Monday, October 16, 2006

Right To Information

The Right To Information Act,2005 is an essential piece of legislature that everyone must be aware of. It does not matter what stream you are in or if you do not intend to ever use it in your lifr. I think it is absolutely imperative that every Indian must have the basic knowledge about it. Empower yourselves.

Ronald Rebello, a social activist and founder of Justice corps (an organisation working for judicial reforms) and a part of Rationing Kruti Samiti was kind enough to share his RTI application with me.

This is a follow up on his initial petition that was not answered by the concerned authority. It is an excellent example of how RTI has the potential to empower common people, you and I.

Please do take a look at the RTI petition carefully, it may be of use to you someday. It is important that a hackneyed system is made accountable for its decisions and functioning.


The Public Information Officer
(Through the email of Principal Secretary - Food and Civil Supplies Department)
Mantralaya, Mumbai

Please refer to the following application sent to you per courier that was received by your office on 8th September, 2006. It is more than one month now that you have not provided any information under the application nor have replied to it. You are therefore called upon to provide the said information within 72 hours of receipt of this email, failing which I shall approach the appealate authority that will make you liable to a fine under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Therefore fail not.

Ronald L. Rebello
Rationing Kruti Samiti
Add: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School,
Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station
Mumbai Central 400 008.

Copy to:
1.. Print and Electronic Media, Mumbai.
2.. Advisor to Supreme Court Commissioner in PUCL v. UOI (WP 196/2001)



The Public Information Officer

Department of Food and Civil Supplies September 05, 2006.

Maharashtra Government, Mantralaya, Mumbai.

I.. Full name of the applicant : RONALD REBELLO

II.. Address: 52, Gilder Lane Municipal School, Opposite Mumbai Central Railway Station. Mumbai 400 008.

III.. Particulars of the information required:

Subject matter of information: Ration Cards for homeless citizens.

Period of which the information relates to: 1997 till date of receipt of this application.

Description of information required: Rationing Kruti Samiti had filed public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court regarding ration cards and food entitlements to homeless citizens in 2004.

Now therefore,

1.. Please provide me the case number of this PIL / WP.

2.. The number of hearings in the court so far and the dates of hearing that took place.

3.. The copies of the orders / judgments passed in the matter.

4.. Say, whether any action was taken by the state government in the matter pursuant to the court orders / judgements ? If yes, what action was taken?.

5.. As per 23rd March 2004 GR, homeless families have to be issued ration cards? How many such cards have been issued to homeless families under this GR in Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Sangli, Nagpur and Pune?. List out as under:

Sr. No. RO wise /Tahsil Number of cards

Examples: 1. 26 D / 162 80

1.. Pune 20

6.. Which of the following cards are homeless families entitled to?

i. Antyodaya card

ii. BPL card (Yellow Card)

iii. APL card (Orange Card)

iv. White card

v. Any other (mention type, period of validity, procedure for renewal etc)

7.. What are the entitlements under the �homeless cards�? Whether the beneficiaries having �homeless cards� are entitled to foodgrains, Kerosene and Sugar on a consistent basis. Mention the quantity of entitlements available to homeless people.

8.. Whether those possessing �homeless cards� have been given their entitlements uniformly so far? If not, why not?

9.. Whether any applications for �homeless ration cards� are pending in any Rationing Offices in Mumbai? If yes, mention RO wise how many such applications are pending? Give reasons on why these applications are pending?

9.. RO officials state that �It is a government policy that only if BPL beneficiaries do not lift grains, then only the homeless families will be provided food grains; surplus from BPL stock�. Verify if this is true. If true, quote the policy, decision maker, basis of such policy etc.

10.. Give full details of appellate authority such as Name, Designation, address, phone, fax, email so that I can appeal in case I am dissatisfied with the information provided by you.

IV.. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in section 8 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office. If for any reason, it pertains to any other department, the Right to Information Act places an obligation on you to forward the same or part of the application to the appropriate department and intimate me within 5 days of such transfer.

V.. Under the RTI, information shall be provided in the way it is sought. Hence, it is requested that the information be provided in question and answer format in the above manner.

VI.. The requisite fees for this information will be paid, if in accordance with rules.

Ronald L. Rebello


Place : Mumbai

Date : 05th September, 2006.

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