner of Goel-Raisoni Associates, was acquitted, as also was Ganesh Chonde (30), a former employee of the construction firm.
According to the prosecution, Kaushal (44), a resident of Ganga Constella Co-operative Housing Society in Kharadi, was brutally attacked on April 8, 2011. The housing society is developed by Goel's construction firm. After obtaining permission from PMC's building permission department, Kaushal had exposed irregularities in the builder's plan, which proposed constructing shops on land reserved for a garden. The PMC issued a stop work notice to Goel-Raisoni Associates, which then suffered a loss of Rs 100 crore.
Police had claimed Chonde had received a Rs 50,000 contract from Goel for attacking Kaushal. Chonde then roped in Momin for the attack, who in turn hired Shaikh and Ansari.

Missing documents case: Police have no inquiry report, says RTI reply

Indian Express: Chandigarh: Saturday, 23 May 2015.
After the documents went missing in a case of extortion and criminal intimidation against Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) member Ranjit Singh Panjhetha, it has come to light that in an RTI reply to the complainant, the police have replied that they do not have any inquiry report. On Wednesday, the court of Civil Judge Junior Division Dazy Bangarh had issued notices to the Chandigarh Police SSP and the Station House Officer of Sector 39 police station to present the documents in the case.
The police have washed their hands off from the RTI application, the reply to which was sent to the complainant by the ASP (South) reads, “I have personally checked the judicial and police files in the court, but no inquiry or statement, which is conducted by DSP Ashish Kapoor, is attached in the file. Hence a NIL report may be considered.”
Talking to Newsline, the complainant said, “All the vital documents of the case are disappearing one after the other. The CFSL reports are also missing. A sealed cover which was attached in the judicial file was also cut open from one side and the documents were missing.”
The complainant’s counsel, Rajan Malhotra, said, “The case will weaken if we do not get these documents. The police say that they do not have the documents, but the list of documents in the index of the chargesheet mentions the inquiry report by DSP Ashish Kapoor.”
Ranjit had allegedly threatened the doctor to throw acid on her and also tried to extract money from her. “The plea which the accused has taken that they was close friends with him are false and baseless,” said the counsel for the complainant.
The case was registered in July 2012, reportedly on the basis of then DSP Headquarters Ashish Kapoor’s report. The FIR mentions that a opinion was also sought from the legal arm of the police. The case investigation was marked to then SHO of Sector 19 police station, Inspector Harjit Kaur, as it was believed that the accused was a close friend of the then SHO of Sector 39 police station, Inspector Charanjit Singh.
Sources in the police said that the inquiry report was submitted by DSP Kapoor, on which the case was registered.

Friday, May 22, 2015

MNREGS workers receive pending wages

The Hindu: Hyderabad: Friday, May 22, 2015.
Thousands of low-wage workers in Ranga Reddy district employed under the MNREG Scheme finally received their dues after a private bank decided to disburse the pending amount. A few months ago, The Hindu had highlighted the issue in one of these columns based on information obtained through RTI queries.
When the article was published in January this year, C. Chandrakanth, Project Director, District Water Management Agency had lodged a complaint with a local police station against Axis Bank for failing to disburse more than Rs.1.5 crore that had to be paid as wages to workers.
The bank, some weeks ago, handed over the entire amount. The amount is being disbursed in the form of 30,000 transactions which were pending as a result of the dispute which went on for more than one year.

Arbitration fee case: HC seeks chief secy's reply

Hindustan Times: Chandigarh: Friday, May 22, 2015.
The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought Punjab chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal's response to a contempt petition alleging that the arbitration fee collected by IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer SR Ladhar from land owners in the state had not been paid back.
The high court bench of justice RK Jain has also issued notices to the Jalandhar divisional commissioner and Ladhar to ask for their response by September 4. In October 2013, it had issued directions to the state in this regard. The conduct of Ladhar, a 1991-batch IAS officer, had come under scrutiny after a series of reports in HT, starting with 'IAS officer reaps a rich harvest' and 'No policy, Ladhar makes hay as arbitrator' (May 24 and 25, 2012). In October 2012, on the basis of these reports, a public-interest petition was filed in the high court for the recovery of the entire amount from the officer who is said to be close to key leaders of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The petitioner, HC Arora, had asked for the exercise to be over in a month; but the court was told that in spite of directions from the state government to the arbitrators, including Ladhar, to supply the details of the arbitration cases, the latter had not supplied the list. The petitioner submitted that Ladhar had written to the government in March 2014 that he had paid `57.17 lakh of the collected money as income tax, and it was to be remitted to the government as and when the refund was received.
So far, of the 2,313 entries of arbitration-fee deposit in banks, 676 for an aggregate amount of `1.46 crore could not be matched with the office records in the absence of information from Ladhar, the petitioner had submitted, referring to the information he had from various government agencies under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

RTI एक्ट को नहीं मानते बी.डी.पी.ओ. विभाग के अधिकारी

पंजाब केसरी: फिरोजपुर(भुल्लर): Friday, May 22, 2015.
आर.टी.आई. एक्ट के अंतर्गत मांगी जानकारियां न मिलने कारण 2 नौजवानों ने डिप्टी कमिश्नर के पास गुहार लगाई है कि ब्लाक फिरोजपुर के बी.डी.पी.ओ. से तुरंत रिकार्ड प्राप्त करवाया जाए। डिप्टी कमिश्नर से गुहार लगाते साहिब सिंह गांव जल्लो की (गट्टी रहीमा) ब्लाक फिरोजपुर ने कहा कि उनकी ओर से गांव के विकास कार्य आदि संबंधी जानकारी लेने के लिए गत 20 मार्च को आर.टी.आई. में प्रार्थना पत्र दिया गया था, परन्तु करीब 2 महीने बीत जाने के बावजूद भी उसे रिकार्ड की कापी नहीं दी गई और न ही कोई जवाब दिया गया।
इसी तरह गांव गट्टी राजोकी के एक और नौजवान सतनाम सिंह द्वारा भी आर.टी.आई. एक्ट के अंतर्गत गांव के विकास कार्य आदि संबंधी जानकारी हासिल करने के लिए बी.डी.पी.ओ. को आर.टी.आई. एक्ट के अंतर्गत आवेदन पत्र दिया गया था, लेकिन उसको न तो रिकार्ड दिया गया और न ही पत्र का कोई जवाब दिया गया।
उन्होंने कहा कि आर.टी.आई. एक्ट के अंतर्गत यदि कोई और व्यक्ति भी गांव के विकास कार्य संबंधी जानकारी लेने के लिए बी.डी.पी.ओ. दफ्तर में प्रार्थना पत्र देता है तो उसको रिकार्ड नहीं दिया जाता, जिससे साफ जाहिर होता है कि बी.डी.पी.ओ. विभाग के अधिकारी और कर्मचारी सूचना का अधिकार एक्ट 2005 (आर.टी.आई.) को नहीं मानते।
उन्होंने संबंधित विभाग के अधिकारियों पर निशाना साधते कहा कि आर.टी.आई. एक्ट के अंतर्गत सूचना न मिलना और कई-कई महीने दफ्तरों के चक्कर काटने के अलावा जवाब भी न देना यह साफ जाहर करता है कि दाल में कुछ काला है जिसके लिए संबंधित विभाग के अधिकारी उनको सूचना नहीं दे रहे। उन्होंने डिप्टी कमिश्नर फिरोजपुर से गुहार लगाई कि संबंधित विभाग के अधिकारियों को तुरंत हिदायत करके रिकार्ड दिलवाया जाए।

Residents take stock of BMC's work

DNA: Mumbai: Friday, May 22, 2015.
The audit was done by social audit local team (SALT), a group of citizens formed by NGO Mahiti Adhikar Manch aiming to create awareness and conduct audit by citizens of money spent by municipal corporation on various projects. It is done procuring data through RTI, and checking if work is being properly carried out.
Unlike most gardens of BMC, Kesharbaug in Dadar (E) has green patches at regular intervals. "But this greenery is not because the gardener sprinkles water regularly, but because the trustees of the temple in the garden premises who do so," Shankar Tomal, a regular, tells a group of people conducting an audit of the ground. Tomal added that very little is being done in terms of other facilities.
The audit was done by social audit local team (SALT), a group of citizens formed by NGO Mahiti Adhikar Manch aiming to create awareness and conduct audit by citizens of money spent by municipal corporation on various projects. It is done procuring data through RTI, and checking if work is being properly carried out.
The small garden, which is spread over 9,000 sq ft, is given to the contractors by BMC for maintenance. BMC has been paying Rs28,000 per month for its maintenance since June 2013. With the amount of money that is allotted, there should be enough trees, lights, dustbins etc.
However, Bhaskar Prabhu of SALT said that the work is falling short 'on almost all parameters of comparison'. "There aren't enough lights or shrubs in the park, nor any fences around the trees. There are no washrooms, and rat holes dot the garden; 24-hour security has been deployed only after the superintendent of the garden, Vijay Hire, was informed of the audit. Even the board to inform people about the timings is missing," he added.
Mukesh Dutt, a resident of the area, said: "Some gardening work had happened in between, but it is not a regular affair." The residents who gathered gave the garden a ranking of 3 on 10 due to failure of the BMC to look after it.
When contacted, Hire said, "I will look into the matter. I cannot be present on the ground all the time. Anyone can level such allegations. We have improved 783 gardens so far, but no one appreciates that."
Joint municipal commissioner SS Shinde remained unavailable for comment.

आरटीआई को लेकर हुआ झगड़ा

नवभारत टाइम्स: जींद: Friday, May 22, 2015.
सरपंच के आरटीआई मांगने को लेकर हुए झगड़े में पुलिस ने 20 लोगों के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज किया है। यह मामला गांव कुरड के सरपंच के बेटे पंकज व दूसरी ओर से राजेंद्र की शिकायत पर दर्ज किया गया है।
पुलिस ने एक पक्ष, गांव कुरड निवासी वजीर, बलजीत, राजू, सुनील, विकास, सतपाल, फतेसिंह, विवेक, आशीष, रिषिपाल के खिलाफ, व दूसरे पक्ष के सरपंच बलबीर, उसके बेटे पंकज, उसकी पत्नी बंती देवी, संजीव, जसबीर, अजीत, विजेंद्र, राजपाल, तेजबीर व सन्नी के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज किया है।
कुरड के सरपंच बलबीर मलिक के खिलाफ गांव के सतपाल द्वारा आरटीआई लगवाई गई थी। पुलिस प्रवक्ता ने बताया कि 18 मई को बीडीपीओ कार्यालय में सरपंच के लड़के पंकज व आरटीआई शिकायतकर्ता सतपाल में कहासुनी हो गई थी, जिसके बाद गांव में दोनों पक्षों में झगड़ा हो गया था।
झगड़े में दोनों पक्षों में हुए झगड़े में सरपंच बलबीर मलिक सहित सरपंच पक्ष के चार लोग व दूसरे पक्ष के तीन लोग गंभीर रुप से घायल हो गए थे। पुलिस ने दोनों पक्षों के 20 लोगों के खिलाफ मामला दर्ज किया है।

CIC may finally have a chief as Centre tells Delhi HC candidates shortlisted

Firstpost: New Delhi: Friday, May 22, 2015.
The CIC, which has remained without a head for over 10 months, may soon have a new chief with the Centre informing Delhi High Court on Thursday that candidates for the posts of Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners have been shortlisted and granted vigilance clearance.
"Vigilance clearance from the respective cadre controlling authority in respect of the shortlisted serving officers and inputs from the Intelligence Bureau in respect of retired officers has been sought vide communications dated 5 May 2015 and 2 May 2015, respectively," Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told the court.
The clearance has also been granted, he informed a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, adding that the matter now be put up before the selection committee headed by the Prime Minister as per the RTI Act, and the process would take another one or two months.
The goverment's response came after the court directed it to expedite the appointment process and inform it about the progress as the vacancies in Central Information Commission have led to a massive backlog of cases.
The Centre's counsel further said that the Chief IC and IC would be appointed by the President on the recommendations of the selection committee.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by RTI activists R K Jain, Lokesh K Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal alleging that no action has been taken on the issue despite two "distress" letters written by CIC to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The PIL filed through lawyers Prashant Bhushan has sought filling up of posts of Chief IC and subordinate staff in a time-bound frame.
During the hearing,, senior advocate Indira Jaising move an application on behalf of Anjali Bhardwaj, Nikhil Dey and Amrita Johri, seeking direction to the government to allow the senior-most IC to hear a case in the absence of its chief.
Taking note of the submissions made by all the parties, the court said it would consider all the aspects raised before it and pass an appropriate order.
The plea stated that "due to non-appointment of the Chief IC since 23 August 2014, the appeals and complaints relating to the important authorities including CVC, CBI, President's Secretariat, PMO, Cabinet Secretariat, Supreme Court and High Courts, Lok Sabha, CAG, DOPT, UPSC and Staff Selection Commission are not being heard and there is a vacuum of jurisdiction at CIC for more than 100 authorities/departments, as no officiating arrangements for CIC have been made.
"The RTI Act prescribed statutory time lines of 30 days for providing the information from the date of application and disposal of first appeal within maximum period of 45 days."
It stated that these time-lines were being defeated due to non-appointment on these positions and the Commission was now taking nearly 2-3 years' time to hear complaints.
"The effective functioning of adjudicators under the RTI Act - the IC - is critical for the health of the transparency regime in the country.
"It is therefore a matter of grave concern that the post of the Chief IC in the CIC has been lying vacant since August 23, 2014. It is for the first time since the constitution of the CIC in 2005, the Commission is headless," the plea added.

Kashmir: FC revenue ‘denies’ information under RTI

Kashmir Dispatch: Kashmir: Friday, May 22, 2015.
The Financial Commissioner Revenue has ‘denied’ information under Right to Information (RTI) about the details of employees presently working in his office, citing reason that the applicant has an “ambiguous” address.
The RTI applicant Umar Javid had filed an application under the Jammu and Kashmir RTI Act, before the public information officer (PIO) Financial Commissioner Revenue.
The RTI application which is in the possession of KNS reads: “I request a list of total number of employees with names, address and parentage presently working in financial commissioner’s office, Srinagar Kashmir along with the details about the posts they hold.”
The applicant had further sought the details about the time period from which the aforesaid employees are posted in the office. “Details about employees i.e, names and post of the employees who have been posted in the financial commissioner’s office Srinagar, Kashmir for more than 2 years continuously from the aforesaid list and reasons for not transferring the employees who have been posted for more than 2yrs in Financial Commissioner’s office, Srinagar Kashmir,” it reads.
However, the official reply has rejected the information sought by the applicant Umar.
In its reply the public information officer said: “Examination reveals that you have shown ambiguous address in the application which is not acceptable. Before arranging the needful information and giving that to you, you may furnish your bio-data along with profession and residential address, so that the information delivered may not go in wrong hands or get waste when it is dispatched on the address shown in the application.
Interestingly Financial Commissioner Revenue office sent the letter on the same address Post Box No 111 GPO Srinagar, which earlier the department had cited as “ambiguous.”
The applicant Umar while talking to KNS alleged that to hide their ‘misdeeds’ the information has been denied to him.

RTI unwraps Thane's weak fire-fighting infrastructure

DNA: Thane: Friday, May 22, 2015.
A Right to Information (RTI) application filed by the Dharmarajya Party revealed that Thane city was short of nine fire fighting stations. The RTI was filed by the party following the fateful Kalbadevi fire which took the lives of three fire fighters. It was further observed that the fire fighting stations did not have the required ladders for accessing tall buildings in emergency situations.
The RTI reply also stated that by December 2015, three fire stations were supposed to become functional in Thane. “As per the reply, Nitin Junction, Owala and Desai road were supposed to get these three stations. Owala and Desai road are only mentioned on paper, no construction had begun yet. It was also found that 384 positions in the fire stations are vacant. The water pumps too are of a low quality, in needs of up-gradation,” said the General Seceratry of Dharamrajya Kamgaar Karmachari Mahasangh, Mahesh Singh Thakur.
In 2015, three fire stations are likely to be functional, three more in 2020 and the remaining three in 2025, the RTI reply stated. “This data is from January 2011 to March 2015 which also says that the existing fire stations are in need of 40 men,” Thakur added.
Arvind Mandke, Chief Fire Officer of Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), however, said that regular fire audits were carried out for the city's fire stations. He added that the vacant posts will be filled soon. He also clarified that the fire fighters were getting all the basic facilities regularly.
Rajan Raje, leader of Dharmarajya Party, had said that the party would protest in the evening today, May 21, at various places in Thane city as well as Byculla with regard to the death of the fire-fighters in the Kalabadevi fire incident. “On May 21, families who lost their brave warriors will perform rites of the 13th day and we will thus protest tomorrow,” he said.

BMC earned Rs 60 lakh through RTI requests thanks to faulty DP

The Asian Age: Mumbai: Friday, May 22, 2015.
Even though the state government scrapped the draft Development Plan 2034 of Mumbai last month, the BMC earned around Rs 60 lakh through RTI queries filed by Mumbaikars. Alarmed by the glaring errors in the draft DP prepared by the BMC, citizens had sought the development control rules (DCR) booklet, DP report, sheets and remarks to get clarity on how they would be affected by the plan, said RTI activist Anil Galgali.
Speaking about the revenue generated by the BMC due to the faulty DP, which was scrapped last month by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis after protests from various quarters, Mr Galgali said that he had filed an RTI query with the BMC on April 27 and sought details about the total number of applications it received and the charges paid by citizens seeking information about the newly prepared Mumbai Development Plan.
“In reply to my RTI query, the administrative officer of the DP department revealed that the various information sought by the citizens pertaining to the DP generated a revenue of Rs 59.48 lakh. A further break up of the amount revealed that Rs 39.05 lakh was earned by providing DP remarks to 2,220 applicants. Almost 4,130 citizens sought DP sheets, which earned Rs 13.01 lakh. The BMC sold about 312 DCR booklets, earning Rs 4.25 lakh and also earned Rs 3.16 lakh from 177 citizens who had applied for the DP report. In all, almost 6,839 citizens sought information,” said Mr Galgali.
On a query of the total number of suggestions and objections received by the BMC, Mr Galgali said that he was informed that till April 27, the BMC had received a total of 64,867 suggestions and objections.
Due to the major errors in the DP, Mr Fadnavis has instructed the BMC to correct its mistakes and come out with a new DP in four months. “It is important to note here that the BMC supplied information from the faulty DP to 6,839 applicants, which in itself may be faulty. Hence, in a letter addressed to the CM, CS and BMC commissioner, I have demanded that the charges be refunded to the applicants,” said Mr Galgali.