Skip to main content

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

RTI plea: Info on Adani visit to Prime Minister's residence "denied" under Modi pressure, no secrecy involved

PM's residence
By Our Representative
Denial of information to Paragkumar Ashokkumar Patel, the Gujarat citizen who under the right to information (RTI) Act wanted the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to tell him the dates of top Indian tycoon Gautam Adani's visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence, is all set to turn into full blown controversy. Patel has decided not to take things lying down, and has gone into an appeal saying that the denial runs counter to the RTI Act, alleging the PMO's Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) has done it under "pressure" from Modi.
Filing his appeal before the appellate authority of the PMO under section 19 if the RTI Act, Patel is reported to have said that the CPIO has denied information to him regarding Adani's visit at 7 Race Course Road (RCR) citing section 8(1) and section 11. "In doing so, CPIO has done gross error and it appears it has been done under instructions of the Prime Minister. The CPIO is a government servant and has to work without any influence of any elected official", he has alleged.
Patel's appeal, posted by a political activist from Ahmedabad, Roshan Shah on his Facebook page, says that "the information I requested is on Gautam Adani's visit to 7 RCR", adding, "7 RCR property is totally managed by public funds and the Prime Minister is also taking salary from public funds."
The appeal insists, citing section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act is particularly erroneious, because it "clearly states that if any information is of the nature that is is to be disclosed in Parliament, it has to be disclosed to general public."
Patel's appeal says, "I have not asked information of any trade secret, any foreign state or meeting with foreign official nor any matter related to ongoing investigation nor any matter prohibited by court of law."
Claiming that Gautam Adani has debt of over Rs 72,000 crore, which is "public money in Indian banks", Patel goes on to state, "It is clear that my RTI request is of larger general public interest and CPIO has without application of mind cited 8(1) while denying the information."
Taking a dig at the CPIO, Patel says, "If the learned CPIO has undertaken RTI training and studied the RTI Act, he should have cited specific subsection under which the information was denied. Not doing so proves that CPIO has acted under political influence in denying information to me."
As for applying section 11 of the RTI Act was concerned, Patel says, it "does not apply" because he had "not asked any trade secret of Adani", and had only asked "about visits at 7 RCR." Besides, he adds, "Whenever information is denied under Section 11, the applicant needs to be informed that third party is notified to give consent to share information. No such submission is done by CPIO in the RTI response to me."
Commenting on the CPIO as an IAS officer, Patel says, IAS officers "are supposed to follow rule book and provisions of Acts properly. They are topmost breed of civil servants and overseeing affairs of PMO. If PMO CPIO himself has wrongly interpreted RTI, this sends wrong signals to other CPIOs across India."
Based on this, he has requested the PMO's Appellate Authority to direct the CPIO to provide him the information he had sought "free of cost", direct the CIPO to "clarify" stating exact sections and clause of the section under which the RTI information was denied, and "immediately levy penalty on the CPIO" and inform him of about it.
Patel in his plea also asked the Appellate Authority to "pass a remark" on the CPIO service record for acting against law, and "conduct departmental inquiry" in the matter on why RTI Act 2005 law was "arbitrarily applied here, exceeding the rules and without applying mind."

Comments

Trending

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.