Two Gazette notifications may be of interest to the readers
Two Gazette notifications may be of interest to the readers.
AFSPA extended in 3 districts of Arunachal Pradesh for six more months
The Central Government has extended the labelling of the districts of Tirap, Changlag and Longding in Arunachal Pradesh as 'disturbed areas' under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for a further period of six months with effect from 01 October, 2014 (1st attachment). The reasons given for this action is continued violence committed by 'insurgent' groups some of which have been named. Readers will remember that under AFSPA no part of India's territory can be declared 'disturbed area' for more than six months. The ground situation has to be reviewed every six months to determine whether there is sufficient reason for extension of the labelling. RTI activists- in particular those living in or working on issues related to Arunachal Pradesh might like to make RTI applications with the Ministry of Home Affairs to find out the detailed reasons for extending the period of declaration. As this is an important policy announcement and is also an administrative decision all affected persons have the right to know detailed reasons and all relevant facts behind this decision under SEction 4(1)(c) Every public authority shall publish all relevant facts while formulating important policies or announcing the decisions which affect public; and (d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act).
Maharashtra placed under President's Rule:
The media gave publicity to the decision of the President of India to take over the administration of Maharashtra under Article 356 of the Constitution after the State Government resigned in the aftermath of the dissolution of the alliance between the ruling political parties. The Central Government's Gazette notification gives the details of the arrangements made for ensuring the functioning of the State Government (2nd attachment). The legions of RTI activists in Maharashtra might like to read the Gazette notification and file RTI applications to know how decisions are being made on whichever matters in Government departments. With the suspension of the constitutional provision relating to allocation of business rules under the State Government, it would be interesting to watch how decisions are made within State Government departments which will have no minister at their helm. Do keep us posted on your stories of seeking information on these issues.