Upgrad LLM

rti - shameless bmc asks for travelling expenses.

ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

SHAMELESS & INCOMPETENT   Municipal Corporation of Mumbai

 

Times of India, Page no. 03, 24th November, Mumbai Edition.
 
 Man told to pay up for moving RTI

Mumbai: Dadar resident Milind S Mulay was in for a shock when he got a reply from BMC executive engineer V R Koranne, saying that he will have to bear travelling charges of Rs 60 for taking out photocopies under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
Mulay had asked for copies of some documents from G North ward and the ward office had forwarded this RTI query to the BMC’s building proposal department. “The department said I would have to pay not only the expenses incurred for the photocopies, but also for travelling charges for taking out the copies, in gross violation of the Act,’’ Mulay said.
   This is not a one-off case. Increasingly, the Public Information Officer (PIO) and appellate authorities of various municipal corporations in Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan have been stone-walling information giving flimsy reasons. The applicants now have to approach the state information commission (SIC) for final redressal.
   An RTI appeal is filed with the first appellate authority when the information is not provided within 30 days by the public information officer of the same department. But a random inspection of the appeals received by various departments shows that the appellate authorities do not bother to reply on time nor do they maintain a register of the RTI hearings.
   For instance, the number of appeals received by various departments of the BMC and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) show that over 50% of the appeals have been disposed of after the mandatory 30 days. While BMC’s executive health officer disposed of 52% appeals after the mandatory 30-day period, the TMC’s deputy municipal commissioner (HQ) disposed of more than 61% of the appeals after the mandatory period.
   “Similarly, the assistant director of the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), town planning, disposed of 29% of the appeals after the stipulated period,’’ said Milind S Mulay who filed the RTI query on the issue.
   The SIC is today saddled with over 16,000 second appeals and due to this huge backlog, second appeals that are over one-and-a-half years old are yet to be heard by the commission. “The appellate authority should provide the information without any delay. This will reduce the number of second appeals pending and applicants will not have to wait for months together,’’ Suresh Joshi, state chief information commissioner said.

 
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Lawyer

In fact if the SIC takes stern action against the erring people, the tendancy of giving flimsy replies and harrassment to the people can be curbed to some extent. The SIC has powers impose fine on the PIO's if they avoid to provide the information.

 
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Advocate

There seems to be a lot of unawarness about RTI, Once Railway Dept asked an applicant to pay TA/DA for two assistants who worked on preparing a reply.

 
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The Disciplinary Authority of the concerned Municipal Corporation, Bombay, should take Disciplinary Action against such an irresponsible Officer who gives such irresponsible reply and for making the citizen annoyed and discouraged under  conduct Rules, and issue a warning notable in his service records making him ineligible for further promotion, if he repeats such reply  to the citizen who seeks Information under R.T.Act.2005

 
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ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

U/s 20(1) and 20(2), RTI Act, there is already a provision to enforce disciplinary action against the PIO.


BUT, it is the SIC or the CIC, who has to do the needful.  Till date hardly any PIO has been given disciplinary punishment.  THUS thereby encouragning the PIO's from going ahead with such nuisance. and making the RTI Act a literal mockery.


I say that because of the SIC & CIC's, inability to enforce disciplinary action against the PIO's, the RTI act is losing its very purpose.


Keep Smiling ... HemantAgarwal


09820174108


s

 
Reply   
 

Dear Friend,


I do not agree your views  of blaming CIC & SIC or the Act itself,as if it is loosing itss purpose.


Because, CIC or SIC cannot sit over the head of the Disciplinary Authority and assume the powers of the Disciplinary Authority of the concerned erred official of a particular department.  The Commission can give suitable directlon to the appropriate authority for taking disciplincary action and report to the Commission within a prescribed period.


My humble suggestion for the effective implementation of this Act with 100% success, is that the Central Government and all the States of the Indian Union should incorporate a provision under the relevant Conduct Rules, that non furnishing of timely reply, false reply, vague reply, refusal to reply without justification etc., will lead to the offence of negligence of duties and also unbecoming of a government servant and framing charges etc., for MAJOR PENALTY ACTION  AFTER GIVING DUE OPPORTUNITIES UNDER ARTICLE 311 OF THE CONSTITUTION


 

 
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