Tuesday, 26 August 2014


The earlier blog of this series is posted at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/08/140809-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html under the title 140809-RTIA-EXPOSING THE IDIOTS AND TRAITORS AMOUNG PUBLIC SERVANTS- CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION, NEW DELHI. This blog is actually a feedback given to Ms Manjula Prashar, Information Commissioner, CIC, New Delhi after receipt of her decision, dated 11 Aug 2014, in Appeal No CIC/VS/A/2013/001810/MP. The order can be downloaded from the website of the CIC, that is http://cic.gov.in. Read on to understand how incompetent/trecherous these public servants are.

from: Ravindran P M 
to: m.prasher@nic.in
date: Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 10:50 AM
subject: feedback: decision in Appeal No CIC/VS/A/2013/001810/MP

1. Perform or perish- Minister Sadananda Gowda had reportedly told his men in the railways. I can easily plagiarise him and tell all public servants: perform or get exposed!

2. I find your decision in the above appeal most repugnant to even basic common sense, forget about the higher issues of justice and ethics! But I am not shocked because it falls amoung the category of those decisions of information commissioners that are subversive of the very law that they have been tasked, empowered and paid (to the extent of being pampered) to enforce! I have every reason to suspect that information commissioners are willfully failing to comply with the law for extraneous reasons including corruption.

3. To begin with you had exposed your ignorance of your job by telling me, the appellant, to forward copies of the appeal to the respondents! At the cost of annoying you I had to refuse to comply with such illegal instructions. 

4. Now, I find the following illegalities in your decision:

4.1. You have filed to note the import of Sec 2(h) where even non-Government organizations have been bought into the fold of the RTI Act on the ground of being substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government! So it is obvious that nothing, I repeat NOTHING, with respect to  government funds would invite the provisions catering for exemptions from disclosure on account 
of fiduciary relationship. 

4.2. You have also failed to take cognizance of the inconsistencies in the reasons given by the PIO and FAA to deny information. While the former had denied it on the ground of not holding the info, the latter had taken recourse to misinterpreting the provision of fiduciary relationship!

4.3. You have also rendered yourself to ridicule by copying the statement of the FAA that the Govt of Kerala also being amenable to the RTI Act the info can be obtained from them directly! Haven't you exposed your ignorance of one of the best provisions of law, that is Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act which mandates that public authorities receiving applications for information not held with them are required to forward it to those who are likely to hold them and inform the applicant of such an action and that too within 5 days of receipt of the application? 

4.4. I find you have again reproduced the idiotic statement of the FAA that no public interest is served in seeking the information. I can't blame him because, as is usual with public servants, he would be under the mistaken notion that he is duty bound to protect his delinquent PIO. But such excuses cannot be accepted from you who is tasked, empowered and paid to enforce the law as it is! But then as with the other provisions of the law, you are evidently ignorant of Sec 6(2) of the RTI Act which unambiguously states that 'An applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.' So where does the question of fulfilling any public interest come in? Well, public interest is a factor that needs to be considered when deciding on disclosing certain information which are otherwise exempted from disclosure, for example read Sec 8(1)(j), 8(2) and the proviso to Sec 11(1) of the RTI Act .

5. I doubt if you can understand the simple logic in the statement that people who do not know their job are idiots and public servants who do not do their job correctly are traitors.  I find from you profile, posted at the website of the Commission, that you are from the Indian Postal Services. Without going into the obnoxious quality of services provided by the postal department (can you imagine that when trying to track registered letters at the website of the postal department you can get ridiculous responses like 'the originating post office not known'?) Any how, the indian civil services are notorious the world over as the biggest impediment in the growth of the nation. Officially constituted committees have even gone on to study the 'politician-bureaucrat-underworld nexus'. Not that such studies, at taxpayers' expense, were required because the mango people knew it all along through their own personal experiences. And now the Right to Information Act, through its simplicity and unambiguity, has even provided enough and more evidence to declare that most of our public servants are either idiots or traitors and so long as such public servants occupy offices of authority this country need not have any enemies beyond its borders!

Yours truly,

P M Ravindran

Saturday, 9 August 2014


(This is the 5th of a series of exposures being brought to you by Veteran Major P M Ravindran, Kalpathy who can be contacted at raviforjustice@gmail.com. The earlier ones are available at : http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140312-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html on o/o DC Pkd. http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140331-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html on the KSIC, http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/04/140414-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html on o/o CM, Kerala and http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/05/140508-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html on Rajbhavan, Kerala. Watch out for more at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com)

This should actually have been the 1st exposure of the series because this was the 1st information commission that was constituted in the country and my 1st complaint- to remove an Information Commissioner (IC)- was also submitted to the President of India against the Chief IC of this Commission(Wajahat Habibullah)! On 21 Apr 2007 I had written to the then President of India ‘the performance of the Central Information Commission itself has been so shoddy that citizens, especially activists working in this field, are genuinely afraid that the Commission itself is subverting the Act’. This application is posted at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com/2012/01/rti-old-application-to-president-to.html. Over the years my experience has confirmed that it was prophetic! And when you know that Wajahat Habibullah was a retired Secretary to the Government of India and former member of the Indian Administrative Service you will not be shocked at the criminally shoddy state of the government administration! And you will agree that this country need not have any external enemies so long as these kinds of clerks are there in our public offices!

While the instances that led to complaining to the President are narrated in the blog quoted earlier, the following narratives will help one understand how things have only gone from bad to worse!

Let me begin with the best order of an information commissioner I have received till date.

I had filed a 2nd appeal on 18 Apr 2008 against the PIO, Divisional Office, Southern Railway, Palakkad to know the status of certain road over bridges being constructed in the Division. The application had been transferred to their Zonal Office at Chennai and hence the PIO there was also involved. The hearing was scheduled for 26 May 2009 and Ms Annapoorna Dixit heard all the parties through video conference. The relevant parts of the decision are :

9.     …….Hence it was agreed that the concerned Respondent shall furnish an Affidavit with regard to the point stating that no further information about the cost of construction was available with the Respondent Public Authority also giving the particulars about the 5 out of 78 cases in which no information has been provided at all. The information about the current status indicating the details of the contractors who have been awarded the contract and the cost at which the contract has been awarded as sought by the Appellant in the point is directed to be furnished. In so far as information sought against point is concerned, about the quantum of work completed, the information was sought by the Appellant in relation to the estimated budget amount, actual amount spent on the construction and the ratio of the projected budget as against the amount spent reflecting the ratio/portion of work completed. Accordingly the information about the quantum of work completed may be provided as a ratio of the total estimated cost of construction. It is pertinent to note here that information about only 16 out of 37 cases where such construction work is in progress have been provided at all. Hence the Commission hereby directs that complete information be provided now. ...... The Commission also directs that with respect to the remaining information , as sought by the Appellant (ref. e-mail dated 25.5.09) , all information as it exists in the official records with the Public Authority or with any other Public Authority (after transfer of the RTI request under intimation to the Appellant) may be furnished to the Appellant along with the aforementioned Affidavit by 30 June, 2009.

10. The PIOs are also directed to show cause why a penalty of Rs. 250/- per day should not be imposed on them for not providing complete information to the Appellant within the mandatory period stipulated in the RTI Act.. A written response to this may be furnished to the Commission by the Respondents before 16 June 2009. Both the Respondents (Palakkad and Chennai) will also be heard via videoconference on 16 June, 2009 at 3p.m. in this regard.

11. As pointed out by the Commissioner during the hearing, the Appellant has sought a compensation of Rs.1000/- under Section 19(8)(b) for detriment suffered in pursuing this appeal . It is the Commission’s considered opinion that ‘public interest’ is central to democracy and the nature of government itself and that the Appellant has suffered detriment in pursuit of an important issue in the interest of ‘general welfare’ and ‘common well being’ in terms of physical and mental harassment which he had to undergo and also of expenses incurred by him on stationery and on secretarial assistance. Accordingly, the Commission directs the Public Authority to compensate the Appellant by paying him Rs. 1000/- to meet the expenses incurred by him on stationery and secretarial assistance , by 20 June, 2009, under intimation to the Commission.

The above order, which can be accessed at the website of the Commission, http://cic.gov.in/, by searching for order dated 19 May 2009 in CIC/OK/A/2008/00766-AD is also available at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/the-best-order-by-an-information-commissioner-under-the-right-to-information-act. It had more less addressed all the issues raised in the appeal. However, please note the three dates in the above extract- 16 Jun 2009 by which written statement against imposing penalty should be submitted, 20 Jun 2009 by which a compensation of Rs 1000/- should be paid to the appellant and 30 Jun 2009 by which an affidavit has to be provided to the appellant! Now here comes the adjunct, dated 16 Jun 2009, to the above order that makes this order less than correct. The relevant extract is reproduced below:

6.       ….The information as was provided even after the receipt of the CIC’s detailed
order dated 19.05.2009 was allegedly incomplete and contained no truth whatsoever.

7.       As a matter of fact, the Respondent Public Authority viz. the PIO, Chennai Construction Division present during Video Conference were also unable to answer the queries regarding such dismal performance in even complying with the orders of the CIC. Such blatant non compliance by a Public Authority as vital as the Railways needs to be checked immediately in the larger public interest and in order that the public money is utilized in the most appropriate manner. The Commission accordingly imposes a penalty of Rs. 7000 [Rs. 250/- x 28] [from 19.05.2009 to 16.06.2009] upon Mr. R T Diwakar, the CPIO, Construction Division, Chennai. The penalty should be paid by way of a Demand Draft drawn in favour of “ PAO, CAT” payable at New Delhi and send the same to Sh. G. Subramaniam, Assistant Registrar, Central Information Commission. The amount of the penalty to be paid before 10th July 2009.

Now, as per Sec 20 of the RTI Act, penalty @ Rs 250/- per day is to be imposed for every day of delay after 30 days of receipt of the application by the public authority, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000/-. The Section is given below:

20      (1)                Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees:
Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him:
                              Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.

Sub section (1) of section 7 is given below:

7        (1)                Subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 or the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 6, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9:

Provided that where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.

So, the information commissioner had erred in limiting the period of delay to just between her initial order and the date of partial compliance. Also, the question arises why the penalty should be in favour of CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal)!

Now, after more than 4 years of that order I had again applied under the RTI Act to find the current status of the same constructions. There has been absolutely no response to the application and even the 1st appeal! The 2nd appeal is pending with the Central Information Commission since 9/1/2014. And worse, there has not even been an acknowledgement of receipt of the appeal by the Commission!

And here is one of the worst orders of an information commissioner. This is the worst on two counts: firstly, the application sought information from the Central Information Commission itself on the status of 4 pending appeals and it was not provided and secondly, the information commissioner who heard the appeal had been an RTI activist himself and probably the only activist who had the opportunity to enforce the law he had been vociferously arguing for! Even when the 1st appellate authority had directed the PIO to provide the information and it had not been complied with, Shailesh Gandhi simply dismissed the appeal stating that ‘all available information had been provided’! The copy of this order is posted at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2012/06/rti-act-shailesh-gandhi-and.html under the title ‘RTI Act-Shailesh Gandhi and Schopenhauer's Law of Entropy’!

The pursuit of applications under the RTI Act with the CIC itself proved another fraud. That is the information commissioners will not seek records from the commission itself. Otherwise why should one send copies of the application, reply by the PIO, 1st appeal and reply by the FAA along with the 2nd appeal when all of them are already available with the Commission? The Commission actually returned an appeal seeking those copies! And when resubmitted on 15/5/12, has not disposed it even after two years now!

The perfidy of the Commission actually has no bounds. Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is the nodal department in the country for implementing the RTI Act. On 24 Sep 2010 it had issued an Office Memorandum- No 10/2/2008-IR-advising PIOs not to comply with Sec 6(3) of the RTI Act and if they knew the address of the other public authorities to intimate the same to the applicant and ask them to submit application(s) directly to them! To reinforce their treachery they had also mentioned that the OM was being issued after consultations with the Chief IC, Central Information Commission. To my application for copy of documents related to the consultation the reply was there were no such records! But still no action has been taken to withdraw the illegal OM leading to PIOs blatantly failing to comply with the law and increasing the number of avoidable appeals!

While the above instance shows how the clerks-of the LDC, UDC and IAS varieties- are taking not only the mango people but also the law makers themselves for a ride, the very manner of handling appeals show how scheming and anti-transparency these information commissioners are. Of course they do not provide the basic document- a receipt for the appeals and complaints received by them- that sets the accountability ball rolling. Next, they do not also allot appeal or complaint numbers sequentially thus denying the opportunity to verify whether they are being disposed off on FIFO (First In First Out) basis. Compounding this problem they also use a different number-decision number- while disposing of complaints and appeals! Mind you, the courts have been following a time tested system of allotting numbers to the cases being considered by them. But, while the nature of cases before courts are complex and the time frames for disposals may vary, it is not so with the information commissioners. These quasi judicial authorities are bound only by the RTI Act and the rules framed for its implementation. Most, if not all the appeals can be disposed of by them @ 15 minutes per appeal. The only issues to be considered by them are:

1.    Does the information sought fall under any category that are exempted from disclosure?
2.    If not, has the PIO provided all the information available with that public authority and/or complied with Sec6(3) of the RTI Act?
3.    If not, what are the reasons? (to be ascertained during the hearing of the PIO)
4.    Are the reasons given by the PIO valid? (A mere statement that it is not available cannot be accepted unless substantiated by official documents like destruction certificates as per rules in force!)
5.    If there has been delay, what is the duration and what are the reasons?
6.    Impose the mandatory penalty and/or order investigations.

Of the above, the facts at serial 1,2 and 5 can be confirmed by merely glancing through the copies of the documents submitted with the appeal-vis, application, 1st appeal and the replies! In any case failing to impose the penalty even when ordering the PIO to provide information not only defeats the law but also causes enormous loss to the exchequer and also makes the information commissioner liable for prosecution under Sec 217 and/or 218 and/or 219 of the IPC! These sections are simple, absolutely clear and unambiguous too. Here they are:

Section 217. Public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture.
Whoever, being a public servant, knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is conduct himself as such public servant, intending thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or subject him to a less punishment than that to which he is liable, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or any charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section 218. Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture
Whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or with intent to save, or knowing that he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Sec 219. Public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc contrary to law-
whoever being a public servant, corruptly or maliciously makes or pronounces in any stage of a judicial proceeding, any report, or order verdict, or decision which he knows to be contrary to law shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to seven years or with fine or with both.

Having said that the job of information commissioners is circumscribed by the RTI Act and the rules framed for its implementation it can easily be seen that this job is easier than that of a munsif. But look at the status conferred on the information commissioners! At the Centre they are equated to the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners and at the states they are equated to Election Commissioner and Chief Secretary! As much as it is a gross waste of the taxpayers’ money, on the ground it has also resulted into the offices of the information commissioner being turned into sinecures for the worst clerks who had served the governments at the centre and the states! While there is a lot of discussion, futile as it may look for the moment, on the opacity in the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, the appointments to the quasi judicial organisations have not generated the kind of discussions that should have been held. The important role of the information commissioners should be gauged from the fact that the information commissioners who decided the judges’ assets case could have imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000/- on the then Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishanan himself! Legally they should have, but that they did not do it is only because we did not have competent and honest people as information commissioners! 

Now, you may attempt to answer the question posed by the title of this blog and post it as your comments!

Please note: The contact details given in various documents uploaded/reproduced could be obsolete. The current contact information is only raviforjustice@gmail.com. Please mention Blog-comments in the subject line of your e-mail.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


(This is the 4th of a series of exposures being brought to you by Veteran Major P M Ravindran, Kalpathy who can be contacted at raviforjustice@gmail.com. The 1st, including the introduction, is 140312-RTIA-Exposing the Idiots and Traitors amoung Public Servants-O/o The DC Pkd and is available at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140312-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html. The 2nd, 140331-RTIA-Exposing the Idiots and Traitors amoung Public Servants-The KSIC is available at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140331-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html. the 3rd,  140414-RTIA-Exposing The Idiots and Traitors amoung Public Servants-O/o The CM, Kerala is available at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/04/140414-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html. Watch out for more at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com)

Even in the schools we were taught that the President is the Constitutional Head of the Nation and the Executive but being a democracy it is mostly a ceremonial office and the real power is wielded by the Prime Minister.  For now let us accept it as it is. The Governor is to the State as the President is to the Nation. But is it really so? The President is elected by an Electoral College comprising the elected representatives of the Parliament and the state legislatures. But the Governor is only appointed by the President. He is more of a nominee of the ruling party at the Centre, out to play mischief when the party ruling the state is in the opposition at the Centre. The most recent example is the case of appointment of the Lokayukta in Gujarat. Earlier there have been cases where these gubernatorial office bearers have even caused elected government in states to be dismissed by the Centre on questionable grounds. But with the enactment of the RTI Act, the information that has been obtained, and even worse, denied, has unequivocally established that this is an office that can easily be done away with at considerable savings to the exchequer!

It goes without saying that in every democratic society the citizen is the king himself. That is why we use the terms ‘government’ (and not ruler) and ‘rule of law’ for managing the affairs of our society. But unfortunately this has remained a concept and only on paper. Those who have been tasked with managing the common affairs and resources and empowered to perform those tasks have, from the word go, assigned to themselves the role of rulers and reduced the citizens to servility! So much so that the Chief Minister of Kerala goes around conducting road shows in the name of Public Contact Programs where even patients are brought in ambulances to receive the doles distributed by him from the taxpayers’ money as if it was from his ancestral property! And why, even when the Motor Vehicles Department put up cameras on a highway to monitor traffic, orders were issued not to take cognizance of violations by government vehicles including buses of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, notorious as the worst transport corporation in the country, officially!

One of the first complaints I had sent to the Governor of Kerala involved the then minister, Naalakath Soopy. ‘Aniyara’, a serial based on investigative journalism, telecast by Surya TV on 30 Mar 2003, had visuals which showed the minister’s official car being used to transport his daughter to the school. Since the perks given to ministers were unknown that by itself would not have mattered as the subject of a complaint. But what was shown further did matter. The team showed the official number plate of the car covered with a rexin cover bearing another registration number! Obviously this was a crime committed willfully and demanded appropriate action. So the complaint to the Governor! Copies were endorsed to the Chief Minister and the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court also! Obviously, there was no response from anyone. But after the RTI Act came into force, an application was submitted to get copies of the file notings of the action taken on the complaint. And what did it reveal? A complaint addressed to the Governor against a minister had been disposed of by a clerk at the level of a Deputy Secretary! The term used is ‘lodged’, apparently a jargon for ‘file and forget’! The copy of the notings can be seen at page 3 of the documents posted at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrti-fb131016fm-pio191213020114 and the particulars of the public servants who had seen the complaint and initialed on the noting sheet can be seen at para 3 of the document at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrtifb131016fm-pio111013.

Page 2 of the documents posted at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrti-fb131016fm-pio191213020114 are the file notings of another complaint I had sent to the Governor in Feb 2002 against strike by government employees. This mass strike, during the term of A K Antony as Chief Minister, carried on for almost 3 months and crippled government functions. The harassment suffered by the public during this period is better left to one’s imagination! But this complaint also got ‘lodged’ by the decision of the same Deputy Secretary! 

Now this what the Kerala Rajbhavan website says of the procedure followed in decision making process including channels of supervision:

The petitions, representations received in person or through post are brought to the notice of the Governor and orders of the Governor on such petition / representation are carried out. Where it is considered necessary and desirable to further pursue the matter, a report is called for from the concerned departments and the report so received is brought to the notice of the Governor for further order and disposed accordingly.
III-Procedure followed in decision making process including channels of supervision)

So much for theory and practice! The website says what should be but experiences show what is practiced. Fraud? Bigotry? Treason? You decide!

Cut to 2013. I got an invitation-wrongly named and wrongly addressed- on 09 Oct 2013 from the Kerala State Information Commission for a 2-day seminar at Thiruvananthapuram on 11th and 12th Oct 2013. Immediately I wrote to the governor. The email is reproduced below.

From: Ravindran P M <raviforjustice@gmail.com>
To: <keralarajbhavan@gmail.com>
Cc: CHIEF MINISTER KERALA <chiefminister@kerala.gov.in>, Director General IMG <dirimg2012@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 10:59:23 +0530
Subject: Seminar on RTI Act and the Way Forward

Mr Governor,

I am in receipt of an invitation for the above seminar. As is wont to happen with KSIC neither the name or the address is correct. Thanks to the good doctor heading Palakkad Munnot I got it allright.

I certainly won't attend because I don't have time to waste nor do I want to feel guilty of having been party to waste of tax payers' money.

And now even though my experiences with complaining about the treason of the information commissioners to your predecessors and the current and previous CMs have taught me that even this mail could be a waste of my precious time, it just that flicker of hope, that in case the situation has changed a wee bit after the change of incumbent in the highest office of the State, that is helping me to bother myself.

I am attaching herewith certain suggestions given to the 1st CIC on 26 Jan 2007! My experience tells me that things have only gone worse thereafter. But since you are going to inaugurate the seminar on 11 Oct you would do well to study these suggestions, evaluate the performance of the KSIC independently and make an honest address during the function instead of dishing out the usual inanities. Not only me but quite as few knowledgeable people in the matter of RTI will be watching you on TV and hope you will be able to give us some hope!

Just for your info some statistics (as available at the web site of the Commission on 07 Oct 2013) : No of cases disposed off by the various ICs during 2013 are as follows :

Siby Mathew: 22; Gunavardhan : 21; Sony Thegamam: 19; Sasi Kumar: 12; Kurias Kumbalangi: 17; Total: 91

This is less than what an IC in the Central Info Commn disposes per day!

regards and best wishes,

P M Ravindran

(The suggestions given to the CIC, KSIC on 26 Jan 2007, in writing, in person, during a seminar on RTI at the Rotary Club, Ottappalam is now posted at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-suggestions-to-the-cickerala260107)

Suffice to say that this important feedback was futile as the only thing reported in the media about the inauguration of this function was that the Governor had stated that the misuse of this Act has to be viewed seriously! So the next feedback was mailed thus:

from:   Ravindran P M <raviforjustice@gmail.com>
to:        keralarajbhavan@gmail.com
cc:        Director General IMG <dirimg2012@gmail.com>, CHIEF MINISTER KERALA <chiefminister@kerala.gov.in>
date:    Sat, Oct 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM
subject:            Fwd: Seminar on RTI Act and the Way Forward

Mr Governor,

I could not view the TV yesterday but I eagerly looked up Malayalam's two premier dailies to see what they had reported about the two day extravaganza of the KSIC whcih got inaugurated by you at Kanakakunnu Palace yesterday. I was glad to see that one of them had totally ignored it, both in their print and online editions. And what was reported by the other exposed your ignorance as nothing else could! The one sentence report about your inaugural address- about the threat of misuse- can be seen only as evidence of your ignorance and may be your indifference to the responsibilities of your office. As the law stands the only people who can misuse this only pro-democracy, citizen-friendly law are the information commissioners and almost 100 pc of their orders are documentary evidences of such misuse. The law mandates that penalty shall be imposed for delays and you only need to look at those orders where the PIOs have been directed to provide information and have been spared the penalty to infer what could have gone wrong- of information commissioner having taken bribe from the PIO and spared him from ignominy and adverse records in his career documents! Of course these crimes of the ICs are punishable under Sec 219 of the IPC but then who will go to the court when they can't even give a fair decision in as simple a matter as the date of birth case of a former Chief of Army Staff ?

I an only pray God save my country! And also curse those who have been responsible for bringing this country to this sordid pass!

Yours truly,

P M Ravindran

And on 16th Oct 2014 I send the feedback along with an application under the RTI Act. These documents are at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrtifb131016appln.  
The reply I got from the PIO initially is at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrtifb131016fm-pio111013,  the response of the FAA to my 1st appeal is at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrtifb131016fm-faa191213020114 and the letter I got from the PIO in compliance with the order of the FAA is at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-kergovrti-fb131016fm-pio191213020114.   

Apart from the failure of the public servants in Rajbhavan in taking prompt action on the feedback given what the responses to the application and 1st appeal under the RTI Act has revealed is that this office of the 1st public servant in the State is a white elephant, only burdening the taxpayers. Even the simple requirement of providing copies of the file notings on action taken on the feedback, as it existed on the date of providing the info by the PIO-11/11/2013 and not 11/10/2013 as shown in the initial reply by the PIO- were not provided and even the 1st Appellate Authority, a member of the disastrous IAS cadre, had failed to direct the PIO to provide the same!

Well, as part of disclosures under Sec4(1)(b) of the RTI Act, the website of the Kerala Rajbhavan has provided some information. As per this info the Secretariat of the Governor has 71 public servants to help the Governor discharge his official duties. And the budget for the Secretariat alone is, rather was (because the details available as on 8/5/2014 is that of the 2011-12 budget!) Rs 273.28 lakhs! (The household staff number 77 and the budget was 240.9 lakhs. Apart from this there is the Rajbhavan dispensary with 6 personnel working on a budget of Rs 48.24 lakhs! And well, the Rajbhavan is situated on 12.3 hectares of prime space in the State capital!) Now, given the expose of the shoddy or non-performance of this public authority in this blog, is there any justification for wasting the tax payers’ money on it?

Please note: The contact details given in various documents uploaded/reproduced could be obsolete. The current contact information is only raviforjustice@gmail.com

Monday, 14 April 2014


(This is the 3rd of a series of exposures being brought to you by Veteran Major P M Ravindran, Kalpathy who can be contacted at raviforjustice@gmail.com. The 1st, including the introduction, is 140312-RTIA-Exposing the Idiots and Traitors amoung Public Servants-O/o The DC Pkd and is available at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140312-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html. The 2nd, 140331-RTIA-Exposing the Idiots And Traitors amoung Public Servants-The KSIC is available at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/03/140331-rtia-exposing-idiots-and.html. Watch out for more at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.com)

On 5th Sep 2012, I wrote to the Governor and the Chief Minister of Kerala:

While looking for some info I came across this bit at http://www.prd.kerala.gov.in/gov.htm

'...The Governor is only the nominal head of the state....'

I am shocked that an official website is churning out such blasphemous info about the 1st public servant in the State. As per the Constitution the Governor is the Head of the State and the Executive and nowhere is it mentioned that s/he is a nominal head only.

I did not get any acknowledgment but later I found that it has been changed to ‘He/She is the constitutional head of the State.’ So far so good, but I am left wondering if there is any other head of state other than the constitutional head of state. Anyhow this is not the subject of this critique but had to be quoted because somehow the working head of state is understood to be the Chief Minister and it is this office that is the subject here. In one sentence if I have to sum up the performance of this office it would be ‘the head office of all mafias in the state!’ To elucidate further, this office has to be held responsible for crimes of omissions and commissions of the grossest kind. It does nothing that is supposed to be done and does everything that is not supposed to be done.

Ommen Chandy, the present Chief Minister of Kerala, soon after taking over office decided to splurge public money on web casting his office 24X7. This is what I had written to him then:

How naive can the people of the most literate state get? How easily can they be fooled with such idiotic ideas like webcasting an office 24X7! As if, if the CM is going to take bribes, he is going to take them in his office and that too knowing it will be visible to the public! Doesn't anybody realize that if something of this nature has to be effective it has to be lie detectors implanted under the skin of these politicians and transmitting the signals to monitors which are webcast 24X7?

I wish the CM would only ensure that complaints received by his grievances cell are processed honestly. Normally it acts like a post master and send the complaints for disposal by the delinquent officials thus cheating the complainant and refusing to reform the system.

I have just a couple of days back filed a 2nd appeal with the CIC, Kerala- ref RTI/cmk-sic appt-2nd appeal-300611 dated 30 Jun 2011- where part of the complaint is that the CM's office had refused to accept the 1st appeal! It was then send through an NGO! The response in the matter of an application pursued under the RTI Act with the office of the Minister for Food, Civil Supplies etc also tend to indicate that these public authorities have not even designated PIOs and FAAs in their offices.

Now here is a 4 point program for the CM to implement:

1. Ensure that all public servants reach their offices by 10 am and start delivering their services to the public.

2. Ensure that all documents received from the public are duly receipted and receipt given to the one submitting the document. The laws are already in place for ages now. They only need to be enforced.

3. Ensure that the CM's complaint cell resolves the issue complained about instead of sending the complaint to the public servant complained against for his/her disposal or getting a useless a reply from them and closing the file.

4. Ensure that there is an exclusive cell to monitor the functions of the quasi judicial organisations in the state. Without exceptions these are squandering the tax payers’ money as if there is no tomorrow with zero or near about zero output. We had a chairman of the state human rights commission who used to hold sittings regularly at the pilgrim centre of Guruvayur when such sittings were not held even at all district headquarters!

(The image of the envelope with the endorsement of the couriers is posted at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/rti-cmksic-appt1stappeal190411envelopeunaccepted-33491489)

In a scam-popularly known as the solar scam-the CM is a suspect in the eyes of many citizens, besides of course the opposition parties. One allegation is that a victim had met the CM in his office along with the accused. Naturally one would have expected the web records to be of help in ascertaining the truth or otherwise of this allegation. But suffice to say that the matter was taken up in a PIL which was finally thrown out by the apex court, refusing to get the CCTV recording investigated! The report that appeared in the Malayala Manorama on 21 Jan 2014 is posted at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/scam-solarsc-rejects-plea-to-inspect-cctv-recordsmmpkd210114. Now whether it is up to discerning readers to judge for themselves whether the webcasting the CM’s office is a waste of tax payers’ money or not!

In 2013, Ommen Chandy had received an award from the UN for his road shows known as Public Contact Programs (PCP, for short). These road shows certainly fall in the category of gimmicks where the CM announces a schedule for meeting the public at each district headquarters and the District Collectors are given responsibilities to collect the complaints from the public and route them to the offices complained against, get there version and route those replies back to the complainants on the day of the PCP. (The term complaint is used in a generic sense and would include even applications for financial aid though ultimately even these applications can be viewed as complaints because these applicants would have wasted enough of their time, energy and resources pursuing such applications in the normal course without success!)  Those who are not satisfied with the reply can meet the CM personally along with those who have queued up to file the complaints directly! All so fine on paper; but there are questions to be answered:

  1. When complaints can be submitted even directly on the day of the PCP why should the DC stop accepting complaints about 10 days before?
  2. If the intention is to dispose of most of the complaints through routine replies from the offices complained against then why should handing over these replies be delayed till the date of the PCP and that too through stalls established by the various offices?
  3. Why should the public who have requested for financial aid as per existing schemes wait for these PCPs to get a thousand rupees or so sanctioned by the CM on the spot?
  4. Why should patients be brought to these venues in ambulances and stretchers? (Please see the photos of paraplegic children, that appeared in the print media the following day, that is 12 Nov 2013, now posted for your viewing at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/cmk-pcppkd111113paraphlegic-childrenmmpkd-n-mbpkd121113!)
  5. What follow up action has been taken to streamline the system of delivery of government services, including dispersal of financial assistances, to the public?
  6. How effective is the other mode of grievance redressal through the portal Suthaaryakeralam (when translated into English it means Transparent Kerala)?

Suffice to say that these and many more such questions continue to beg answers. Answers which are not even provided under the RTI Act! For example, I sought the details of the expenses incurred for organizing the event in Palakkad on 08 Dec 2011 from the office of the DC, Palakkad and got the reply that they do not have any info as the tasks had been distributed to various other entities like the PWD, Water Authority, Municipality etc. Important to note is that while the DC had been made responsible for collecting and distributing the complaints not only had there been no allotment of funds for the purpose of organising these events but there was also no tracking of the expenses! And even when the information was sought under the RTI Act only evasive replies were provided when the application should have been forwarded to all those authorities for providing the info! The second appeal in the matter is pending with the KSIC since 20/2/2012!

The first of these kinds of roadshows was held after Ommen Chandy had replaced AK Antony as the Chief Minister somewhere midway during the last term of the United Democratic Front government in 2001-06. The second series shortly after he came back to power in 2011. For the event in Palakkad on 8/12/2011 I had submitted three complaints: one, against the office of the DC, Palakkad itself; two, against the consumer disputed redressal forum (CDRF), Palakakd and their appellate authority, the state commission (KSCDRC) and the third against the Kerala State Information Commission (KSIC). While I got some half truth replies from the office of the DC and the CDRF there has been no response from the KSCDRC or the KSIC! In the matter of KSIC the matter was followed up through email and even personally.  When the CM had come to Palakkad on 30 Jun 2012 for a function held at the Lions’ School, copies of all the three complaints and the two responses were handed over to him as well as the MLA. But still no action has been taken and no response either! Or, may be, there was one response. On 1 Jun 2012 the General Administration Co-ordination Department wrote to me (their letter No 90105/Cdn5/11/GAD dated 1/6/2012) stating that my complaint had been forwarded to the Kerala State Information Commission (KSIC) for necessary action and that ‘being a constitutional body State Government could not interfere in the functioning of the SIC’! It was signed by an Under Secretary who certainly had not read the provisions of the RTI Act. Sec 27(1) of the Act is reproduced below for ready reference:

The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.

And Sec 27(2)(e) and (f) reads as follows:

In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a)   to (d) xxx

(e) the procedure to be adopted by the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, in deciding the appeals under sub-section (10) of section 19; and
(f) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.

Now, the third series were staged in 2013. At Palakkad it was scheduled for 26 Sep 2013 but finally conducted on 11 Nov 2013. For this, apart from submitting the complaints to the DC one could file them online too at www.jsp.kerala.gov.in! But when I tried to file a complaint (strictly it was just a suggestion that the expenses incurred should be posted at this website within one month of the event getting over at a location), the site would reject it with a message getting displayed that the (complainant’s) address is not correct! So the suggestion was sent to the three e mail ids (chiefminister@kerala.gov.in, cmoffice@kerala.gov.in and cm-grccell@ kerala.gov.in) on 25 Aug 2013. On 10/9/13 I got a reply from cm-grccell@kerala.gov.in that the complaint had been transferred to the DC Palakkad! (As if the suggestion pertained to only DC Palakkad!) As per this pre formatted letter (19168/CMPGRC/SK/2013/GAD dated 10/9/2013) the DC was to take necessary action but the text ‘…and to inform you within 44 days…’, in the printed format, had been deleted indicating that there was not only no need to conform to a time limit but not even any need to inform me, the complainant! Copy of this letter is available at http://www.slideshare.net/raviforjustice/comp-idiotic-reply-fm-sutharya-keralam100913.

Anyhow, the fact remains that the suggestion has not been accepted as the details of the expenses are nowhere to be found at www.jsp.kerala.gov.in. Worse, again seeking the details of the expenses from the o/o the District Collector, the response was the same- that the tasks were allotted to various other public authorities and they should be approached for the required information! The only info about the expenses that were provided pertained to the office of the District Collector and the Taluk Office which totaled Rs 5,95,196/- and were on account of refreshments provided and some stationary used!

Suffice to say that the office of the Chief Minister, Kerala continues to be a drain on the public exchequer with nothing in return for the public! The number of complaints submitted to this authority and the responses and lack of responses indicate that all those working in that office are either idiots or traitors. If there are any exceptions they are unseen, unheard and unknown!

The three complaints submitted to the CM for his PCP at Palakkad on 8 Dec 2011 are posted at

The replies received from the DC, Palakkad and President, CDRF, Palakkad are available at

Certain other complaints are available at

Please note: The contact details given in various documents uploaded/reproduced could be obsolete. The current contact information is only raviforjustice@gmail.com