Saturday, February 18, 2012

Re: [HumJanenge] Central Information Commission warns the public authorities against demanding proof of citizenship from RTI applicants .

Please attach IPO of Rs 10.00. stamps are not admissible.
My suggestion is that first you send a complaint against the school
attaching the proofs. send this complaint to Deputy Commissioner,
District education officer, Secretary, school education and CBSE (if
school is affiliated with CBSE).
wait for two months. then seek information about action taken on your
there is no specific format needed for RTI. anyhow i am attaching one
RTI application. go through it and draft your application accordingly.

On 2/18/12, Inderjit Singh Gill <> wrote:
> Dear Sir,
> I wish to seek guidance for the following case:
> a) Can a private school (say DPS) is justified in asking parents for
> addmission fee from old students of school, when they get promoted from one
> class to the other? Can an indivisual seek information under RTI about
> their policy on taking 'addmission fee'
> from old students each year, when they get promoted in next class.
> b) If answer to above is yes, then what should be the procedure say in AP
> or MP? Can stamps of INR 10.00 be attached with the application?
> c) What could be a suggested FORMAT of the application & its wording.
> Thanks
> IS Gill
> On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM, Pradip Pradhan
> <>wrote:
>> Central Information Commission warns the public authorities against
>> demanding proof of citizenship from RTI applicants .
>> Dear friends,
>> While deciding a Complaint Case ( File No; CIC/AD/C/2011/001736 on
>> 11.1.2012,, Ms. Annapurna Dixit, Central Information Commissioner
>> observed, "there is no provision in the RTI Act to seek
>> identification of a citizen who seeks information from any Public
>> Authority. The PIO of the Company is warned not to seek such
>> identification in future u/s 3 of the RTI Act, which stipulates that
>> all citizens shall have the Right to Information, as it would be
>> construed by the Commission as deemed denial". The fact of the case is
>> that an RTI Applicant Mr. M Rangarajan of Bangalore had sought
>> information about the provision of retirement benefits of the
>> employees from the PIO, M/s. Braithwaite and Company Ltd under
>> Ministry of Railways, 5, Hide Road, Kolkata - 700 043. But the said
>> PIO quoting Section 3 of the Act demanded the proof of citizenship
>> identity of the applicant before he would be able to disclose the
>> information sought. Then the aggrieved applicant approached the
>> Central Information Commission with a complaint against the said
>> illegal order of the PIO. Having heard the parties to the case, the
>> CIC Mrs.Dixit passed the above order quoted above.
>> Now, let us have a look at the procedure of submitting RTI Application
>> in Odisha. The State Govt. has made a provision under Odisha Right
>> to Information Rules 2005 for submission of proof of identity of
>> citizenship along with RTI application being made to any Public
>> Authority. Besides a Compulsory and a lengthy 11-column "Form-A" has
>> been prescribed by the State Govt. wherein the Column No.4 requires
>> submission of Proof of Citizenship in the shape of a copy of Voter's
>> Card or Passport. If an RTI Applicant fails to attach the said
>> proof of Citizenship, the PIO has been given absolute power in
>> Form-C ( Intimation of Rejection) to reject the application on the
>> ground that "your identity is not satisfactory'. . This queer
>> provision contradicts the letter and spirit of Section 6 (2) of the
>> RTI Act, which says, "An applicant making request for information
>> shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the
>> information or any other personal details except those that may be
>> necessary for contacting him". This provision also deprives
>> millions of young people in Odisha and outside of their right to apply
>> for information to any public authority located in Odisha, for the
>> obvious reasons that they being underaged can't have a voter's card
>> and they, in absence of any compelling need, may not have any passport
>> either. Besides quite many adult persons may not have a voter's card
>> at all, since it is not a compulsory provision at all to have a voter
>> card.. Thus millions of people in and outside Odisha who are bonafide
>> citizens because of their domicile within territory of India and thus
>> entitled to apply for information under Section 3 of the Act are
>> defrauded of this statutory right due to the ultra vires RTI Rules of
>> Odisha.
>> Besides, the mode of payment of application fees is either through
>> Treasury Challan or through cash. It means that every person, wherever
>> he or she may be located, has to physically visit the concerned office
>> to remit the application fee to the PIO, no matter the amount to be
>> paid is a trifle. Alternatively, he or she may post the application
>> fee through Treasury Challan. But as everybody knows, for collecting a
>> Treasury Challan of Rs.10/-, one has to visit the nearest town where
>> the Treasury Office may be located, stand in the queue for as many
>> hours as is required and also remember the excessively long Treasury
>> Code of the RTI application fee which is humanly impossible. Every RTI
>> applicant in Odisha has thus to pass through a hell of hassles in
>> availing the Treasury Challan of Rs.10/- to be attached to his or her
>> RTI application. But still funniest is the predicament of a citizen
>> living outside Odisha, who can neither afford to visit Odisha simply
>> to pay in cash the application fee of Rs.10/- to the concerned PIO nor
>> can arrange a Treasury Challan of Rs.10/- for remittance by post for
>> the said purpose, for the simple reason that there is no Office of
>> Odisha Treasury located outside Odisha. For such prohibitive modes of
>> payment, no person from outside Odisha has yet applied for information
>> under RTI Act to any public authority located in Odisha, and most
>> common people living inside Odisha have stayed away from using RTI Act
>> during last 6 and half years. In a nutshell, the Orissa RTI Rules can
>> be called Odisha RTI Disentitlement Rules.
>> However, the tragedy is that in Odisha such anti-RTI and anti-citizens
>> provisions are upheld and justified by Odisha information
>> commissioners during hearing of the cases and as well in course of
>> their address in public meetings. The only lame excuse they
>> unabashedly proffer in defense of the above anti-citizen Rules is that
>> the State Govt. has framed it. While saying so, the Commissioners
>> blissfully ignore Section 25(5) of the Act, which authorizes the
>> Commission to recommend to any public authority including the State
>> Govt. to take steps for removing any deviation and effecting
>> conformity to the letter and spirit of Act. Though nearly six and
>> half years has passed since Odisha Information Commission started
>> functioning , it has not made a single recommendation to remove the
>> anti-citizen and ultra vires Odisha RTI Rules 2005. Of all, the
>> Compulsory Application Form, proof of citizenship and prohibitive mode
>> of payment for application is the greatest nuisance wrought against
>> every citizen's right to information, and woefully enough, Odisha
>> Information Commission has been sleeping over it at tandem with the
>> State Government.
>> Will the Central Information Commission's latest, eye-opening warning
>> against the proof of citizenship of an RTI applicant serve as a
>> wake-up call to Odisha Information Commission for taking a similar
>> position?
>> Regards
>> Pradip Pradhan
>> M-99378-43482
>> Date-18.2.2012

Dr. Sandeep Kumar Gupta
1778, Sector 14, Hisar-125001, INDIA
Phone: 91-99929-31181

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