RTI -- Central Information Commisioner Shailesh Gandhi chats
Shailesh Gandhi: It has been a great experience chatting with all of you. Wishing all of you an Information filled Joyous 2009

karthick asked, Hello Sir, I would have loved to see the answer to my first question. Anyways, here is another question. How can I be assured that the details I obtain through RTI is genuine? How do you take care of that? Thanks, Karthick
Shailesh Gandhi answers, It is highly unlikely that a completely false information would be given, since there is danger of getting caught

rahul_2verma asked, Sir, Can replies from PIO be demanded either in Hindi or English? No citizen can be expected to know all the regional languages of India. Eg. I get replies in Tamil/ Marathi - which I can not read.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, There is no proviso to demand the answers in a language of your choice

arunagrawal asked, Dear Sir: Is it a fact that Delhi is the worst violator of RTI Act
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Hopefully this should change soon

rahul_2verma asked, Sir, For the second appeal in front of the Information Commission, does the physical presence of the RTI applicant make a difference OR I can expect a reasonable judgment based on the documents presented in front of the commission by post?Shailesh Gandhi answers, If the RTI application and the appeal are crisp and clear personal presence should not make any difference.

rahul_2verma asked, Sir, I have had many problem with the mode of payment - different states have different rules, even within the same state different PIOs have made their own rules. Eg I sent Indian postal orders to districts magistate Gwalior he rejected saying he only accepts non-judicial stamps. Next time, I sent non-judicial stamps to EPFO (provident fund org) in Gwalior, the PIO rejected saying he accepts only bank drafts. Is this the intended way of RTI implementation or PIOs are not following the act properly?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, For all central government bodies Indian postal orders are accepted for application fee. Unfortunately different states have different payment modes. Citizens must put pressure on the governments to either have Indian postal orders be accepted by all states or perhaps RTI stamp of Rs 10.

ketan.bhatt asked, Can I file RTI to get/inspect minutes of meetings of Board of Directors, of say IIT, and various policy making bodies of IIT?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes.

madhusudan asked, sir i sent an email to employees provident office aking the that is it madatory for private educational institute to extend providend fund facilitites for teachers whose basic is Rs. 8000 and above, it was just an ordinary mail. But the people didnt answered it after one month also. So to whom we should report such things. I am having the mail that i sent i my out box
Shailesh Gandhi answers, I suggest that you ask this under RTI.

karira asked, Sir, Does the CIC have "norms" for its functioning as part of the suo moto disclosure in Sec 4(1)(b)?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Not so far.

venkat asked, Dear Mr.Shailesh Is there any compagin to bring awarnes about this RTI to the bottem people
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Various civil society organisations and citizens are doing this. All of us can become soldiers in this great movement to bring participatory democracy to India.

priyo_15@rediffmail.com asked, Can aspirants of Bank Probationary officers know their written test marks?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes.

rahul_2verma asked, Sir, Can something be done if a PIO repeatedly ignores RTI applications and only responds to First Appeals? I have this experience with a particular State department that habitually ignored the original applications. I have to always file a first appeal to get a response. (As you know there is no penalty for the PIO till the first appeal stage)
Shailesh Gandhi answers, The remedy lies with showing evidence of this to the commission and insisting on levy of penalty.

aman asked, "The responsibility of creating a better India lies with you and me." Great answer sir, I salute you.. I think we should all work together to take this country to heights.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Thanks.

parinay asked, What if an organization doesnot respond to an RTI?Shailesh Gandhi answers, Follow the appeal process or file a complaint with the commission.

GIRISH asked, Dear sir, recently SBI conducted interview for recruitment. can i obtain a copy of interview marks through RTI?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes, you can.

kgirish asked, Hi Shailesh, Can we use RTI to know how the education cess, collected from us, is being used?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes.

activist asked, Plz explain whether appointment of SICs & CICs are done through a transparent process or not?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, The process is completely opaque and arbitrary and needs to be transparent

nitin asked, Hi, I have not back the refund of my income tax even after 3 years. How can I use RTI to find out about it?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Ask for the progress of your file.

sunny asked, Can I asked queries to municipal corporation about any work?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes.

Kailesh asked, I have recently asked some clarifications about TA/DA & LTC rules to the department of finance, government of gujarat and asked for a copy of the related GRs. But I have been simply replied that the information I have requested for doesn't fall under the definition of 'Information' under RTI act? So what kind of informations doesn't fall under the definition of 'Information' as per RTI act? Earlier also I have got the same reply from Gujarat Public Service Commission.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, This is ceratinly information. Follow the appeal procedure.

Mithun asked, Sir, I've a doubt that a PSU bank has announced a new type of loan without proper permissions from the RBI, or there might be some corruption. Whom should I file an RTI to unearth this possible scam, and what can I ask for?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, YOu can ask for the copy of RBI permission.

dipesh asked, Sir, In case the photocopies of the info required is huge, for eg a few thousand pages, then can we get the info via e-mail? I understand it would save cost & waste of paper to all.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, No. But if the info is on a computer you can get a CD

solutions_provider asked, A few days before 2 MLAs from Maharashrta were caught smoking at Vidhan Bhavan Maharashra. Where to get the information of whether they were punished or not for smoking at public place as per new ordinance wef 2 oct.08
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Ask the PIO of The Legislative Secretariat

Dr Sanjiv Yadav asked, Hi Shailesh, Greeting from Singapore! I would like to ask how the current Indi-Pak tension can be resolved? Do you have straight answer for it?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, I am trying to grapple with ensuring Citizens get information and am not competent to answer this

gousekhan1 asked, Hi sir, Whats the proceedure to be followed to get the information from a govt agency like urban development authority of a city?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Apply to the PIO of the Urban Development Department

karthick asked, Hello Sir, Lets say I see a newly laid road not upto quality standards. 1) Can I apply for RTI in this case? (2)If yes and once I get a reply with the details and I find that the road is indeed not laid properly, would the concerned department automatically correct the mistake or am I supposed to take the next step? In summary, is fetching the information about an issue and correcting that issue linked? Thanks..
Shailesh Gandhi answers, You can ask for the specifications as also for the gauruntees

karira asked, Are CIC/SIC's a court of records? That is to say can we quote CIC orders in the SIC's and vice-versa?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes

m_v_s asked, Sir, Are MNC banks such as CITI / STANDCARD CAHRTERED / HSBC covered under RTI?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, No

trilochan asked, dear sir, whether the details of selection criteria for a selection of lecturer in an indian university can be received under RTI act.If the university denies what can be done? please reply
Shailesh Gandhi answers, This can bev accessed. If denied follow the appeal process

sushmita_chat88 asked, What is it that restricts RTI from private firms, afterall the private firms also contribute to the economy and everyone has teh right to know about things that are shaping the economy they live in
Shailesh Gandhi answers, The Principle is that the government belongs to people and therefore all information held by government is owned by people.

bkkadamba asked, If we Indians become hopeless?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, The responsibility of creating a better India lies with you and me.

francis asked, I have heard and read a lot of you Mr. Gandhi but wonder if you can share your email address
Shailesh Gandhi answers, shaleshgandhi@nic.in

santhosh asked, I know we the people have the right to know abt right of Infor. Act. But how to know abt this to claim anything. Pls guide me
Shailesh Gandhi answers, You could go through the site www.satyamevajayate.info and get some tips of how to use RTI.

Ankit asked, Sir, We have a pending House insurance claim of 2006 flood in Surat with united india Insurance co.Our claim was for 7.50 Lac and they had issued us a payment voucher of 85000, which have not accepted. We have asked them to provide us details of assessment, but they are not giving us proper details of surveyor. How can I sort details of assessment and with the help os it go to court.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Ask for a copy of the survey report under RTI.

RajVerma asked, sir, which official do I have to approach if I want to know how the annual development funds of my local MLA were spent? what does PIO stand for?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Approach the Public Information Officer of the speaker of the legislative assembly. PIO stands for Public Information Officer.

Firoz asked, muncipal corporation are under RTI act? if yes my mucipality has no RTI office what should we do?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes. All offices of Municipal corporations have to a Public Information Officer.

champak asked, Sir, I want to use RTI but dont know where to submit my application for RTI?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Identify the office where this information is likely to be there and then apply to the public information officer of that office.

Shailendra asked, hi Shailesh How does the information obtained from a government organisation under the act apply and how strongly it can be used in the court of law especially against corrupt ministers. thanks, Shailendra
Shailesh Gandhi answers, It is accepted as evidence in courts.

sanjay asked, Dear Shailesh, I apprecited that RTI is revolutionary thing. But i have obeservation that there are no serious steps from government to educate people about this act. This act should teach at school level. Our education system should change to introduce social awareness study. How to fight with corruption, how to deal with problems, how to keep our country clean, what are our duties towards nation. RTI should teach at school and college level. What is your opinion on this? Please answer this.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, It would be a very good idea if the RTI is included in the school and college courses.

pscg asked, Are big multinational companies (public shareholders or private) are supposed to comply with RTI requests?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, MNC's and private companies usually would not be covered by RTI unless they are substantially financed or controlled by the government.

kc asked, Dear Sir, I would like to know the information about the fund which is paid to the village panchayat for development and how much was used, if the development is not done as they have shown in the record in this case to whom we complain.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, You can ask for information under RTI. It may be a good idea to ask the PIO of the Tehsildar's office.

Siddharth asked, Sir Me and and my brother hold a land in a particular Area in the ration 50.50. recently he has submited a will copy of my grandmother to the registration dept for converting the land in his name. Can a copy of the Will copy be obtained under RTI from the registration dept.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes.

kamal asked, Hi Sir, I am a sw engineer. I applied for passport in Sep-05-2008 but have not received it till now and not seeing nay positive response from passport office can I use this for passport
Shailesh Gandhi answers, Yes, you can use right to information to ask about the progress of your file.

Ranjith asked, Dear Sir, Recently there were reports in a regional News paper that the amount spent on the publicity of RTI ,was very less. Why such a low profile publicity for such a powerful act?Shailesh Gandhi answers*, I don't think we need to worry much about this. The citizens are spreading it very well.

RajVerma asked, sir, it is http://www.satyamevajayate.info/ it seems there is a typo in the link that you have given
Shailesh Gandhi answers, The URL is correct.

anand asked, There are lot of education inst.which receive Govt grants,But when they turn doen the RTI application saying "they are not substantially financed" . What to do in these cases
Shailesh Gandhi answers, You will have to find out if thety are recieving substantial financde

ketan asked, Sir, There has always beena debate whether Cooperative Housing Societies are governed by the RTI Act or not. Please inform us whether we can demand documents as a shareholder (flatowner) from the Managing Committee of the Coop Hsg Society and what if they refuse to handover?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, co-operative housing soceities will cum under the ambit of RTI if trhey are public authorities which means they must be either financed substantlly by gov. funds or be controlled by gov.

Gulab asked, Respected Sir, I would like to know if I want to know about the process of just concluded DDA Housing Scheme 2008 can I make use of RTI
Shailesh Gandhi answers, yes, u can

chinnu asked, Sir, recently a case was registered that a sum of 4 lakh was asked as processing fee for taking print out of the document demanded through RTI. Are such details are charged on the person wanting any info.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, the fee is rs. 2 per page if somebody has asked for 2 lac pages then 4 lac would be the fee. however the PIO will ask the applicant to deposit this. if the applicant dose not deposit it the information would nt be given.

ameen asked, can i submit application of RTI by email in Tamilnadu
Shailesh Gandhi answers, by law an e-mail application is all right but usually in practice it dose not work

Rasmit asked, Hi Shailesh I want to know the basic duties and responsibilities of my village school and the what are the steps taken by the School Inspector from last 10years. Also the details of the funds came and they invested in various developmental works of the school. I need the basic process to get all the details, kindly help me out
Shailesh Gandhi answers, you could ask the PIO of the education dep.

Janak asked, Can I know how much amount does Corporator gets every year for debelopment?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, you can ask the PIO of the municipal corp. where u want to seek this information

Ganesh asked, Dear Mr. Gandhi, Would like to know where i can get comprehensive but practical information on Right to Information, is there any website ? are there any easily available books on this?Shailesh Gandhi answers, you could try www.satymevajeyate.info

sahil agrawal asked, Dear Sir, I want to seek a information frm DDA sinc long but dont know how to go and file an RTI. I want to know how to file it? IN order to generate more information how can i make use of it?
Shailesh Gandhi answers, ask the PIO of DDA and on ur query state 'query under RTI' and send a rs. 10 india postal order as ur fee.

Rajesh Darak asked, Dear Sir, I very much appreciate your speed of delivery and the quality of your orders. You have set a new benchmark for the other Information Commissioners to emulate. KEEP IT UP.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, thanx do send me ur criticism whenever u see the need

Prasad asked, When can we expect Bihar model RTI call center in rest of the states.
Shailesh Gandhi answers, there is a proposal to introduce it for ctntral gov. bodies around april 2009

Vishal asked, Sir, does RTI act applies on private firms also?Shailesh Gandhi answers, it does not apply to pvt. firms unless they receive gov. funding

Shailesh Gandhi says, Hi! This is shailesh gandhi here looking forward to an information filled chat.
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