“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”

1. Give “New Year Gift” to citizens by permitting and publicising the use of ordinary Postal Stamps for payment of RTI fee: CIC’s recommendation to Department of Personnel and Training 

Central Information Commissioner Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu has strongly recommended the use of postal stamps as RTI application fee. While disposing off a petition, he observed, “The Commission strongly recommends Department of Personnel and Training to adopt the one year old proposal of the Department of Posts, which is very user-friendly and avail the opportunity of giving New Year Gift to the citizen by permitting and publicising the use of ordinary Postal Stamps for payment of RTI fee, as this would go a long way in setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information.  Accepting postal stamps for RTI fee would resolve many difficulties in payment, besides preventing wastage of public money in returning or rejecting the IPOs or spending much larger amounts than Rs 10, for realizing Rs 10, and avoidable litigation.”

The Complainant, Shri Raghubir Singh is a senior citizen of 75-years old and a law teacher who is associated with the making of the  RTI Act before its enactment by the Government.  The Commission heard him on the telephone as desired by him.

The complainant complained that the Directorate of Education has harassed him by raising meaningless technical issues.  They had returned the Indian Postal Order of Rs.10/- saying that it is not properly drawn, when he claims to have rightly drawn in favour of the Accounts Officer.  The Complainant objected to the returning of the Postal Order by PIO by speed post, for which he had to spend more than Rs.25/-.  He complained that the Directorate has not updated its web-site and appropriate address against whom the Postal Order should be drawn or fee to be paid was not given.

The complaint was filed against the Directorate of Education had demanded information on 2 points: i) Which of the Government Secondary Schools in Delhi under the Directorate of Education,  have introduced Punjabi teaching as a third language for the first time afresh in class VI in the academic year 2010-2014; ii) the number of such students enrolled in Class VI, School-wise.

The Commission hence directed the PIOs to check up whether every school has properly replied to the RTI application, if not fulfil the deficiencies.  The Commisison also directed them to contact the Complainant on the telephone number given by him, and provide the complete information within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.
The Commission referred to its earlier decision in S.C. Aggarwal vs. Ministry of Home Affairs wherein it had issued several directions. It had directed that, “no instrument shall be returned by any officer of the public authority on the ground that it has not been drawn in the name of a particular officer. So long as the instrument has been drawn in favour of the Accounts Officer, it shall be accepted in all circumstances” among several others.
These directions were mandatory and the Commission observed that non-compliance would lead to penalty proceedings. It observed, “The Commission finds it is a misuse of the power of PIO to reject to receive RTI application and the fee amounting to harassment of the applicant. It is also a kind of denial of information. Any kind of delay in furnishing of information on such grounds, violates the letter and spirit of RTI Act on several counts.”
In another second appeal by Mr. R.K. Jain as decided on 5th December, the CPIO of Department of Posts told the Commission that their department has given a proposal to DoPT vide letter dated 31.1.2014 suggesting that ordinary postal stamps could be used for payment of RTI fee.
The respondents, their PIOs and incharge officers were directed to update their official website immediately and send a compliance reprt to the Commission with a copy to the Complainant within 10 days from the date of receipt of the order. All the PIOs of
Directorate of Education and all other officers concerned were directed to accept the IPO without raising technical objections and follow all the directions issued by the full bench order of CIC.
They were asked to submit separate reports to the Commission explaining how many IPOs they have rejected so far and what are the grounds of rejection, from January 2014 to December 10, 2014, within 15 days from the date of reciept of the order.
A show cause notice was issued to the PIO who refused and returned the IPO of appellant as to why maximum penalty cannot be imposed against him for acting against the spirit of RTI and harassing the applicant and for not updating the official website.


How to Join CGHS after Retirement

        The central Government Employees those who are on the verge of Retirement are having many doubts about joining CGHS after retirement. Many queries have been raised by our viewers about registering with CGHS and availing the CGHS facility after retirement. Hence the details of joining CGHS and entitlement for availing treatments and its benefits, list of empanelled Hospitals are compiled and given under for viewer’s reference.
Medical Benefits for Retirees
All Central Government pensioners/family pensioners who were eligible for taking treatment under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) while in service are eligible for availing CGHS facilities after retirement, irrespective of whether they were or were not availing CGHS facilities while in service. Further, it is not necessary that these pensioners / family pensioners should be living in the areas covered under the CGHS.
Presently the CGHS facilities are available in the following cities:
Allahabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, New Delhi, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Meerut, Mumbai, Nagpur, Noida, Patna, Pune, Shillong, Thiruvananthapuram.
The Central Govt. Health Scheme provides comprehensive health care to the CGHS Beneficiaries in India. The medical facilities are provided through Wellness Centres (previously referred to as CGHS Dispensaries) /polyclinics under Allopathic, Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathic systems of medicines.
a. 273 allopathic dispensaries, 19 polyclinics, 85 Ayush dispensary/ units
b. 3 Yoga Centres
c. 73 Laboratories
d. 17 Dental Units
           The pensioners / family pensioners have to get their names registered with any of the CGHS dispensaries after submitting an application in the prescribed proforma for the issue of a CGHS identity card.
Procedure to Register with CGHS
1. One can get a CGHS card made from the office of AD / JD of the City.
2. Forms can be downloaded from CGHS Website or can be taken from office of AD / JD of city.
3. Documents required
i. Application in prescribed format
ii. Proof of Residenceroof of Stay of dependents
iii. Proof of age of son
iv. Disability certificate, if any in case of sons aged 25 & above, who would otherwise cease to be a beneficiary.
v. Photos of eligible family members
vi. Surrender Certificate of CGHS Card while in service ( only in those cases where CGHS Card was issued while in service)
vii. Attested copies of PPO & Last Pay Certificate
viii. Draft for required amount towards CGHS contribution – in the name of ‘P.A.O., CGHS New Delhi’ in Delhi-and in the name of ‘AD, CGHS of the city’.
ix. In case PPO is not ready for any reason there is option to get a provisional card on the basis of Last Pay Certificate.
x. The data is entered through computers and entered in data base and a printout is issued same day for immediate use. Plastic cards are subsequently sent to the residence of the card holder by post
BEDU : Not Recognized - No Trade Union Facilities - Department clarified to our RTI.

Can’t recover excess salary paid to class III, IV staff: SC

Supreme Court
NEW DELHI: Recovery of excess amount paid to Class-III and Class-IV employees due to employer's mistake is not permissible in law, the Supreme Court has ruled saying that it would cause extremely harsh consequences to them who are totally dependent on their wages to run their family.

The apex court said employees of lower rung service spend their entire earning in the upkeep and welfare of their family, and if such excess payment is allowed to be recovered from them, it would cause them far more hardship, than the reciprocal gains to the employer.

A bench of JS Khehar and Arun Mishra also directed that an employer cannot recover excess amount in case of a retired employee or one who is to retire within one year and where recovery process is initiated five years after excess payment.


Hold discussions with the Staff side

National Council (Staff Side)
Joint Consultative Machinery
For Central Government Employees
13-c, Ferozshah Road, New Delhi – 110 001
Shiva Gopal Mishra
Dated: December 16, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary,
(Government of India),
Cabinet Secretariat,
Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi
Dear Sir,
Sub: Functioning of Joint Consultative Machinery
Since assuming charge of Secretary(Staff Side), National Council(JCM), I have repeatedly demanded to convene a meeting of the National Council(JCM). It is, however, regretful to point out that, despite all out efforts made by me and requesting you in person to hold the meeting, no meeting of the NC/JCM has been convened till date.
It may be appreciated the Joint Consultative Machinery(JCM) at the National level, conceived as an effective Negotiating Forum, has virtually become defunct as no meeting of this forum has been held during the last four years, with the result that, a number of major grievances of the Central Government employees continue to remain unresolved, because of which they are badly agitated.
The procrastinated discussions in the National Anomaly Committee did not proceed to settle any tangible anomaly item. Even after reaching agreement, the government has refused to issue orders on some issues. This apart, the demands raised by the Staff Side for grant of Interim Relief and Merger of DA with Pay have been refused by the government. One of the vital segments of the Central Government Employees, i.e. Grameen Dak Sewaks of the Postal Department, are kept outside the ambit of the 7th CPC. Unilateral decisions were taken to induct FDI in the Railways, Privatize the Railway and Defence Production Units; closure of the Printing Presses, Publication and Stationery Departments; contractorise the medical store functions; corporatize the Postal Organization and outsource various governmental functions.
Under these circumstances, all the constituents of the National Council(JCM)(Staff Side) had to hold a “National Convention” on 11th December, 2014 in New Delhi, wherein after detailed deliberations and taking stock of the situation, a detailed programme of struggle has been chalked-out. In case there is no positive response from the Official Side, it will ultimately lead to indefinite strike.
A copy of the Declaration of the above-mentioned Convention is enclosed herewith, which is self-explanatory.
We do fervently hope that negotiation is possible even at this late stage and would therefore urge upon you to take concrete steps in that direction. We also hope that you will be able to appreciate that any decision of the government which affects the job security of the employees adversely need to be discussed and agreement reached at the JCM Forum.
I would, therefore, request you to personally intervene in the matter, being the Chairman of the National Council(JCM), so as to avoid serious unrest and disturbance to industrial peace in the Central Government Services and hold discussions with the Staff Side, NC/JCM on these vital issues at your earliest.
Charging higher fares in Premium Tatkal tickets
ANSWERED ON-19.12.2014
Premium Tatkal tickets
(a) whether under the new policy and rules of Government, train passengers are being looted by charging higher fares in the name of premium Tatkal tickets, whereas several trains are running with vacant seats; and
(b) if so, the reasons for such kind of injustice with passengers?

(a)&(b): In order to improve the earnings from passenger services, w.e.f. 01.10.2014, in some of the selected trains by Zonal Railways which are most in demand, 50% of the existing accommodation under Tatkal Quota has been earmarked as Premium Tatkal Quota and is being booked on dynamic pricing.
This is a distance-slab based fare scheme where the fare increases by 20% after each slab of 10% berths are sold subject to a cap (maximum fare chargeable).
Tatkal is a facility over and above the normal booking of reserved seats/berths.

Alteration of date of birth of Government Employees – Instructions issued by DOPT
F.No.19017/1/2014-Estt (A-IV)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Dated : 16th December, 2014
Subject : Alteration of date of birth of a Government Servant — reiteration of the instructions.
Rule 56 of Fundamental Rules states that except as otherwise provided in the rule, every Government servant will retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he attains the age of sixty years.
Provided that a Government servant whose date of birth is the first of a month shall retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the preceding month on attaining the age of sixty years.
2.  As per Note 6 below the aforesaid Rule, the date of on which a Government servant attains the age of fifty-eight years or sixty years, as the case may be, shall be determined with reference to the date of birth declared by the Government servant at the time of appointment and accepted by the Appropriate Authority on production, as far as possible, of confirmatory documentary evidence such as High School or Higher Secondary or Secondary School Certificate or extracts from Birth Register. The date of birth so declared by the Government servant and accepted by the Appropriate Authority shall not be subject to any alteration except as specified in this note. An alteration of date of birth of a Government servant can be made, with the sanction of a Ministry or Department of the Central Government, or the Comptroller and Auditor-General in regard to persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, or an Administrator of a Union Territory under which the Government servant is serving, if —
(a) a request in this regard is made within five years of his entry into Government service;
(b) it is clearly established that a genuine bona fide mistake has occurred; and
(c) the date of birth so altered would not make him ineligible to appear in any School or University of Union Public Service Commission examination in which he had appeared, or for entry into Government service on the date on which he first appeared at such examination or on the date on which he entered Government service.
3. The Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No.502 of 1993 — Union of India Vs. Harnam Singh — Judgement dated 9th February, 1993 had observed that :
“Inordinate and unexplained delay or laches on the part of the respondent to seek the necessary correction would in any case have justified the refusal of relief to him. His inaction for all this period of about thirty five years from the date of joining service, therefore precludes him from showing that the entry of his date of birth in service record was not correct”.
The observations of the Apex Court was also circulated to all Ministries and Departments of the Government of India vide OM No.19017/2/92-Estt.(A) dated 19-5-1993.
4. All the Ministries and Departments are requested to keep the above in view while processing cases of requests for changes of date of birth.
5. Hindi version follows.
Under Secretary to the Government of India