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Kanpur land-sharks intimidating RTI activist by fabricating false charges

Land-mafia in Kanpur in connivance with officials of Kanpur Development Authority (KDA) have slapped false fabricated charges against an Right-to-Information (RTI) campaign leader - Roby Sharma.

Roby has been spearheading the RTI campaign in Kanpur since past two years now, exposing corruption and championing people's causes across the city.

Roby had filed a RTI application seeking the information from the KDA and Fire Department officials on how many multi-storey buildings are following the fire-safety norms setup by them, and how many of these buildings have obtained a no-objection certificate from the fire department.

Roby had further asked under the RTI Act that under which government order, are the private guest houses and businesses conducting commercial businesses in residential localities.

Also in Panki region of Kanpur, a 'ramleela' park was allotted to build a private school. Roby had filed a RTI application seeking to know under which government order have the allotment been made.

Due to the connivance of land-mafia with KDA officials, there are many such instances of illegal and unauthorized land grabbing across the city of Kanpur.

KDA has not given a response to many previous RTI applications of Roby and the hearing of these cases are currently undergoing in State Information Commission (SIC) of UP.

Also media has been colluding too! A leading city newspaper owns two major multiplexes - Rave three and Rave five - both of which are functioning without a no-objection certificate from Fire department. The bureau chief of this newspaper Sanjeev Mishra had threatened another acquaintance of Roby to 'stay away from Rave' related cases. The bureau chief also threatened the acquaintance to get Roby arrested and 'rot in jail for rest of his life.'

When Roby Sharma went for a hearing in the office of KDA's Secretary Hemant Kumar Singh, another senior KDA official Mahaveer Singh had verbally abused him and threatened of dire consequences if 'Roby doesn't stop seeking information'.

"RTI Act is a much-heralded public interest constitutional policy empowering the citizens and bestowing them with their fundamental right to information in the democratic India. But rampant corruption, malpractices and nexus between the 'powerful' and mighty and authorities are posing a huge challenge to the committed RTI champions like Roby Sharma" said Mahesh Kumar, another leading RTI activist in Kanpur.

The activists today met the district magistrate of Kanpur who assured them of taking action.
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CIC orders Private schools to disclose information under RTI act January 27, 2007 | RSS | Tell a friend | Printable Version Font Size -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- New Delhi: Now, private schools across the city cannot deny the information sought by anyone under the RTI act. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has declared that schools receiving grants from the government come within the definition of "Public Authority" and thus come under the ambit of RTI act. The decision by CIC, according to sources, has given more powers in the hands of citizens, who for a very long time wanted private schools to provide them with the necessary information. The first private educational institution to come under RTI scrutiny is Sanskriti School. The CIC on Tuesday ordered the school to disclose information under RTI act. The commission took this decision while hearing a petition filed by Ms Manju S. Kumar. It must be noted that Ms. Kumar in July 2006 had sought details from the school about the contributions made to it by government and NGOs. She also sought details about admissions to class IX between March 15, 2006 and July 2006 and about all those children (of class VII) who secured a transfer during that period. Besides, Ms. Kumar wanted to know the profile of all the parents whose wards were studying in the school. The school, however, refused to divulge any information by saying that it does not come under the jurisdiction of "Public Authority". The CIC on Tuesday rejected its contention and termed it a "Public Authority"on two grounds. Firstly, it receives grants from government and secondly, the wife of a cabinet secretary is the ex-officio chairperson of the school's board of management. According to CIC's order, the school has to provide all information to Ms. Kumar sought by her till February 15, 2007.

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