CIC tells “Public Authority” to formulate rules for medical reimbursement with due diligence

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has passed an order underscoring that it is incumbent upon the “Public Authority” to revisit its guidelines in respect of the medical reimbursement and formulate the rules and regulations with due diligence and in a more precise and cogent manner in the interest of the beneficiaries within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of the order.

The CIC order is with regard to medical reimbursement rules prevalent for the pensioners for use of various categories of equipment as advised by the Medical Specialists,

The order, passed by Information Commissioner Bimal Julka on 23 October 2018, gives the clear instruction that precise and clear guidelines should be put out in the public domain for its information and necessary action by all concerned. The Commission has also advised the Respondent (central Public Information Officer and Deputy Registrar Jawaharlal Nehru University -Legal) to exercise due care and caution in future to ensure that correct and complete information is furnished timely to the RTI applicant(s) as per provisions of the Act failing which penal proceedings shall be initiated under Section 20 .

This order by the Central Information Commission has come in response to a an RTI application seeking information on several points regarding the procedure and requirement for the grant of permission for purchase of oxygen concentrator, details of the relevant rules, if any, time within which the permission for the purchase of oxygen concentrator could be granted if it’s usage was recommended to a patient and other related issues.

Puneet Kumar Girdhar, the complainant had submitted that satisfactory information had not been provided to him on the generic issues raised by him in his RTI application. Explaining that the issues raised pertained to the larger public interest, the Complainant submitted that penalty should have been
have been imposed on the CPIO for the incorrect and misleading information provided to him. In its reply, the Respondent re-iterated the reply of the CPIO/First Appellate Authority (FAA) and written submissions on 8 October 2018.

The complainant further submitted on 10 October 2018 that the matter involved larger public interest and that there was a violation of Section 7 of the RTI act since the application was not disposed within 02 days. Furthermore, he questioned the conduct of the CPIO and Appellate Authority against which penalty could be imposed as per the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.

The Commission has referred to the definition of information u/s Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005 which is reproduced below:

“information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, report, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.”

It has also made reference to the relevant extract of Section 2 (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 which reads as under:
“(j) right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes ……..”

While passing this order the Commission has relied on a number of orders of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Delhi.

The Commission has referred to the Supreme Court decision in 2011 (8) SCC 497 (CBSE Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay), wherein it was held as under:

35….. “It is also not required to provide ‘advice’ or ‘opinion’ to an applicant, nor required to obtain and furnish any ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ to an applicant. The reference to ‘opinion’ or ‘advice’ in the definition of ‘information’ in section 2(f) of the Act, only refers to such material available in the records of the Public Authority. Many public authorities have, as a public relation exercise, provide advice, guidance and opinion to the citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be confused with any obligation under the RTI Act.”

The Commission also has cited from the order of the Supreme Court of India in Khanapuram Gandaiah Vs. Administrative Officer and Ors. Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.34868 OF 2009 (Decided on January 4, 2010). The order says:

6. “….Under the RTI Act “information” is defined under Section 2(f) which provides:

“information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advice, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, report, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.”

This definition shows that an applicant under Section 6 of the RTI Act can get any information which is already in existence and accessible to the public authority under law. Of course, under the RTI Act an applicant is entitled to get copy of the opinions, advices, circulars, orders, etc., but he cannot ask for any information as to why such opinions, advices, circulars, orders, etc. have been passed.”

7. “….the Public Information Officer is not supposed to have any material which is not before him; or any information he could have obtained under law. Under Section 6 of the RTI Act, an applicant is entitled to get only such information which can be accessed by the “public authority” under any other law for the time being in force. The answers sought by the petitioner in the application could not have been with the public authority nor could he have had access to this information and Respondent No. 4 was not obliged to give any reasons as to why he had taken such a decision in the matter which was before him.”

 

 

 

#MeToo: There can be another side too

Globe Trotter

What if #MeToo leads to a #SheToo campaign…What if men also start exposing them, that is women of ‘substance’, who might have crossed the line of decency at some point of time and now they might be even grand mother’s sitting at the apex of families, enjoying the respect of an entire extended family and the society…..Think of what the entire family would lose if that happens.

People grow and evolve over a period of time. If they have been spared for years, they have the right to correct themselves and lead a normal life. If the crime is horrendous, of course, it should draw immediate punitive action. Or else, in such matters, both parties involved should engage in an exercise, that could involve a harsh reprimand, and an apology. This is one way to nip the problem in the bud. What’s happening now, with women (so many of them top journalists) who are viewed as the most emancipated and empowered of the women’s lot, taking the lead in knocking down those who years ago might have violated their modesty, will only end up knocking down a lot that helps in creating a balance in terms of a dynamic society that’s constantly changing and going through the complex horizontal and vertical acculturisation and also the informal self-correcting process.

The complaints being lodged today relate to a period in time when the Indian society was at a juncture of significant change and the modern liberal thought had started crossing the conservative path identified with the mindset of the patriarchal society where the women were looked down and were not allowed to leave the shadow of their men.

One shudders at the thought of all the muck that would flow in the public domain if the #MeToo trend becomes the order of the day. Then who will draw the line and differentiate between slander, lies and truth….Who will account for the loss of reputation of the honourable, if they get roped in by the unscrupulous merely trying to settle scores.

It’s high time the world is wary of #MeToo as the automatic corollary to this can be #SheToo.

Why rich Indians are heading for the US and UK for medical treatment

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal: Rich Indians requiring medical attention and having deep pockets are going to the US and UK for treatment these days because the pharmaceutical companies have stopped marketing advanced drugs in India under Modi Raj.

Dr Rakesh Shrivastava, a Consultant in Advanced Internal Medicine here said he is unable to get certain drugs that were available in abundance in the past.

When Dr. Shrivastava tried to explore the causes leading to the non-availaibility of advanced drugs, including many life saving drugs, he was told by the vice president of a pharmaceutical company that now it is impossible to market the costly molecules in India because of the price ceiling and fear of reverse transcriptase method employed by generic drug manufacturers because there is no protective mechanism in India.

Commenting on the prevailing scenario, Dr Shrivastava went on to observe: “Life and death is beyond a doctor’s command but loosing a patient with uncharacteristic impotence is extremely painful.”

According to available reports, a certain lifesaving drug for children has vanished from the market following the lowering of its price by over 90 per cent due to the regulatory mechanism enforced by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA). The drug producer has expressed inability to provide the drug in question saying how can vast supplies be ensured at less than the production cost.

Also check: Central Information Commission asks Health Ministry and NPPA to check the menace of overpricing of essential drugs

ECI declares General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, RaJasthan, Mizoram & Telangana

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner of India O P Rawat today announced the election schedule for the General election to the Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana.

The terms of the Legislative Assemblies of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram are normally due to expire as follows:

The Governor of Telangana by his order on 6 September 2018 dissolved the Telangana Legislative Assembly with immediate effect,

By virtue of its powers, duties and functions under Article 324 read,with Article 1.72(l) of the Constitution of India and Section 15 of the Representation of the people Act, 1951, and the judgement of the Supreme Court in Special Reference No. 1 of 2002, the Commission was required to hold general elections to constitute the new Legislative Assemblies in the States is Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Raiasthan & Mizoram before expiry of their present terms and in the State of Telangana, where the State Legislative Assembly has been prematurely dissolved, within a period of six months from the date of premature dissolution of the Assembly i,e. by 5 March 2019.

(1) Assembly Constituencies

The total number of’ Assembly Constituencies in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & Mizoram and seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, as determined by the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies order 2008, and the total number of Assembly Constituencies in Telangana and seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, as determined by Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, as follows:

(2) Electoral Rolls:

The Commission, after visiting the poll bound States, had directed the State election machinery to ensure a smooth, effective, inclusive and time-bound completion of 2nd Special Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls with reference to 01.01.2018 as the qualifying date, so as to ensure that all eligible but un-enrolled citizens in the States are duly registered in the Electoral Rolls. Special efforts were made to identify the critical gaps in the electoral rolls and targeted SVEEP activities were carried out to address them.

The existing electoral rolls of all the Assemblies Constituencies in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan & Mizoram have been revised with reference to 1 January 2018 as the qualifying date and for Telangana, the existing electoral rolls will be revised with reference to 1 January 2019 as the qualifying date. The date of Final publication of electoral rolls in respect of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana are as follows:

 

Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Chhattisgarh, 2018

Phase – I

(For elections to 18 Assembly Constituencies listed in Annexure I)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 16.10.2018 (TUESDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 23.10.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 24.10.2018 (WEDNESDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 26.10.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date of Poll 12.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

 

Phase – II

(For elections to 72 Assembly Constituencies listed in Annexure II)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 26.10.2018 (FRIDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 02.11.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 03.11.2018 (SATURDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 05.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Date of Poll 20.11.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

 

Schedule

Schedule for General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Madhya Pradesh, 2018 (All 230 ACs)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 02.11.2018 (FRIDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 09.11.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 12.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 14.11.2018 (WEDNESDAY)
Date of Poll 28.11.2018 (WEDNESDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

 

Schedule

Schedule for General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan, 2018 (All 200 ACs)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 12.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 19.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 20.11.2018 (TUESDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 22.11.2018 (THURSDAY)
Date of Poll 07.12.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

 

Schedule

Schedule for General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Mizoram, 2018 (All 40 ACs)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 02.11.2018 (FRIDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 09.11.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 12.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 14.11.2018 (WEDNESDAY)
Date of Poll 28.11.2018 (WEDNESDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

Schedule for General Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Telangana, 2018 (All 119 ACs)

Poll Events Schedule
Date of Issue of Gazette Notification 12.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Last Date of Nominations 19.11.2018 (MONDAY)
Date for Scrutiny of Nominations 20.11.2018 (TUESDAY)
Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures 22.11.2018 (THURSDAY)
Date of Poll 07.12.2018 (FRIDAY)
Date of Counting 11.12.2018 (TUESDAY)
Date before which election shall be completed 13.12.2018 (THURSDAY)

Model Code of Conduct

The Model Code of Conduct comes into effect immediately from now onwards. All the provisions of the Model Code will apply to the whole of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and, the State Government of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram & Telangana. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government insofar as announcements/policy decisions pertaining to/for these States are concerned.

The Commission has made elaborate arrangements for ensuring the effective implementation of the MCC Guidelines. Any violations of these Guidelines would be strictly dealt with and the Commission re-emphasizes that the instructions issued in this regard from time to time should be read and understood by all Political Parties, contesting candidates and their agents/representatives, to avoid any misgivings or lack of information or inadequate understanding/interpretation. The government of the poll-bound States has also been directed to ensure that no misuse of official machinery/position is done during the MCC period.

The Commission has also issued instructions for swift, effective and stringent action for enforcement of Model Code of Conduct during the first 72 hours of announcement of the election schedule and also for maintaining extra vigilance and strict enforcement action in the Last 72 hours prior to the close of polls.  These instructions have been issued in the form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for compliance by the field election machinery.