सोमवार, 3 नवंबर 2008

Batla House's encounter and RTI Act-2005....










AFROZ ALAM SAHIL




On 19th October took place the Batla House encounter which created ripples across the Muslim community throughout the length and breadth of the country. In response to this, protests and demonstrations have followed as a lot of doubts and questions have been raised on this incident. But as a media student and an RTI activist, I feel that only protests and demonstrations are not the only answers to such situations. There should also be a need to probe things analytically as the truth has to come out at last. In this context it should not be forgotten that the government has given us certain rights and privileges which we should use for our benefit. One such power given to us by the government is the Right To Information Act-2005 (RTI). Under this Act we put forth four petitions to four government departments seeking information on this issue. They were AIIMS, NHRC, Delhi Police Headquarters and the Supreme Court of India.
The information which we seeked from AIIMS were mainly of this nature that we wanted information on who had prepared the post-mortem report and who were the doctors who had conducted the post-mortem along with their designations. Also we had demanded a copy of the post-mortem.
The information which we wanted from NHRC were regarding the number of police encounters that have come up before the NHRC so far. And also how many such cases did the NHRC considered to be fake encounters. We had also asked for the details of the fake encounters to be provided.
From Delhi Police we had wanted the post-mortem report, the copy of the FIR and also the details regarding how many people have been arrested or detained after the serial blasts of 13th September. And also we had wanted to know what proof the police have against the people who are still detained.
From the Supreme Court we wanted details regarding as to how many people or organizations have been booked so far under the laws from 28th January 1950 onwards. Also we wanted details if there had been such a case where the police could not provide sufficient proof against the accused. Along with it we had also wanted to know if the Supreme Court could order proceedings against the police or the government for wasting the court’s time in absence of any concrete proof along with the details of the procedures if any rule exists.
The reply that we got from the Jaiprakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre of AIIMS was that this information was related to Medico Legal Records. And they refused to give us information under the Sections 8(1)b and 8(1)h of the RTI. It is to be mentioned that Section 8(1)b states that information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court cannot be provided to the RTI petitioner. But here since the Court has not issued any orders regarding the Batla House case we are not violating the Section8(1)b of the RTI. Now Section 8(1)h states that information cannot be provided about the information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of the offenders. Now I want to state that the information we seek is not related to any Intelligence Agency nor is it related to any police investigation. Here I want to state that I accept that the role of AIIMS is over with the post-mortem procedure of the case and that they are not related with any further investigation of the police. So the denial of information by AIIMS is illogical in this context. Plus, I want to mention here that RTI states that any information which comes under the Section 8(1) but involves a huge public domain, then that information has also to be provided to the petitioner.
From the NHRC, we have got the information that so far, 2560 cases of police encounter/alleged fake encounter have come up before the Commission. The Commission has so far granted compensation in sixteen such cases. But here also we have not been provided the complete information as we had asked for details of the fake encounters too.
But here again the Delhi Police and the Supreme Court of India have not provided any reply to our RTI petition till now. This is really sad as these institutions are literally making fun of the RTI Act by ignoring our petition. Here a big question mark has been raised on the RTI Act because what good is this Act going to do to us if institutions like the Supreme Court of India do not take our petition seriously. But here again we will not be disappointed as we believe that the exercising of our rights will finally bear us fruit and we shall obtain the truth no matter how much oppositions we face. It is with this aim that I have made the first appeal under this act. And I hope that I will get the required information in this case to bring out the truth.

3 टिप्पणियाँ:

सूचना एक्सप्रेस ने कहा…

bahut zabardast......

manisha ने कहा…

wish you the very best and keep moving ahead with same zeal and confidence.........I wish you the very best in life........Make this a movement which will bring a revolution which the common man is yet to witness.....

manisha ने कहा…

wish you the very best and keep moving ahead with same zeal and confidence.........I wish you the very best in life........Make this a movement which will bring a revolution which the common man is yet to witness.....