A secret cabinet note reveals desperation of Netas to hide from RTI Act

For the first time ever, a cabinet note, otherwise deemed `secret document’ is uploaded in the public domain to facilitate public consultations; thanks to public outcry

A handbook issued by the Cabinet Secretariat, on guiding Parliamentarians on how to write cabinet notes states importance of such notes, as, “the decisions taken by the Cabinet and Cabinet Committees are fundamental to the governance of the country and form the basis of policy formulation as also for evaluating the impact of programs, policies, plans, projects and schemes of the Government.”
 

Cabinet notes are deemed as secret documents and seeking copies of the same under the Right to Information (RTI) Act can be rejected under Section 8. However, thanks to the hue and cry by RTI activists and citizens all over the country, the RTI Amendment Bill, 2013, has been sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, making it open for public consultations too. When RTI activists questioned as to how can credible public suggestions/ objections be made without being informed about the arguments made in favour of keeping political parties out of the RTI Act, the Ministry of Personnel uploaded the secret cabinet note on its website.

This public disclosure is indeed historic and it gives a peek into the enthusiasm of the cabinet committee to keep political parties outside the purview of the RTI Act, out of which was born the RTI Amendment Bill, 2013.
 

Some points which highlight the unusual speed and desperate arguments with which the Cabinet operated to slip out of the RTI Act:

  1. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the placing of the RTI Amendment Ordinance, 2013 and the Cabinet Note before the Cabinet on 9 July 2013. However, the secret cabinet note of 23rd July turns the Ordinance into an amendment bill, reflecting the hurry with which members of parliament (MPs) wanted to get out of the ambit of RTI Act. The note states, that after the PM’s nod, ``It is now proposed that instead of bringing an Ordinance, an Amendment Bill may be introduced in Parliament… Accordingly, a draft Bill namely, the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 has been prepared and a copy of the same is placed below for the approval, before it is sent to the Administrative Department.’’
     
  2. Observing that the Central Information Commission (CIC) has made “liberal interpretation of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act in its 3 June 2013 order, the Cabinet Note curiously states, in fact confesses, that political parties were not considered to be public authorities even when the National RTI Act was enacted. Excerpts from the Cabinet Note: “…Moreover, during the process of enactment of the RTI Act, it was never visualised or considered to bring the political parties within the ambit of the said Act. If the political parties are held to be public authorities under the RTI Act, it would hamper their smooth internal working. Further, it is apprehended that political rivals might file RTI applications with malicious intentions to the Central Public Information Officers (CPIOs) of the political parties, thereby adversely affecting their political functioning.’’
  1. The Cabinet Note demands the complete exclusion of political party as public authority. Excerpt: “It is proposed to bring a Bill to amend the RTI Act so as to explicitly provide in the definition of public authority that public authority shall not include any political party registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951…The Right to Information Act, 2005 shall be amended as below:..the following Explanation shall be inserted, namely:- Explanation — The expression ‘authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted’ by any law made by Parliament shall not include any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.”
     
  2. The Cabinet Note demands that the Amendment should overrule any court order or any CIC decision. This goes to show how secretive political parties intend to be and at which lengths they want to go to not provide information. Excerpts: “…Notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree or order of any court or commission, the provisions of this Act, as amended by the Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2013, shall have effect and shall be deemed always to have effect, in the case of any association or body of individuals registered or recognised as political party under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 or any other law for the time being in force and the rules made or notifications issued there under."
     
  3. The Cabinet Note suggests that the RTI Amendment Bill comes into force on 3 June itself , that is, on the same day as the CIC decision so that no political parties are held responsible for not appointing PIOs and AAs (as ordered by the CIC) during that interim period. Excerpt: “The proposed Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the 3rd day of June, 2013, since the CIC decision holding political parties to be public authority under the RTI Act is dated 3rd of June, 2013. As per the section 19(7) of the RTI Act, the decision of the CIC shall be binding. Thus, to eliminate possibility of any action against the political parties for non compliance of the said CIC decision during the period from 3rd of June, 2013 till date, it would be imperative to bring this Act into force from 3rd of June, 2013.’’
     
  4. The Cabinet Note argues that transparency prevails even without political parties coming under the RTI Act. Excerpts: “… There are already provisions in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as well as in the Income Tax Act which lead to necessary transparency regarding the financial aspects of a political party.’’ The note also gives several other aspects of financial transparency (you may refer to the link provided in this article to see details) and then goes on to add: “Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI would hamper its smooth internal working, which is not the objective of the RTI Act and was not envisaged by the Parliament under the RTI Act. Further, the political rivals may maliciously file a large number of RTI applications with the CPIOs of political parties, thereby adversely affecting the political functioning of the political parties. Thus, it is necessary to annul the adverse effects of the erroneous conclusion by the CIC that political parties are public authorities under the RTI.’’

Thus, it is imperative that a very large number of citizens send their suggestions/ objections to the Standing Committee by 6th October. The Standing Committee would be submitting its report by mid-December.
 

Venkatesh Nayak, who has picked up cudgels for the people on this campaign through Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), says, “While the powers that be might be inclined to do a rethink on the Ordinance intended to let convicted MPs and hold on to their seats, the effort to amend the RTI Act to keep political parties out of its ambit goes on without much soul-searching. “
 

Recent news reports about the Cabinet Note attached to the Bill (accessible on the Dept. of Personnel’s website ) have indicated that the Government intends to exclude all political parties from the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) and not just those six national parties which were declared as public authorities by the CIC in June this year. In fact the text of the RTI Amendment Bill itself makes this intention very clear. The Cabinet Note only provides the reasoning for this retrograde move of the Government.
 

Nayak adds, “Unfortunately, by claiming that political parties are private bodies, political leaders opposed to transparency have reduced the status and prestige of their parties to the level of ordinary associations and clubs which appear and disappear with time.”
 

Other stories on this issue: RTI Amendment Bill: Why people can’t file suggestions, objections in languages other than Hindi, English?
 

Over one lakh signatories request PM for public consultations on RTI amendment
 

(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”)

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    COMMENTS

    Gopalakrishnan T V

    6 years ago

    This exposure of secret cabinet note is amazing.Law of the land is applicable to all equally and Politicians and political parties cannot expect to have an exemption. If the laws made in this country are made equally applicable and enforceable, The Governance standards would have been very high and the economy would have prospered long back. It is doubtful the Income Tax act and other acts intended to raise revenue are made applicable to all without fear or favor. Had this been made applicable to all with equal force and vigor as is the case with middle class and lower middle class, the fiscal deficit cannot be this high making the economy vulnerable.It is doubtful many of the Crorepatis in the country are having PAN Card even and they quote their PAN Card details for major transactions.

    Sethi

    6 years ago

    Thank you Vanita for sharing the Cabinet note with us . This just goes to show to what extent the Manmohan Singh Government along with the rest of the Poltical parties will go to protect their self interests . What have the political parties got to hide if they were transparent in their financial transactions and inner party internal working . The Verma Commission in it's report had precisely raised the inner party working in it's questionaire to Election Commission of India . The time has come to seriously consider for framing a new Constitution for India as the entire political class has made a mockery of the existing Constitution .

    RTI Amendment Bill: Why people can’t file suggestions, objections in languages other than Hindi, English?

    The Parliamentary Committee has sought citizens’ suggestions on the RTI Amendment Bill, 2013. However, there seems to be a deliberate attempt by government to restrict responses to Hindi and English languages, thus depriving half of the population a chance to file their suggestions and objections

    The latest two ordinances—one to protect Lalu Prasad Yadav from his mega fodder scam and the other to scuttle Supreme Court’s judgment on banning politicians who are convicted of a crime to contest—has further angered people of the brazenness with which these netas are indulging in lawlessness.

     

    The Right to Information (RTI) Amendment Bill, 2013 which aims to keep political parties out of the RTI ambit was also meant to be passed quickly in the Parliament as the netas would have liked it to be, met a hurdle thanks to a vociferous nation-wide campaign by RTI activists and citizens. The Bill was sent to a Parliamentary Committee.

     

    Shantaram Naik, who heads the Committee, has called for opinions and suggestions from citizens and organizations, through an advertisement on 21 September. The suggestions could be sent by post within 15 days of the release of the advertisement, which is 6 October, or in person. The Committee will ask those citizens, organizations and stakeholders who would like to orally put forth their say, to be present personally at a particular date.

     

    However, after the Parliament has bowed down to citizen pressure and sent the amendment bill to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, there seems to be an attempt to get ‘poor’ response. Also, there seems to be confusion on the connotation of transparency for a political party. In order that individuals do not send meaningless suggestions, various RTI organizations are working towards making a well-studied draft. Aruna Roy, one of the pioneers of the RTI Act, who has steered this campaign is holding a meeting of members of National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) to draft the suggestions tomorrow and will release it. 

     

    The other serious concern is that the Parliamentary Standing Committee has curiously asked citizens, through its advertisement, to “send your comments by email or by post (two copies must be sent) only in English or Hindi.’’ 

     

    Venkatesh Nayak, who has picked up cudgels for the people on this campaign through Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) vehemently, states this has been deliberately done to limit the number of suggestions. He said, “The Constitution gives official recognition to 21 languages other than Hindi in the Eighth Schedule. The number of persons speaking languages other than Hindi easily outnumbers people who are primarily Hindi-speakers. According to the 2001 Census data only 41% of the citizens in India speak Hindi. A little more than 10% of the citizenry is familiar with English as a primary or secondary language. These statistics imply, close to one half of the population will be prevented from making submissions on the RTI Amendment Bill merely because of the language barrier.’’

     

    Also, advertisements calling for these suggestions have also been restricted to these two languages only. Nayak argues that if public consultation on this issue is to be genuine and effective, then, “advertisements for submissions on the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2013 must be published in the leading newspapers of all states in the local official languages; citizens must be informed of their right to submit views and comments on this Bill in any of the 22 languages recognised in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution; translating the advertisement into the 22 official languages and translating back the submissions received from the people into the English and Hindi for the MPs on the Committee is not a difficult task for the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. They have a team of professional translators who provide simultaneous translation of speeches of members of Parliament (MPs) in every session. These people could be gainfully employed when Parliament is in recess.’’

     

    So, is the Parliamentary fraternity, making a hoax of public consultations?

     

    It may be recalled that the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, aims to keep political parties out of the ambit of the RTI Act and nullify the June 2013 decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC). The CIC has ordered that all six national political parties are public authorities and should immediately appoint Public Information Officers (PIOs) and Appellate Authorities (AAs). All the political parties came together to scuttle it

     

    Venkatesh Nayak’s views on limiting suggestions from public

     

    Language of submissions:

     

    It is most unfortunate that the Parliamentary Committee vetting the RTI Amendment Bill permits submissions to be made only in English and Hindi on such an important issue which affects every citizen of India. There are at least four problems with this blinkered approach.

     

    First, the Constitution gives official recognition to 21 languages other than Hindi in the Eighth Schedule. The number of persons speaking languages other than Hindi easily outnumbers people who are primarily Hindi-speakers. According to the 2001 Census data only 41% of the citizens in India speak Hindi. A little more than 10% of the citizenry is familiar with English as a primary or secondary language. These statistics imply, close to one half of the population will be prevented from making submissions on the RTI Amendment Bill merely because of the language barrier.

     

    Second, when Electronic Voting Machines mention names of candidates in English and the local official language of the State for the purpose of elections to Parliament, is there any justification for limiting submissions to the Parliamentary Committee to two languages only? If languages are important only for the purpose of electing MPs but not for collecting their views about making or amending laws to inform these very MPs can India claim to be a true democracy where everybody has equal space and opportunity for participating in the law-making processes?

     

    Third, many members of the Parliamentary Committee (see 2nd attachment) are themselves elected from or live in States where neither Hindi nor English is spoken by a majority of the citizens. Yet, there is no record in the public domain of any of these MPs demanding that opportunities be created for their brothers and sisters to send their comments on such an important issue in the official language(s) of the State.

     

    Fourth, Article 350 of the Constitution gives every citizen the right to make representations to any authority of the Central or State Government in any of the official languages used at the Central or State level. The Parliamentary Committee must recognise and honour this important constitutional principle in the context of making or amending laws and create opportunities for people to send their comments on the RTI Amendment Bill (3rd attachment) in any of the languages recognised in the Eighth Schedule.

     

    How can this inequality of opportunity be remedied?

     

    It is high time MPs raised the issue of equality of people's access to the Committee's proceedings in terms of official languages used in India. The Committee has a constitutional duty to take the following steps to ensure equality of access to all citizens who wish to submit their opinion about whether political parties should or should not be covered by the RTI Act:

     

    1) Advertisements for submissions on the RTI (Amendment) Bill 2013 must be published in the leading newspapers of all States in the local official languages;

     

    2) Citizens must be informed of their right to submit views and comments on this Bill in any of the 22 languages recognised in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

     

    3) The present time limit of 15 days for sending comments must be extended to at least 30 days to enable people to send their comments in various languages after holding local level consultations.

     

    4) Translating the advertisement into the 22 official languages and translating back the submissions received from the people into the English and Hindi for the MPs on the Committee is not a difficult task for the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. They have a team of professional translators who provide simultaneous translation of speeches of MPs in every Parliament session. These people could be gainfully employed when Parliament is in recess.

     

    What you can do to expand the consultation opportunity for all citizens:

    I urge you to SMS the following message to the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee- Mobile No.: 09422439990

     

    "Please take all necessary steps to enable people to send their comments on the RTI Amendment Bill, 2013 in all 22 languages recognised by our Constitution."

     

    This message is less than 160 characters long. The cost little of sending one SMS from any part of India, is very less.

     

    Or you may send a post card, fax, or email with your message to:

     

    The Chairperson,

    Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice

    Rajya Sabha Secretariat, #222, 2nd Floor, Parliament House Annexe; New Delhi- 110 001

    Email address: [email protected]; Fax: 011-23016784

     

    Or you may send the SMS or postcards, fax or email to all MPs on the Committee.

     

    Please remember to copy your emails and messages to me.

     

    Access to Information Programme

    Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

    B-117, 1st Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave

    New Delhi- 110 017

    Tel: +91-11-43180201/ 9871050555

    Fax: +91-11-26864688

    Website: www.humanrightsinitiative.org

     

     

    STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS IN THE RTI AMENDMENT BILL, 2013:

     

    The Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted by the Government for setting out a framework for effectuating the right to information for citizens and to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority.

     

    2. The Central Information Commission in one of its decision dated 03.06.2013 has held that the political parties namely AICC/INC, BJP, CPI (M), CPI, NCP and BSP are public authorities under section 2(h) of the said Act. The Government considers that the CIC has made a liberal interpretation of section 2(h) of the said Act in its decision. The political parties are neither established nor constituted by or under the Constitution or by any other law made by Parliament. Rather, they are registered or recognised under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the rules/orders made or issued thereunder.

     

    3. It has also been observed that there are already provisions in the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as well as in the Income-tax Act, 1961 which deals with the transparency in the financial aspects of political parties and their candidates.
     

    4. Declaring a political party as public authority under the RTI Act would hamper its smooth internal working, which is not the objective of the said Act and was not envisaged by Parliament under the RTI Act. Further, the political rivals may misuse the provisions of RTI Act, thereby adversely affecting the functioning of the political parties.
     

    5. In view of above, the Government has decided to amend the RTI Act to keep the political parties out of the purview of the RTI Act, with a view to remove the adverse effects of the said decision of the CIC. It is also necessary to give retrospective effect to the proposed amendment with effect from the date of the said decision of CIC, that is, 3rd day of June, 2013.

     

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    COMMENTS

    Vallish Kumar S

    6 years ago

    Here is a petition to demand equality for all Indian languages.

    chn.ge/17S72rs

    A Soorianarayanan

    6 years ago

    But Mr venkatesh Nayak;s e-mail address is not given? How to send copy of e-mail send to him?

    Jitendra Gupta

    6 years ago

    CM of Maharashtra, Chairman Tata Group: How Tata's Own/possess 8 natural lakes in Pune against constitution without auction or Profit sharing with State ?http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/cm...

    Jitendra Gupta

    6 years ago

    https://http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/honourabl...

    REPLY

    Jitendra Gupta

    In Reply to Jitendra Gupta 6 years ago

    Honourable President of India: Art. 86(2) prevent SC order on criminals politicians, CIC order RTI on Political. partieshttp://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/cm...

    Are public authorities following suo motu disclosure norms under Section 4 of RTI Act?

    In order to reduce the number of individual RTI applications, Department of Personnel & Training-DoPT, has issued fresh guidelines to public authorities to suo motu publish all information as required under Section 4 of the RTI Act, based on a taskforce report. But does any public authority care?

    Four months after the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) issued fresh guidelines to public authorities to abide by the suo motu disclosure under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the implementation seems questionable going by the general indifference of Public Information Officers (PIOs). This would have strengthened compliance with provisions for proactive disclosure as given in Section 4 of the RTI Act.

     

    The government had appointed a Task Force comprising leading RTI activists of the Civil Society in 2011. Based on the report, the DoPT has directed all public authorities to strictly abide by the norms. The office memorandum to all public authorities states, “…The purpose of suo motu disclosures under Section 4 is to place large amount of information in public domain on a proactive basis to make the functioning of the Public Authorities more transparent and also to reduce the need for filing individual RTI applications.”

     

    Citing that the “quality and quantity of proactive disclosure is not up to the desired level, it was felt that the weak implementation of the Section 4 of the RTI Act is partly because certain provisions of this Section have not been fully detailed and, in case of certain other provisions, there is need for laying down detailed guidelines. Further there is need to set up a compliance mechanism to ensure that requirements under section 4 of the RTI Act are met.”

     

    The guidelines issued by DoPT on 15 April 2013 include posting of information on websites too. Interestingly, all government departments have to mandatorily include a chapter on RTI Act compliance. The memo states, “Government has issued directions to all Ministries/ Departments to include a chapter on RTI Act in their Annual Reports submitted to the Parliament. Details about compliance with proactive disclosure guidelines should mandatorily be included in the relevant chapter in Annual Report of Ministry/Department.’’

     

    Every public authority has been asked to do an audit report and the respective ministry has been asked to monitor it.

     

    Following are the rules that should have been implemented by all public authorities:

     

    Procurement made by Public Authorities:

    publication of notice/tender enquiries, corrigenda thereon, and details of bid awards detailing the name of the supplier of goods/services being procured or the works contracts entered or any such combination of these and the rate and total amount at which such procurement or works contract is to be done should be disclosed.

     

    Public Private Partnerships

    If Public services are proposed to be provided through a public-private-partnership (PPP), all information relating to the PPPs must be disclosed in the public domain by the Public Authority entering into the PPP contract/concession agreement. This may include details of the special purpose vehicle (SPV), if any set up, detailed project reports, concession agreements, operation and maintenance manuals and other documents generated as part of the implementation of the PPP project. Further, information about fees, tolls, or other kinds of revenue that may be collected under authorization from the Government, information in respect of outputs and outcomes, process of selection of the private sector party may also be proactively disclosed. All payments made under the PPP project may also be disclosed in a periodic manner along with the purpose of making such payment.

     

    Transfer Policy and Transfer Orders

    Transfer policy for different grades/cadres of employees serving in Public Authority should be proactively disclosed. All transfer orders should be publicized through the website or in any other manner listed in Section 4(4) of the Act. These guidelines would not be applicable in cases of transfers made keeping in view sovereignty, integrity, security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State and the exemptions covered under Section 8 of the Act. These instructions would not apply to security and intelligence organizations under the second schedule of the RTI Act.

     

    RTI Applications

    All Public Authorities shall proactively disclose RTI applications and appeals received and their responses, on the websites maintained by Public Authorities with search facility based on key words. RTI applications and appeals received and their responses relating to the personal information of an individual may not be disclosed, as they do not serve any public interest.

     

    Citizens Charter

    As part of the Result Framework Document of the department/organization should be proactively disclosed and six monthly report on the performance against the benchmarks set in Citizens Charter should also be displayed on the website of public authorities.

     

    Discretionary and Non-discretionary grants

    All discretionary /non-discretionary grants/ allocations to state governments/ NGOs/Other institutions by Ministry/Department should be placed on the website of the Ministry/ Department concerned. Annual Accounts of all legal entities who are provided grants by Public Authorities should be made available through publication, directly or indirectly on the Public Authority’s website.

             

    Foreign Tours of PM/Ministers

    A large number of RTI queries are being filed on official tours undertaken by Ministers or officials of various Government Ministries/Departments. Information regarding the nature, place and period of foreign and domestic tours of Prime Minister are already disclosed on the PMO’s website. As per DoPT’s OM No. 1/8/2012-IR dated 11/9/2012, Public Authorities may proactively disclose the details of foreign and domestic official tours undertaken by the Minister(s) and officials of the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India and above and Heads of Departments, since 1st January, 2012. The disclosures may be updated once every quarter.

    Information to be disclosed proactively may contain nature of the official tour, places visited, the period, number of people included in the official delegation and total cost of such travel undertaken

     

    Guidelines for digital publication of proactive disclosure under Section 4

    Section 4 lays down that information should be provided through many mediums depending upon the level of the public authority and the recipient of information (for example, in case of Panchayat, wall painting may be more effective means of dissemination of information), and that more and more proactive disclosure would gradually be made through Internet. There is need for more clear guidelines for web-based publication of information for disclosure

    It should be the endeavour of all public authorities that all entitlements to citizens and all transactions between the citizen and government are gradually made available through computer based interface. The ‘Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2012’under formulation in Government of India would provide the necessary impetus.

    Websites should contain detailed information from the point of origin to the point of delivery of entitlements/services provided by the Public Authorities to citizens

    Orders of the public authority should be uploaded on the website immediately after they have been issued

    Website should contain all the relevant Acts, Rules, forms and other documents which are normally accessed by citizens

    Each Ministry/Public Authority shall ensure that these guidelines are fully operationalized within a period of 6 months from the date of their issue

    Proactive disclosure as per these guidelines would require collating a large quantum of information and digitizing it. Ministries/Public Authorities may engage consultants or outsource such work to expeditiously comply with these guidelines. For this purpose, the plan/non-plan funds of that department may be utilized

    Each Ministry/ Public Authority should get its proactive disclosure package audited by third party every year. The audit should cover compliance with the proactive disclosure guidelines as well as adequacy of the items included in the package. The audit should examine whether there are any other types of information which could be proactively disclosed. Such audit should be done annually and should be communicated to the Central Information Commission annually through publication on their own websites. All Public Authorities should proactively disclose the names of the third party auditors on their website

    For carrying out third party audit through outside consultants also, ministries/Public Authorities should utilize their plan/non-plan funds. The Central Information Commission should examine the third-party audit reports for each Ministry/Public Authority and offer advice/recommendations to the concerned Ministries/ Public Authorities.

    Central Information Commission should carry out sample audit of few of the Ministries/ Public Authorities each year with regard to adequacy of items included as well as compliance of the Ministry/Public Authority with these guidelines.

     

    For more details, visit: www.cic.gov.in

     

    (Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”)

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    User

    COMMENTS

    Deepak Gupta

    6 years ago

    I have query-

    Is there a way senior officials of these bodies/authorities be prosecuted (via PILs) for negligence in fulfilling their lawful obligations?

    The prosecution itself needs not be under RTI laws - it just provides the obligations on the public authority in this case. As long as there is no specific exemption for nonfulfilment of obligations under section 4.

    Mahesh Khanna

    6 years ago

    Instead it is become fashion of CPIO's to simply say that information is not available or take shelter Under sec 8 (1)(e)(j) and refuse to provide information.

    We are listening!

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