Tuesday, September 30, 2008

RTI not for assets, liabilities of officials: HC

RTI not for assets, liabilities of officials

Recently, on 1st July 2008, the High Court of Karnataka declared that personal information of the public authorities cannot be made available through the Right To Inforamtion Act, 2005. The order was a result of a writ petition filed by H E Rajashekarappa, Joint Director (Statistics) at Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department, at Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore. Rajashekarappa filed the case on 30th June 2006.

On 17 March 2006, one Narasimha Murthy, retired statistical inspector filed an RTI application with the PIO at the Government Planning and Statistics Department, M S Building, asking for the total assets and liablities of Rajashekarappa, for the period of 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05.

But Rajashekarappa objected to his application and the Public Information Officer (PIO) rejected the application (by an order at Annexure ‘E'). This aggrieved Murthy and he filed an appeal under section 19(8) of Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Joint Secretary, Government Planning and Statistics Department, the Appellate Authority Under the RTI Act.

After this move Rajashekarappa was asked by the appellate body to furnish the required documents sought by Murthy but yet again he asked to cancel the application. The reasons given by his counsels, M S Prathima and S V Narasimhan were that the details of assets and liabilities is personal information and does not fall under the public affairs of the public authority.

The counsels also metioned that the appellate body made a blunder by setting aside the order made by the PIO and asking Rajashekarappa to furnish details. Thus Murthy was asked to pay a penalty of total Rs.10,000, with Rs.5000 due in three months from the ruling, and his application was declared canceled.

The High Court's also ruled that it cannot be said that the RTI Act encompasses the personal information of the officials of public authorities. Thus Murthy had no right to seek such information under this Act. The court also called his application troublesome and an attempt to settle scores with Rajashekarappa.

While the ruling quashed Murthy's application and barred him from knowing the required details, it has left bigger questions on the nature of the curbs on the RTI Act.

Courtesy_
http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in

Co-operative Societies are not public authorities under the RTI Act

Co-operative Societies are not public authorities under the RTI Act

RTI cannot unlock all co-operative societies

A key right-to-information question was resolved when the Karanataka High Court on 30 June 2008, declared that registered Co-operative Societies are not public authorities under the RTI Act, 2005.

Citing the RTI Act, the High Court said that 'public authority' under this act is a body of self-government established by the appropriate (state legislature, central) government. A non-governmental organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate government is also a 'public authority'.

Furthermore, the court noted that while the Co-operative Societies Act and the Karnataka LokAyuktha Act both defined office-bearers of co-operative societies to be 'public servants', this did not amount to these bodies termed as a 'public authorities' under the RTI law.

The issue came up in September 2005, when a co-operative society filed a petition asking if it was a public authority under the RTI Act. That month, the Registrar of the Co-operative Societies (Karnataka) had notified that all co-operative societies in Karnataka were public authorities. Some members of Dattaprasad Co-operating Housing Society, Malleshwaram wanted to know information about the society and some others opposed divulging the information. The chairman of the society took the case further. The respondents for the case were the Registrar of Co-operative Societies and the Karnataka Information Commission.

Courtesy_
http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in

Also read the complete Judgment on this Issue at:

The High Court ruling on this issue

What documents are needed if your vehicle is stopped for checking?

What documents are needed if your vehicle is stopped for checking?

What is the authoritative answer on what documents are needed if your vehicle is stopped for checking? An RTI application was filed with Bangalore's police department to find this out.

You might say why need RTI application for this. We all produce our driving licence and vehicle papers if a traffic constable stops us. Many of us 'negotiate' the fine amount and pay, or we show our papers and move on.

But do we know if the constable is even asking for correct documents or, more importantly, if he is entitled to check the vehicles and collect a fine? More than two years back, M V K Anil Kumar, an RTI activist and convener of the Bangalore RTI user group Kria Katte, had filed an application to see the rules. The response is informative.

The rules say that you should have a copy of the driving licence, copy of registration certificate, fitness certificate, insurance certificate, tax card and emmission test certificate.

Documents to be produced for vehicle checking
Documents to be produced for vehicle checking

The reply to the application also mentions that vehicle inspections are conducted by Motor Vehicle Department and police officers are empowered to book cases. It also mentions that the police constables or head constables can stop and check the vehicles only in the presence of an officer

Courtesy_
http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in

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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

Dinamani - RTI News