Sunday, June 20, 2010

RE: [rti_india] Re: Fee for First and Second Appeals


Dear friends,
The recent threads of discussion on fees for appeals and before that the discussion on the implications of the Delhi High Court's decision in the matter of DDA v CIC have convinced me that this discussion group is in the grip of some elements that would like to see RTI destroyed completely. The moderator is also clearly in league with such elements. His clarifications on the phone that I must not take these innuendoes and namecalling personally and that the extreme and often inane interpretations of the RTI Act are only meant to encourage 'good debate' seem more and more unconvincing. This is not good debate. This is an anti-RTI agenda that is being carried out in the name of debate because other discussion groups do not tolerate such fringe elements and chuck them out.
Some of us have been trying to present views from the perspective of the RTI Act- its original objectives and true intention. But as the old saying goes- "none as blind as those who do not wish to see" we are unable to make much headway. These threads of discussion are increasingly being directed in the way of convincing the more moderate members to agree to destroying all the protections that the RTI provides for citizens and placing more restrictions on RTI and citizens. As this kind of agenda is being driven by some members under the active collusion of the moderator, whatever those of us, truly interested in seeing RTI grow from strength to strength say, will not help resolve these debates. Then these fringe elements resort to name calling and obfuscating issues when their puerile arguments are met with sane and reasonable interpretations of the RTI Act which they find difficult to repudiate.
RTI is more than lobbing balls at a tennis court as the moderator makes it appear. Using the moderator's own metaphor for a little longer- importing the scheme of the Court Fees Act into the RTI Act is akin to playing a game of tennis by the rules of soccer. The more moderate members of this group will understand what I am saying.
This is all I would like to say on this or any other issue for a long while starting now.

From: [] On Behalf Of sarbajitr
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 5:53 PM
Subject: [rti_india] Re: Fee for First and Second Appeals


Dear Col, Karira etc.

As an individual I would also not like for the citizens
to be burdened with "appeal fees", "fees for service of
process" etc. It is the last thing on my mind, because
at the end of the day, irrespective of this debate, we
are law abiding citizens.

The real issue, however, is the role of the NGOs in
RTI and the role of these so-called "RTI activists".

Strictly speaking the purposes of RTI Act are :-

a) to enable cityzens to get information from the

b) For the Government to get its records in order,
publish their suo-moto disclosure, and put in place
the necessary infrastructure to service request for
information from the citizens.

In this process, there is neither any role for
a) NGOs or b) for RTI activists. Nobody on this list
would seriously dispute that the vast majority of
NGOs / RTI activists are 'haramis' in the true sense
of the word. For them RTI is only a tool for blackmail
purposes or to push their own private agendas.
There is also no shortage of groups like Hum Janenge,
RTI4empowerment, etc where NGOs and activists are
allowed to have their say on RTI - even if citizens
like me and Ashish etc are banned from posting there.

The purpose of RTI_India group is different. It is a
space for citizens to interact on RTI Act with other
citizens and PIOs / First Appellates and even the odd
IC or two, so as to preach, practice and propagate
"responsible RTI". So citizens and GOs are necessary
members for this list, and we are lucky that we have
so many GOs who help us. It is also the reason why
the RTI debates on this group are definitely the best
as compared to any other group.

If NGOs and activists are to participate on this group
they must ensure that they do not fall victim
to the "I am RTI God whatever I say is correct" syndrome.
On this group everyone (me included) who contributes
will be subject to exceptional and frank peer review.
As we have repeated many many times we have no censorship
or moderation.

This thread / debate is the result of an exchange between
Ashish and Venkatesh. We debate in a sporting way here.
Ashish's ball is now in Venkatesh's court, if he chooses
to smash it back the game will continue, otherwise the
point will be awarded to Ashish and the discussion closed.


--- In, Col NR Kurup <colnrkurup@...> wrote:
> Dear Mr.Sarbajit,
> My I request you to consider closing this post please ?
> Col Kurup

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