DEVENDRA SHARMA (name changed) had to visit Germany urgently. He applied for a passport. For six months he kept running from one officer to another but nothing came out of it.
But things changed when he applied under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In his petition, he asked for the daily progress report on his application. He also asked for the names and designations of officers who were supposed to take action on the application. Sharma even asked what action would be taken against officials for not doing their work. The petition worked. Within a week of his petition under the RTI Act, Sharma got his passport.
The incident was narrated at a training programme held at the Ambedkar Mahasabha office, where trainees were told how the RTI Act could be used as a good substitute to bribing officers for getting legitimate work done in government offices.
Citing similar examples, representatives of Delhi-based organization Parivartan said framing of questions could actually do the trick for the complainant. The questions should be such that it fixes the accountability of government officials.
Former DGP Ishwar Chand Dwivedi and retired IPS officer SR Darapuri said the Act would prove more than useful for the people.
However, the officials regretted that in UP the Act was not being taken seriously by the government.