Right to Information
RTI applicants can approach info commissioner directly if PIO fails to respond within stipulated time

According to a court case, RTI applicants can directly approach the SIC or CIC, as in case maybe, and lodge a complaint if they do not get a response from the PIO within 30 days

Right to Information (RTI) applicants can complain directly to State Information Commissions (SICs) or Central Information Commission (CICs) if no reply from either Public Information Officers (PIOs) or Appellate Authorities (AAs) has been received within a stipulated time frame. The Kerala High Court had also said that SICs and CICs are entitled and must investigate complaints from RTI applicants if PIOs are not doing their duties. In case they do not, PIOs will be fined to the extent of the number of days they have not responded.

There was a case involving a government official who failed to do his duty and who did not furnish information within the stipulated period, as per the RTI Act. This happened in 2009, when B Sajikumar, who was a State Public Information Officer at Kottangal Village, petitioned the court against the SIC’s order and decision to levy a fine of Rs21,750 against him towards neglect of duty and delay in providing the information to an RTI applicant.

Earlier, he argued that the RTI applicant should have approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA) instead of complaining directly to the SIC. However, the court maintained that it was the right of an RTI applicant to approach SIC directly and seek remedy by quoting Section 18 and Section 19 of the RTI Act. The court said, “It is open to the person seeking information to move the State Information Commission complaining about the inaction of the State Public Information Officer, instead of filing an appeal. The remedies are concurrent and the mere fact that an appeal lies after the expiry of 30 days to the First Appellate Authority is no ground to hold that the State Information Commission cannot exercise the jurisdiction vested in it under Section 18 of the Act, before the first appeal is disposed off. I therefore overrule the petitioner's contention that the third respondent ought to have filed an appeal under Section 19 of the Act before the First Appellate Authority instead of straight away moving the State Information Commission.”

Section 19(1) of the RTI Act states, “Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub-section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of Section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority”.

The RTI Act states that SICs and CICs are entitled to entertain RTI applicants’ complaints in case they do not receive an order within a stipulated time frame.

Section 18(1)(c) RTI Act states: “Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limit specified under this Act.”

After submitting the complaint, the SIC and CIC will then investigate and take appropriate action. However, this is only when there is no reply received. In case reply is received and RTI applicant is not satisfied, then the RTI applicant will have to file first appeal.

However, the petitioner cited reasons that he was too busy and therefore could not provide information on time. However, the court was not impressed with his stance and was critical of him for not adhering to the laws of the RTI Act.

The court said, “After the Right to Information Act was enacted and brought into force, every government servant who is designated as the State Public Information Officer is bound to discharge the duty cast on him under the Act. He cannot decline to take any action on the requests under the Right to Information Act on the ground that he has other duties to attend to. As the State Public Information Officer, the petitioner has a duty to discharge his functions under the Right to Information Act also. Therefore the mere fact that there was pressure of work on the petitioner is not a ground to hold that he was not bound to furnish the information within the stipulated period of 30 days.”




4 years ago

RTI applicants can approach info commissioner directly if PIO fails to respond within stipulated time. Very good.


If the Info commissioner fails to respond ever !! what should one do?

Core sector industries’ output contracts by 2.5% in February

The negative performance in the reporting month pulled down the cumulative growth in 11 months of 2012-13 ended February to 2.6% against 5.2% during the corresponding period in 2011-12


The production of eight core sector industries contracted by 2.5% in February, declining for the first time in 2012-13. The contraction was on account of a steep drop in natural gas output.

Sector-wise performance revealed that the biggest decline of over 20% in the month was witnessed in case of natural gas, followed by coal (-8%), electricity generation (-4.1%) and crude oil (-4%).

The output growth of the core sector industries was 7.7% in February 2012.

The negative performance in the reporting month pulled down the cumulative growth in 11 months of 2012-13 ended February to 2.6% against 5.2% during the corresponding period in 2011-12.

The eight industries include crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel and have a weightage of 37.9% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

During the month, fertiliser output too shrank by 4% against 4.1% growth in February 2012.

However, cement output rose by 3.9% against 9.8% growth in the same month last year. At the same time, petroleum refinery products index rose by 4.3% as compared to 6% in the same month a year ago.

Steel production grew merely by 0.5 per cent against 8.7 in February 2012.

The eight core sector industries had grown by 3.1% in January and 2.5% in the previous month.

According to experts, the decline in the core industries will reflect in the IIP numbers of February, which will be released in the second week of this month.

Industrial output grew by 2.4% in January against 1% in the same month a year ago.


Sensex, Nifty may witness slow upmove: Monday Closing Report

Nifty has to maintain itself above 5,670 for the upmove to continue

The market recorded minor gains on the first trading day of the fiscal 2013-14, making it the third positive close in a row. The Nifty has to maintain itself above 5,670 for the upmove to continue. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 50.47 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 1152:376.
The market opened on a positive note tracking its Asian peers most of which were in the green in morning trade on firm economic indicators from China and Japan. Indian indicators to be released today were HSBC Factory PMI for March and core infrastructure output for February.
The Nifty opened 14 points higher at 5,697 and the Sensex resumed trade at 18,891, up 55 points over its previous close. Gains in realty and capital goods sectors saw the benchmarks hitting their intraday highs in the first hour. The Nifty rose to 5,721 and the Sensex climbed to 18,959 at their respective highs.
However, profit taking at higher levels soon saw the benchmarks paring their gains. News of a slowdown in manufacturing activity in March 2013 put pressure on the market in mid-morning trade. 
The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI)—a measure of factory production—stood at 52 in March, down from 54.2 in the previous month. The March expansion, which was at the slowest rate of expansion in 16 months, was on account of power outages hampered production activity and decline in new business orders.
The benchmarks slipped into the negative in noon trade on selling in auto and metal shares. The output of eight core infrastructure industries for February plunging 2.5% also weighed on the market, pushing it to the day’s low. At the lows, the Nifty fell to 5,676 and the Sensex went back to 18,797.
Select buying in the post-noon session helped the indices recover from the lows. The gains kept the indices firm in the positive terrain. The market closed with minor gains as domestic indicators lagged expectations, putting a question on the pace of economic growth.
The Nifty closed 22 points (0.38%) up at 5,704 and the Sensex rose 29 points (0.15%) to 18,865. 
The broader indices outperformed Sensex today. The BSE Mid-cap index surged 1.28% and the BSE Small-cap index jumped 2.30%.
Barring the BSE Metal (down 1.22%), BSE Auto (down 0.75%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 0.04%). all other sectoral gauges settled higher. The top gainers were BSE Realty (up 5.37%); BSE Capital Goods (up 1.68%); BSE Power (up 1.09%); BSE Healthcare (up 0.97%) and BSE Bankex (up 0.63%).
Fifteen of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The major gainers were Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (up 3.34%); BHEL (up 2.83%); Larsen & Toubro (up 2.18%); Infosys (up 1.85%) and Cipla (up 1.20%). The chief losers were Sterlite Industries (down 4.37%); Jindal Steel & Power (down 1.51%); Tata Motors (down 1.41%); Coal India (down 1.33%) and Wipro (down 1.22%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Core Projects (up 23.91%) and Hindustan Copper (up 14.72%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Sterlite Ind (down 4.37%) and Motherson Sumi Systems (down 3.99%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Vulcan Engineers (up 20%) and Gopala Polyplast (up 20%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Shimoga Technologies (down 16.67%) and GS Auto International (down 14.25%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 28 ended in the green. The key gainers were DLF (up 7.80%); Cairn India (up 5.08%); Reliance Infrastructure (up 4.22%); Dr Reddy’s (up 3.42%) and Jaiprakash Associates (up 3.36%). The major losers were Sesa Goa (down 2.77%); Tata Motors (down 1.69%); JSPL (down 1.60%); TCS (down 1.50%) and Bajaj Auto (down 1.50%).
Markets across Asia closed mostly lower as economic indicators released earlier in the day fell short of expectations. The Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan survey came in at -8, up from -12 in the previous quarter. Besides, China’s official manufacturing PMI stood at 50.9 in March, bet fell short of analysts’ expectations.
The Shanghai Composite shed 0.09%; the Jakarta Composite lost 0.07%; the KLSE Composite fell 0.24%; the Nikkei 225 plunged 2.12% and the Straits Times settled 0.02% lower. On the other hand, the Seoul Composite gained 0.12% and the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.41%. The Hang Seng was closed for trade today.
At the time of writing, US stock futures were marginally in the red. Markets across Europe are closed today for the Easter holiday.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs573.87 crore on Thursday whereas domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs346.12 crore.
Engineering and construction firm KEC International today said it has bagged orders worth Rs914 crore in transmission, power system and cables businesses in domestic and international markets. The RPG Group company has bagged Rs800 crore worth contracts in transmission business, Rs40 crore order in power systems business and Rs74 crore worth contract in cables business, a company statement said. The stock declined 3.22% to close at Rs57.15 on the NSE.
Engineering major Larsen & Toubro today said it has bagged a Rs5,689 crore order from state-owned Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam for setting up a supercritical thermal power project. The order involves design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of two coal-fired thermal units of 660 MW each with supercritical parameters at Chhabra in Rajasthan. The stock advanced 2.215 to close at Rs1,396.45 on the NSE.
Marking its presence in the renewable energy generation space, state-run NTPC has commissioned 10 MW solar power capacity, while its overall generation portfolio has crossed 41,000 MW.
NTPC, which has ambitious renewable energy plans, has commissioned two solar projects—each having 5 MW capacity—in Maharashtra and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The stock gained 0.67% to close at Rs142.90 on the NSE.


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