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gopenath
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Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 573

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hello Santosh,
Thanks for the information. Lets hope we succeed before all the lands are sold out. I believe the situations are growing bad day by day. A lot of Tea lands have already been sold out. I fear the future of our Heavenly Nilgiris and Badagas.

Gopenath.
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hai everyone,
It's quite some time since i last logged in. I was taking my MBA exams, so i was a bit busy.
On the RTI front, i did get a reply for my appeal from the Appellate Authority. I was asked to attend the hearing on July 11th in Kolkota, unfortunately i had my exams and couldn't attend, even otherwise with two little children i would not have been able to make it there. However the hearing did happen and the case was disposed off in our favour. I have scanned the document, and it is as follows:


BEFORE THE APPELLATE AUTHORITY UNDER RTI ACT, 2005
TEA BOARDAT KOLKATA - 700001
~ N.., ~'-f~'~~'AY~~~~a~~J.~~~~ f~~\r L1fA~~~)9
(VIS - 19(1) at RTI Act, 2005
,;; ~. Appelant.
Anitha, B.Sc(Hort.)
Al, Gataprabha Administration Bhawan,
. Devagiri, Haveri District,
Pin - 581110.
Karnataka
Shri R.D. Nazeem,
Executiv Director & C.P.I.O,
Tea Board,
Coonoor.

Appeal against Executive Director, Coonoor and CPIO for not furnishing
information in respect of queries sought by D. ANITHA on 12.03.2008 and her
application dated 05.04.2008 under RTI Act, 2005.
Date: 11.07.2008
The case record is taken up for hearing. The respondent is present but the
appellant is absent. Heard the respondent. As the appeal is to be disposed of within 45
days, after considering all facts, this appeal is disposed of as follows:-
Brief facts of the case:
The present appellant filed an application dated 12/03/2008 before Executive
Director(Coonoor), Tea Board for certain information regarding Tea quality upgradation
and product diversification scheme and related information thereto. The
information sought for was general in nature.
E.D. Coonoor, vide letter dated 19/0512008 asked the present appellant to
deposit Rs.2,38,8001- for supplying the desired information as it involved Xeroxing of
1)9,400 pages.
To this letter of E.D. Coonoor, the present appellant filed another application dated
05/0412008 with a specific request to provide the desired information under Rule 5(a)
of the Right to Information (Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005 in a diskette form
or be allowed to inspect the document in person as per Rule 4(d) of the' Right to
Information (Regulation of fee & cost) (Amendment) Rules,2005.
In reply to the present appellant's letter dated 05/04/2008, Assistant Director tea
Development asked for depositing Rs.14,69,0001-@Rs.2/- per page for copying
7,34,5000 pages, approximately.
Being aggrieved, the present appellant filed this instant appeal.
Point of Determinations
(1) Whether E.D. Coonoor's action asking the present appellant to deposit
Rs.2,38,8001- is just and proper?
(2) Whether ADTD. Coonoor's action asking the present appellant to deposit
Rs.14,69,000 is just and proper?
(3) Whether the appellant's request to provide information under Rule 4(d) & 5(a)
of Right to Information (Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005 has been complied
with?
For better appreciation, point No.1 &2 are taken up together.
Right to Information Act, 2005 (No.22 of2005) is a beneficial legislation with
a intention to bring transparency and accountability in the working of every public
authority.
As per the provision of the act, all citizens of India shall have the right to
information except the information as described in Section 8 of the act. None of the
information sought by the present appellant falls under the category as described
section 8 of the Act. As such the information as sought could be supplied.
As the information sought for is voluminous in nature running into thousands
of pages and also not available at a specific location, the B.D. Coonoor and ADTD.
.Coonoor are right to ask the present appellant to deposit the cost of copying as
prescribed~under Right to Information (Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005.If the
appellant desires to get copy of each page of the information sought for she has to
deposit the amount as per the said Rule. In case a diskette is to be provided, this will
involve scanning of several documents and hence the cost will go up.
Coming to point number 3 of the point of determination, as the appellant
specifically asked to provide information as per Rule 5(a) or 4(d) of the Right to
Information (Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005, it is felt that the respondent should
have provided the said options to the present appellant.
Therefore, it is ordered,
"The respondent shall consider the application afresh filed by the present
appellant and provide her information as per Rule5 (a) of Right to Information
(Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005 or in alternative as per rule 4(d) of the said rule
provide her opportunity to inspect the documents under existing rules and allow her to
take copy of the documents required after paying proper fees.
The respondent is further directed to inform the appellant well in advance the
cost involved in providing information as per rule 4(d) and 5(a) Right to Information
(Regulation of fee & cost) Rule, 2005"
The appeal stands disposed of. The parties are to be informed accordingly.
Dated 11107/2008
Kolkata
t~lvv~S~
Roshni Sen
First Appellate Authority,
(Under RTI Act,2005)

Since i cut and pasted the above document it is not in the correct format (from Adobe Reader), anyway the contents are clear.
However I did not get a reply for my other appeal, so I have sent a reminder. As my husband rightfully put it - its very difficult to stay motivated while dealing with or trying to get information from the Govt, we get bored after sometime because of the pace. However our tirade against the brokers have produced fruitful results. We got feedback that the brokers are dealing very cautiously with manufacturers and are not giving advances.We can safely say that we could have contributed a bit to the recently rising tea prices.
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yesterday I sent another application asking for the audited reports of all the brokers as follows:

To
Shri.P.K.Lahiri,
Secretary, (Coordinating CPIO),
Tea Board of India,
14, B.T.M. Sarani (Brabourne Road)
Kolkota-700 001.

Sir,
Sub: Application under Right to Information Act, 2005.

Please find enclosed a Postal Order for Rs.10/- with a request to furnish the following information under Right to Information Act, 2005.

The Chairman and Licensing Authority, Tea Board of India vide his letter No.O.M.No.12(12)/LC/2004 dated 14th July,2005 had directed all the licensed tea brokers to submit the audited report for the financial year 2004-05, in exercise of the power vested under clause-13(1) of the Tea (Marketing) Control Order,2003(copy enclosed).

Please provide a copy of the audited report submitted by all the tea brokers to Tea Board of India for the financial year 2004-2005.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Santhosh, did you get a reply yet? We have to keep reminding them or otherwise appeal. The machinary moves very slowly.
Gopenath, we have to prove to the CBI that there is a loss to the exchequer, only then can they take up the case.
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l_santhosh
Frequent poster


Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

No Anitha,
I haven't got a reply.
For the appeal, we need a copy of the RTI appl. and some other details which I did not keep safe when filing.
So I will file another application again Monday(why not all these days - hmm...getting tough...currently working 7 days a week icon_sad.gif and keep data ready in case there is no reply and we need to appeal.

But the zeal is back on seeing you in the forums.
You're are the driving force!!
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l_santhosh
Frequent poster


Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Yep....I've filed the application.
And this time, we are ready for filing an appeal in 30-40 days time if we don't get a response.
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ebhari
Frequent poster


Joined: 31 Dec 1999
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The screwedup Indian Judicial system sucks literally. Today, we need a Dictator for India, a King, AND I REALLY MEAN IT!

_________________
Emerald Bhojan Hariharan.

DREAM. INSPIRE. EVOLVE.
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ebhari
Frequent poster


Joined: 31 Dec 1999
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

But, in no way does that mean I'm not fighting against the injustice. So, contributors can continue...

_________________
Emerald Bhojan Hariharan.

DREAM. INSPIRE. EVOLVE.
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anithagkl
Occasional poster


Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I got two replies yesterday (one from Tea Board, Coonoor and the other from Kolkota).

The first one is the reply from Mr Nazeem as directed by the Appellate Authority and is as follows:

Dear Madam,
Sub:Information sought under RTI-reg.
With reference to your question under the Quality Upgradation
Programme, this is to inform you that you are free to inspect the documents and to take Xerox copies after payment of necessary fees. As the files run in to huge volume, it would be better if you can do the inspection on any Saturday as it will not disturb the functioning of the office as hundreds of small tea growers visit the concerned sections on a daily basis. Inform us in advance the date you would like to visit this office so that we can make necessary arrangement.
Yours faithfully,

(R Nazeem).
Executive Director
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anithagkl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The following letter is from Kolkota for my appeal (posted on April 23rd on this forum):

Sub: Your letter dated 4thAugust, 2008 to lstAppellate Authority
Tea Board. Kolkata

Madam,
With reference to your letter dated above I am directed to say that your
appeal dated 23rd April, 2008 was disposed of on 09.06.2008. Probably you have not received the copy of disposal of the appeal. The copy of the Order is enclosed herewith for your perusal. As you have already paid the required fee for the appeal the IPO attached with your letter dated 4.8.2008 is not needed hence it is sent back herewith.
Encl. I) Order of the 1st Appellate Authority
2) IPO of Rs.IO.OO

(P.K. Dash)
Law Officer



1) Order of the 1st Appellate Authority:

Appeal against Secretary, Tea Board and CPIO against his reply dated 271h February,2008 and 17th April, 2008'in respect of queries sought by D.ANITHA on 11.02.2008 and her application dated 06.03.2008 under RTI Act. 2005.

After perusing the appeal and the reply sent by Secretary, Tea Board, I found no reason to consider the reply sent earlier by the Secretary, Tea Board to the present appellant as misleading. The information, those were sought for were promptly replied.
However, for convenience of appellant the points raised in the appeal are answered in the following paragraphs:
--- -
1. As per the norms of the Tea (Marketing) Control Order, 2003, a tea brokerage firm is not entitled to lend money to manufactures of the tea. However, if a manufacturer approaches for advance against supply/future supply of processed tea to a tea brokerage firm, it is purely a financial decision on part of the manufacturer which basically depends on the financial strength of the manufacturing company. Tea Board can not and should not interfere in the managerial decision of a company. Tea Board can not be compared with SEBI. The functions of SEBI and its power and enforcement ability are distinctively different from the provisions of Tea Act, 1953 and the functions of Tea Board.
2. Lending by brokerage firm is prohibited. Tea Board would very much appreciate if any violation to this effect is brought to its notice.
3. Tea Board is neither abetting any tea brokerage firm nor encouraging the same to extract exorbitant rate of interest. Tea Board has not yet received any complaint from any manufacturer that such and such tea brokerage firms are charging interest on advance. Tea Board would appreciate if the present appellant gives specific information regarding charging of so called exorbitant rate of interest on advance made by a tea brokerage firm.
4. If any tea brokerage firm is charging interest on advances it should by governed by prevailing local laws. The present appellant is free to approach proper court of law if any tea brokerage firm is violating any provision of law.
As regards renewal of licenses, in absence of any thing contrary, the
application along with allied information are presumed to be true.
The appeal stands disposed of. The appellant is to be intimated accordingly.

Roshni Sen
First Appellate Authority,
(Under RTI Act,2005)
Dated :09/06/08
Kolkata
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anithagkl
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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This above letter is very important from our point of view because it clearly says that lending is prohibited and that the Tea Board is not aware that brokers are lending.
Complaints were given to the Tea Board, Coonoor regarding this nearly 2 years back, but no action was taken. In fact I have all the documents, with aknowledgements from the Tea Board, Coonoor. No action was taken till date. I have sufficient evidence in paper to prove that brokers are taking interest. So our goal seems closer now, or is it? I am planning to forward all the documents to the Tea Board, Kolkota and lets see if they take action. If not, we have to approach the Court.
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l_santhosh
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Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Anitha,
The replies make it very clear that lending is prohibited and the Board is not aware of lending by brokerage firms.
These replies make our stand very strong.
When you have all the documents to prove that the firms have been lending, there's nothing much they can do other than accept their swindling activities.
Moreover, the Ms. Roshni Sen seems to be interested in getting to the real culprits by urging to file complaints with facts as to which firms have been lending.
That's a good sign.

As to my application to Mr. Lahiri, I haven't recieved a reply.
In the format for first appeal, point no.13 'Enclosures', it's asked for a 'postal proof of mailing/ acknowledgement of CPIO, etc'.
Is the postal order for Rs. 10 good enough to be 'proof of mailing'? I don't think so. I had sent it in simple Rs. 5(stamp) post with the postal order in it. So they can very well say they never received it !!??
How do I file the appeal now? Any idea?
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l_santhosh
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Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 143

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

When I went home recently, I came to know that we were getting Rs. 14 to Rs. 18/19 per kg of tea leaf.
What has made the price of tea so high suddenly, after many many years?

Mr. Nazeem had said in one of the meetings(reported in The Hindu/ Dinamalar...I don't remember which one exactly) that the reason for this was the improved quality of tea.
I doubt this because the quality of tea has always, more or less, been the same. And my relatives with whom I've talked to are not much worried about quality either. They say it has always been the same, as they've not adopted any new measures to improve quality.

Even if that was the case, prices would not double/ triple is such a short time.
This is after taking into consideration the relatively low quaNtity of tea at this period of the year.

Could there be any other reason?
I can think of only one reason - Anitha's persistent RTI applications.
The reasons:
1. All these years, price did not improve. Only in the past year, RTI has been used to knock down the corrupt elements(brokers and tea board) and the nexus between them.
2. As said before, I believe quality definitely cannot be a reason.
3. It is not too difficult to believe that corruption was there so far...and now, it cannot(as the people involved are afraid).

If in the next 4-6 months, if the price continues to be above Rs. 12/13, will that be proof that RTI has done the work for us?

What are your views?
Anitha, What do you think?
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