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Thread: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem

  1. #1
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    C J Karira
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    Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    As reported by B Viju of TNN in Times of India, Mumbai Edition on 20 April 2008:
    Welcome

    Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    Mumbai: Travelling all the way to New Delhi whenever the final ap p e a l goes up to the Central Inform at i o n Commission (CIC) is one major problem faced by thousands of RTI applicants.

    Applicants are forced to approach the CIC and file an appeal after RTI queries are rejected both by the Public Information Officer (PIO) and the first appellate authority. But now there is help at hand for these harried applicants. The CIC has said it is going to push for video-conferencing arrangements in every state so that the applicants do not have to move out of their district headquarters.

    The good news could not have come sooner for thousands of RTI applicants. “We have to bear the cost of travel and accommodation and this is a huge burden, especially for the poor,’’ said V T Gokhale, who had been summoned by the CIC thrice for various appeals.

    The Dombivli-based RTI activist has taken up various issues of public interest relating to SEBI and UTI. He had to file final appeals with the CIC as the information he sought was always stonewalled by these agencies.

    “I was summoned by the CIC three times and it was a huge waste of time as well as effort to go all the way to Delhi just for the hearings,’’ he said.

    So he addressed a series of queries to central information commissioner Wazahat Habibullah. The CIC replied that there was video-conferencing facility at distict-level national informatics centres (NIC)s for applicants unable to attend the hearings. “I wrote back to the CIC saying that not one applicant knew about this facility,’’ Gokhale said.

    Gokhale got another reply from Habibullah: “It is correct that not all information commissioners are resorting to video-conferencing and I am bringing this to their notice in our next meeting.’’

    A senior NIC official confirmed this development. “The applicants need not pay any additional charge for this facility. We will make necessary arrangements on the date of hearing after getting intimation from the CIC,’’ he said.

    The NIC official said the CIC will inform the applicant about the hearing and the applicant would have to come to the NIC office. “The hearing will be presided over by the CIC in Delhi and the appellate authority will be present at the Delhi office,’’ the NIC official said.

    RTI applicants have welcomed this intitaive. “Most people are not aware of this facility which is available at the 490 cities across the country,’’ RTI activist Rajesh Dharak said.


    Twitter: @cjkarira

  2. #2
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    Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    Additional information for members:

    CIC also allows participation in hearings through "audio conferencing" on your mobile or land line number.

    Suggestion for members who have Second Appeals / Complaints pending with CIC:

    Please send a small letter referring to your appeal/complaint case number and request for your hearing through Video/Audio conferencing.

    For the future, please include the following in your Prayer/Relief:

    "I pray to the CIC to conduct the hearing of this appeal/complaint via video conferencing and allow me to participate in the hearing from the NIC studios located at:.......... / through Audio Conferencing at the mobile/landline number....................."
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  3. #3

    Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    Very Helpful indeed.

  4. #4

    Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem



    Thank u sir. Please give me the cell number n email idof Mr Rajesh Dharak

  5. Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    Additional information for members:

    CIC also allows participation in hearings through "audio conferencing" on your mobile or land line number.

    Suggestion for members who have Second Appeals / Complaints pending with CIC:

    Please send a small letter referring to your appeal/complaint case number and request for your hearing through Video/Audio conferencing.

    For the future, please include the following in your Prayer/Relief:

    "I pray to the CIC to conduct the hearing of this appeal/complaint via video conferencing and allow me to participate in the hearing from the NIC studios located at:.......... / through Audio Conferencing at the mobile/landline number....................."
    Dear Karira ji,
    I was ignorant about the video con. through NIC only. When i got a Notice for hearing just before a day of Hearing, I emailed and contacted by phone, requesting to be heard through Video call/Audio by my gmail id/Ph No. The secretary assured me the request will be forwarded to the CIC. I can understand why they didn't make video call. But I didn't get the phone call too. It is for the information for other members that Audio conference is not guaranteed and depends on the CIC. For my case, I think CIC had enough written information and did not need me. Of course, decision went in my favor, which got to know after 1 month when they updated the decisions online.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    For the benefit of all the members - Kindly follow the following procedure in order to prevent the malpractice in the administration wing of CIC to deny the video conferencing in spite of the letter saying that the video conferencing is fixed at the said date and time.
    Before I mention the procedure, I hereby narrate the relevant incident which occurred to me on 30.11.2011 on this issue.
    I got a letter from the First appellate authority in connection with the option for video conferencing to present my case via video conferencing on Dec. 8th 2011.
    On receipt of the letter, I immediately emailed a letter to the appellate authority on 30.11.2011, confirming the same.
    Later on the same day, I received a call in my mobile number, and a female voice on the other end, told me that the call is from CIC, and further mentioned that "DUE TO THE LACK OF VIDEO CONFERENCING FACILITY IN NIC HYDERABAD, I SHOULD PRESENT MY CASE VIA AUDIO CONFERENCING."

    I replied in the call that "THE INFORMATION ON THE LACK OF VIDEO CONFERENCING FACILITY BE COMMUNICATED TO ME VIA EMAIL, WHICH IS ALREADY AVAILABLE WITH THE APPELLATE AUTHORITY"

    Further, I noted the date, time and the number from which the call originated. Then I followed the following steps:

    1. I sent an email on the same day, to the first appellate authority, to confirm the authenticity of the call so made (details provided ) and also asked for the confirmation on the lack of video conferencing facility in NIC hyderabad. I FURTHER MENTIONED IN THE EMAIL THAT IF I DO NOT GET ANY REPLY / CONFIRMATION FOR THE EMAIL, IT WILL BE A CLEAR PROOF OF MALAFIDE INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE CIC ADMINISTRATION AND A COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION 18 WILL BE LODGED WITH THE COMMISSION.

    2. Then I called to the State Informatics Officer, at NIC Hyderabad, and HE CONFIRMED THAT THERE IS VIDEO CONFERENCING FACILITY AT NIC HYDERABAD.

    3. Armed with this information, I sent another email to the FAA, in connection with the false information so provided, and further requested to confirm the hearing by video conferencing.Again I mentioned in the email that IF I DO NOT GET ANY REPLY / CONFIRMATION FOR THE EMAIL, IT WILL BE A CLEAR PROOF OF MALAFIDE INTENTION ON THE PART OF THE CIC ADMINISTRATION AND A COMPLAINT UNDER SECTION 18 WILL BE LODGED WITH THE COMMISSION.

    4. FINALLY ON 01.12.2011, I GOT AN EMAIL FROM FAA THAT THE HEARING FOR THE FIRST APPEAL IS FIXED AS SCHEDULED BY VIDEO CONFERENCING!

    I hereby request all the members can follow the procedure similar to the one outlined above, whereby the malpractice at CIC new delhi in connection with the arrangement of video conferencing is stopped / prevented in its entirety.
    I FURTHER THANK SHRI KARIRAJI, IN THIS FORUM, FOR HIS SUPPORT AND PROVIDING DETAILS OF THE HEARING CONDUCTED VIA VIDEO CONFERENCING AT NIC HYDERABAD.

    vsprajan.



    I hereby narrate the incident recently faced by me with CIC in connection with video conferencing.
    I received a letter from

  7. #7
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    Dr.V.S.Prasanna Rajan
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    Re: Video-conferencing to ease RTI appeal problem


    Recent Development- Continuation of my previous post - A legal notice is served on The Secretary CIC, to account for the malafide intentions of the staff(s) for their malafide intentions behind their attempts to deny the video conferencing facility, though i succeeded ultimately in getting the hearing to be done by video conferencing at Hyderabad.

    vsprajan.



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