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    privilige to inspect documents


    Whether there is any restriction for Government employees to seek information with respect to malfunctioning prevalent in the department in which they are working. RTI confers preivilige on the information seeker to inspect the document if he so desires. But in recent case CIC instead of directing the public authority to furnish the information sought by the information seeker who happen to be government employees, to inspect the document and take xerox copies of the documents on payment of fees. The information sought by the Government employee is in the nature of data such as number of projects handled by the govt, funds allocated for each project, honorarium paid to its employee etc. Now this information could probably be available in number of sheets which may not be possible for the information seeker to take copy of all the sheets etc.as it would be very costly affair. My question is whether privilige to inspect document can be imposed on the information seeker?


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  2. #2
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    J.P. SHAH
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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    There is no restriction on govt employees for using RTI Act and like any other citizen, he can access information, including inspection of records.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  3. #3
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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    Dear prakashfsi,
    Firstly, privilege of inspection CANNOT be impossed. You are at liberty to avail or not to avail the offer. If you press further a good PIO can reply that " it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority , quotting Section 7(9) of the Act" Please note tht the PIO did not refuse you the informtion which imply tht things are fairly clean. My collegues may not fully agree with me. But remember that you are a government servant governed by the CC&A (Conduct)Rules also which you cannot deny whereas other cityzens maynot have such impediments. The problem start when some government servants use their inside information to probe inconvenient issues to settle scores. This is what annoys the CIC/SICs There is nothing wrong in seeking information affecting one's own affairs or of public interest. But why indulge in seeking such vast information which are not of much use? Yourself has implied that the information you had sought is not worth spenting Rs.2/- per page by you. Then why bother ? You should remember that in the present set up higher authorities have lot of hidden descretionary powers which can make one's life inconvenient if one try to waste their official working hours in undesirable efforts. You may use RTI Act; but please don't misuse it. You are the best judge of yourself.

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    Re: privilige to inspect documents



    Dear Sir,
    I agree with you cent percent. But this is different case as it involves siphoning off huge funds earmarked for research Subordinate staff who help siphoning of the money are rewarded adequately by paying them huge honorarium which is not permissible under the rules. Secondly the payment of honorarium is not regulatd through permissible channel. Hence this payment is not subjected to regular audit.Another aspect is payment of honorarium is not reflected in the Form 16 and hence it is not shown in the Income tax Matter does not end here. Such pliable Junior subordinate get adhoc promotion superseding the senior which is not permissible under the rules

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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    Dear Colnrkurup Sir,
    I agree with you cent percent. But this is different case where higher officials, siphone off research money with the help of their suboordiante staff. Such higher official adequately favour them by paying them huge honorarium which is not permissible under the rules. Secondly payment of honorarium is not regulated through permissible channel (Account Department) . Hence such payment is not subject to Audit party. Since this payment is not routed through Account Section, it is not rreflected in the Form 16. Therefore there is clear avaoid of income tax on payment of honorarium. Matter does not end here. Such pliable junior official get adhoc promtion superseding the senior official.

  6. #6
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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    Dear prakashfsi,
    You are very correct. This is in fact a very serious case one may find it difficult to remain as a mute witness. I suggest that you go ahead with the inspection. Note down the particulars of very critical documents. Make a formal RTI application requesting for copies of those documents. You can defenitly confine it to less than 20 pages which I don't think will pinch you. On receipt of those copies, frame a suitable RTI request for information based on the documentary evidence gained. In normal cource, the delinquents are likely to send feelers to you if you ask the information judiciously. Please make it very short, crisp and as polite as possible showing no element of revenge or anger. Please donot use any incriminating wordings. Still you should be ready to face the fall outs if you venture. Just play safe projecting your image as an innoscent man. You are likely to succeed. Good luck.

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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    Dear Colnrkurup Sir,
    I have already been called by the CPIO to inspect the documents on 10-03-08. Meanwhile they have already smelt mischief in my seeking the information. The Department has kicked me of by transferring me from Mumbai to Andman & Nicobar Island in the so called public interest. I do not hold any executive post. The most tragic thing is that they did not pay me any transfer T.A. advance. They relived me on the same day of transfer order which is very crude one.
    Of Course, this is not my sole application under RTI. I had made atleast 7 applications under RTI. If you see the applications you will find that I nver use any incriminating/abusive language . In one of my application I have pointed out that at particular branch office, physical verification of stores which is required to be carried out regularly - atleat once a year- as per statutory provisions , has not been carried out for last 10 years or so. I sought to know if any delinquent official has been identified. This has also enraged my Head of Department because official handling the stores has been promoted. Sir, main objective of RTI was to make the administration more efficient,effective and transparent so that it can meet the aspiration of public at large.But the department as well CIC is maintaining that Government employee does not enjoy this privilege. Sir, It is government staff alone who are familiar with functioning of the department can make their department more efficient.Time and again I have maintained my stand that purpose of my seeking the information is not for the redressal of my grievances with respect to my career but to identify the corrupt and inefficient elements in our administration. But who listens

  8. #8
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    Re: privilige to inspect documents


    Kindly read my first post No.3. I wish my collegues who preach about Fundamental Rights of government servants read this chain. The entire episode answer far too many querries and leave far too many issues unanswered. Any solution ?

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