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  1. #1
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    Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    The repeated filing of applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act on various issues by a retired Army official from Palakkad have irritated the State Information Commission (SIC) to the extent of it issuing an order to the Palakkad Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) not to accept RTI petitions from anyone from the district and ordered to send them directly to the public authority concerned or the commission.

    That the order is particularly targeted at Major (Rtd) P.M.Ravindran is evident from the fact that it mentions his name as “one example in point”.

    He has filed scores of RTI applications, mostly on the performance of the SIC, the latest being the one seeking information on the expenses incurred for an SIC sitting held in Palakkad.

    As per Section 6 (3) of the RTI Act public information officers in district headquarters concerned have to receive applications under the RTI Act and forward them to the respective public authority.

    The State Government has entrusted the RDOs to receive RTI pleas and transfer them to the departments concerned.
    Legal experts say that the SIC order is against the RTI Act. “Under the
    RTI Act, the SIC is not authorised to issue orders like this. This can be challenged in the High Court.

    But at the same time, there should be provisions to deal with what is called ‘vexatious litigants’. When the Central Information Commission convened a meeting of all the SICs last month, it was proposed to bring an amendment to deal with those who overuse the RTI Act.

    But in this case, the argument that the person is a vexatious litigant cannot be raised as an alibi to justify this unlawful order,” said advocate D.B.Binu. He said that the SIC can only implement the Act and cannot meddle with its provisions.

    “Even courts cannot act against the provisions of a piece of legislation. This order should be opposed as it will have an impact on the positive use of RTI Act,” said advocate M.R.Hariraj.

    When contacted, State Chief Information Commissioner Palat Mohandas was more scathing in his remarks against Ravindran.

    “He has become a nuisance. He doesn’t know anything about the RTI Act though he acts as an apostle of it. Who is he to dictate terms to us?”, said Mohandas. Asked about the order, he said that he can comment on it only after checking it.

    B F Firos
    KOCHI: Sunday November 11 2007
    Newindpress.com


    › Find content similar to: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    Last edited by sidmis; 11-11-07 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    Quote Originally Posted by sidmis View Post
    The repeated filing of applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act on various issues by a retired Army official from Palakkad have irritated the State Information Commission (SIC) to the extent of it issuing an order to the Palakkad Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) not to accept RTI petitions from anyone from the district and ordered to send them directly to the public authority concerned or the commission.
    If the SIC has issued such an order, then it is going to be a serious matter with far-reaching consequences. Apart from the fact that the law does not provide for issuance of such an order, it also interferes with the implementation of the RTI Act itself.
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

  3. #3
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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    I have seen the complaint made by Maj Ravindran. No one believe that an SIC can cause so much damage to the principles envisaged in RTI Act. I myself has experienced every cituation Maj Ravindran has complained including complaint to the Governor. In fact I had gone a step further and complained to Her Excellency the President who has forwarded it to the State Chief Secretary. Though the local RDO Ofice is next door, I have not been using his media. The reason forSIC's out-burst is that Receipt of application through RDO does not suit SIC as he will never be able to deny thier receipt on a later date due to their personal delivery to RDO by Appellant. The issue is very serious and I am trying to contact Maj Ravindran.

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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO



    It is very disgusting. The apex body under the RTI Act, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of implmenting RTI Act, is acting againt the spirit of the RTI Act. The orders of the SIC seems illegal. The issuance of such orders may result in the removal of the concerned Information Commissioner (who passed such orders).

  5. #5
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    1. The RTI Act does not specify the "limit" for the number of applications one can file.
    (Can the Court tell a citizen that he cannot file more than "X" number of cases in
    a particular time period ?).
    2. THE SIC has no powers under the RTI Act to issue such orders.
    In fact the SIC is expected to see the implementation and observance of the
    Act by the various PA's.
    3. The Act is the RIGHT to Information Act.........one can easily go to court
    against such a order by the SIC and file a writ for prevention of exercising his
    RIGHT.
    4. This is just a "escalation" of everyday problems that members of this forum and
    other "citizens" face with PIO and AA. In this case the SIC itself has got involved.
    5. If the RDO does not accept the RTI application from Major Ravindran, he should complain to the Kerala SIC and ask for imposition of Penalty under Section 20.
    As discussed in some other thread, the imposition of penalty is "obligatory"

    Colnrkurup has been continuously complaining against the Kerala SIC ever since he joined this forum. West Bengal seems to be another SIC which does not work properly.

    Time to start reading Section 17 very carefully.....

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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    Yes. It seems that the day is not far away when people will start demading removal of the ICs. S. 4 makes it obligatory on the part of PA to disseminate maximum information suo-motu, so that the citizens may have minimum resort to the RTI Act. But it sad to see that the apex body under the RTI Act is violating the provisions of this remarkable legislation.

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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    Can any one provide what is the no of petition filled by him and of what nature?

  8. #8
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    Re: Don’t accept RTI petitions, SIC tells Palakkad RDO


    Hello Maneesh,
    The entire discussion here is based only on the single press report in Indian Express. Beyond that none of us have any details regarding the nature and number of petitions filed by Maj Ravindran.

    Interestingly another senior activist Shri Sarbajit Roy of Delhi is of the view that:
    It is clearly not the job of RDO to act as a postman for forwarding RTI applications to concerned public authority. Based on this news report it is clear the Kerala SIC has rightly intervened to stop the misuse of section 6(3) by Major Ravindran who treats RDO like a Post Office.

    I am sure we will see a lot of heated discussions on this subject.
    Last edited by ganpat1956; 12-11-07 at 11:26 PM.
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

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