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  1. #1
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    C J Karira
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    Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas


    As reported by Nitin Mahajan on indianexpress.com on 12 March 2008:
    IndianExpress.com :: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas

    Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas

    Despite the Congress high command harping that the Right to Information Act, “one of the biggest achievements of the Central Government”, should be promoted by all Pradesh Congress Committees, a party leader in Chhattisgarh has been sacked for filing too many RTI applications against various Government departments.

    Congress sources revealed that Pradesh Congress Committee chief Charan Das Mahant has ordered the suspension of a Durg district office-bearer for “over utilisation of the RTI Act”, alleging that it was being used as a tool for blackmailing. The directive issued by Durg District Congress Committee chief Dhanaram Sahu states that, “Rakesh Mishra was being relieved of all responsibilities as member of its Urban Bodies Cell with immediate effect. The step is being taken as the several complaints of corruption received by the PCC have been found to be true.”

    Speaking to The Indian Express, PCC chief Charan Das Mahant confirmed that Mishra had been relieved of his present charge. "We have found that Mishra had been blackmailing people by filing RTI applications,” Mahant said. However, refuting the allegations, Mishra said he was not even given a chance to explain his case. “The move to remove me has been taken under pressure from a few Congress leaders close to PCC chief Charan Das Mahant whose interests are being affected by my RTI applications,” he claimed. There seems to have been some pressure from the BJP Government too, as Mishra has so far filed over 100 RTI applications, with over 50 of them with various departments.

    Mishra said several of his applications were targeted against the land mafia. He claimed to have exposed several major irregularities in the Bhilai Municipal Corporation in his two-year-long tryst with RTI. “I unearthed a scam of over Rs 4 crore in the Building Permission Department where several builders were being charged less than the requisite development charge,” he added.

    Interestingly, he said that Mahant has himself called a press conference after he unearthed a water transportation scam. “The documents secured through RTI from the Regional Transport Officer had revealed that instead of tankers other vehicles like cars, jeeps and scooters were used to transport water to the Bhilai Municipal Corporation,” he claimed, adding that as per the records, one of these vehicle numbers belonged to the Bhilai Steel Plant MD.

    “Though I am being stopped by the state unit, going against the mandate of our national leadership, I will continue my fight against corruption and use RTI for the benefit of people,” Mishra added.


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  2. #2
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    Re: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas


    "Blackmailing", "Misusing" etc are the terminologies used by the vested interest to stop the cityzen from using RTI Act to seek inconvenient information or informtion if expossed is likely to expose corruption/illegal practices etc. There are SICs/I
    Cs spreading disinformation that the gretest problem they are facing is misue of RTI Act. They refuce to clarify as to how seeking information can become misuse or blackmail untill the information so sought is provided. If the stake holders are resorting to any unlawful acts why can't the SIC refuce the information if they can ?

  3. #3
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    Re: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas


    The views expressed by Mr. Colnkurup is correct. Blackmailing is only possible whenever there is unlawfull act. There are so many people in this world who is doing so many thing unlawfull and he do not want to disclose the activities and if any one follow them to disclose them,blackmailing is being used as a tool. The RTI act 2005 itself express the proactive disclosures means everything what it is being done must be disclosed but no one want to disclose. No dobout the existing media is in position to defame or blackmail any one but by getting information any one cannot blackmail any one because he have no tool to blackmail.
    SAVE RTI from CRIMINALS

  4. #4
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    J.P. SHAH
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    Re: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas



    I have also experienced that public authorities raise hue and cry branding misuse of rti, moment their misdeeds are questioned. If nothing is wrong then why the officials should be afraid of giving required information to the citizen. We have to fight back against such shouting of misuse of RTI, by prefering appeals with FAA/SCIC/CIC. CPIO/FAA are not competant to decide misuse, their colleagues/dept being affected party to the information.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas


    How many of you have ever heard or read or been told that you are misusing:

    The Income Tax Act
    The Customs Act
    The Motor Vehicles Act
    etc. etc. etc.

    Then, why such a hue and cry about misuse of the RTI Act ?

    Whenever anyone uses the word "misuse" viz a viz the RTI Act, please clarify to them that the Act has sufficient safeguards built in, to prevent its misuse. Surely all of us have read the law at least once and are capable enough of defending its provisions. Due thought process must have gone into drafting the act diligently and our representatives in Parliament must have argued it out threadbare before passing it into law. Is someone casting doubts on this due process and saying the RTI Act is having lacunae for misuse ?

    If the answer is yes, please point out where is the lacunae ? Take those shortfalls in the RTI Act and follow the due process of law and challenge its provisions in Court. I do not know of even one single case filed in court where this law has been challenged on the grounds that it is being "misused". If you do not want to go to court, then through the proper channels and after proper debate, get it amended. Laws get amended all over the world every day, so why not this law too ? What is stopping those who talk about misuse, from doing the above ?

    This act is only 3 years old and that is not sufficient time for changing the attitude and mentality of people that has been prevailing for last so many decades. The act is still evolving, in the sense that each day there are clarifications, different viewpoints, objections, interpretations, etc. It will take time till Public Authorities face up to the fact that they have to learn to live with this act and work transparently.



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