Friday, May 18, 2012

Right to Service Bill Odisha...geared up

Now our state is also going to be included in the list of states having Right to Services Law which is going to be passed soon.The law envisages that people get services in time and as per nature and as many as ten departments have been included at this level to provide quick and smooth service to the needful.The law provides for sanctions in the shape of penalties like there is in case of RTI act violations, if the services are not provided as per rules and regulations provided in the law.In future more departments may be included in the law.So now we can hope to get some certainty in getting some of the services with the act get implemented.

Though the program origin is UK which first talked about this kind of a thing and than which came to indian through our politburos...Effective and Responsive governance is the key rule to follow.Improving the grievance redressal making it reachable and handy and resourceful too.

The law is already passed by our neighboring states since last year and its for us to get it enacted for better governance.But with the scenario I can not say how much effective it will become but one added weapon for general public and having sanctions impleaded and as the law will have penalties levied if neglect is seen may be it will work like the RTI act in many spheres.But it will be some relief to grievance seekers, as the present situation is a grievance petition moves from one office to another for years together now with this act we can charge for penalties and people may be working a little faster to avoid sanctions.Lets hope the sarkari babus will abide by the law and at last give services in time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Right To Information Act 2005

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

India is a big democracy and with the enactment of Right to Information Act by the government in 2005 a new era begun which claimed more transparency of the whole system run by the Indian constitution running a big country like this.

But when ever some law is made lawbreakers find a way literally to cheat the system itself and they can do it easily because of the prevailing legal flaws in the legal system as well as in the indian laws.

The major flaw here is lies with section 8 which is often used to avoid giving information as and when required.

what section 8 of RTI Act2005 says..
8      (1)          

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen,—
            (a)     information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;
            (b)    

information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
            (c)     information, the disclosure of which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature;
            (d)     information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
                 

(e) information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
            (f)      information received in confidence from foreign Government;
            (g)     information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
            (h)     information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders;
            (i)     cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers:
                 

Provided that the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete, or over:

Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed;
            (j)     information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information:
                  Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.
              

Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests.
                    

Right to Information Act gives the general public the power to call upon any government machinery to give information on any public affair But even with this the law is not full in the context that even there are some loopholes lie in this law and that is the governement body to whom information is asked can easily avoid giving the information for some reasons or the other and can harass the person asking for information.And many a time a general rural person is not going to take any such stress to get some information which may be for his sole interest just to avoid the botheration and harassment of running to the officials.

This officials have a weapon of long list of exemptions under which information can not be granted under some situations and often they use it for not giving the required information.

But I can tell it from real life experiences available that though this law is having a few loopholes but it works and I have seen it working and now there are applications filed everyday for getting information from offcials and became easy with awareness of the general masses off course those who are a little educated and know a little about laws and also some little known rural politicians who sometime just to do politics use this law but the good thing is it is being used.

Right to information act empowers every citizen to seek information on public data and record or work  which are not enumerated in the reserved list of security concern.You can just fill a simple form and pay a fee of Rs10 initially and along with present a xerox copy of your voter ID card and present it to the PIO in the office from which information is required and you will be informed about the asked info within thirty days or in some cases an extra 15 days can be taken and if no information granted information about the status of your application.If that is not done in this stipulated time the organization may be fined if you complain to the higher authorities which is generally the information commissioner in a state.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Consumer Revolution is ahead be prepared

Now being the top country with such huge population we also have the large number of buyers and a large market so consumer law is needed everyday always and for all .We need to know our rights being a privileged consumer which is still not so good.. only a few educated people or consumer activists working through some social organizations and some consumer organizations including the government machinery which works for consumer affairs are only concerned with these where as we want that even a villager is a consumer and he has to know his rights and the authorities and consumer activists also should be aware of their role and responsibilities about the situation.
We need those who are honest and really feel for the poor consumer and not just some lawyers who practice to survive or earn their livelihood...what ever experience I had directly with all those institutions and process I feel consumer institutions has to be organized a lot more with efficient and dedicated people who want consumer justice and not fake show offs.So I request those consumer activists please do work with devotion and not just for any other things we need to help people who are not in a position to help themselves.Cooperate with those who are honest in the field and want to work honestly for the interest of the consumer.I also call upon the practicing lawyers to help those poor consumers who really need justice.Help those local government authorities to find out the truth and get justice for the one who spent some money to get some benefit and had to come to a court or forum as it is said as a consumer forum established by the government.
Recently the consumer protection act has been reevaluated to make changes and bring in an amendment to the act to get more strength but interestingly no feedback or direct discussion has been made with those local officers who work directly with the consumers being stationed in districts appointed by the government.??????????Think and comment

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Environmental case laws supreme court of India

PETITIONER:
MANEKA GANDHI
Vs.
RESPONDENT:
UNION OF INDIA
DATE OF JUDGMENT25/01/1978
BENCH:
BEG, M. HAMEEDULLAH (CJ)
BENCH:
BEG, M. HAMEEDULLAH (CJ)
CHANDRACHUD, Y.V.
BHAGWATI, P.N.
KRISHNAIYER, V.R.
UNTWALIA, N.L.
FAZALALI, SYED MURTAZA
KAILASAM, P.S. This is a land mark judgement on environment protection and often till now referred and placed when writing judgements.. read more in page environmental caselaws.

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