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Old 16th April 2009, 19:00   #1
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Default Right To Information Act ( RTI ) - Your Experience

The idea of this thread is to share your specific experience with the RTI act ,
  • Which department's doors you knocked on using this act
  • What was the procedure used
  • How long did the process take
  • What was the outcome
we can also use this thread to raise queries and get answers on resources for using the above act efficiently


My experience:

I recently filed 2 RTI applications to the TAX COMMISSIONERS OF COCHIN and GURGAON to claim some outstanding tax refunds which for all practical purposes I had written off till now

But now with the recession and stuff, I thought, let me do my best to get every penny due to me and set out reading about the process for filing an RTI

Surprisingly, the procedure is really really simple as far as claiming tax refunds is concerned

1. There is a simple RTI application form available online in websites like
How to File RTI application for delay in Income Tax Refund - RTI India

2. You need to then do some amount of "googling" to find out the address of the IT commissioner for your circle where you filed your returns

3. Go to the nearest post office and simply take a money order for Rs 10 favouring the ACCOUNTS OFFICER, INCOME TAX DEPT, GOVT OF INDIA and payable at the circle location

4. Send the RTI FORM, MO details, covering letter, and copies of your returns form to the IT commissioner's address and he is mandated to reply within 30 days

Guess what

I sent the RTI applications to both the Gurgaon and Cochin commissioners on March 31st

On April 4th , I received the refund cheque from the Cochin commissioner !!

Still awaiting the bigger cheque from Gurgaon but I am more confident now about the process than before

Its definetly well worth the effort and goes a long way in creating a sense of accountability in the concerned Govt. Department

So please share your experiences here

Thanks
Narayan

Last edited by narayan : 16th April 2009 at 19:07.
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Old 17th April 2009, 12:04   #2
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Nice thread narayan.

I have similar story. This was about 2-3 years back when we shifted residence and my dad had to apply for a new ration card in the new area. It had already been a month since submitting the application and Dad was just casual to the whole process being a a government department. Incidentally a government RTI campaign was on-going at that time in association with the Delhi govt and I went there spoke to the volunteer and filed my application in the right format asking the right questions and paid Rs 10 then and there to the Delhi govt official.

I got my receipt within 3-4 days by post and then got a reply from the dept concerned with a single line that the application is being processed without answering any of the other questions like who is the person responsible, the reason for delay etc.

Guess what within 2 weeks the official personally came and delivered the ration card to our doorsteps with a smile on his face. Imagine that! My dad was really surprised


BTW I have heard of another effective technique, send all your RTI apps to the PMO office. According to the act the application has to be forwarded to the right department by the dept/ministry receiving it although the act then allow for a 15-30 days extension beyond the allowed 30 days for a reply(don't remember the exact date). A letter from the PMO to the dept concerned really awakens the official concerned into acting fast.
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Old 17th April 2009, 13:30   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LastActionHero View Post
.

BTW I have heard of another effective technique, send all your RTI apps to the PMO office. According to the act the application has to be forwarded to the right department by the dept/ministry receiving it although the act then allow for a 15-30 days extension beyond the allowed 30 days for a reply(don't remember the exact date). A letter from the PMO to the dept concerned really awakens the official concerned into acting fast.
yes - actually the application is to be sent to the concerned Public information officer - but if you can not find that persons address, you can send it to ANY RELATED DEPARTMENT HEAD and that person is mandated to forward it internally to the correct Information Officer
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Old 15th October 2009, 23:51   #4
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Default My RTI experiences

I have had a very positive experience when I first used the RTI act. This was to get my provident fund transferred from my old company to my new one. Within 10 days, I received a response with the confirmation that my money had been transferred with all details.

Encouraged by my unexpected success, last month I tried to use RTI to get my Income tax refund which was overdue for 2 years. Very close to the 30 day deadline, I got a frantic/hysteric call from a lady in the IT dept (I dont think they are supposed to respond via phone). She asked very inappropriate questions like..."Why did you send an RTI? What is this letter you have sent?? What are we supposed to do?" I realized that the heat was on her from somewhere, and maybe she was trying to bully me or something. I finally closed the conversation saying, respond to me officially in written, hearing which she slammed the phone. It has been more than 40 days now, and I havent got any response. I think there is a 500/- fine for every day for which there is no response. The silver lining is that it at least evoked a response.

If anyone wants the sample of the RTI letters I had sent, I will be glad to share. I am a believer and feel that it is a very powerful act if a lot more citizens use it in the right way.
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Old 16th October 2009, 07:04   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arunh View Post
I have had a very positive experience when I first used the RTI act. This was to get my provident fund transferred from my old company to my new one. Within 10 days, I received a response with the confirmation that my money had been transferred with all details.
I can do with some help here dude...I have already written off my first 3 year's PF. Did initiate the transfer 4 years ago, but have still no idea if it happened.
Can you please PM me the process you followed.


Regards,
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Old 16th October 2009, 09:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amohit View Post
I can do with some help here dude...I have already written off my first 3 year's PF. Did initiate the transfer 4 years ago, but have still no idea if it happened.
Can you please PM me the process you followed.


Regards,
amohit, the process is fairly simple:

1. Find the PIO (public information officer) of the office where you want the information from. This is a designation, not a person. In this case, the CPIO, Employee provident fund organization.

2. Write a request for information in less than 200 words and pertaining to one subject. (Attached the one I used)

3. Go to the nearest post office and get an IPO (Indian postal order) worth 10/- in favour of Accounts officer, EPFO. Do not take this in the favor of the PIO.

4. Send the IPO and the request via regd post (with acknowledgement) to the PIO. The address can be found online.

5. Sit back and wait for the response within 30 days.



4.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf EPFO RTI application_scrub.pdf (25.9 KB, 354 views)
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Old 16th October 2009, 11:18   #7
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EXCELLENT post. This in nutshell will make things move.

(Copy-paste from PDF attached in previous post)

Quote:
1. Daily progress made on my application for transfer of provident fund accumulation
dated __/__/____ [photocopy enclosed] till date of your reply.

2. Names, designations and office addresses of the officials with whom my application
was lying during this period and date wise period with each official and details of action
taken by him/her.

3. Please give evidence of receipt and dispatch of my application in the offices of each
of these officials.

4. Please inform me, according to your rules or citizens charter or any other order,
number of days in which such a matter should have been dealt with and resolved.
Please also provide a copy of these rules.

5. If the officials/employees have not adhered to the time limit mentioned in rules and
are guilty of violating these rules, please give a copy of their conduct rules and details of
action taken by the controlling authority against erring officials/employees.

6. In case no action has been initiated for dereliction of duties against erring officials,
the reasons be made known to me, with name and contact details of controlling
authority of these officials/employees.

7. Please let me know when I am likely to receive reply to my said Application.

8. Please provide me certified photocopy of file notings held on my said application.
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Old 16th October 2009, 12:12   #8
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I paid 2007-2008 property tax for my apartment in bangalore as the builder had agreed to reimburse it. I occupied the apartment in 2009 and was supposed to pay only the property tax of 2008-2009. Now the builder is saying that I need to get the amount reimbursed from BBMP as they are not required to pay any tax for 2007-2008.

There is no response to the mails I sent to BBMP office. How can I find out the PIO in BBMP with which I should file the RTI?
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Old 16th October 2009, 12:49   #9
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IF you understand local language, look it up on the PDF :

Bruhat Bengaluru City Corporation (http://www.bmponline.org/right2info/...20Officers.pdf)

Or ask some colleague to translate.
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Old 17th October 2009, 12:13   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetfreakBombay View Post
IF you understand local language, look it up on the PDF :

Bruhat Bengaluru City Corporation (http://www.bmponline.org/right2info/...20Officers.pdf)

Or ask some colleague to translate.
Thanks. Thats very useful.
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Old 27th October 2012, 08:48   #11
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Default Re: Right To Information Act ( Rti ) - Your Experience

I recently purchased a house in Kodagu. I stay and work in Bangalore. I took a loan with SBI Virajpet and went through their 'empaneled' lawyer for a legal opinion. He said his fees would be 10,000 rupees. When it was nearing time to register the property (same day the loan was disbursed), the lawyer (along with the sub registrar's office) insisted on the conversion certificate number. Now the house that I bought is part of a complex that has three floors. There are about 5 houses of which 2 are already registered. The original owner (of the entire building) had taken a loan to build the house. The land was converted then. Now my question is if two of the houses that are part of the same complex on the same plot of land, were registered, why did the sub registrar and the lawyer insist on the conversion certificate? Finally we had to cough up another 15 K under the table to get the house registered. We had already made several trips from Bangalore and were fed up with this 'natak'. Besides, the property had changed hands several times and was not registered. So the last registered owner had to be called from Kerala. The lawyer knowing about all these constraints came up with this ruse to fleece us. The lawyer said they had used a 'dummy' number to register it and that we can change it once we get the conversion number from the DC/AC office. I don't believe this can be done.

Can I send an RTI to find out what the conversion number is? Do I send it to the sub registrar office? What questions should I ask. Kindly help!

I fail to understand how SBI can empanel such cheats as their lawyers. What action can I initiate on that front as far as RTI is concerned. I don't see how each lawyer can demand whatever rate he feels like. This was outright Day-light robbery!

I have asked the same question on the RTI forum, but there's no response yet. Does anyone here have a clue?

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Old 27th June 2014, 12:56   #12
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Default Re: Right To Information Act ( Rti ) - Your Experience

Bumping up an old thread in search of some answers.

Our apartment applied for cauvery water in 2013 paying a huge amount as GWSSB + prorata charges. It has been over a year since everything was cleared, we even got the meter installed on our own but there is not water yet. Repeated visits, calls and messages to the BWSSB AE and linemen have been met with scant disregards. I have just written to the EEE and AEE of the area, but I do not hope to receive a response and hence we are thinking of filing an RTI to check status. Has anyone here every filed an RTI to BWSSB? Is there a format available and who is the PIO for this?

Appreciate help from anyone who is in know how of this process.
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