Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TN Information Commission left out of National Survey

National RTI awards is an Arvind Kejriwal led initiative, to honour the best user of RTI, best PIO and best Information Commissioner in India. For the award of the best Information Commissioner the team analysed more than 50,000 decisions from all the Information Commissions of India. For TN the team studied decisions after taking them from the website of the TN SIC. But in TN, there is the unique procedure of passing orders without conducting hearings. Such orders which are passed without hearings are not uploaded to their website. The RTI awards team did not realise this, though they had received the information under RTI from the TN Information Commission, that TN had disposed more than 40,000 appeals in 2008. When they realised the discrepancy between the 40,000 appeals that were claimed to have been disposed, to the 900 decisions available on the website, they disqualified TN from the survey. The Delhi team asked Nityanand to organise a press conference and release the interim national report. This was done yesterday where most English and Regional language papers attended the press conference. A couple of regional TV channels also attended it. Here are the reports.

TN info panel disqualified for national award
Only 27% RTI applicants get info sought
RTI Act: TN commission not facilitating access to info, say NGOs
T.N. Information Commission disqualified in survey

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HC dismisses PIL reg MLAs Assets Disclosure

A quick update. And it is a bad news. The PIL I had filed in the Madras High Court, regarding non-adherence to MLA assets disclosure resolution was dismissed in the High Court yesterday. The details are present in the media articles given below.

I havent yet received a copy of the order. It will take a week. Will upload it once I receive it.

Previous posts on this issue.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

PIL in Madras High Court reg MLAs assets disclosure

Please refer to the following two posts for the background work I did on MLAs assets disclsoure.

As mentioned in the last line of the second post given above, a PIL has been filed in the Madras High Court asking the High Court to direct the government to take necessary steps to ensure that MLAs are disclosing their assets as per the resolution passed. This was done on Friday (9th October 2009).

The case MIGHT be taken up for admission tomorrow (Tuesday, 13th October 2009).

The affidavit filed can be seen here.

The RTI applications filed and the replies received can be seen here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Finally, CMO gets a PIO

Finally, after orders from the State Information Commission, the Tamil Nadu Government today appointed a Public Information Officer to the Chief Minister's Office. I received a copy of the order which appointed the PIO. This appoints an officer of the Public Department as the Appellate Authority of the CMO. I do not know how legally sound this is, but that there is at least a designated PIO and AA for the CMO sets a precedent which other ministries ought to follow now. The order of the TN State Information Commission and the subsequent order passed by the TN Government can be seen here.

Articles in the media about this.