Monday, February 28, 2011


Dear Bhaskar

NB: THIS GROUP RT4EMP-GG is not to be used ordinarily for RTI / RTI related discussions. That takes place on HJ-GG insofar as RTI-Unity project is concerned.. This group is for matters flowing out from RTI such as corruption, empowerment, Baba Ramdev etc. So I am cross-posting this thread there for a wider discussion. Your sentimental attachment to HJ-YG should not become a route for taking this group beyond its range. HJ-GG is open to anyone who wants to join / rejoin.

There is every reason why reasons for filing RTI should and must be required to be stated by RTI applicants. Section 6(2) should and ought to be challenged and struck down. The issue is actually to be restated as "can the PIO refuse to give information / process a request if applicant states a reason?".

Let me set out the logic step-wise. Simply say YES or NO. (If "no" then your reasons)

1) The State is duty bound to give effect to Fundamental Rights of citizens (such as RTI) on its own. The norm is that the State should suo-moto publish ("disseminate") all information so that citizens have minimum recourse to requesting for information formally. YES / NO

2) "Requesting" for information formally by citizens takes place EITHER
a) when the State fails to declare information suo-moto, OR
b) When the citizens seek access to information which the State deems to be exempt from disclosure, OR
c) Some other reason (Fill in the blanks). YES / NO

3) For case 2(a) above, the remedy is exclusively by Complaint jurisdiction u/s 18. For 2(b) the remedy is to file an RTI request u/s 6 and pursue it using appellate options u/s 19. YES / NO. (Since this is crucial read it carefully)

4) Filing a section 6 request and pursuing it through appeal route is an "extra-ordinary" (not normal) process YES / NO.

5) Hence, section 6(2) of RTI Act is ultra-vires the Constitution of India, specifically the Chapter of Fundamental rights and their enforcement. YES / NO (I have purposely left out 2 steps between 4 and 5)


On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:17 AM, Bhaskar N <> wrote:
the clauses regarding the 'purpose' of the query still stands, as i read it- we need to get this clause also removed. there should be no need to state the purpose why an individual is asking for information.

From: Bhaskar Prabhu <>
Sent: Sun, 27 February, 2011 11:35:36 AM
Subject: Re: [rti4empowerment] A RAY OF HOPE ON RTI EFFECTIVENESS

Not Again, you generally would like to be in discussion by blame game by using names of known prominent citizens (i know you will again disagree) but I  appreciate your commitment of negative marketing system of making genuine public spirited persons names known to others -:).
Thanks and i remain
Yours in service of RTI
On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 9:44 AM, Sarbajit Roy <> wrote:
Dear Guptaji

This is NOT good news. This is the pre-planned lollilops they had planned all along to keep the little babies who cry all the time quiet. Please do not waste time of group members publicising such non-events. Instead, please post a copy of the comments YOU had submitted to DoPT on Draft RTI Rules. What are YOU doing to ensure that your voice is heard ? Do YOU agree that only Aruna Roy can negotiate on behalf of citizens with DoPT?


On Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 9:39 AM, M.K. Gupta <> wrote:


(Extract from Times of India, 27.2.2011)


Sonias NAC prevails over govt on RTI, forest rights

Seeks Staggered Food Act Rollout

Subodh Ghildiyal & Himanshi Dhawan | TNN

New Delhi: The Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) has won decisive victories in keeping at bay the governments attempt to regulate the Right to Information and ensuring that the pro-tribal Forest Rights Act (FRA) is made more effective for its intended beneficiaries.

It disagreed with the government and insisted that procuring 65 million tonnes of foodgrain for a full rollout of the programme was not a difficult task.The Council,seen as a policy interface with civil society,is an influential body providing policy and legislative inputs,headed as it is by the Congress president.

Prevailing on RTI and forest rights are major achievements while guaranteeing 35kg of foodgrain a month to families below the poverty line and sections of the urban poor is a key Sonia scheme,too.

The differences had fed into a perception of divergence between the Congress and the government.

On RTI, the government ceded ground on its bid to restrict an application to 250 words and a clause stating inquiry end on applicants death.


NAC forces govt to lift word limit on RTI applications

New Delhi: On
RTI, the government ceded ground to Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) in its bid to restrict an application to 250 words and a clause stating an inquiry would end if the applicant died.

Now,it will say an application should preferably
not exceed 500 words.It has also agreed that a query will not cease on an applicants death.The government is still insisting that an RTI application should be focused on one subject.But NAC has decided not to give up.Sonia Gandhi told council members on Friday that this should be pursued with the government.

Department of Personnel and Training had earlier opposed NACs suggestions.Information activists who saw the proposed amendments as a bid to dilute the powerful act can rejoice after a protracted three-month battle.The 250-word cap and the single-subject rule are in particular seen to be limiting clauses.Abatement of an appeal in case of an applicants death has also seen activists arguing that this provision could be misused to kill people asking uncomfortable questions as has been reported in some cases recently.



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