Letter regarding the agenda for the meeting of the BMC on 24 June, 2014
Sh Ashish Shelar
Member of Legislative Council,
Mumbai City President-BJP
Transparency and Accountability in the administration system was a thought brought forth by your party and the Freedom of Information Bill was first introduced by your NDA government. Later, with much debate and through public consultations the Bill was further strengthened in the larger interest and was passed by re-christening it as Right to Information Act, 2005 which was implemented all over India except J & K. This was only possible because your party sowed the seeds of transparency and also extended a collective and constructive support in the parliament for getting it passed.
However, we have just gone through the agenda for the forthcoming meeting of the Corporation on 24 June, 2014 and have noted with much concern that a motion (no. 95) is being again moved with regard to certain conditions for RTI applications.
We must make it clear that the RTI Act is a Central Act and the States have made corresponding Rules for the same. All Public Authorities are bound by these statutes and cannot make any additional conditions or changes to any of the provisions. The present motion being moved by Smt. Manisha Chaudhary is therefore untenable as it is imposing conditions on the applicant to give proof of residence, reasons for seeking information as well as withdrawal of application and also seeks a guarantee, all of which are not at all specified by the Act or State Rules. This will also create a very bad impression that you are curbing the empowerment systems.
In view of the above, we demand that such a motion should not be tabled and needs to be withdrawn forthwith as it encroaches on the fundamental right of the citizen.
Kindly take necessary action and keep us informed of your decision.
Yours in service of RTI,
Bhaskar Prabhu (Mob 9892102424)
(Mahiti Adhikar Manch & Maharashtra RTI Council).
NOTE:The notice of motion number 95-96 from Ms Manisha Chaudhary ordinary meeting of MCGM to be held on June 14, 2014- No. (95) makes it compulsory to the applicant submitting application under the Right to Information Act, to submit copy of proof of residence and letter of guarantee regarding constructive work for which the information is sought along with application and in case withdrawal application submitting relevant reason in writing etc.