M.V.Ruparelia, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON). A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (E). District Thane, Maharashtra. 401 107. M.09821732855. E/Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To Date: 10-12-13.
Shri M.L.Sharma, Information Commissioner,
The Central Information Commission (Right To Information Act, 2005),
Government of India, IInd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110 066.
Sub: IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 not admitted even after 8 months and now returned wrongly by your Dy Registrar Shri K L Das under his no. 123663 dtd. 3-4-13 dt 11-11-13 received on 9-12-13. (Almost 1 month-Most of the communications from this Registry are received very late-even date of hearing notices also).
1.Your Dy Registrar has returned IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 after more than 8 months on the plea that we have not submitted tickmarked documents. He has tickmarked items i to iv and vi in his letter. Documents at i, iii & vi duly authenticated & verified are available in IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 as have been returned by him with this letter!! It has been very clearly mentioned by us in IInd Appeal returned by him that no reply is given by CPIO and AA to Application & Appeal. In view of no reply from CPIO & AA, we can not manufacture documents for ii and iv demanded by him. For v, we have not relied on any other documents and as such no other document is attached to IInd Appeal. He has returned IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13 in terms of Rules 8 & 9 of Notification dt 31-7-12 without mentioning the reference number of Notification.
2.Rule 10 of Notification no. G.S.R.-603(E) dt 31-7-12 in Gazette of India - Process of Appeal- reads as under:-
2) The Commission shall not consider an appeal unless it is satisfied that the appellant has availed of all the remedies available to him under the Act.
(3) For the purposes of sub-rule (2), a person shall be deemed to have availed of all the remedies available to him under the Act:
(a) if he had filed an appeal before the First Appellate Authority and the First Appellate Authority or any other person competent to pass order on such appeal had made a final order on the appeal; or
(b) where no final order has been made by the First Appellate Authority with regard to the appeal preferred, and a period of forty five days from the date on which such appeal was preferred has elapsed.
As we have availed of all the remedies available to us, this IInd Appeal is required to be processed and can not be rejected and returned in this fashion and under this argument, though CIC has all rights to reject all appeals.
3.We enclose letter no. M-11011/06/2011-P&C (AR) dt 15-5-13 received in reply to IInd Appeal dt 28-3-13, which does not give the information requested in Application dt 18-9-12 about date of receipt of our letter dt 1-8-12 to Hon. Minister, notings thereon and reply to that letter and whether it was put up to Hon Minister etc. We enclose our reply dt 19-5-13 to their letter dt 15-5-13 followed by reminders dt 10-7-13 & 28-11-13 to which no reply is received till date. Letter to Minister may please be seen. It contains many issues for welfare of Senior Citizens of the Country for which this Ministry is required to take action by preparing Five Year & Annual Action Plans etc in terms of para 93 of National Policy, 99, which they have denied in their letter dt 15-5-13 and has desired that this may be taken up with Ministry of Social Justice.
4.In this connection, it is pointed out that under RTI Act, 2005, as per directive in para 3.3.1 of Ministry of Personnel under their letter no. 1/6/2011-IR dt 15-4-13, each Ministry and each Public Authority have to disclose suo motu under Sec 4 of RTI Act, 2005 all schemes and development programmes, which they are required to implement directly or through others as per Allocation of Business Rules (AOB), specific operations required to implement them linking to specific decision-making chain etc within 6 months of the issue of these directives. More than 8 months have passed after 15-4-13. According to AOB, Ministry of Social Justice is allotted the work of welfare of senior citizens as a Nodal Ministry with clear indication in the Note that: `` The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment shall be the nodal Department for the overall policy, planning and coordination of programmes for the development of the groups mentioned at (i) to (iv) above, and the welfare of the group at (v) above. However, overall management and monitoring etc. of the sectoral programmes in respect of these groups shall be the responsibility of the concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union territory Administrations. Each Central Ministry or Department shall discharge nodal responsibility concerning its sector.`` Para 93 of the National Policy, 99 also directs each Ministry to implement the aspects concerning them by preparing Five Year and Annual Action Plan with targets. It has been provided in its Mandate and Policy Statement & other paras to take effective steps to improve the quality of life of all Elders, strengthen their legitimate place in society and help them to live their last spell of life with purpose, dignity and peace. CIC had also ruled as under in earlier case no. 2701/IC/(A)/2008-CIC/MA/A/2008/00645 ON 27-6-08(on CIC Web Site):-
``The Respondents has adopted a National Policy which has not been effectively implemented. The Senior Citizens are, therefore, deprived of the benefits assured to them. The Respondent is, therefore, directed to clearly outline the Plan of Action and indicate its outcome for the larger benefits of Older Persons and the Society.``
5.The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is the apex authority of Government of India at the national level to formulate policies, sponsor and support programme, coordinate the activities of various Central Ministries, State Governments and other nodal authorities and monitor the programmes concerning various issues of 12 crore Elders of the Country (10% of total population, 13% of electorate and 21% of effective voters) pertaining to this Ministry. This Ministry has to prepare a detailed Scheme, Five Year & Annual Action Plan for all items pertaining to them, issue instructions to all concerned in States/UTs etc, give them targets, chase them continuously and get their items implemented. Ministry of Social Justice can not correspond with all State/UT ministries of Panchayati Raj for subjects pertaining to their Ministry and as per AOB, it is clearly for Ministry of Panchayati Raj to issue necessary directives to all their counterpart ministries of States/UTs and get all provisions of National Policy, 99; Integrated Programmes for Older Persons (IPOP) under para 47 of NPOP, 99; Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and National Programme of Health Care of Elders by Health Ministry to the extent pertaining to their subordinate offices.
As no action was taken by this Ministry for 14 years even after notification of National Policy, 99 depriving 12 crore elders of the Country of benefits pertaining to this Ministry, we brought this position to the notice of Hon Minister in our representations dt 1-8-12. As per various directives from DOPT, all representations to Ministers & Departments from Citizens are required to be examined by competent authority and replied within a month. Representations from Senior Citizens are to be given preference. In this case, we had sent a detailed representation to Hon. Minister about action to be taken on various provisions of NPOP, 99. As no reply was received, we had to resort to RTI Application, as non-reply is a short coming of working of the Public Authority and one of the aims of RTI is to streamline the working of such Public Authorities.
6.You, being one of Us- a senior citizen and in charge of CIC Office, we request you to consider the above aspects and fix the date of Hearing early and direct the Ministry of Panchayati Raj to take immediate action on all aspects brought out above. It will not be out of place to request you to bring the provisions of Mandate & Policy Statement of National Policy, 99 to the notice of all ICs/CIC and all staff once for all for improving the work of CIC Office, which is created for helping citizens but which does not help Elders of the Country in true spirit but delays implementation of National Policy, 99 by hurriedly closing cases under pretext of heavy work created due to unsystematic working at many stages and playing with words to close IInd Appeals.
Copy to Shri Maha Bir Prasad, Director, Ministry for Panchayati Raj & Tribal Affairs,
Government of India, Sardar Patel Bhawan, New Delhi 110001 for immediate necessary action.
Copy to Shri T.R.Meena, Bureau in Charge of Senior Citizens, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, Shastri Bhawan, A Wing, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi-110101 for necessary action.