As a curious and confused Indian citizen on what the common sense/uniform law (it is a state subject under List II Schedule VII of the Constitution) should be and why is it blatantly ignored for bachelor tenants ousted despite of Article 15 and enough case laws, housing for all by 2022 and international treaties supporting their right to live in a cooperative housing society.
So we decided to file RTI applications under the Right To Information Act –
“VALIDITY OF UNREGISTERED RESOLUTION BY CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING SOCIETIES WHICH ARE AGAINST ARTICLE 15 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA”
This article will explain the process of RTI and its challenges for a person not intimate with the inside ways of the “go to this authority/ उस टेबल पर जाइये” system prevalent in India.
We filed 36 RTI applications – 1 for each state and 1 for the NCHF.
Out of these, 32 were filed on the central portal because no state portal is available.
4 RTI applications were filed on available state portals of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Uttar Pradesh: https://rtionline.up.gov.in
The website is not properly maintained, it keeps hanging. We re did it more than 3 times before it decided to give up its tantrums and allow us to proceed with the filing.
We did not use Odisha portal as it was not felt authentic by our team.
We filed 1 RTI application before The National Cooperative Housing Federation of India on the central portal. We are not RTI experts and not aware of how the online process works but we were shocked with the immediate response!
Out of 32 centrally filed RTI applications, 30 were disposed of within 24 hours.
No, it was not a good thing.
All 30 disposed of applications had the same response:
“The matter relates to State Government of (state name). Moreover, Land and Colonization being State subjects, hence the matter may be taken up with Principal Secretary (Housing), (state name) for taking necessary action.”
We wondered if all 30 applications were disposed of by 1 person as all of them had the same response word for word:
- We pay a fees for the application.
- We as average citizens do not know who is the correct online authority for our right to information. Not all authorities are mentioned in the drop down list on the central portal.
- Only 5 state portals are available online.
- In all the applications, the correct authority under “To” was mentioned:
Registrar of Cooperative Societies, (Address, UT/State, phone number, fax if available).
Registrar of Cooperative Societies
Moti Daman ,Daman & Diu
Registrar of Cooperative Societies,
Govt. of Chhattisgarh, Block – B, 2nd & 3rd Floor, Indrawati Bhawan, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh – 492001
Tel: 0771 2511921
FAX: 0771 4002029
We have accepted the fact that online RTI portals do not work. (We adjust).
I wanted to test that theory/proven hypothesis and see if it has started working.
Result: RIGHT TO INFORMATION – A CENTRAL PORTAL THAT IS OPERATED BY PEOPLE WHO DO NOT READ THE APPLICATION
STATE PORTAL OF MAHARASHTRA
“…Your RTI application has been transferred to Co-operation, Textiles and Marketing Department…”
The application had mentioned the correct department, address, phone no. as explained above in examples in the attached RTI pdf document with the application form online.
What was the need to transfer it to Textiles and Marketing Department? It is a question which we do not need to approach the court for.
Answer: Now it will keep rotating unless someone actually opens the document and read the beginning “To” part just below the heading.
Why is this expensive:
Because now, the next step is to file offline RTI to each state separately. Since the central portal does not follow the mandate of transferring:
“If the information sought pertains another department or another authority then to transfer it under section 6(3) of the RTI Act, 2005.”