Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Re: [HumJanenge] COMMENTS / OBJECTIONS / SUGGESTIONS : ref:PN/DoPT/OM/2010/RTI/AAA-0000-013

Dear Haren

Just a final piece of information for everyone on this campaign. You may have read some reports that "13,000" emails were sent to DoPT, that emails were bouncing, and that more time was needed etc etc to file comments on the draft Rules. ALL FALSE !!!

Consider this

1) The HumJanenge group organised the filing of a total of about 115 valid comments (yrs truly filed 24 objns) . This was backed up by another 218 votes of support through the HJ online petition (password protected) for our comments, evidently even Barkha Dutt and Chairperson NAC have endorsed our efforts.

2) The DoPT today confirmed to me that only about 407 comments were received in time into Mr Girdhar's mail box and that absolutely no email was bounced back from his mailbox. I can separately confirm that DoPT's servers were working as we had installed tracking codes into some of our submissions and we could see that the emails were being opened within 12-24 hours.

3) Also that of the 407 comments received, only about 200 were required to be printed out and considered. (I presume that they didn't want to waste time on the 218 votes of support we got). So that's not too bad a ratio.

4) Lastly concerning the "bouncing emails". All the NCPRI affiliates were using the wrong email ID :-)


On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM, H P <hgpandya@gmail.com> wrote:
Ya...definitely I agree with u, I don't want to discourage our efforts...but their intentions r since inceptions. Govt. as a whole is committed to but the implementing habitual class don't want transparency at all and so creating hindrances since long in the name of amendments.
Any way I must congratulate u and the team for continuous efforts for the campaign as well as keeping us well informed

On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 10:27 PM, sroy 1947 <sroy1947@gmail.com> wrote:
We don't want their intentions to change. Its like cats and dogs. All
we want is for the balance to be maintained. Maybe by delaying, maybe
by winning some / losing some.

What you may not know is that the silent majority of babu's equally
want transparency.
Unfortunately till now they were under the impression that only Ms
Aruna Roy and her gang represented the "people". Their impression is
changing by the "professional" responses
"we" (the people of India) are filing against their draft. Even if we
don't achieve much this time, they are going to be very careful when
it comes to amending the Act. For example if the change even a single
word (or comma) between the draft and the final rules, we can pursue
them in great detail .

In any case, we don't seriously expect DoPT to actually consider our
objections. Filing comments is the thin edge of the wedge to get a
lever against them and ensure that the honest officers do not buckle
down the next time. The game has just started. By publishing this
draft and inviting comments they have opened many doors to their
fortress - its up to us to take advantage of it.

"Picture abhi bhi baaki hai mere dost!"

so don't walk out during the interval


On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 9:31 PM, H P <hgpandya@gmail.com> wrote:
> Sarabjit, do u think their intention will change?
> On Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 8:47 PM, Sarbajit Roy <sroy.mb@gmail.com> wrote:
>> To:
>> The Government of India, by
>> Shri R.K.Girdhar
>> Under-Secretary/RTI
>> Department of Personnel and Training, North Block
>> New Delhi 110011
>> 2) SECRET,
>> 3) My Intellectual property,
>> 4) Not to be disclosed to any unauthorised person,
>> 5) Not to be disclosed to any private person whatsoever,
>> 6) Not to be disclosed to Prime Minister or his office,
>> 7) Not to be disclosed to National Advisory Council,
>> 8) Not to be disclosed under Right to Information except to myself,
>> Date:  21-December-2010
>> Your Ref: OM dated 10.12.2010 in File No.1/35/2008-IR (draft RTI Rules)
>> Our Ref:  PN/DoPT/OM/2010/RTI/AAA-0000-013
>> Subject Objections and/or Suggestions to the amendments proposed
>> Sir,
>> I refer to the above citations and your subject OM. I am caused to submit
>> the following objection(s) and/or suggestion(s) to the same.
>> This is separate, distinct and without prejudice to other objections I may
>> submit from time to time within the period allowed..
>> http://persmin.gov.in/WriteReadData/RTI/RTI_rules_01122010-1.pdf
>> I generally OBJECT to the following rule proposed
>> "6. Payment of fee: Fee under these rules shall be paid by way of:
>> (a) cash, to the public authority or to the Central Assistant Public
>> Information
>> Officer of the public authority , as the case may be, against proper
>> receipt; or
>> (b) demand draft or bankers cheque or Indian Postal Order payable to the
>> Accounts Officer of the public authority; or
>> (c) electronic means to the Accounts Officer of the public authority, if
>> facility
>> for receiving fee through electronic means is available with the public
>> authority:
>> Provided that a public authority may accept fee by any other mode of
>> payment."
>> My specific OBJECTIONS with REASONS and SUGGESTIONS are listed below:
>> 1) BECAUSE there is no power conferred by the Act for DoPT/MoP to
>> prescribe Rules specifying the MODE of payment of fees for RTI process. I
>> say that these fall in the allocated business of other Departments /
>> Minstries of Government either by enactments of law or by allocation of
>> business rules.
>> 2) BECAUSE there is no provision of the RTI Act which requires or permits
>> mode of payment of fee to be prescribed. It is pertinent that the RTI Act
>> only enables the appropriate Govt to prescribe the "fee". This in my view
>> does not extend to mode of payment into Government accounts.
>> 3) BECAUSE it is wrong to presume / assume that the CAPIO is always
>> empowered to receive cash and issue a receipt for it. Neither does this rule
>> empower them to do so. I am also concerned that the other modes such as
>> Draft, LPO, IPO etc impose an additional and often unreasonable transaction
>> / impact cost on the applicants beyond the fee prescribed.
>> 4) BECAUSE very often CAPIOs have not been appointed per the mandate of
>> the RTI Act. The Commission being a case in point and your own Ministry
>> being another. In passing I mention that I strongly dispute that the CAPIOs
>> of the Postal Department can be legally designated as CAPIOs for other
>> Central Ministries / Departments.
>> 5) BECAUSE section 6(1) of the RTI Act requires the application fee to
>> accompany the request. This necessarily means that the fee must either be
>> permanently affixed to the RTI request, as is done with court fee stamps or
>> non-judicial papers, or be part of an electronic e-payment gateway hardcoded
>> to the e-request form. Hence I say that the fee payment modes proposed do
>> not meet the mandate of the Act and are vires of the Act.
>> 6) BECAUSE section 6(1) of the RTI Act empowers citizens to file requests
>> through electronic means. There is no restriction in the Act about the
>> electronic means which may be used by citizens to file requests. At the same
>> time the said clause requires a fee (which may optionally be prescribed) to
>> accompany the request. Hence I say that the statutory right of the citizen
>> to submit an e-request cannot be taken away by subordinate legislation when
>> a public authority lacks an e-payment gateway or suchlike. I would require
>> clarity on application fee accompaniment for citizens who wish to use "fax"
>> (ie facsmile) to submit their requests or e-mail.
>> 7) BECAUSE by conceding that public authorities may accept fees by any
>> mode of payments you are implicitly accepting that it is not possible or
>> legal to prescribe the mode of fee payment, and that it is an arbitrary
>> and/or discretionary matter to be negotiated between the public authority
>> and the applicants.
>> Accordingly I SUGGEST that this RTI rule for fee payment modes is
>> completely redrafted to address all my concerns / grievances. As a public
>> spirited citizen I am ever at your disposal to assist you on behalf of the
>> demand side. I strongly suggest that adhesive RTI stamps are sold through
>> the post offices.
>> NB:  As the legal questions involved for these Rules are complex, I am
>> formally requesting an opportunity of personal hearing for this before the
>> competent authority. I am also  formally requesting that the opinion of the
>> Law Department.Ministry be obtained on my various objections / suggestions.
>> Submitted in my individual capacity by
>> Er. Sarbajit Roy
>> B-59 Defence Colony
>> New Delhi 110024
>> Tel : 09311448069
>> email ID: "sroy.mb@gmail.com"
>> Chief Patron: "HumJanenge RTI group" mailing list of over 2,500 RTI
>> stakeholders
>> Website: http://humjanenge.org.in
>> Mailing List : http://groups.google.com/group/humjanenge/
>> News Network : http://humjanenge.org.in/news/
>> CC: to: (for suitable action and direction)
>> presidentofindia@rb.nic.in
>> mos-pp@nic.in
>> secy_mop@nic.in
>> sarkardk@nic.in
>> jsata@nic.in
>> dirrti-dopt@nic.in
>> diradmn@nic.in
>> osdrti-dopt@nic.in
>> usrti-dopt@nic.in
>> sroy1947@gmail.com

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