I have shared snippets of my legal fight with bureaucracy in Bengaluru in an attempt to avoid a huge bribe (link to twitter campaign - Land registration pending for 25 Yrs with Bengaluru Deputy Commissioner ).
In order to find out the latest status of the case review and why it was stuck, I decided to bypass agents and filed an RTI application
- The RTI application was specific with Information requested:
- I wish to have information on the review of my file relating to case RRT.XXX
- I wish to request information on the status of review of this issue by the Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban
- The initial RTI went unheeded by the designated Public Information Officer (PIO). No response even after I waited for over 30 days
- I filed an RTI First appeal with First Appellant Authority (FAA) and waited for 45 days but didn’t receive any information
- I filed an RTI Second appeal with the State’s Information Commission (in triplicate – copy to PIO, FAA. Had to redo the application after it was initially rejected since I sent copies directly to PIO/FAA not the three copies to SIC)
- After I waited for several weeks, the State’s Information Commission scheduled a hearing and sent me a letter about the Webex meeting.
- A week after I got the letter from State’s Information Commission, I got a bundle in registered post. This was the entire copy of my case file along with notations and filing by my attorney
- I decided to attend the State’s Information Commission hearing by Webex VC and when my turn came, I confirmed that I received the case file, but the case hadn’t been reviewed yet. (Note to self: I was impressed with the use of Webex and remote case hearing at local administration)
- The SIC officer said their focus was on making sure I got the information, not following up on the case.
Bottomline: Filing RTI is any day better than running around bribing local babus asking about your file that may be stuck
- Was it an easy journey? No. There were lot of missteps in between and duplication of paperwork, but I was persistent.
- Does this mean my case is being resolved? No. I will have to pursue it with the authorities.
- So, what does it mean? I have reviewed the case file and know exactly where it is stuck. This information, while dealing with government officials is the key to moving forward!