(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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
- When complaints can be submitted even directly on the day of the PCP why should the DC stop accepting complaints about 10 days before?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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!)
- What follow up action has been taken to streamline the system of delivery of government services, including dispersal of financial assistances, to the public?
- 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 (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and cm-grccell@ kerala.gov.in) on 25 Aug 2013. On 10/9/13 I got a reply from email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org