Thursday, June 04, 2009

One more RTI Success Story. The revolution lives on...

The government is least interested in RTI and its promotion. But this has not deterred activists. Many of us have been working to popularize the act. I keep doing workshops and did one on 22nd sep 2008 in Hyderabad Infosys Campus. Since then, infoscions have been writing to me asking if they can use RTI for their issues. One such issue was with Siva who had a tough time getting his income tax refund. Here is a excerpt from a mail he wrote me a couple days ago,

Hi Rakesh,

I am very glad to inform you that at last I have received the IT refund cheque from Gurgaon, Haryana. Your help has been exemplary in this regard, for which I am always grateful. I will send across the scanned copies of the letters I have received from them.

Thank you very much for your continuous help on this.


An excerpt from a mail he wrote to his colleagues at Infosys,

Hi All,

It’s my pleasure to inform you all that I have got my Income Tax refund which has been pending for past 3 years. This would not have been possible without the help of RTI . I have gotten exemplary help from Murali (copied on the mail) and Rakesh (rakesh.dubbudu@gmail.com; external consultant, who conducted an RTI session in Infosys campus, Hyderabad). Rakesh has been constantly helping me out clarifying all my queries and sharing the relevant templates that can be used.


Background: I have filed my IT returns in 2006 (for the year 2005-06) in Gurgaon, Haryana thru an agent. Despite of my continuous follow-ups with the agent, nothing has happened. After a year of follow-up with him I have given up. Finally when I came to know about the RTI from Murali, I have decided to put this in action. However, it took me three months time to finally send the RTI letter to the Income Tax office, Gurgaon. Natural laziness :)


- I have sent the first RTI letter to IT Office, Gurgaon on 3rd of March 2009.

- I got an acknowledgement from them after three weeks informing that they have opened a case for this with a copy to the Appellate authority. Appellate authority is the escalation point.

- I waited till May 3rd week to see any response from them. After seeking the advice from Rakesh, I have sent the escalation letter to the Appellate authority on May 23rd 2009.

- I have gotten the refund cheque on 1st June 2009 in reply to the escalation :)

- RTI Zindabad!


Procedure:

1. Prepare the RTI letter with your information. Take a photocopy of it after you sign it (this is for your records).

2. Purchase an IPO (Indian Postal Order) for 10/-. It should be on the name of "Accounts Officer" of the Local Income Tax office where you will be submitting the application. Keep a photocopy of the IPO too for your records. DD also will do.

3. Send the original RTI letter along with the original IPO, and photocopy of the IT returns thru registered post with acknowledgement. (keep the regd. post receipt issued by the post office for your records). Speed post also will do. Please do not use couriers service.

4. It should be sent to CENTRAL PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, Income Tax Office, { Address of Income tax office}

5. You should receive an acknowledgement informing that they have opened a case for this. This should also contain the information on who is the Appellate authority.

6. As I understand, ideally we should be hearing from them within 30 days after we send it, however, you can wait for 30 days from the date you get the acknowledgement.


7. After 30 days, if you do not hear from them, please use the escalation channel.

8. What I have done here is, I have prepared the letter using the template (RTI-Income Tax-1st appeal template.doc) and sent it thru regd. post to the Appellate authority along with the photocopies of the RTI letter that I have sent initially, photocopy of the IT returns, photocopy of the acknowledgement that I have received in the step 5 above.

9. With this you should all be set and get the refund."


Letter Received from the Income Tax department






Just goes to show what all you can achieve using RTI. You just need to have some patience and faith. System will change, only when we unite and start questioning.

IT refund was pending for more than 3 years. What all siva did was to use a piece of paper to write an RTI application and after 2 months, he received the refund along with the interest.

One more RTI Success story. The revolution lives on....

Use RTI !!!! It can do wonders and can make the Government work the way it is supposed to work.

JAI HIND

12 comments:

karna said...

really an eternal service bro

CAMMS said...

Awesome man.. Hope many more people use RTI and get benifitted :) good job buddy

shashi said...

cool bey. good job.

vikram said...

Hi Rakesh,
really appreciate the efforts made by you in this regard.
i am a novice to rti. can you direct me to a website which discusses the procedure to file a rti application, from ab initio.

Sai said...

Keep it up Rakesh ... You are doing great service to the country

Venky said...

Great job Rakesh !!! Really appreciate your efforts in conducting workshops and propagating the message you believe in !

You are certainly an inspiration for those who area ready to fight to get the services that governement owes to its people. A lot of those leave things half-the-way thingking that - naah, its not gonna worm, I guess ! But these success stories do certainly serve as inspiration for such people.

WebLogic is Good said...

you are admiring....

2611 Citizens watch said...

Amazing work Rakesh. Keep up the Good work.

www.loksatta.org

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I congratulate, your idea is magnificent

Anonymous said...

Rather useful piece

joshi said...

why did you keep google adsense in your site, if you are doing so called service to country. don't just remove this comment. answer it ....