Benefits of RTI Act underscored
VELLORE: The local unit of the Anti-Corruption Movement has enlisted the achievements of its intervention in getting benefits to a number of individuals by helping them to acquire information under the Right to Information Act and remedies as well.
In a statement, the district president of the movement M Sivaraj said that all the work done by the movement in this direction had been well documented. The members of the movement would also be conducting awareness camps on the RTI Act in the educational institutions soon.
Giving details about the success stories, Sivaraj said that an application made under the provisions of the Act had helped Rani (72), wife of a freedom fighter R Venugopal, in getting pension which was eluding her for the past 17 years.
Though Venugopal had obtained the government sanction to receive the pension in the year 1989, he passed away within eight days from the receipt of this order and subsequently the family never could receive the pension. Moving heaven and earth yielded no result. But things began to give way to get the pension when she sought details under the Act.
In another incident, 84-year-old Jayarama Mudaliar, a freedom fighter of Gudiyattam, had difficulty in getting his pension as he refused to pay bribe, said Sivaraj. He lodged complaints with State Human Rights Commission through the ACM. The SHRC directed action against the officials. When the issue was taken up through the RTI Act, the punishment to the officials was intensified, he added.
Sivaraj said that the district administration conceded to the plea of the freedom fighters to conduct a special grievance day meet every month for them only after they took up the matter under the RTI Act. Though the state government had issued a GO in this regard in the year 2001, no district collector had convened the meeting. When this was questioned under the RTI Act, the district collectors were advised to convene such meets once in every month, he added. This has brought a lot of relief to the freedom fighters greatly, he noted.
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