DU official fined Rs25K for rejecting RTI query on Modi's degree
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi University's Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) for rejecting an RTI application seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's graduation degree.
 
The Chief Information Commission, M. Sridhar Acharyulu, in a recent order, pulled up CPIO Meenakshi Sahay of Delhi University and said the rejections reminded him of the saying "penny wise, pound foolish".
 
The commission was hearing a plea filed by Delhi-based lawyer Mohammad Irsad, whose RTI query seeking inspection of Modi's degree was rejected on the ground that the Indian Postal Order (IPO) was not marked in favour of the Registrar of the university.
 
The commission, directing the "public authority" to recover an amount of Rs 25,000 from the salary payable to Sahay, said that after hearing the story that thousands of rupees had been spent in a legal battle for a postal order of Rs 10, "the proverb 'penny wise, pound foolish' has to be rewritten as 'rupee wise and thousand foolish' ".
 
Sahay in her defence argued that there was no malice in rejecting the RTI application and that she had to follow the policies laid down by the university.
 
The commission did not find any merit or justification in her argument, stating that the fee was not a material factor to throw out an RTI request.
 
It said it was "vexed with non response" from the CPIO to a number of its notices and thus found it a fit case to impose penalty.
 
Calling the CPIO's action "pathetic", the commissioner said in the order that "such a simple request for information has been dragged to the level of second appeal, building heaps of documents with multiple files".
 
The commission also slammed Delhi University for "spending huge amounts of money and consuming precious time of public servants", including the commission.
 
It also asked the "public authority", without defining it, to facilitate sufficient training to the entire staff, including the CPIO, in the matter of RTI law so that they do not reject applications in a routine manner without application of mind.
 
The commission recommended that officials be provided with the latest books on the RTI Act as well as classic text books on administrative law. It suggested they should also be given the books "Right to Know" by late professor S.P. Sathe and "Five-point Someone: What Not To Do At IIT" by Chetan Bhagat.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    TIHARwale

    3 years ago

    CPIO and her colleagues in Delhi University are dubious characters. In a reply to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali in September 2015, the DU claimed that they did not have records of past more that four decades and for obtaining the list of passed out students for the year 1978, the activist should approach the concerned Degree colleges affiliated to the Delhi University.

    Based on this, Galgali has now filed an appeal in thematter following the recent developments by the DU which has dismissed the points raised by the AAP as common errors.

    Galgali had filed a query with the DU on September 11, 2015, seeking detailed list of students who has passed out in the year 1978. In a reply, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi University Jay Chandra had informed Galgali that the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) and IT Officer (Planning cell) stated that the query pertains to records almost four decades old and hence department does not have the details. According to the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) the copies of the examination results are sent by the examinations department to the respective colleges, hence for seeking the information the applicant may approach the respective colleges.

    “After the Delhi University made public the degree of the PM Narendra Modi, it has now become clear that the Delhi University had mislead me in its reply, as the issue of PM Modi's degree too pertained to year 1978 and it has made the details public, means that the DU has in its possession the details of all the students passed out in the year 1978. Hence, I have now filed the 1st appeal under the RTI Act to the Delhi University seeking the detailed list of all the passed out students of BA of the year 1978. Also in a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Raj, I have expressed surprise over the double standards of the DU officials, demanding action against the officials who has misled me by not providing information and have also demanded that the University provides me with the detailed list of the passed out students of the year 1978.”

    In a reply to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali in September 2015, the DU claimed that they did not have records of past more that four decades and for obtaining the list of passed out students for the year 1978, the activist should approach the concerned Degree colleges affiliated to the Delhi University.

    Based on this, Galgali has now filed an appeal in thematter following the recent developments by the DU which has dismissed the points raised by the AAP as common errors.

    Galgali had filed a query with the DU on September 11, 2015, seeking detailed list of students who has passed out in the year 1978. In a reply, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi University Jay Chandra had informed Galgali that the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) and IT Officer (Planning cell) stated that the query pertains to records almost four decades old and hence department does not have the details. According to the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) the copies of the examination results are sent by the examinations department to the respective colleges, hence for seeking the information the applicant may approach the respective colleges.

    “After the Delhi University made public the degree of the PM Narendra Modi, it has now become clear that the Delhi University had mislead me in its reply, as the issue of PM Modi's degree too pertained to year 1978 and it has made the details public, means that the DU has in its possession the details of all the students passed out in the year 1978. Hence, I have now filed the 1st appeal under the RTI Act to the Delhi University seeking the detailed list of all the passed out students of BA of the year 1978. Also in a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Raj, I have expressed surprise over the double standards of the DU officials, demanding action against the officials who has misled me by not providing information and have also demanded that the University provides me with the detailed list of the passed out students of the year 1978.”

    CPIO and her colleagues in Delhi University are dubious characters. In a reply to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali in September 2015, the DU claimed that they did not have records of past more that four decades and for obtaining the list of passed out students for the year 1978, the activist should approach the concerned Degree colleges affiliated to the Delhi University.

    Based on this, Galgali has now filed an appeal in thematter following the recent developments by the DU which has dismissed the points raised by the AAP as common errors.

    Galgali had filed a query with the DU on September 11, 2015, seeking detailed list of students who has passed out in the year 1978. In a reply, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi University Jay Chandra had informed Galgali that the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) and IT Officer (Planning cell) stated that the query pertains to records almost four decades old and hence department does not have the details. According to the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) the copies of the examination results are sent by the examinations department to the respective colleges, hence for seeking the information the applicant may approach the respective colleges.

    “After the Delhi University made public the degree of the PM Narendra Modi, it has now become clear that the Delhi University had mislead me in its reply, as the issue of PM Modi's degree too pertained to year 1978 and it has made the details public, means that the DU has in its possession the details of all the students passed out in the year 1978. Hence, I have now filed the 1st appeal under the RTI Act to the Delhi University seeking the detailed list of all the passed out students of BA of the year 1978. Also in a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Raj, I have expressed surprise over the double standards of the DU officials, demanding action against the officials who has misled me by not providing information and have also demanded that the University provides me with the detailed list of the passed out students of the year 1978.”

    In a reply to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali in September 2015, the DU claimed that they did not have records of past more that four decades and for obtaining the list of passed out students for the year 1978, the activist should approach the concerned Degree colleges affiliated to the Delhi University.

    Based on this, Galgali has now filed an appeal in thematter following the recent developments by the DU which has dismissed the points raised by the AAP as common errors.

    Galgali had filed a query with the DU on September 11, 2015, seeking detailed list of students who has passed out in the year 1978. In a reply, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi University Jay Chandra had informed Galgali that the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) and IT Officer (Planning cell) stated that the query pertains to records almost four decades old and hence department does not have the details. According to the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) the copies of the examination results are sent by the examinations department to the respective colleges, hence for seeking the information the applicant may approach the respective colleges.

    “After the Delhi University made public the degree of the PM Narendra Modi, it has now become clear that the Delhi University had mislead me in its reply, as the issue of PM Modi's degree too pertained to year 1978 and it has made the details public, means that the DU has in its possession the details of all the students passed out in the year 1978. Hence, I have now filed the 1st appeal under the RTI Act to the Delhi University seeking the detailed list of all the passed out students of BA of the year 1978. Also in a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Raj, I have expressed surprise over the double standards of the DU officials, demanding action against the officials who has misled me by not providing information and have also demanded that the University provides me with the detailed list of the passed out students of the year 1978.”

    In a reply to an RTI query by activist Anil Galgali in September 2015, the DU claimed that they did not have records of past more that four decades and for obtaining the list of passed out students for the year 1978, the activist should approach the concerned Degree colleges affiliated to the Delhi University.

    Based on this, Galgali has now filed an appeal in thematter following the recent developments by the DU which has dismissed the points raised by the AAP as common errors.

    Galgali had filed a query with the DU on September 11, 2015, seeking detailed list of students who has passed out in the year 1978. In a reply, the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Delhi University Jay Chandra had informed Galgali that the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) and IT Officer (Planning cell) stated that the query pertains to records almost four decades old and hence department does not have the details. According to the Assistant Controller of Examinations (Results) the copies of the examination results are sent by the examinations department to the respective colleges, hence for seeking the information the applicant may approach the respective colleges.

    “After the Delhi University made public the degree of the PM Narendra Modi, it has now become clear that the Delhi University had mislead me in its reply, as the issue of PM Modi's degree too pertained to year 1978 and it has made the details public, means that the DU has in its possession the details of all the students passed out in the year 1978. Hence, I have now filed the 1st appeal under the RTI Act to the Delhi University seeking the detailed list of all the passed out students of BA of the year 1978. Also in a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi and Registrar Tarun Raj, I have expressed surprise over the double standards of the DU officials, demanding action against the officials who has misled me by not providing information and have also demanded that the University provides me with the detailed list of the passed out students of the year 1978.”

    Maharashtra-based activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI application in September 2015 asking for records of all students who graduated from DU in 1978, but the university claimed “it did not maintain three to four decade-old records”. “If the DU had not lied in their reply to Galgali, how have they dug out Modi’s degree and marksheets now? Either they were lying then or they are lying now,”. so CPIO is guided by dubious colleagues in DU

    Aerated drinks are banned in Parliament canteens but the public can guzzle them
    It is well known that India is the diabetes capital of the world but we have not seen any government at the centre clamp down on aerated drinks, which worldwide are known to have a high amount of sugar and are detrimental to health and a cause of lifestyle diseases. However, a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act reveals that since 2003 aerated drinks are banned in all canteens of Parliament, obviously to protect the health of our members of Parliament (MPs).
     
    In an order dated 6 August 2003, E Ahamed, then Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Food Management, says, “It is hereby ordered that supply of all soft drinks like Pepsi-cola, Coca-cola, Limca, Mirinda, Orange, 7-up, Fanta, Sprite, Thums Up, Mountain Dew, Diet Pepsi, Blue Pepsi etc. and all other brands of drinks of this nature shall be discontinued in the catering centres and canteens within the Parliament House Complex with immediate effect.”
     
    “Agencies of these soft drinks be informed to remove their display refrigerator, advertisement material, if any, from the Parliament House immediately,” the order adds.
     
    Noted RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal had filed the RTI application to Northern Railways, which is the catering agency for Parliament. He says, “If such a ban is imposed in Parliament House complex, then these drinks should be banned for general public also. After all, public health must not be considered less important than of Parliamentarians and others using Parliament canteens. It is significant that cola companies voluntarily stopped selling cola drinks in schools worldwide in view of increasing obesity in school-going children. It is surprising that the Indian government failed to notice such harmful effects of cola drinks and has allowed their sale to children.”
     
     
    In a brochure released on 28 December 2016 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, titled `Healthy Children, Healthy India’, there is barely any mention that aerated drinks are bad for health. At the beginning of the brochure there is one bullet point which states, “Limit sugar, salt and aerated drinks”, and then under the title `Junk Food’ it is merely mentioned, “Junk food is calorie rich food containing high amount of fat, sugar, salt; regular intake of junk food results in obesity.” Check the brochure here
     
    Since aerated drinks are banned in Parliament, one would think that the Health Ministry would spread the word even more eloquently and widely when it comes to children’s health; but no, it has chosen to be so mild that it amounts to criminal negligence.
     
    Considering that 50 million Indians suffer from Type 2 diabetes, one would imagine the government would put aerated drinks as the highest risk for this disease and create large public awareness and ban them in schools and colleges. Instead, it is sitting smugly, ensuring that its MPs are taken care of. 
     
     
    How dangerous are soft drinks can be gauged by this study of Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. It says:
    • People who consume sugary drinks regularly — 1 to 2 cans a day or more — have a 26% greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
    • A study that followed 40,000 men for two decades found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack. A related study in women found a similar sugary beverage–heart disease link.
    • A study, spread over 22 years, of 80,000 women found that those who consumed a can a day of sugary drink had a 75% higher risk of gout. Researchers found a similar elevated risk in men.
    • Dr Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, recently made a strong case that there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption reduces the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases.
     
    Mr Agrawal says, “The Government can at least ban advertisements of cola drinks. It is senseless to exempt cola drinks from printing their ingredients on bottles in the name of trade secret when every packaged food commodity has to do so. Earlier, too, soft drink manufacturers were asked to remove an oil from their products which was found to be harmful to health. Compulsory printing of ingredients on cola bottles, including re-usable glass bottles, will clear doubts about the presence of any intoxicant or addicting substance in cola drinks.”
     
    It is indeed galling that even health directives are the privilege of our netas, like many other privileges.
     
    (Vinita Deshmukh is 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

    SRINIVAS SHENOY

    3 years ago

    This article pertaining to our health is highly useful and informative and the general public should be made aware about its dangers akin to smoking by issuing the requisite health directives.

    Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial: No Feasibility Report, No Technical Estimate, reveals RTI
    The project of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the Arabian Sea is without any feasibility report, not there any technical estimation done, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information Act. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 December 2016 laid the foundation for the Memorial of the Maratha warrior King.
     
    Pune-based RTI activist Sanjay Shirodkar had filed the RTI asking copies of feasibility report, technical estimate, environmental clearance and approval given by the Maharashtra government of the Project, estimated to cost about Rs3,600 crore. The Memorial includes a proposed 192-meter tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, will be built off the coast of Mumbai by reclaiming land from the Arabian Sea.
     
    Replying to the RTI, VG Jethra, Public Information Officer (PIO) and Deputy Engineer of CMSM Project Division, says, "The Feasibility Report of the said project is not prepared. Being an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, the Technical Estimate of this Memorial Project is not prepared."
     
    Shirodkar says, "Feasibility report is the base of every infrastructure project. How this was not prepared for this mega project? In EPC, the Contractor is made responsible for activities from EPC to Commissioning and hand over to end user or Owner. Again Government should prepare a Technical Estimate of any infrastructure project. In this case if this happens then who will control the Cost Escalation?"
     
    Here is the reply received by Shirodkar under the RTI... 
      
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    COMMENTS

    Sandeep Sood

    3 years ago

    The only requirement is political comfort and sefish goals ;) Baki sab MITHYA hai.

    S A Narayan

    3 years ago

    For sure its a scandal in the making by the time the project is completed.

    Dahyabhai S Patel

    3 years ago

    BRTS is Bus Rapid Transit System. BRTS Delhi was a failure and AAP Government had to scrap it spending Rs. 36 crores. BRTS Ahmedabad also is failure but useful to politicians like a Modi and a Gadkari getting financial and positional benefits!

    Sudhir Jatar

    3 years ago

    In Maharashtra, pre-feasibility and feasibility reports, inception reports and detailed project report are generally not prepared. A stark example is that of BRTS in Pune for which over Rs. 20 crores have been spent and much more earmarked. So, it is not a surprise at all.

    REPLY

    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 3 years ago

    I have seen in the middle of the road in Pune, some bus stand was built up. I was not knowing that it was called BRIT.
    Project is failure, buses in modified form to run for BRIT were put in scrap, as people who want to board such buses or alighting from such buses, at most traffic roads were finding them very difficult to cross the road, to reach BRIT bus stops or move to side from BRTI bus stop.
    Government of Maharashtra has not removed BRIT bus shelters in the middle of the road at Pune, which are great obstacle to speedy vehicular traffic.

    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    In Reply to Sudhir Jatar 3 years ago

    What is BRTS in Pune, Sir?
    Kindly explain.
    Thank you.

    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    3 years ago

    With the same cost at least ten jetties along the coast of Maharashtra state can be constructed. This will give solace to the soul of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who gave importance to navy and navigation in his empire.
    This statue in the middle of the Arabian Sea very close to the Mumbai Port will require lot of security measures, and yearly maintenance of entire artificial island and the huge statue. It will require at least 500 to 600 crore rupees every year to maintain this statue.

    Fairy gada

    3 years ago

    It is so difficult to understand what is going on with these politicians. Are they doing good to the society or not.

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