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Directions issued by Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, Central Information Commissioner with regard to Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI)
Very useful for RTI Users and Activists
Here is the link to a Handy Do It Yourself (DIY) guide to RTI. You have various formats, including RTI in local languages, Standard RTI and appeal forms, rules, GRs, Guidelines, Articles by Shailesh Gandhi and other resources.
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Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley : Resume DD TV SHOW – JANNE KA HAQ on RTI Act Now
My talk of about 50 minutes on RTI, Information Commissions, Judiciary and governance of December 2012 – Shailesh Gandhi
Very often the orders given by Information Commissions are stayed by the High Courts without any reference to the RTI applicant.
Such cases languish for long periods and are effectively lost because most applicants find it difficult pursue them.
Thus public authorities render the orders of the Commissions on giving information, penalties and others ineffective.
Section 23 of the RTI Act clearly states:”No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.” However courts entertain most of these under their writ jurisdiction. My considered view is that most of these cases are appeals wrongly labelled as Writs.
In most cases the applicant is not even informed about the hearing in which the stay is given. Article 226 (3) of the Constitution is a remedy for such conditions.
I have often wanted to challenge these practices and when the Maharashtra Commission issued an order confirming that Mumbai Metro was a public authority, i had prepared my challenge on these grounds ( with generous help from young advocate Sandeep Jalan). As luck would have it, Reliance did not challenge the order and hence i missed the opportunity. When i was talking with Anjali Bhardwaj this morning she suggested that i should share the draft, so that these grounds could be used. I am attaching the 1500 word petition.
A few changes to suit your particular case may be required. I would be glad to assist. An applicant could file such a petition and
Alternately, Sandeep Jalan may be willing to give professional help His contact: Sandeep Jalan ; 9820671212
Courtesy : Shailesh Gandhi
PIOs ask applicants to come and inspect records even for simple information. When an applicant,- after some effort,- manages to get a time from the PIO to inspect a bunch of files is offered and the applicant is told to find the information.
The Municipal Commissioner has now issued a circular to ensure that PIOs deal with applicants in a proper manner. Firstly it instructs PIOs not to ask applicants to come for inspection when information requests are simple and not voluminous. Even when an applicant is asked to come for inspection it requires a PIO to ensure indexing and numbering all the pages. It also requires a PIO to inform the file numbers to the applicant and offering three alternate dates with timings. This circular will reduce a lot of pain for RTI applicants and they should show it to PIOs if asked to inspect files. All government departments, including DOPT should issue similar directions to PIOs.
This is a very good initiative and must be appreciated and replicated.
Attaching the English translation of the circular
Courtesy : Shailesh Gandhi