DoPT silent on RTI for Indians abroad

Pays no heed to the request made by the secretary, department of post


Danish Raza | December 20, 2010

The department of personal and training (DoPT) has become a stumbling block when it comes to formulating a procedure for Indians living abroad to file RTI applications. 

It has been three months since the ministry of communication & information technology sought the help of DoPT on developing a methodology to assist Indians living abroad in filing RTI applications. But DoPT is yet to respond on the matter.

On August 16, Shantanu Consul, then Secretary, DoPT, wrote identical letters to Radhika Doraiswamy, secretary, department of posts and Nirupama Rao, foreign secretary asking for inputs on devising a system enabling Indians living abroad to file RTI applications.

DoPT was acting on a complaint filed by Commodore (rtd) L K Batra with the central information commission (CIC). It also received a representation from a group of Indians living abroad who highlighted the absence of a mechanism to file RTI applications.

Till date, the foreign secretary has not responded to the DoPT on this issue.

On September 6, secretary, department of post, replied to the DoPT saying that it would soon launch a virtual post office. “Services available at the virtual post office can be extended to include the payment of fees for information request under the RTI act for Indian citizens staying abroad,” said the letter.

The secretary, department of post, further requested Consul to nominate an officer from his department to interact with P N Ranjit, director (global business), dak bhavan, so that various issues could be discussed and operational procedure and methodology could be finalized.

However, DoPT is yet to take any step in this direction.

“Last week when I spoke to P N Ranjit, to ascertain the progress, I was surprised to learn that even after three months, no officer from DoPT has interacted in this regard with the officials of the department of post,” said Commodore (rtd) L K Batra.

The applicant has now written to the current secretary, DoPT, asking for early action.




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