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Thread: Draft RTI Rules (For Central PAS & CIC) 2017

  1. Re: Draft RTI Rules (For Central PAS & CIC) 2017


    Have those that participated raised any new issues that were not raised in the forum, what was the purpose and use of the talk show is not known. A just time gap futile exercise.



  2. Re: Draft RTI Rules (For Central PAS & CIC) 2017


    I have sent the following suggestions to the proposed RTI Rules, 2017.

    To

    Ms Preeti Khanna
    Under Secretary (RTI)
    Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
    Department of Personnel & Training
    New Delhi
    Usrti-dopt@nic.in


    Sub: Suggestions / Views against proposed RTI Rules, 2017
    Ref: Your Circular No.1/5/2016 dated 31-Mar-2017

    Madam,

    I submit the following suggestions for your positive consideration and inclusion in the proposed RTI Rules, 2017.


    1. Modify the proposed Rule-12 as under:The proposed provision to withdraw the appeal shall cause threats, harassment and undue pressure on RTI applicants and appellants to withdraw applications or appeals. It is also possible that interested parties may threaten the appellants and obtain applications to withdraw appeals and forward it to the Commission, which in effect would defeat the very purpose of RTI Act, 2005.

    As on today there are at least 64 reported cases of murder, 157 cases of assault and 167 cases of threats and harassment reported by the media, the details of which are available in website of National Campaign for People's Right to Information Attacks on RTI Activists in India

    It clearly shows that the abatement provision is liable for misuse to snuff out the life of RTI users in order to ensure abatement of the appeal. Thus, the proposed provision shall aid and encourage murder and elimination of Applicants or Appellants, for getting abatement of the RTI applications or Appeals or to avoid supply of information. In order to dissuade such practice, it is necessary to drop the proposed Rule-12(1) and (2) and incorporate new Rule-12 as under:

    In case of murder or assault or threats or harassment of an RTI applicant or appellant, the Information Commission shall direct the concerned Public Information Officer to upload all the information sought by the applicant / appellant on its official website and the public authority shall ensure that it is kept and available on its official website for at least 3 years from the date of its uploading.

    2.
    Add proviso below Rule-6(b):

    In many public authorities there is no Accounts Officer and PIOs of such public authorities reject RTI Applications under the plea that the RTI Fee is not drawn properly. Eg The National Institute of Miners’ Health Nagpur do not have an Accounts Officer but the Account is maintained and operated by its Administrative Officer. It is therefore necessary to add a proviso below Rule-2(b) as under:

    Provided that in case there is no Accounts Officer and/or the Application Fee is required to be made payable to any other officer than Accounts Officer, such public authority shall publish the details of the officer in whose name RTI Fee is to be drawn, in its official website and display in the premises of all its offices / units.
    3. Modify Rule-(d) as under:

    Diskette and Floppy are outdated data storage devices and may not work in most of the data processing units like Desk Tops or Laptops available with public authorities. It is therefore necessary to modify Rule-4(d) as under:

    (d) rupees fifty for every one GB of data to be supplied on data storage device brought in by the applicant or cost of data @ Rs.50/GB plus actual cost of data storage device specified by the applicant / appellant.
    4. Add Clause-(vii) below Rule-11(vi) as under:

    The Appeal is a quasi-judicial proceeding. The appellant has a right to be heard as that of the Public Information Officer or First Appellate Authority to ensure equitable justice. Therefore it is necessary to add new Clause-(vii) below Rule-11 below:

    (vii) hear the Appellant or his authorized representative.
    5. Add proviso below existing Rule-15(iii) as under:

    It is always possible that the opposite party may submit distorted facts or misguide the Commission in order to avoid an inquiry. Proceedings arising out of Sec-18 being quasi-judicial in nature, the Complainant has every right to be heard. Therefore, no order adverse to the prayer made by the Complainant can be passed, without affording opportunity of hearing to the Complainant. It is therefore necessary to add the proviso below existing Rule-15(iii) as under:

    Provided that the complainant and the opposite parties may be heard before passing an order by the Commission to close the complaint and reject the prayer of the complainant.
    6. Add proviso below Rule-18(4) as under:

    Public authorities may misuse Sub-Rule(4) of Rule-18 with the sole intention of harassing the appellants/complainants, who may be travelling many hundreds of kilometres to attend the hearing by spending his hard earned money. In order to avoid such situation, it is necessary to add following proviso below Sub-Rule(4) of rule-18:

    Provided that the concerned party may advise the Commission about his inability to attend the hearing, at least 7 days prior to the date of hearing and shall cause a copy of such advice to be served on the other parties and shall submit the proof of such service to the Commission.
    Satyameva Jayate सत्यमेव जयते

  3. #51
    Posts
    44,438
    Name:
    C J Karira
    Blog Entries
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    Re: Draft RTI Rules (For Central PAS & CIC) 2017


    Suggestions on Draft RTI Rules 2017 from:

    Dr. S P Thirumala Rao,
    President,
    Karnataka Consumers' Forum,

    ============================================

    To,
    Ms. Preeti Khanna,
    Under Secretary (RTI)
    North Block,
    New Delhi.


    Having had the experience in RTI litigation both before consumer dispute redressal forum under Consumer Protection Act (R P No. 1975 / 2005 decided by NCDRC on 28.05.2009) and also before both central and state information commissions, Dr. S P Thirumala Rao, President, Karnataka Consumers’ Forum (a registered voluntary consumer organisation) would like to give certain suggestions / views about the draft RTI Rules 2017 as under : -

    Section 12 – As contained in the draft rules –
    Withdrawal / abetment
    1) The commission may in its discretion allow a prayer for withdrawal of an appeal if such a prayer is made by the appellant on an application made in writing duly signed or during hearing. However no such prayer may be entertained by the commission after the matter has been finally heard or decision or order has been pronounced by the commission.

    Withdrawal of appeal
    Suggestion / views
    1. 12 – (1) If section 12(1) as contained in the draft notification is inserted in the RTI Rules 2017 it may encourage unscrupulous applicants to compromise with the public information officer to enrich themselves by misusing RTI Act and thus defeat the very purpose of the RTI Act – that is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities.
    Hence this sub section may be dropped.
    2. 12 – (2) Abatement of appeal – Proceedings pending before the commission shall abate on the death of the appellant.
    Right to information Act is one of the social welfare legislation like consumer protection Act.
    R T I Act is aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in working of every public authority by constituting central and state information commission.
    consumer protection Act is enacted to provide better protection of interests of consumers.
    3. In 2002 amendment bill of consumer protection Act Section 2(b)(v) was inserted to enable legal heir or representative also to file a complaint before the District Forum and Sub Section (7) was inserted in Section 13 of C P Act about legal heirs to continue the proceedings in case of death of a complainant.
    This sub section (7) reads : - In the event of death of a complainant who is a consumer or of the opposite party against whom the complaint has been filed, the provisions of order XXII of first schedule to code of civil procedure 1908 (5 of 1908) shall apply subject to modification that every reference there in to the plaintiff and defendant shall be construed as reference to a complainant or the opposite party as the case may be.
    4. Such a provision must be made in RTI Act also. Hence it is suggested the proposed Rule 12 – with drawl / abatement of appeal be dropped and order XX11 of first schedule of code of civil procedure be included in the rules in the interest of promoting transparency and accountability in working of public authorities.
    5. Section 13 – complaint to commissions
    This section as drafted now guides the aggrieved RTI applicant as to how to file a complaint. But nearly 99% of the aggrieved applicants are not aware of the judgement of Supreme Court in Civil Appeals No. 10787 – 10788 of 2011, wherein the Apex Court has held that under Section 18 of RTI Act the information commissioner has no powers to direct the respondent to furnish the information or an order providing access to the information sought. The Apex court has held that in complaints lodged under Section 18 of RTI Act, the commissioner can only levy penalties under Section 20 of the RTI Act.
    6. It is suggested that the department of personnel and training suggest to the government to amend the RTI Act to delete Section 18.
    7. The proposed amendment to RTI Rules does not contain any section as to the appointment of central chief information commissioner and central information commissioners.
    Section 12 – (5) reads,
    The Chief Information Commissioner and information commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science, technologies, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and goverence.
    8. The Chief Information Commissioner or an information commissioner shall not be member of parliament or member of the legislative of any state or union territory, as the case may be or hold any other office or profit or connected with any political party or carrying or any business or perusing any profession.
    9. Section 12 – (5) mandates that a person to be appointed as chief information commissioner or information commissioner shall be “persons of eminence in public life” whereas many of the chief information commissioner and information commissioners are retired government servants or persons who were previously in service in corporation established by or under any central & state government etc.,. – None of them would qualify to be persons of eminence in public life but were all employees of government or semi government establishment.
    wherefore the Ministry of Personnel, public grievances & pension – department of personnel and training should seriously think of framing proper rules regarding the process of selecting chief information commissioner and information commissioner so as to see that only “persons of eminence in public life” are selected and not retired government / semi government officers who continue their bureaucratic behaviour and protect corrupt officers.
    10. Section 22 – Language Commission.
    Already there is a hue and cry in Tamilnadu that central government is imposing Hindi on non Hindi states. It is better to adopt only English as the language of the commission.
    Lastly, I would like to draw the attention of the Department of Personal & Training to its letter No. F No. 11 / 5 / 2016 – IR, Vol. II dated 18th January 2016 and request you to have a relook at my letter dated 17.12.15 regarding amendments to the RTI Act 2005 referred to the ministry of persons, pubic grievances and pension from.
    Ministry of law justice legislative department legislature I Section numbered F No. 11 (1) 2015 – LI (Vol. 1) dated 06.07.2015.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

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