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RTI helps man become civil judge

Dhirendra Kumar, who is now a civil judge in Dumroan in Bihar, failed to clear the Bihar Judicial Service Examination in 2007, or at least his results showed so. But it was his confidence of having done well in the exam and the power of the RTI Act that helped him undo the injustice meted out to him. Chetan Chauhan reports.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2009 00:38 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Right to Information (RTI) Act can get you a job. Sounds unbelievable? Ask 30-year-old Dhirendra Kumar.

Kumar, who is now a civil judge in Dumroan in Bihar, failed to clear the Bihar Judicial Service Examination in 2007, or at least his results showed so.

But it was his confidence of having done well in the exam and the power of the RTI Act that helped him undo the injustice meted out to him. For this, he is a nominee for the National RTI Award in the Best Citizen Category.

Kumar received a jolt when he couldn’t find his name in the list of candidates selected for the interview, he then filed an RTI application to request his score in all the subjects covered in the exam.

“There were approximately 800 people on the interview list and I was not one of them,” Dhirendra recalled.

Two months later, the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) told Kumar that his marks could not be revealed till the interview process was completed.

His RTI application, however, forced the BPSC to post the marks of all candidates, who had appeared for the interview, on the commission’s website.

Kumar had received 451, which was much higher than those called for the interview.

“I returned to the BPSC office to inquire. The BPSC responded by asking me to file another RTI application, specifically requesting why I was not called from an interview,” he said.

Kumar then filed his second RTI application with three BPSC officials — the public information officer (PIO), deputy secretary and the chairman.

He, however, did not receive a reply.

When he again went to the BPSC office, the PIO told him that the cut-off for the post he had applied for was much higher than what he had scored.

But Kumar obtained a copy of his BPSC application, using RTI, and proved that his exam score made him eligible for the interview.

The PIO then contacted Kumar and gave him the first written reply to his RTI application, which said that he would be called for an interview.

He cleared the interview and is a civil judge today.