Vegetable vendor gets passport in 40 days; courtesy RTI
R M BHAT
Srinagar, Nov 17: Right To Information Act helped a vegetable vendor get his passport within 40 days of filing the RTI application.
Bashir Ahmad Bhat, who runs a small vegetable shop at Chadoora in central Kashmir’s Budgam district had plans to perform Hajj and Umrah and had applied for an international passport on January 23, 2010 but he did not get the passport till August 2011 as the CID department did not dispatch the verification report to the Regional Passport Office Srinagar.
His son Bilal Ahmad met some RTI activists who advised him to move an application under RTI Act and after a few days Bilal went to CID headquarters in Srinagar on August 23, 2011 to file an application under JK Right to Information Act (JK RTI Act 2009). When he reached there policeman at main gate did not allow him to go inside and asked him to go away “Yehaan RTI nahee Chaltaa Hai (RTI is not applicable here).”
After policeman denied entry to Bilal, he went to State Information Commission’s office (SIC) here and filed a complaint under section 15 of JK RTI Act 2009 against CID officials and at the same time he send the RTI application via speed post to the Public Information Officer (PIO) at CID headquarters in Srinagar.
Bilal had asked the PIO of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) why the verification report of Bashir Ahmad Bhat (Bilal’s father) had not been sent to Regional Passport Office Srinagar? In how many days is CID supposed to send the report?
After taking due cognizance of the compliant filed by Bilal Ahmad the State Information Commission (SIC) send a notice to CID headquarters vide notice no: SIC-K/COMP/180/2011/1500 dated Aug 29, 2011 and sought their answer as to why they refused to entertain the RTI application.
After getting a notice from SIC and RTI application from Bilal via speed post, just within a day office of the Inspector General of CID sent a letter No. CID/GB/RTI/2011/17/6035-36 dated August 29, 2011 to Bilal. “Please refer to your RTI application regarding passport case of Bashir Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Muhammad Bhat bearing No: Z-360274/10 has been cleared from CID headquarters and sent to Regional Passport Office Srinagar,” the letter stated.
WHY LONG DELAY?
Bashir Ahmad’s brother Muhammad Sultan Bhat was a militant who was killed in 1996. That’s why Bashir’s verification report was not sent by the CID officials. “Police and all the agencies know that my brother was killed around fifteen years back and they also know I have nothing to do with militancy but still they made me to suffer for more than one and a half years,” said Bashir Ahmad.
“Thanks to RTI Act which paved the way for me to get the passport,” Bashir Ahmad added.
The Regional Passport Office Srinagar finally delivered the passport to Bashir Ahmad Bhat via registered post which he received early last month. I would appeal people to use their right under RTI Act if they have similar issues. “RTI is a strong tool to make administration accountable,” Bilal Ahmad added.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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R M BHAT
Srinagar, Nov 17: Right To Information Act helped a vegetable vendor get his passport within 40 days of filing the RTI application. Bashir Ahmad Bhat, who runs a small vegetable shop at Chadoora More
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