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Editorial : 26/11 – SALUTES TO NSG COMMANDOS & MUMBAI POLICE
We express our deep condolences to the victims of 26/11/08 mumbai terrorist attacks. We at e-voice salute our NSG Commondos & Mumbai police for teaching the external enemies a befitting lesson and protecting our motherland from the external enemies. We pay our whole hearted respects to the martyrs , who laid down their lives , in the course of protecting our people & country from the clutches of terrorists.
At this juncture , we must also remember our kargil martyrs of Indian military who sacrificed their lives protecting our motherland – INDIA from enemies.
India equally faces greater threat from internal enemies – corrupt public servants ( who are deadlier than pak terrorists). These corrupt public servants sell everything , motherland , for money , for bribe.
Mumbai terrorists killed 200 people , where as a fake drugs manufacturer kills thousands of people by selling fake drugs / fake medicines. Drugs control department officials lets off many such such fake drugs manufacturers , in turn killing thousands of innocents. The number of end victims are huge than any terrorist attacks. This is just one instance , in this way corrupt public servants of various departments compromise with their official duties & murder scores of innocents.
The corrupt public servants network , is oiled far better than italy’s mafia. Common man doesn’t get justice , even if he complains to higher officials , vigilance authorities or even court of law. As the bribe booty reaches higher-ups & political bosses.. thus black money is created.
The huge profits earned / black money created by criminal industrialists / entrepreneurs , finds it’s way to money laundering heavens. Thus our economy is crippled , public exchequer deprived of it’s dues. The money thus laundered feeds terrorist outfits , underworld dons , in their criminal deeds.
Now , underworld / terrorist outfits are involved in huge real estate business , film production / distribution , film piracy business , etc , to reap more illegal profits out of illegal money. This shakes upside down our government’s fiscal policies.
If a corrupt public servant is apprehended , it is equal to depriving 100 terrorists out of funds , putting 100 criminals out of action. Will the common man raise to give a befitting lesson to corrupt public servants. Jai hind. Vande mataram.
9/11 , 26/11 – SIGN TO LEGALLY PROSECUTE SPONSORERS OF TERRORISM
Visit , read the petition & support by signing the petition demanding
LEGAL PROSECUTION OF SPONSORERS OF TERRORISM
Visit , read the petition & support by signing the petition demanding , COMPLIANCE OF RTI ACT , CONSTITUTION OF INDIA ,
ACCOUNTABILITY OF INDIAN JUDGES & POLICE.
RTI harassment: Nitish asks DGP, Chief Secy to probe
Four days after an Indian Express report on the alleged framing of false cases against RTI applicants in Bihar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has asked the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to look into the cases and initiate departmental proceedings against information officers if they are found guilty of “harassing” RTI applicants.
Nitish, who called a meeting of Chief Secretary Anup Mukherjee, DGP Anand Shankar, as well as principal secretaries and senior police officers, asked Mukherjee and Shankar to ensure that RTI applicants were not harassed. Asking the DGP to “identity errant information officers”, he also instructed the Chief Secretary to initiate departmental inquiries against those found guilty.
“Let RTI applicants call Jankari call centre to register their complaints against information officers. We will soon have a devoted helpline to take up RTI complaint cases soon,” said the Chief Minister. Bihar, incidentally, is the first state to start an RTI call centre.
Nitish said that any laxity in dealing with RTI complaints would not be tolerated and has also asked Chief Information Officer Ashok Choudhary to personally supervise such cases.
The Bihar Human Rights Commission on October 29 had asked the state government to explain why information officers should not be suspended for “framing false cases” against 42 RTI applicants. The state government has to reply to the BHRC by mid-December on its action taken report on RTI harassment cases.
Amendments to RTI Act on the anvil
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The Department of Personnel and Training (Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions) has admitted that the government is considering amendments to the Right to Information Act, 2005.
The admission, which came at a meeting between RTI activists and DoPT Secretary Shantanu Consul on Saturday, ended the suspense over whether or not the government was contemplating amendments to the RTI.
Speculation in this regard started following a meeting that the DoPT had with Information Officers on October 14 where a proposal for the amendments was formally put on the table. However, the government refused to confirm or deny the move, leading to a growing anxiety in RTI circles.
Significantly, Mr. Consul assured the delegation led by Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), that the amendments will only be introduced after hearing the views and objections of civil society groups. He said the department would initiate a “transparent and consultative process,” including putting up the draft amendments on the DoPT website, to enable public and civil society participation in their implementation.
Mr. Consul also said the amendments would not go through if civil society groups were able to convince the government that they were not necessary, and the purpose for which they were being considered could be met in other ways.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of activists from the NCPRI and other organisations gathered at Jantar Mantar to warn the government against tinkering with the RTI Act, 2005.
The delegation that met Mr. Consul presented him a letter containing their misgivings over the proposed amendments. The letter was signed. among others by Ms. Roy, Nikhil Dey and Shekhar Singh of the NCPRI and Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women.
The signatories said they had apprehensions that the government was moving towards amending the RTI and cited as evidence the October 14 meeting between the DoPT and Information Officers.
The RTI activists also wrote to the Prime Minister on October 20, which was signed by dozens of public-spirited citizens. The letter argued that the proposed amendments — envisaging exemption from disclosure for official discussions and consultations (previously known as file notings) and prohibition of frivolous and vexatious complaints — far from strengthening the Act, as promised by the President in her June 4 address to Parliament, would in fact emasculate the Act.
The letter quoted two nation-wide studies, “one done under the aegis of the government,” to make the point that RTI was constrained, not by issues being considered for amendment such as frivolous complaints and file notings, but by inadequate implementation, lack of trained staff, and poor management. There was no suggestion in either of the studies that RTI work was hampered by “frivolous or vexatious” applications or by disclosure of “file notings,” it said.
The letter said: “This government gave its citizens the RTI Act, and there has been no crisis in government as a result of its enactment. In fact… its use by ordinary people is helping change its (the country’s) image to that of an open and receptive democracy. An amendment in the Act would be an obviously retrograde step, at a time when there is a popular consensus to strengthen it through rules and better implementation…”
Keywords: RTI Act, Amendments, NCPRI, Ms. Aruna Roy
Villagers, activists up in arms over proposed RTI changes
NEW DELHI: Kheema Ram, a 40-year-old farmer from Rajasthan who exposed a number of corrupt practices through his more than 350 RTI applications
is against any amendments in the Act. Ram, hailing from Rajsamund district, travelled all the way to Delhi along with fellow villagers on Saturday to protest against the proposed amendments in the RTI Act which may take out some categories of information from the Act’s ambit.
“The discussed amendments will take out the ‘Atma’ of the act. We will be at the mercy of the public information officer for extracting even the most relevant information. They can reject our applications, saying its `frivolous’, if the changes materialise,” he said.
Ram’s views find resonance among a cross section of intellectuals, social workers, politicians, farmers and RTI activists. Opposing the proposal to “weaken” the Act, people from 10 states across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar on Saturday for a day long dharna.
Several civil society groups and organisations, individuals and users of the RTI Act assembled at the dharna organised by the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information. Amongst those present were information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, social activist Aruna Roy, economist Jean Dreze, CPI General Secretary D Raja, RTI activist Shekhar Singh, renowned theatre personality Tripurari Sharma, Nikhil Dey and Swami Agnivesh of the Bandhwa Mukti Morcha. A collective demand was made to not amend the Act but to implement it properly.
Magsaysay award winner Aruna Roy, who played a crucial role in shaping the RTI movement in the country, lamented that instead of ensuring better implementation in crucial areas like proactive disclosure, the government is now looking to enfeeble the Act.
“The act has proved itself among the masses and people have benefited from it. It is wrong to suggest changes in it at this stage. The effort should be to ensure its full implementation in letter and spirit,” Roy said.
Another RTI doyen Shekhar Singh said the manner in which these changes have been put forward has raised concern among people who are using it. “Government had spent Rs 70 lakh for a study by a private body. The report does not even say vexatious or frivolous applications are a problem for the system. Information commissioners from across the country have also opposed any changes in the Act,” Singh said, wondering why there is talk of amendments.
RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra said it is too early to bring any changes in the Act. “The proposed changes will give powers to the public information officers to reject applications if they feel it is vexatious or frivolous. It will leave scope for misuse,” he said.
Later, a representative delegation of 7 members, led by Aruna Roy and Shekhar Singh, went to meet the DoPT secretary Shantanu Consul to discuss the current proposal regarding the amendments. The secretary confirmed that a set of amendments are under consideration, but before they are approved, the DoPT will follow a transparent and open consultative process. All further proposals for amending the law will be put up on the DoPT website and affected parties and stakeholders will be consulted before the government considers any amendments to the law. The secretary further assured the group that the minutes of the meetings held with the information commissioners in October 2009 will also be made available on the DoPT website soon.
RTI ACT VIOLATIONS BY HIGH & MIGHTY
Questions public servants are afraid to answer
The police , judges , public servants , etc question the accussed
persons , to ascertain the root cause of crime or dispute, to know the
truth behind every actions. The police even apply 3rd degree torture
on commoners ( although it is illegal ) to elicit truth , information
about crimes. When the same public wants to know the truth behind
crimes involving police , judges & public servants , and seeking truth
, answers , informations as per RTI ACT from police , judges & public
servants , they are not answering lest the truth come out. They are
citing one or the other technical reasons to hide information , to
hide truth about crimes , to shield the criminals. If any of the
following public servants truly stands for law , justice , truth , let
them answer for the following questions publicly through media
CROSS EXAM OF HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA , SUPREME COURT OF
CROSS EXAM OF UNION HOME SECRETARY , GOI , NEW DELHI –
CROSS EXAM OF DG&IG OF POLICE , GOK , BANGALORE –
CROSS EXAM OF GOVERNOR , RESERVE BANK OF INDIA
CROSS EXAM OF MUDA COMMISSIONER , MUDA , MYSORE –
CROSS EXAM OF BDA COMMISSIONER , BDA , BANGALORE –
Case no.1 CORPORATE CRIMES RPG CABLES LIMITED
case no.2 MEGA FRAUD BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Case no.3 are you ready to catch tax thieves ?
case no.4 MOBILE PHONES , CURRENCY SCANDALS
Case no.5 reliance industry where is accountability ?
case no.6 crimes at infosys campus
case no.6 crimes by B.D.A against a poor woman
case no.7 crimes of land mafia in India
case no.8 currency thefts in RBI Press
case no.9 killer colas & killer medicines of India
RIGHT TO INFORMATION
By Vienaya Ganesan
Since June 2005, when Right to Information Act, was passed, it has been hailed as the hallmark of democracy for the reasons that it purports to make, as regards government information, disclosure the norm and secrecy as the exception. Experts feel that as the Act aims at making the government transparent and more accountable, the effective use of it would, in a long run, curb corruption.
But is this really the truth? With administrators and legislators, who are always in an attempt to narrow the scope and applicability of the Act, in the past one year the Act has seen more controversies than success stories. From parliamentary debate relating to exclusion of file notings to army’s refusal to grant information, it is evident that the ‘right to information’, as a statutory right, has served as a puppet in the hands of our rulers. There is, therefore, a need felt for a superior and more dynamic right.
In this article, I analyze the reasons as to why right to information need to have been included in Part III of the Constitution, to be granted as a fundamental right rather than a statutory right. This would have kept the constant attacks the right suffers at the hands of the politicians at bay.
Ideal Status Of Right To Information:
The ideal status the right to information deserves is that of a fundamental right under our Constitution .With the Constitutional guarantee to conform to, the Act could have been used as an instrument constituting the requisite authorities, apart from laying down the quintessential exceptions to granting information, such as national security and parliamentary privilege.
Right To Information Recognized As A Fundamental Right By The Judiciary:
At this juncture, it is imperative to note that the Supreme Court, in State of U.P v. Raj Narain – a 1974 case, recognized the ‘right to know’ as a right inherent in Fundamental Right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Following this, a plethora of cases the right to information was recognized as a right implicit in the article 19(1)(a) and in article 21 (fundamental right to life and personal liberty).
In Peoples Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India , the Supreme Court observed that in
Right of information is a facet of the freedom of ‘speech and expression’ as contained in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Right of information, thus, indisputably is a fundamental right.
However, every time the Constitution is amended, the ‘basic structure’ test laid down in Keshavanada Bharti Case has to be satisfied. The test provides that a constitutional amendment should not be in derogation of the basic features of the Constitution like judicial review, democracy or Rule of Law. While including the right to information is as a fundamental right, if at all there is any effect on any of the basic structure it would be in the nature of strengthening the democracy and making it progressive, as envisaged by the makers of our Constitution.
Need For The Fundamental Right Status:
The nature of problems the Act has faced till date ranges from administrative interpretation against the grant of requested information, to ordinary and easy amendment to reduce the scope of the Act. I feel, the above problems would not have arisen had the right been a fundamental right. Let us now analyse the problems case-wise to understand my reasoning.
1. Exclusion of ‘File Notings’ From the Purview of the RTI Act:
In December 2005, the Central Government, for the first time, floated the idea to excluding ‘file notings’ from the scope of the Act by bringing about an amendment to the Act. File notings is an important public document containing details of the decision making process in any public matter – such as who said what and who rejected whose view and on what grounds before a decision was reached in government. It also includes the official correspondence between officers in pursuance of a government scheme or project.
The news created uproar, with activists opining that the accountability of the government would remain only in paper with such exclusion. The matter was then put to rest with the Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh’s statement against the exclusion.
However, today the matter is back in news. As on date, the Union Cabinet has approved the Amendment Bill to the Act, that when passed will exempt file notings as information that can be demanded as a matter of right.
2. Indian Army’s Recent Refusal to Grant Information:
Again in December 2005, the Indian Army refused to provide information to an applicant on the ground that issues of national security were involved in the requested information. This was in spite of the Army not being one of the eighteen agencies that are exempted under the Act, by virtue of section.24. But when the PM intervened and insisted that Army cannot refuse until a government notification to that effect, the army retracted its stand.
Could It Have Been Avoided?
The above mentioned controversies has brought out into the open, the hard facts. The spineless politicians are going to amend the Act as and when they like it, suiting their needs of the day; the officers are going be complacent and hesitant in giving the information. Had right to information been a Constitutional provision, the fear of PILs would have kept a check on the notoriety of the parliamentarians and authorities.
Thus, it is evident the issues such as those illustrated above could have been avoided had right to information been a fundamental right under the Constitution. Ideally, the legislature should have brought about a constitutional amendment to include the right to information as a fundamental right and the Act should have merely constituted the Information Commissions and appointed the Public Information Officers. With the separate government agency to tackle the problems relating to the fundamental right to information, the evils of bureaucratic pressures and whimsical administrative interpretations could have been kept at bay and democracy celebrated.
Inclusion of right to information as a fundamental right would have also been in conformity with the decisions of the apex court.
Therefore, though India has finally woken up to realize that right to information is a key component in the attainment of economic, social and political rights of an individual as well as the community at large, in my opinion, the step she has taken towards it could have been more effective had she guaranteed a fundamental right to information to its citizenry.
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