शनिवार, 13 फ़रवरी 2010

Batla House encounter: Is CIC also under pressure?

By TCN News,
New Delhi: This past February 9 the Central Information Commission had summoned Delhi Police in Batla House encounter case. The CIC was to conduct second hearing on an RTI petition seeking post-mortem reports of those killed in the shootout and details about other Delhi serial blasts accused. But did the hearing take place? If yes, what is the CIC’s ruling? Nobody knows because attempts from mediapersons to get details from CIC drew blank.

RTI activist and petitioner in the case Afroz Alam Sahil could not attend the hearing as he was appearing in exam (He is Mass Communication student at Jamia Millia Islamia). But in the evening he contacted several mediapersons who had contacted the CIC about the hearing and he came to know that CIC did not disclose anything about what transpired in the hearing.

RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil filed the petition with the Delhi Police on September 25, 2008, six days after the encounter. He had sought information on six counts: Number of people killed in Batla House encounter with their details; post-mortem report of each of them; copy of FIR if filed on the day of the encounter; number of people picked and arrested in connection with the Delhi serial blasts with their details (name, father’s name etc); from where these people were picked or arrested; evidence of involvement of those picked and not released.

But he did not get any response from the police. He filed first appeal on October 29, 2008 and two days later he got a reply from the police wherein he was told about the number of people killed in the shootout and that the FIR was filed on that day. He was not provided any other information nor any document on the ground that this will hamper investigation.

Then Afroz filed second appeal on January 27, 2009 as his queries were not replied properly. The hearing on this appeal should have been held within 90 days according to RTI law but the CIC took more than one year to conduct the hearing. This was to happen on February 9.

It should be noted that the same CIC in its June 9, 2009 hearing on the application of Afroz Alam Sahil had asked India’s premier hospital AIIMS – where the autopsy was conducted on blasts suspects Mohammed Atif Amin and Sajid, and Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma – to provide the autopsy reports and other relevant information to the RTI applicant Sahil. But about a month later, the CIC withdrew its own order.

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