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  • karira's Avatar
    3 Hours Ago
    The mystery of a sudden rise in LPG connections http://www.moneylife.in/article/lpg-connections/40291.html?utm_source=PoweRelayEDM&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Subscriber%2328616&utm_campaign=Weekly%20Newsletter%2031%20January%202015 Almost 5.2 crore connections were added after Aadhaar was linked to LPG purchase for getting Direct Benefits Transfer. The newly added accounts means more than a third, or Rs15,725 crore, of subsidy at 12 cylinders per consumer per year For the last several years, domestic consumers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) have been put on gas with repeated changes in the delivery process. The latest is named PAHAL (for Pratyaksh Hastantarit Laabh) and was earlier also known as direct benefit transfer (DBT). Most LPG consumers have lost sleep over the heat each change has generated. Direct Benefit Transfer or DBT is an initiative to replace subsidised goods or services with electronic transfers of subsidy amounts to beneficiary bank accounts. Under the DBT-for-LPG subsidies (DBTL), households are required to place an order of LPG cylinder from their LPG distributor, pay the full (unsubsidized) market price for the cylinder in cash on delivery, and then receive a payment equivalent to the current subsidy amount via electronic transfer to a bank account registered with their gas distributor. Why should the existing process be changed in favour of the DBT? According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, the scheme was created in order to remove incentive for diversion of domestic cylinders for commercial use, protect entitlement and ensure subsidy to the consumer, improve the availability/delivery of LPG cylinders for genuine users and to weed out fake/duplicate connections. The business process 1 Consumer Books the Cylinder Gas Refill booking XXXXXX for Con XXXXXX Booking Cleared till 01 Dec.14 at ABC AGENCIES. Ask deliveryman to weigh cylinder before delivery 2 Consumer intimated of Cash Memo Gas Booking No XXXXXX subsidized Cash Memo XXXXXX; Dt 06.12.14 Rs.450,Refill will be delivered shortly. Ask deliveryman to weigh cylinder before delivery. 3 Consumer intimated of Delivery Gas refill delivered on 06.12.14 vide Cash Memo no.XXXXXX.If not received, provide your feedback on XXXXXXXXXX. Use of smaller Burner Saves Gas. SMS messages received by domestic customers at each step of the current business process (Dates used for representation only) Pre-DBT, the domestic consumers were required to book their refills with oil marketing companies (OMCs). The OMC would generate a Cash Memo and the Distributor would then deliver the cylinder. The OMC would ask the customer to report if the cylinder was not delivered. If the customer was within the limit of 12 subsidised cylinders a year, the cash memo was at a subsidised rate; else it was at the market rate. If the consumers registered with the distributors were all genuine, this scheme provided little opportunity to distributors to divert cylinders without collusion from consumers who did not consume their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders. However, consumers who were not genuine could enjoy the benefit of subsidised cylinders and any supply of cylinders to them was in effect a diversion of subsidised cylinders to those who did not qualify for them. The re-engineered process post DBTPost DBT the domestic consumers are still required to book their refills with the OMCs. The OMCs are still required to generate a cash memo and the distributor is still required to subsequently deliver the cylinder. The OMC is still required to ask the customer to report if the cylinder was not delivered. The cash memo, however, is now to be at the market price. The OMC is now required, each day, to generate a file based on the refill orders delivered and send it to a “Sponsor Bank” (currently State Bank of India-SBI) for transfer of subsidy amounts to eligible consumers. Consumers, who are Cash Transfer Compliant customers, or those who have a bank account linked to their LPG consumer number, will now receive subsidy into the bank account, they linked with their consumer number. Does the reengineered process post DBT meet the objectives the government set to fulfil? Diversion of domestic cylinders for commercial useThis change in the process of providing the consumer subsidy does not alter the ability to prevent diversion. If distributors were diverting cylinders in collusion with consumers who did not consume their quota, they can continue to do so. If non-genuine customers were claiming subsidised cylinders, nothing in the reengineered process has altered the ability to recognise genuine consumers from non-genuine. The non-genuine customers can, therefore still continue to consume subsidised domestic cylinders, thus diverting them from genuine consumers. The reengineered process, thus, does not prevent the diversion of domestic cylinders for commercial use as desired by the scheme. Protect entitlement and ensure subsidy to the consumer Almost 96% of those surveyed in a pilot project by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) found the DBT required too much paperwork, requests from multiple authorities for a range of documents including electricity bills, ration cards, bank passbooks and identification cards. This represents a non-trivial cost to access the reengineered process. It is therefore evident that the reengineered process actually makes it more burdensome for the consumers and in particular the poor and marginalised, to claim their entitlements. It does not protect the entitlement without having to pay a significant cost. The paperwork, requests from multiple authorities for a range of documents are barriers easily overcome by those in organised claim of cylinders beyond their own entitlements. Therefore, by increasing the barrier for genuine consumers, the reengineered process actually ensures the subsidy for those who may be fake or duplicate consumers. In fact, with the process it may be possible to draw subsidy without needing to consume LPG (and pay market prices) as long as the file of orders filled sent to the sponsor bank can include desired consumer numbers. Furthermore, consumers now have to pay the full market price upfront. Despite the claim that there will be an advance after joining the scheme, participants have reported varying experiences, ranging from excess receipts, no receipts, to under receipts of the advance and subsidy amounts. DBT, therefore, does not ensure subsidy. To handle the new process more government and non-government agencies are involved. To deal with issues involving the delivery of LPG and DBT more government is required, not less. It is clear that the DBT ends up increasing government, rather than minimising it, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly avowed to do. Improvement of the availability/delivery of LPG cylinders for genuine usersThe IISD study also found that households reported a shift in expenditure and an increase in short-term household borrowing—especially by poorer households— in order to facilitate purchase of LPG cylinders at the new decontrolled price. There were also attempts to limit the consumption of LPG, including substituting it with firewood or other biomass for some heating and cooking tasks. This means the reengineered process will definitely improve the availability of LPG, but by forcing the poor or marginalised to reduce their uptake of cylinders or by obliging those who can no longer access the subsided cylinders to opt out. Needless to say that it is actually any fake or duplicate consumers who will benefit from any improvement of availability/ delivery of LPG cylinders from the reengineered process. Weed out fake/duplicate connectionsTo participate in DBT, the reengineered process requires the consumer provide their Aadhaar number using “Form 2” and to Bank details using “Form 1” to the LPG distributor. If the LPG consumer does not have an Aadhaar number, they can give their Bank details in “Form 4” the gas distributor or their LPG ID using “Form 3” to the bank. The provision of this information does not identify a customer as fake or duplicate. The absence of this information does not mean a customer is fake or duplicate either. However, it is trivial for fake or duplicate consumers to provide any of this information. Thus, this linkage with the bank account does not serve to weed out fake or duplicate connections. Furthermore, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notification of 28 September 2011 made it possible to open bank accounts without verification. Such accounts can easily be opened by anyone, and in particular by entities that have been enrolment agencies for Aadhaar (since they are in possession of the Aadhaar number, demographic, and biometric details of those real or non-existent persons they have enrolled) as well as anyone with micro ATMs. It is therefore evident that despite citing it as an objective, there is no step that can weed out fake or duplicates envisaged in the DBT scheme. The DBT obviously fails to protect public interest and deliver good governance. The reality of connectionsLPG consumers increased to 1,387 lakhs in 2011-12 from 845 lakhs in 2004-05 or an average annual increase of about 68 lakh consumers. Between June 2012 and December 2013, over 437.58 lakh new connections were added and 6.51 lakh multiple connections were surrendered (Lok Sabha Starred question No. 401 Dated 21.02.2014). This is 6.4 times the average annual increase of consumers. Between April and November 2014, there were 94.27 lakh new connections and 58.44 lakh Double Bottle Cylinders (DBCs). This indicates that almost 5.2 crore connections were added after introduction of Aadhaar linkage to LPG consumers and DBT. The newly added accounts, with current practice of calculating subsidy, amount to more than a third, or Rs15,725 crore, of subsidy at 12 cylinders per consumer per year. It is a well accepted fact that the Aadhaar number is merely a number assigned to unverified and unaudited data submitted by private parties (including banks and LPG distributors) who were paid per record. According to the UIDAI’s own affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, “The implementation of the UID Scheme which inter alia, include generating and assigning UID numbers to residents, defining mechanisms and processes for interlinking UID numbers with partner databases, framing policies and administrative procedures relating to update mechanisms and maintenance of UID database are continuous process involving interaction with agencies, public as well as private and also individuals.” Nowhere does this involve certification of identity, address or even existence of individuals. This gives rise to the possibility that the new connections and linked bank accounts actually include a huge number of fake and duplicate connections. If anything, it is these new accounts that need verification and audit before any reengineered process is effected. Furthermore, the possibility of diverting subsidies using the Aadhaar Based Payment Systems (ABPS) for money transfers is real. Even if the government now allows regular bank accounts for making money transfers under DBT, it will still be using the ABPS and this can well allow subsidies to be diverted to fake consumers in bulk. DBT thus appears to serve no public interest but rather stands to benefit private interests who may be involved in organised diversion of subsidy. The subsidyHow much money is involved? The total subsidy budget has risen to Rs46,000 crore for 2013-14 from Rs3,500 crore in 2004-05. This is a 13-fold increase in subsidy. By comparison, the consumers have increased from 845 lakhs to 1,600 lakhs or 1.9 fold in the same period. How is the subsidy calculated? Public sector OMCs participating in the PDS Kerosene and Domestic LPG Subsidy Scheme, 2002, get to claim a subsidy from the government by submitting data of the confirmed sales. They are expected to pass the subsidy on to the customers. As per this Scheme, the subsidy amount given to OMCs was to be equal to the difference between the cost price and the invoice price per selling unit (excluding state surcharge, excise duty, sales tax, local levies and delivery charges) computed ex-bottling plant for domestic LPG. The cost price was to be determined on import parity basis as specified in the Scheme and any changes in the cost were to be passed on to the consumer by making changes in the invoice price, which was to be revised periodically by the OMCs. By calculations implied by this Scheme, it is apparent that only Rs22.58 per cylinder is currently available as subsidy. Additional amounts provided as subsidy beyond this are obviously added to the subsidy claim in deference to government directions that are not in the public domain. By allowing any such increase in subsidy by orders of magnitude, contrary to that allowed by the Scheme, has increased the subsidy that is available to divert from genuine consumers. It is evident that the reengineered process post DBT does not meet any of the objectives the government set to fulfil. What then are the alternatives open to a government that desired minimum government and good governance? Alternate processes The OMCs could require consumers to enroll with them, and not with distributors, and have distributors to verify and the government to authenticate such domestic consumers. This would make the process of fake registrations significantly difficult. This one time process would help clean up the consumer database. Alternately, to ensure that no one is denied subsidised LPG, the government may require that each distributor delivering any entitlement or right will create an ID of the family benefiting from the subsidised cylinder. Such a record would be maintained to identify the beneficiary for future transactions for the delivery of LPG without any hassles as well as to allow any audit of the delivery of LPG. All those having taken benefit would be listed on a public website, beneficiaries.gov.in, for government authentication and public audit. Each distributor’s list of beneficiaries would be visible on public maps. Yet another alternate process would be to move subsidy to a tax rebate. It makes little sense to collect the money and then spend it again on a leaky system to give it back. Those who do not want the subsidy will not take the benefit of a tax rebate. This eliminates any cash transfers and registration of fake/ duplicate beneficiaries by different agencies involved in administering subsidies. Those who do not file returns could be given a subsidy account linked to their NPR/BPL card by the Finance Ministry to allow them to receive all the subsidies they are eligible for. All such account holders would need physical verification by Branch Managers or Post Masters (if these were postal bank accounts). These accounts would not allow any cash transactions and would only allow claiming the subsidised service at the subsidised price. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana should actually be this, not the creation of non-operative bank accounts. These beneficiaries too would be listed on beneficiaries.gov.in for a public audit. These alternate processes will allow the government to provide good governance with minimum government and thus protect public interest. Is the Prime Minister listening? (Dr Anupam Saraph is a Professor, Future Designer, former governance and IT advisor to Goa’s former Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum.)
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    4 Hours Ago
    Metro India English Daily News Paper
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    7 Hours Ago
    A new poll has been created for the RTI nomination . Please vote for your favorite!
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  • karira's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Andhra Pradesh got over Rs 129 cr as donations after cyclone Hudhud VISAKHAPATNAM: Answering an RTI query, the Andhra Pradesh government has revealed that the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF) received Rs 129.79 crore by way of donations after Cyclone Hudhud hit the city on October 12 last year. However, it has refused to divulge the identities of the donors, as was requested by K Dali Naidu, a resident of the city. This is in sharp contrast to the Odisha government, which had put up details of the donors and amount collected on its website soon after Cyclone Phailin. Replying to the RTI query, the assistant secretary to government and public relations officer, revenue (CMRF) department, AP secretariat, said that the government received donations worth Rs 129,79,10,000 as on January 19, 2015. "Nearly 6,000 donors have donated to the CMRF in respect of Hudhud cyclone," the reply further stated. To the question "How much amount (was) received from private companiescentral public sector undertakingsstate government public undertakingssocieties after the incident occurred?", the department said, "Providing information in respect of details of donors is under examination." The RTI applicant, however, feels that by not providing information on the donors, the government has put a big question mark on transparency. "The basic reason for filing the application was to know who contributed to the fund.After the cyclone, a lot of people announced that they are going to donate to the CM's Relief Fund. I just wanted to check if all those who made big promises in front of the media actually donated," said Dali Naidu, who is secretary of the Vistarana Mass Communication Society. "There is no confidential disclosure involved in this. Now a days, a lot of people write cheques in front of the media and after that throw it in the dustbin. Who is keeping track of that? I wanted to know who are the people really concerned about our city," he added. Pointing out that there is no reason for the government to withhold the information or delay providing the list of donors, he said, "If you take the instance of the Odisha government, they set up a website listing the name of each donor along with the donation amount immediately after Cyclone Phailin. This is very transparent and gives a clear picture to the public about the donors. Even they (donors) feel happy that their contribution has been recognised." Naidu said his next step will be to ask the state government as to how it intends to use the donations for the benefit of the city."Since it is for the city, we should keep an eye so that the money is not diverted or misused by some vested interests," he added. Read More: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Andhra-Pradesh-got-over-Rs-129-cr-as-donations-after-cyclone-Hudhud/articleshow/46049416.cms
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    3 Days Ago
    300-odd cyber plaints pending since 3 months Navi Mumbai: In just past three months, investigation of 300-odd cases is pending with city's cyber cell department. The statistics came to light when Vashi resident Ajay Marathe filed an RTI, seeking the number of cases pending since the past three months. Marathe had earlier filed a complaint with Vashi police station on August 24 last year about a video on a social networking site that showed a youth torturing a stray dog. The matter was transferred to the cyber cell. "It has been six months since I lodged a complaint but there has been no development. So I sought the extent of department's backlog through RTI," he said. Even other residents have complained about the delay in detecting cases. Nerul resident Arati Chauhan said that she had lodged a complaint about an objectionable video of women is being sexually abused, is being circulated on Whatsapp. "It's been over four months but the case remains undetected. The cops said that the service provider was not sharing the details of any videos or chats," she said. Officer from the cyber cell affirmed that they face problems while investigating cases pertaining to online fraud, siphoning money from bank accounts or posting obscene videos on social media. "The concerned organizations should share the details, which doesn't happen in case of social sites and banks, causing delays," said an official. Ex-IB official Nainan Thomas said that if the organizations don't cooperate, activists and like-minded individuals should force the government to bring in an ordinance where no organization can withhold information required for police investigation. The cyber cell officials maintained that till October 2014, the cell has managed to detect 27% of the 522 cases that were registered. Read More: 300-odd cyber plaints pending since 3 months - The Times of India
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  • karira's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Maharashtra government accepted view that information commissioner "targetted" Rakesh Maria over 26/11 call records The state government's decision- to challenge the judicial inquiry ordered by the state information commission over apparent manipulation of 26/11 call records- was based on a senior advocate's advice that the information commissioner was "acting on extraneous consideration and shows bias" and "seems to target Maria" (Rakesh Maria, Mumbai police commissioner). The state had sought an opinion from senior advocate and legal expert, Shekhar Naphade. The state government's decision- to challenge the judicial inquiry ordered by the state information commission over apparent manipulation of 26/11 call records- was based on a senior advocate's advice that the information commissioner was "acting on extraneous consideration and shows bias" and "seems to target Maria" (Rakesh Maria, Mumbai policecommissioner). The state had sought an opinion from senior advocate and legal expert, Shekhar Naphade. It was through a Right to Information (RTI) application that dna discovered the government's reasons for challenging the order. In the order dated July 9, 2014, the state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad had torn into Rakesh Maria, Mumbai police commissioner, as well as the then additional chief secretary for "withholding and giving misleading" information. In the same order he had directed the chief secretary to appoint a commission under an existing or a retired judge to probe the matter. The information was sought by Vinita Kamte, widow of 26/11 martyr Ashok Kamte. She wished to find out if there was an unreasonable delay in getting help to Kamte, who eventually succumbed to his bullet injuries. Vinita Kamte had complained about getting two call records of the same period with discrepancies in timings. Before the judicial enquiry, the commission had asked the additional chief secretary to probe into these discrepancies. The additional chief secretary had stated that the original content was the same and that wrong copies were provided to Kamte. An aggrieved Kamte had again approached the commission which had then passed the order about the judicial enquiry. In his opinion that runs into three pages, Naphade stated that the commission order was "perverse" and that it "seems to target Rakesh Maria" as per his opinion. The advocate's opinion was based on the grounds that Maria was not designated as an information officer or any other functionary under the provisions of the RTI Act. "It appears that the notice issued to Mr. Rakesh Maria is with a pre-designed purpose of targeting him," stated the letter. The letter also makes mention of a "senior police officer" in private telling Gaikwad that police did manipulate call records. The officer's name was not disclosed by the information commissioner. "Mr. Jamal Khan, (advocate for the state on some matters) made an application dated 1 July, 2014 and placed above facts on records. By the said application the CIC was requested to examine the police officer who gave information about the alleged manipulation of records. These was no response from CIC to the said application. This clearly shows that the CIC is acting on an extraneous consideration and shows bias on his part," stated the letter signed by Naphade. The letter goes on to state that the commission can only deal with the role of assistant information officer and information officer and not the police commissioner. When dna contacted Gaikwad, in an sms reply he said, "No comments. It is quasi judicial matter pl (sic)." Maria was lately allowed by the state to approach the court for relief. When approached for comment, Vinita Kamte said, "I do not know about the information commissioner targeting Maria. He (Gaikwad) is talking about manipulations that prima facie appeared to have happened. And it is not that Maria and the home department were not given an opportunity to make their say. None of them turned up (to the hearings). Firstly, I shouldn't have been fighting this also. They should have made sure that they call me, make me sit across the table and convince me." Read More: Maharashtra government accepted view that information commissioner "targetted" Rakesh Maria over 26/11 call records | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
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    3 Days Ago
    1,000 HIV+ cases in Maharashtra due to infected blood transfusion MUMBAI: The National Aids Control Organisation, in an RTI response, has revealed that nearly 1,000 people contracted the human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus in Maharashtra due to transfusion of infected blood over the past five years. The state has earned the dubious third position after Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to report this alarming trend, raising a serious question over the quality of blood transfused to unsuspecting patients. The shocking disclosure comes at a time when the HIV-fighting agencies have had people believe that transfusion-transmitted infection has almost been eliminated. The RTI response showed that between April and October 2014, around 629 people across the country, including 80 in the state, got HIV through blood transfusion. The cumulative count for the past five years is 8,983 people who got HIV through blood transfusion in India. The data collected from Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) through voluntary disclosure of clients, though, has raised a storm among the HIV-fighting agencies at the state and the Centre. While officials have questioned its veracity, activists insist the numbers expose the glaring lack of accountability when it comes to ensuring quality of blood supplied by blood banks. Interestingly, nodal agencies such as the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) and the Maharashtra State Aids Control Society (MSACS) have put the onus on each other to ensure blood banks play by the rule and detect every HIV case. Read More: 1,000 HIV+ cases in Maharashtra due to infected blood transfusion - The Times of India
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    3 Days Ago
    Does the "Manual of Office Procedure" have a format for such communication with citizens ?
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    3 Days Ago
    karira replied to a thread Happy Republic Day. in Chit Chat
    Happy Republic Day ! Although a bit late, nevertheless, enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp9PONyACtY
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    3 Days Ago
    Supreme Court Judges fighting for "justice" !
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    4 Days Ago
    karira started a thread RTI Happenings: Cabinet note is not secret in RTI in Media
    Cabinet note is not secret Within the proviso of the Section 8 (1)(i) of the RTI Act, there is a condition which says information could be withheld until the matter “is complete or over.’ The dispute is about interpretation of this phrase. What does “complete or over” mean? Does it mean “until the NJAC is constituted by the cabinet” about which it should be secret?The RTI law is also called sunshine legislation. In US, they call the government in sunshine, meaning transparency. Among three estates, two function openly – judiciary and legislature. While every trial or appeal is a public hearing, where anybody can attend subject to space and security, parliamentary proceedings are either open or telecast live. Though there is possibility of certain issues being ‘confidential,’ most of the functioning of two estates is ‘open’. Still there are two safeguards for these two – Legislature has power to punish for breach of privilege, while the judiciary can punish for its contempt. Both have ‘special powers’ to snub the ordinary man for his comments against them. Similarly, the executive is armed with ‘protection to official secrecy,’ and the law punishes for revelation of secrecy. Except what they want to tell, everything could be secrecy, or every paper could be privileged. There were a very few cases where persons were punished for revealing secret documents. It is a drastic power that is unfortunately used to guard corruption and irregularities. The administration suffered in general because the indecision, indifference, lethargy and redtape are protected by this ‘cover.’ The Right to Information Act in 2005 opened up this cover; the rule of secrecy became an exception. Public information now cannot be hidden. It is a statutory duty to bring out that, in spite of the “Official Secrets Act” being in place without any dilution. In this context, the question is: Is cabinet note a secret? Senior Advocate S N Shukla sought a Union Cabinet note and details about its decision to establish National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC). The department of justice refused to provide the information, staing that it was cabinet secret and was exempted under the Section 8 (1)(i) of the RTI Act. The RTI Act has created access right and listed out exceptions. One such exception is regarding cabinet papers. As per the Section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 a public authority is not obliged to disclose Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers. The Section subjects this general exemption in regard to Cabinet papers to two provisos, which are as under:-Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over. While tje appellant claims benefit of the proviso to that section, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the department of justice said that it cannot be given until “the matter is complete or over.” If the Cabinet has not decided, the RTI says that information cannot be disclosed but when the decision was over exeption does not operate as proviso. But within the proviso, there is a condition which says information could be withheld until the matter “is complete or over.’ The dispute is about interpretation of this phrase. What does “complete or over” mean? Does it mean “until the NJAC is constituted by the cabinet” about which it should be secret? The appellant argued that the moment Bill is passed by Parliament, it is complete. The intial note on amendments to the Constitution for appointment of judges and for establishment of the NJAC was defered by the Cabinet and withdrawn in 2013. A revised note approved on 02.08.2013 by the Cabinet says the following :i) Amendments to Article 124, 217, 222 and 231 and insertion of Article 124 A in Chapter IV, Part V of the Constitution for the creation of Judicial Appointments Commission.ii) Formation of Judicial Appointments Commission as per the details in the draft Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013.That the Cabinet at its meeting held on 02.08.2013 approved the proposal for the establishment of the NJAC is evident. Accordingly, two Bills were proposed for the introduction in the Rajya Sabha – namely the Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill, 2013, and Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2013. The Constitution (120th Amendment) Bill was considered and passed by the Rajya Sabha as Constitution (99th Amendment) Bill on 05.09.2013. The JAC Bill was referred to the Parliamentaty Standing Committee, which submitted its report on 09.12.2013. The department of justice explained that Cabinet decision was not complete as it was put to public consultation, with consultation meetings at different cities in country which necessitated reconsideration. The new government revised this Bill which was passed by the Parliament. The appellant sought nothing about new form of bill but has every right to know the notings of the bill as soon as the bill was finally okayed by the cabinet as per the judgment of Delhi High Court in UOI Vs CIC , wherein it was stated that the Secion 8 (1)(i) of RTI Act prohibits disclosure of cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers for a limited period, protects the Cabinet. The High Court explained that the prohibition is not for an unlimited duration or an infinite period but lasts till a decision is taken by the Council of Ministers and “the matter is complete or over.”In the second appeal, as Central Information Commissioner I have directed on 7.1.2015 the Department of Justice to disclose the notings. After the Cabinet has decided, the notings cannot be withheld on the pretext that the Bill did not become an Act. And I explained: ‘The First Appellate Authority’s order that ‘decision of Council of Ministers is disclosable but Cabinet papers are not,’ is totally untenable. Similarly, the plea taken by the PIO that because the decision with regard to the introduction of the Bill had not reached the finality and hence the noting could not be disclosed does not stand, in view of the plain reading of the Sec 8 (1)(i) of RTI Act and the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. As soon as the final decision was taken with regard to the Bill, which is borne out of the fact by the introduction of the same in Rajya Sabha in 2013 itself, the matter was thus complete or over, the noting should have been disclosed. The CIC directed the Justice dept to provide informaiton sought within a month free of cost. By:Madabhushi Sridhar Read More: Cabinet Note is Not Secret - The Hans India
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    4 Days Ago
    Noida activists demand green clearance for mobile towers NOIDA: Though the Noida Authority has announced specific guidelines for telecom towers, city-based environmental activists said the most crucial step in setting up of a mobile tower - seeking clearances from the Pollution Control Board - is missing. "According to an RTI response, none of the towers in Noida or Greater Noida have environmental clearances. We demand that all the towers in the city be checked for valid pollution and environmental clearances," environmental activist, Vikrant Tongad, Social Action for Forests And Environment, said. In a public notice issued on Saturday, the Noida Authority has warned that if not removed within a stipulated period, the mobile phone towers would be forcefully knocked down, and the properties on which they are installed would also face cancellation of allotment. According to officials, all mobile towers in the city are to be installed as per a Noida Authority policy framed in November 2013. The policy states that cell phone towers can be installed in community centres, green belts and shopping centres, but not on roofs of hospitals, schools and nursing homes. They can, however, be set up on the roofs of institutional, industrial and commercial buildings, said officials. In January 2012, the Allahabad High Court had banned the installation of new towers in residential areas, following which, the Noida Authority in November 2013, had formulated the policy and thereafter undertook the relocation of all existing towers from residential areas of the city. "We have been sustaining an awareness campaign against the installation of mobile towers within the proximity of schools, residences, hospitals and more. While these cities are already choc-a-bloc with towers, there are over 200 applications still pending with the authorities who want to set up these towers. We appeal to the citizens as well as the authorities to exercise caution in adding any more towers to these cities," Tongad added. Read More: Noida activists demand green clearance for mobile towers - The Times of India
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  • karira's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    Fadnavis Launches 'Aaple Sarkar' to Bring Govt and Public Closer Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today launched "Aaple Sarkar", a technology based platform for direct and close communication between citizens and the government. "The web portal would provide the necessary transparency for direct connection with citizens," Fadnavis said. Fadnavis said he plans to make "Aaple Sarkar", the flagship portal of the state government and even the Right to Service Act would be linked to the portal. The Draft bill of Right to Services has been made public for suggestions and views and would be tabled in the budget session of State Legislature in March, he said. A facilitation centre would be outsourced to provide necessary infrastructure for maintenance of the web portal and ensure that its objective to serve the people is achieved. A cut off date would be announced soon after which only e-files will be accepted in the government set up, he added. Chief Secretary Swadheen Kshtriya said the grievance redressal on "Aaple Sarkar" would be done in 21 days. "Information related to any public service and functioning of Government departments in Mantralaya will be provided. No personal information and the details of any matter which is sub-judice will not be entertained on the portal," he added. In the second phase, government offices at district level, municipal and tehsil level would be included, he said. Giving details of the portal, Principal Secretary Information and Technology Ajay Mehta said, "Aaple Sarkar" which is also a mobile app, was divided into three parts -- Grievance Management, RTI online and collaboration. Read More: Fadnavis Launches 'Aaple Sarkar' to Bring Govt and Public Closer
    2 replies | 188 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    RTI India Mobile app is number 1 on the list !
    2 replies | 108 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    Top 10 Free-to-Download Android Apps for Every Indian Citizen As India celebrates the 68th Republic Day, we have created a list of must-have apps for every Indian. All the apps in the list are free and made by a team of Indian developers. Below is our picks from the vast pool of apps available on Google Play Store. 1 of 10 RTI Android official AppGoogle Play Tax Calculator India 2015 2014Google Play IPC- Indian Penal CodeGoogle Play India Voter List 2014Google Play IRCTC ConnectGoogle Play All India Radio News Android AppGoogle Play YuppTV - Indian Live TV MoviesGoogle Play Rakshak- Women Safety Android App by Indian GovtC-DAC AADHAAR enrollment status- Official Android AppCDAC M-Gov AppStore- CDAC Official Android/ iOS app storeCDAC RTI India With RTI India app, you can access rtiindia.org directly through your Android device. You can ask queries, upload RTI related images and videos, access and post to the most recent discussions and get instant help on matters of RTI, read RTI posts and more straight through your Android device. Tax Calculator India 2015 2014 With "My Tax India" you can instantly calculate your tax, tax splits, and can decide how much more investment is needed to save tax on your income. "My Tax India" also comes with added features like Export your details, Multiple user entries etc. IPC - Indian Penal Code This free-to-download app features the complete Indian Penal Code or IPC acts including the Criminal Law amendment of 2013. For ease of use, the app has been divided into chapters and sections containing described text of 554 sections. India Voter List 2014 This app allows you to search the Indian Government Electoral roll and check whether a particular name exists in the list or not. The app allows you to search voter names by name, Voter ID, District and Electoral ward. IRCTC Connect - Indian Railway Official App The official free to download IRCTC app allows one step log-in to existing users, search and book train tickets, view and cancel tickets, retains recently added passenger list, create new log-in or retrieve upcoming journey details. All India Radio News - Official App The official AIR News app brings you stories from AIR News network in India. Get the latest news, national as well as regional from Prasar Bharati, India's Public Service Broadcaster. YuppTV - Indian Live TV Movies YuppTV Mobile TV Live TV is a LiveTV app available to watch over 170 Live Indian TV Channels through live streaming, Latest Regional & Bollywood Movies and on-demand TV Shows. YuppTV app lets you watch your favourite channels across various genres such as Live News Channels, Entertainment and Music channels. Rakshak- Women Safety App by Indian Govt. One button application built specifically for the safety of women and senior citizens. This application can be used in case of emergency to send SMS having current location to four different (Relatives/Friends) numbers and will also initiate a voice call to an emergency number. The numbers can be specified by the user at the time of installation. Aadhar Enrolment Status - Official This app is able to retrieve your Aadhar card enrolment status. Download the app here:https://apps.mgov.gov.in/descp.do?appid=265¶m=topapps M-Gov AppStore- CDAC app Store Using this application, one can download mobile applications available on mgov appstore. One can search applications according to categories and states. This app also shows notification when there is update available for installed applications. Download the app here: https://apps.mgov.gov.in/descp.do?appid=270¶m=topapps
    2 replies | 108 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    Dont quote all those citations and scare the PIO. In your RTI application, simply ask for he information you want. Citations can be used later in the first or second appeal. What is the exact "information" you want about other employees ?
    10 replies | 378 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    Members, The thread started is from Jammu & Kashmir. Therefore J&K RTI Act is applicable to him. Please guide him accordingly and do not refer to the Central RTI Act 2005.
    8 replies | 334 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    5 Days Ago
    Information that is supplied in response to an RTI application is the "information available on record" with the public authority. The record cannot be a personal view of the CPIO. As requested in post No. 2 above, please provide all details and also what is the case about.
    9 replies | 411 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    Yes, that is correct. As of now, such information is only available to law enforcement agencies.
    2 replies | 125 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    Before filing the second appeal, did you avail of the facility of "First Appeal" under Sec 19(1) of the RTI Act 2005 ? If you haven't done so, then your second appeal will be returned by the Registry of CIC.
    7 replies | 169 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    6 Days Ago
    karira replied to a thread RTI Help: Rti in Ask for RTI Query
    Firstly, if it is a private school, it will not be under RTI. Moreover, such details wiull not be provided to you since they will come under the exemption clause of Sec 8(1)(j) - invasion of privacy of an individual. The best would be to get the court to get this information. Consult your advocate/lawyer.
    2 replies | 136 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread Ssn in Non RTI Issues
    This is only a discussion portal on the RTI Act 2005. No one here can issue a SSN card.
    3 replies | 112 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    This portal is meant for discussing issues related to the RTI Act 2005. Our Moderator has gone out of the way and pointed you to the right direction. Community members of this portal are not specialists on caste and nor on census data. I suggest it will be worthwhile to follow his advice and visit that centre.
    4 replies | 177 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Can you please clarify, what exactly do you mean by "not following RTI Rules" ? What rules are they violating and how ? Is it a public authority under the state govt or central govt. ?
    8 replies | 199 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    That is why, I made the comments (see second para) in my post No. 8 above.
    13 replies | 262 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    National Voters Service Portal: New voter registration / corrections made easy You can also visit your local polling booth throughout the day today to request any correction/changes/new registration. http://eci.nic.in/eci/services.html
    2 replies | 161 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira has just uploaded Appellant to pursue delay in deciding second appeal with the Info Commission only! The MP High Court has ruled that the appellant whose second appeal was pending in the SIC since 2010, has to pursue the
    3 replies | 96 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    As far as withdrawing your RTI application is concerned, just ask the Bank Manager to request you in writing to withdraw the RTI application. Once you get the request letter, write back to the Bank Manager and request him to provide you the relevant section of the RTI Act which permits withdrawal of a RTI application.
    13 replies | 262 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Coal Scam - CIC allows coal ministry to withhold records In a surprise argument, the coal ministry has said information related to minutes of screening committee meetings on coal block allocation cannot be made public as it will impede the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe, a plea allowed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) even though the record itself is available on the ministry’s website. An RTI applicant, Meenu, had approached the ministry seeking information regarding the minutes of screening committee meetings on coal block allocations. The ministry had replied that the CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry regarding alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks and refused information citing Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act. The said section allows a public authority to withhold such information as may impede the process of investigation, apprehension and prosecution of an accused. However, the minutes of screening committee meetings on coal block allocations are available on the website of the coal ministry. Information commissioner Mr Yashovardhan Azad, an ex-Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, ruled in favour of coal ministry in the matter, saying, “The respondent stated that the files concerned have been seized by CBI for enquiry into the allocation of coal blocks and the same is pending, which is why information to the appellant cannot be provided.” Mr Azad said that “After hearing the respondents and on perusal of records, the commission accepts the plea of CPIO (Central Public Information Officer)/FAA (First Appellate Authority).” Recently, justice Vibhu Bakhru of Delhi high court had rejected a similar order by CIC allowing a public authority to withhold information under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act without giving justification. Justice Bakhru had said that “merely citing that the information is exempted under Section 8(1)(h) would not absolve the public authority from discharging its onus.” In a stern order, he said “It is apparent from a bare perusal of the CIC’s order that it does not indicate the reasons that persuaded (it) to uphold the view of the public authority that the disclosure of information sought by the petitioner would impede the prosecution of the petitioner. He added that “Neither the FAA nor the CIC has questioned the public authority as to how the disclosure of information would impede the prosecution.” Read More: http://coal.steelguru.com/india/18892/coal_scam_cic_allows_coal_ministry_to_withhold_records
    0 replies | 145 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread electricity in Ask for RTI Query
    First, file a complaint, just like you have done above, in writing to: 1. CM of UP 2. Power Minister of UP 3. Local District Collector 4. Local MLA 5. Local MP Wait for 2 months for a response and come back to the portal as to the progress and further guidance. It will be helpful if more residents of the same locality send similar letters to the above people. The more the better !
    5 replies | 125 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    It is not the job of the information officer to go into the motives of the information seeker - ie who has vested interest or who hasn't. Or for that matter, what will be done with the information ! The PIO should just collect the information from the custodian of the records and provide it to the applicant - as long as it does not fall within the exemptions in Sec 8 or 9.
    4 replies | 130 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Sorry, I never noticed till now ! How are they addressed at present ?
    7 replies | 143 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread New LPG Connection in Non RTI Issues
    Just in case you are too lazy to google, here are the direct links: Feedback System Feedback System
    4 replies | 116 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread LPG Cyllinder in Ask for RTI Query
    Visit the website of the Oil Company from with whose dealer you have booked the cylinder. They have a link for lodging complaints regarding such issues, against dealers. It works.
    7 replies | 174 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread New LPG Connection in Non RTI Issues
    Visit the website of the Oil Company from with whose dealer you have booked the cylinder. They have a link for lodging complaints regarding such issues, against dealers. It works.
    4 replies | 116 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    If this portal is so useless, then why have you been visiting and posting (31 posts till date) on this forum since Jul / Aug 2011 ?
    18 replies | 2586 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread Land Passbook AP in Non RTI Issues
    Why does he have to wait for all of 30 days and MOST PROBABLY not even get a reply ! Won't it be better if he visited that office and found out ? The poster has made the same query in a new thread, which is now merged with this one. That only means he has not even come back to this thread. Now, for the next 3 weeks or so, we will get many queries on "How to get a patta book in joint names".
    6 replies | 256 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    BCCI no private club, it's accountable: SC NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said as the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) enjoys a unique monopoly over the passionately followed game of cricket with the government's tacit understanding, it is discharging public functions and hence comes under the ambit of strict standards of judicial scrutiny. Busting the myth that BCCI is a private body registered as a society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, a bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Kalifulla just stopped short of declaring BCCI a government body but said it is answerable to the writ jurisdiction of the high courts. "The functions of the Board are clearly public functions, which till such time the State (government) intervenes to take over the same, remain in the nature of public functions, no matter discharged by a society registered under the Registration of Societies Act," said Justice Thakur writing the judgment for the bench. Giving a long narrative of the all pervasive control BCCI held over the game of cricket including selection of the national team, the bench said: "All these activities are undertaken with the tacit concurrence of the state government and the government of India which are not only fully aware but supportive of the activities of the Board. The state has not chosen to bring any law or taken any other step that would either deprive or dilute the Board's monopoly in the field of cricket." "Those distinguishing themselves in the international arena are conferred highest civilian awards like Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri apart from sporting awards instituted by the government. Such is the passion for this game in this country that cricketers are seen as icons by youngsters, middle-aged and the old alike," the bench said. "Any organization or entity that has such pervasive control over the game and its affairs and such powers as can make dreams end up in smoke or come true cannot be said to be undertaking any private activity," the court said. "Suffice it to say that if the government not only allows an autonomous/private body to discharge functions which it could in law takeover or regulate but even lends its assistance to such a non-government body to undertake such functions which by their very nature are public functions, it cannot be said that the functions are not public functions or that the entity discharging the same is not answerable on the standards generally applicable to judicial review of state action," it said. Read More: BCCI no private club, it's accountable: SC - The Times of India
    55 replies | 12991 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Wonderful blog on 10 years of the UK FOI. Most of what the writer says, applies to India and its RTI Act 2005 too !
    2 replies | 86 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Freedom of Information (FOI): Useful tool that’s failed to live up to our hopes In the decade since the Freedom of Information Act was passed, the BBC is just one media organisation that has used FOI to unearth hundreds of stories. In this edited excerpt from a new book, FOI Ten Years on: Freedom Fighting or Lazy Journalism?, BBC specialist Martin Rosenbaum looks back on the scoops, the hurdles and hard lessons learned: Stories obtained by the BBC using FOI since 2005 have covered a wide range of topics showing how far the law reaches into the operations of the public sector. In the health area this has included revelations about delays in ambulance response and handover times and staff shortages in A&E. Police-related stories have included the ageing of police forces and the extent to which forces boost their detection rates by getting offenders to confess to other crimes. Military stories have included drug taking by soldiers and misconduct on submarines. In transport, which makes of cars are most likely to fail MOT tests. In education, how many councils wouldn’t meet the government’s plans on infant school meals. Then there’s the Home Office failing to collect fines imposed on companies employing illegal workers, and how the Foreign Office weakened its safety advice on travel in Thailand partly for commercial reasons. That’s only a very small selection, but it’s enough to show that FOI has been a very effective device for the BBC on the right topics. (Other FOI-based stories have been collated on the BBC News website.) These stories are often in some sense numerical in nature, possibly identifying the extent of an issue, exploring changes over time, comparing different localities, or collating local data to form a national picture. For the BBC, this can work particularly well. Recent examples are temporary closures of maternity units and rising numbers of parental fines for children’s poor school attendance. Rarer (although still significant) are those stories which are based on quotes or extracts from documents, such as disclosures of internal discussion, records of meetings, exchanges of emails. Before FOI came into force, this was the kind of revelation that I think was widely anticipated - certainly hoped for by many journalists and feared by many officials (as indeed it still is, from my discussions with them). The reality has failed to live up to those hopes and fears. Establishing the pattern In the first couple of years of FOI, it was unclear what kind of information was likely to be released. I certainly made requests then of a kind that I would avoid now as they would be pointless. This uncertainty about how FOI should work was also reflected in the behaviour of public authorities that varied greatly in how they interpreted the new legislation. Some were recalcitrant in adapting to the Act, whereas others I found surprisingly open. I was surprised to obtain extracts from the Special Branch personal protection file of the former prime minister James Callaghan. These papers (from the Metropolitan Police) showed that Lord Callaghan felt his level of protection after leaving office was inadequate, as well as providing an amusing account of the ‘embarrassing situation’ when a Jehovah's Witness proselytising door-to-door managed to evade the security precautions at his home. This kind of access via FOI to old Special Branch documents is now much harder. The Met adopted a new, much more restrictive policy of arguing that SB work was so closely intertwined with the security agencies that SB records should share those agencies’ absolute exemption from FOI. This stance was upheld in a decision by the information commissioner in 2011. In contrast, other public bodies have moved in the other direction, from obstructiveness to more openness. One example is the data held by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which administered the MOT system, on MOT pass/fail rates for different car makes and models. In 2008 the BBC made an FOI request for these figures. But VOSA told us that it would be against the public interest to release the details of pass/fail rates by make, as it would damage the commercial interests of certain manufacturers. This position struck me as perverse and obstructive. VOSA maintained this case when we complained to the information commissioner. But its argument was dismissed by the commissioner, who ruled that VOSA should supply the information. We published comparative data for popular models. It took 18 months to extract this information from the agency, but after that VOSA (now merged into the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) released the same data voluntarily and regularly. Efficiency and delays The FOI performance of public bodies depends not only on their attitudes but their organisational competence. This is very important in practice, to journalists. The information sought is often time sensitive. And if you’re not going to get what you want it’s good to know soon. The main practical problem faced by journalists has been delay. A huge backlog of cases built up in the Information Commissioner’s Office, which meant that it was soon taking over a year for many complaints to be decided, especially for the trickier issues that media requests often involved. In the worst example I faced, the ICO took four years and three months to consider the case, before then ruling in my favour. As the Cabinet Office then appealed fruitlessly to the Information Tribunal, it took altogether more than five and-a-half years for me to receive the information I asked for - the minutes of the 1986 Cabinet meeting at which Michael Heseltine had dramatically resigned as defence secretary over the Westland affair. However, matters improved significantly after Christopher Graham became the commissioner in 2009 and focused effectively on tackling the backlog. Nevertheless there is still a lot of delay in the system. Some key lessons learned 1. FOI is about accessing material that is actually held by a public authority (and not information that you think they should collate but they don’t, or opinions that haven’t been written down, or possible responses to hypothetical situations). A copy of a blank form can be a useful guide to the categories of data an authority collects for a particular purpose 2. Don’t rush into making FOI requests. Check what information is already published. And if the material you want isn’t already out there, a call to the press office might get it more quickly than a formal FOI request 3. Be specific. It’s crucial to think carefully and rigorously about the phrasing of a request to ensure it covers what is wanted, exactly and unambiguously. Try to use the jargon or phraseology that the authority itself employs to refer to the information concerned 4. Given the delays that can be involved, bear in mind that FOI is only of benefit for material that would still be of practical use in a few weeks or even months 5. Before sending a ‘round robin’ request to a large number of authorities, it is often worth sending a ‘pilot’ to a few of them to check the questions are sensibly phrased and effective 6. Make full use of the legal right (under Section 16 of the FOI Act) to advice and assistance from the public body on the best way to make a request (for example, on how to narrow a request to bring it under the cost limit). In practice, some FOI officers will be more helpful than others 7. Build relationships with FOI officers. Don’t shoot the messenger when you get an unwelcome answer. Think of FOI officers not as putting up obstacles but as providing a pathway to the material wanted. Sometimes they end up arguing the requester’s case within the authority to reluctant colleagues - so help them to do that. Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/collegeofjournalism/entries/04708c44-b746-4df3-ad4c-040d0f6726cd
    2 replies | 86 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Is the Netaji mystery getting curiouser and curiouser ? It is January 23, 2015 today and the 118th birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Although there is a new government, nay, a paradigm shift in Delhi, the files relating to the disappearance of Netaji remain classified in the Prime Minister’s office and the ministry of external affairs. Last month, the Modi government refused to declassify the files on the grounds that India’s relations with friendly neighboring countries would be ‘adversely affected’ if the contents of the files are made public. This is precisely the same grounds on which the previous Congress governments steadfastly refusing to open the files. At that time, the public perception was that the reluctance of the government was to shield Nehru who it was averred would be shown in a less than flattering light, if the contents of the files were to be shared with the public. But Narendra Modi has no kinship with Jawaharlal Nehru ideologically and is no blood relation of the latter so there is public consternation at the refusal. A retired top intelligence official who served for three and a half decades in both the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) says that it is his belief that Modi will not be ‘allowed’ to open up the files. But who can stop an ‘absolute’ PM that is Modi? He says the system – the one designed by the British rulers – is to hide information and this has continued even in Independent India. “Even if Modi wants to open the files, his officials will quote various rules and regulations and take recourse to various considerations to tell him why the information cannot be made public,” the retired official says. Incidentally files related to Netaji are in the custody of the West Bengal government – which presumably is more sympathetic to the cause of the patriot who disappeared – are yet to be declassified. I asked the official whether he had seen the files relating to Netaji during his long tenure in IB. The retired official shook his head and said no. But his ready ‘no’ made this writer suspicious that he would have and I asked him what, in his opinion, could have happened to Netaji. Without blinking an eye lid he said: “I don’t think there was any air-crash. Netaji went to Russia, because he did not want to be caught by the British and Americans who would have tried him as a war criminal. He wanted to try his luck with Stalin. The boss of USSR kept him for sometime trying to figure out what to do with him. In the meanwhile the British realized that Netaji had made his escape to Russia and put pressure on Stalin. This is the time when the Cold War had not begun or it had just begun but it was not too cold. So Anglo Russian relations were none too bad. The British realized that if Netaji was openly arrested and tried, all hell would break loose in India. So Stalin was persuaded and he packed Netaji off to Siberia and that’s where he died in the cold,” the retired official said. The retired official however cautioned that the entire story of Netaji won’t be found in Indian files. “In fact there will be very little here. All you may have are cross references to him and queries from the foreign governments about him,” he said. Information relating to Netaji’s ultimate fate will be deep inside archives in USSR or in the files of British intelligence. I think that it is humbug that the public revelation of contents of Netaji files will spoil relations with friendly countries. I do not think that if it is revealed Netaji died due to the actions of Stalin will make me hate Boris Yeltsin and the Russians in general. After all the British tortured and hung so many Indian revolutionaries right from Khudiram Bose to Ram Prasad Bismil to Bhagat Singh. This does not mean that the Indians hate the British. Modi represents a new paradigm in Indian politics and he would do well to determinedly put down the objections of babudom and throw open the Netaji files. This may actually pay political dividends for him in the elections to be held in West Bengal next year. The Communists who draw inspiration from Russia and China will be red faced after the revelations and the Congress will have nowhere to hide. As far as the ruling Trinamul Congress is concerned it too has been passive. Under siege due to the Sarada scam, the Trinumul Congress could have scored brownie points if it went hyper in unearthing the Netaji disappearance mystery by pro actively setting up an inquiry commission. The last inquiry commission – under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge MK Mukherjee had found that the plane crash in Taiwan in 1945 in which Netaji purported to have died never took place. But without the cooperation of the government, the commission could go no further. Now it is time to go forward on the matter and if the powers that be show no interest it is for civil society activists to establish a Concerned Citizens’ Tibunal to investigate the disappearance of Netaji. Ultimately truth has to prevail. Read More: Times Of India | Blogs
    9 replies | 1042 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread Second appeal in Ask for RTI Query
    The postal address of CIC in New Delhi is: Central Information Commission Room No. 326, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066
    4 replies | 124 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread Reg RTI fee in Ask for RTI Query
    Yes, he can return the rest of the money to the applicant. OR Inform the applicant that "information" is ready and return the Rs 500.00. Request the applicant to pay Rs 10 application fee and the information will be provided.
    7 replies | 204 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Yes, you can ask the HIGH Court under RTI for those documents. What exactly did you ask for and what exactly did the PIO reply ? Please ask precise and concrete queries and our members can give you concrete answers. If you ask hypothetical queries, then you will get hypothetical answers - which will not be of any practical use to you.
    3 replies | 176 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    In over 70 villages in Haryana's Mahendargarh district, NOT a single girl has been born in last 7 years !
    3 replies | 99 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Please draft your first appeal and complaint and upload in this thread for further guidance. Just search on the portal - there are several complaint and first appeal drafts available.
    12 replies | 275 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    karira replied to a thread RTI Happenings: AP: Errant revenue employees to face action in RTI in Media
    Two threads have been merged.
    4 replies | 149 view(s)
  • karira's Avatar
    1 Week Ago
    Prasad Garu, may I request you that when you have some free time, please do a study of a particular (any one) commissioners decisions - whether info given or not, penalty imposed or not, reasons given or not, etc. based on just one fact: The time of the day when hearing took place. Findings will be very revealing ! You will find a consistent pattern.
    9 replies | 272 view(s)
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Achievement Earned on 06-22-2014 09:43 AM
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Achievement Earned on 06-22-2014 09:43 AM
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