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    RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble


    RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble

    Noida, December 17 The State Information Commissioner (SIC) has asked the Noida authority to explain why its website has for close to two years been providing incorrect details of the Right to Information Act and implementing its provisions the way it chose to interpret them.


    The glitches, and the authority’s defiance of the SIC’s orders, were pointed out by Commodore (Retd) L.K. Batra, an RTI and social activist. He has sought compensation for appellants.

    Batra had pointed out to SIC Gyanendra Sharma that the Noida website had listed RTI provisions wrongly. Also, instead of appointing a Public Information Officer (PIO) to handle queries from citizens, it was making do with an Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO).

    Batra also brought to the SIC’s attention that the APIO, although authorised by law only to receive appeals and forward them to the PIO, was handling the entire procedure. He was even providing explanations on queries, which only the authority’s Chief Executive Officer is allowed by law to do. Of the wrong information put up on the site, Batra says, “There’s a line that says information can be withheld if the authority thinks it is an official secret. Actually, the list of information that can be withheld is listed in the RTI Act — the authority cannot decide on its own what information to give out or withhold.”

    The RTI activist is seeking action against the Noida authority because, close to a year after the SIC passed orders on these discrepancies, corrective action was not taken. He says this amounts to contempt of the SIC. When contacted a Noida official said, “The website has now been updated. We are preparing to give our formal reply at the next hearing in Lucknow.”

    In its earlier reply to the SIC, the authority had blamed the systems manager for not carrying out changes on the website. The SIC has summoned the systems manager on January 4.
    Says Batra, “Passing the buck to a subordinate officer does not take away anything from the fact that the authority has failed his duties. It is amazing how for two years the authority has deprived applicants from getting the information they are allowed and for one year the PIO has not checked the corrections to be made on the website he is responsible for. Is the Noida authority trying to hide things?”

    RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble


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  2. #2
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    Re: RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble


    Thankfully, at least ONE SIC is waking up to strict enforcement of Section 4 of the RTI Act.

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    Re: RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble


    Commodore (Retd) L.K. Batra, an RTI and social activist deserves all sorts of appreciation for this splendid job done by him..

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    Re: RTI disclosures: Noida in trouble



    Is it a common practice by IC to set deadlines and fines if deadlines are not met when ordering an authority to release information. In my opinion such fines should have 2 parts one part on the PIO of the order of 10-20k and and upto 1-2 lac for the Public Authority.

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