KYRThe Right to Information Act 2005, has given you and me a potent weapon to transform our country, even in the field of art! This one simple tool can bring about transparency, accountability and reduce corruption, in nearly all areas of governance – from central to state governments to municipal bodies. A silent revolution is taking place across the country. Any citizen can now submit an application in an uncomplicated format and ask in simple language the information he needs. No standard forms need be obtained. This has to be submitted or posted to the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the department concerned. The fee varies – it is, for example, Rs 10 in Maharashtra. It can be paid through a court fee stamp (to be affixed to the application) or a postal order (to be attached to the application). Also cash can be deposited with the department. Those below the poverty line need not pay any fee. It is mandatory for the PIO to reply within 30 days. The officer concerned will be fined Rs 250 for each day of delay. This amount will be deducted from his payroll and not paid by his department. The penalty for withholding or giving misleading or wrong information is heavy. Just a few examples: The registrar of Benares Hindu University was fined Rs 25,000 for withholding information. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi was fined Rs 30,000 for violating the Act. The joint registrar of co-operative societies was fined Rs 10,000 for delay in providing information.

logo[box]*For more information text your name and email to 9920670476[/box]