RTI Applicants Not Expected To Clog System With Barrage Of RTIs Merely Claiming They Are Aimed At Combatting Corruption: CIC

first_imgRTIRTI Applicants Not Expected To Clog System With Barrage Of RTIs Merely Claiming They Are Aimed At Combatting Corruption: CIC Sparsh Upadhyay7 Jan 2021 8:57 PMShare This – xThe Central Information Commission recently observed that as much as a CPIO has a statutory responsibility of complying with the provisions of the RTI Act, it is also expected of the RTI Applicant/s “to not undermine the spirit of the RTI Act by clogging the system with such a barrage of RTI applications, merely claiming that these are aimed at combatting corruption.” The…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Central Information Commission recently observed that as much as a CPIO has a statutory responsibility of complying with the provisions of the RTI Act, it is also expected of the RTI Applicant/s “to not undermine the spirit of the RTI Act by clogging the system with such a barrage of RTI applications, merely claiming that these are aimed at combatting corruption.” The Chief Information Commissioner Y. K. Sinha was hearing the complaint of complainant who filed RTI applications (35 in number) seeking information regarding action taken on his various complaints filed before the respondent public authority. CPIO/US, PMO Response The CPIO/Under Secretary, PMO vide letter dated 04th June 2019 replied to him as under – “It has been observed that you have filed a large number of RTI Applications with this office. During the current year i.e. 2019 itself, so far 36 Application under RTI Act have been received. A list of these RTI Applications is enclosed herewith. Out of these, response to 18 applications has already been sent. It has been observed that all applications filed by you are on the issue i.e. complaint(s) filed by you in connection with ‘delayed refunds by Officers of ACIT Circle-3, Bokaro Steel City’ 3. In the light of the above decisions, we have reached to a conclusion to not to respond to your remaining 17 applications under RTI Act. You are also advised not to flood this Public Authority with RTI Applications on the same matter involving no larger public interest.” It was also stated before the Commission that the status of a grievance could be checked by a citizen on http://pgportal.gov.in/Status by using the registration number of his petition. Gist of the action taken by the authorities and the copy of the reply to the applicant is also uploaded on the portal. Further telephonic enquiries relating to the grievances may be made on Public Wing’s facilitation number on working days and during working hours. Redressal of grievance in such cases is within the purview of the appropriate authority to which the grievance is forwarded. Thus, it was submitted that the status and other details of the petitions are already accessible by the Petitioners on the online PG portal. “Sufficient information relating to processing of the petitions received in the office has also been made available on the website of this office in the form of FAQ. Thus, there was no need to seek such information by petitioners through applications under the RTI Act, 2005”, CPIO/US, PMO submitted. Complainant’s Arguments The Complainant’s representative stated before the Commission that incorrect and misleading response was provided by the CPIO in all these matters hence penal action should be initiated against him. He further stated that complaints mentioned in each RTI application were different and not on the same issues as mentioned in the replies of CPIO dated 04.06.2019. Furthermore, he argued that the decision of the CPIO not to respond to the remaining RTI applications was against the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. He also stated that contrary to the stand of the CPIO, the issues raised are in the larger public interest as it relates to multiple issues including a bogus IT refunds scam amounting to Rs 30 Crores for the assessment years mentioned in the Complaints filed with PMO. Commission’s Observations The Commission came to the conclusion that no malafide could be attributed to the conduct of the CPIO in the instant cases. The Commission agreed with the stand taken by the CPIO and observed that instead of filing multiple RTI applications, the Complainant could have filed a single consolidated application. The Commission importantly remarked, “Even if the Commission were to reluctantly acknowledge that this is an attempt on the Complainant’s part to fight corruption, the means adopted by him stifles and defeats the very purpose of the RTI Act. In other words, however noble the purpose of this vigorous attempt to bring about probity in the functioning of the revenue authorities viz. D/o Revenue, IT department, Bokaro and Hazaribagh would have been, the fact remains that the means adopted by the Complainant by inundating the PMO with unrelated RTI cases unfortunately only points to the ignorance of the Complainant about the spirit of the RTI Act.” In the light of the above discussion and in view of the fact that the Complainant could not establish malafide/ unreasonable conduct on the part of the CPIO, the Complaints were dismissed. Click Here To Download OrderRead OrderNext Storylast_img read more

FUSINA Destroys 28 Narco Airstrips in Honduras

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo July 24, 2018 From January to June 2018, the National Interagency Security Force (FUSINA, in Spanish) of the Honduran Ministry of Defense found, secured, and disabled 28 clandestine airstrips in the eastern and western part of the country. International narcotraffickers used the rural airstrips to transport drugs, mostly cocaine, to the United States and Mexico. “Most of the destroyed clandestine airstrips were located in the Mosquitia area, department of Gracias a Dios, and one [airstrip] was found in the department of Cortés, near the Guatemalan border,” Honduran Navy Captain José Domingo Meza Castillo, director of Public Relations for the Armed Forces, told Diálogo. “We owe the results to FUSINA’s constant land and air patrols to keep the national territory free of narcotrafficking.” FUSINA’s actions fell under Operation Morazán, launched in 2014. “We established a land, air, and naval shield, deploying troops, air, and naval [resources] in great numbers to better control the area and create a peaceful and safe environment for the country,” Honduran Army Colonel José Ramón Macoto Vásquez, commander of Joint Task Force Policarpo Paz García, told Diálogo. Operation Morazán, a joint effort of the Armed Forces and state institutions under FUSINA’s leadership, aims to eliminate criminal groups in major urban cities and remote areas of the country. “In the last three years, narcotrafficking crimes have decreased considerably due to the coordinated efforts of the institutions that make up FUSINA, which dismantled criminal groups,” Col. Macoto said. From January 2014 to December 2017, authorities destroyed about 200 airstrips, most of them in Mosquitia, the easternmost part of Honduras. “The flat lands of the department of Gracias a Dios facilitate the landing of small drug smuggling planes [coming from South America]. We maintain constant air and land patrols,” Capt. Meza said. Destruction “Once a clandestine landing area is destroyed [by explosive ordnance specialists of the Honduran Armed Forces’ Engineer Battalion], a follow-up air and land reconnaissance operation is carried out to reduce the chances that the airstrips will be rehabilitated,” Capt. Meza said. “Explosive ordnance specialists carry out detonations that leave craters throughout the length of clandestine airstrips.” Authorities disable airstrips in three stages. First, landing areas are identified and located. Security personnel and sappers then transfer onsite with demolition materials to destroy the airstrip. Finally, authorities monitor operations with programmed reconnaissance. The task takes no more than 24 hours from the moment an airstrip is located. Col. Macoto and Capt. Maza estimate that criminal organizations use 30 to 50 people to set up an illegal airstrip. According to the officers, the drug trade uses clandestine landing areas to save time and resources. In addition to destroying airstrips, FUSINA also conducts patrols, searches for criminal gangs, and captures narcotraffickers responsible for setting up illegal landing areas. “Establishing checkpoints throughout the area of operations allowed us to keep the initiative and be proactive to prevent crime,” Col. Macoto said. “The goal is to keep the department of Gracias a Dios from becoming a drug trafficking hub.” According to the 2017 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Drug Enforcement Administration “estimated that in 2015, 76 percent of the cocaine departing South America transited the eastern Pacific, entering Central America or Mexico before being transported overland to the United States.” Moreover, the International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report 2017, said narcotraffickers have destroyed thousands of acres of forests in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua by opening airstrips and damaging important natural areas in all three countries in the last decade. “Drug trafficking opens airstrips and damages important areas in the three countries, which suffer the ravages of illicit cocaine trafficking,” said Luis Otárola Peñaranda, INCB member in Perú, in a UN news report published in March 2018. Multilateral work “The fight against narcotrafficking requires multilateral efforts. It’s important to coordinate regional efforts to obtain better results,” Captain Meza said. As such, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras created the Trinational Task Force in November 2016 to improve cooperation and combined operations, as well as fight transnational organized crime head-on. U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), through the Joint Interagency Task Force South, helps detect, monitor, and alert partners about narcotrafficking routes as well as strengthen security capabilities of partner nations. “Combining efforts leads to better results,” Capt. Meza said. “SOUTHCOM supports us with information, identification, and location of clandestine airstrips,” Col. Macoto concluded.last_img read more

Call for inquiry into ‘ongoing tragedy’ of child abuse

first_imgTVNZ News 16 January 2012The death of a two-month-old Wanganui girl has prompted calls for a Commission of Inquiry into violence against children in New Zealand. Family First say the case is further proof of the urgent need for an independent inquiry completely removed from political parties. Both Labour and National are rejecting the idea. Family First director Bob McCroskie said child abuse deserves more focus. “I think a lot of people are saying ‘come on, we really need to tackle this issue head on,’” he said. “We’ve had commissions into the Christchurch earthquake and yet we haven’t had a Commission of Inquiry into our greatest and ongoing tragedy of child abuse deaths.”Last year the Government promised a solution to New Zealand’s high rate of child abuse and launched a green paper asking for public submissions on what should be done. But McCoskrie believes independent advice is needed to figure out how abuse is happening. “I think that we just need to take it away from it being a political process where it’s about political points scoring and posturing and election stunts,” he said. “Put it in the hands of independent experts and and get the very best people to look at some of the issues.”Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said there is no need for an inquiry. She says the green paper has already garnered 500 submissions, and is an inclusive opportunity for all New Zealanders to offer their solutions to stop child abuse. Bennett said she will be touring the country next week to get more people involved. Labour’s social development spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern also says an inquiry is not needed. She said Labour has been calling for the Government to work across political parties on child welfare issues for some time.http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/call-inquiry-into-ongoing-tragedy-child-abuse-4689845WATCH Family First’s Bob McCoskrie on ONE Newshttp://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/family-first-call-child-abuse-inquiry-video-4689865last_img read more