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Thanks to babus, many land in jail for daring to use RTI
Reported in Bihar Times
Patna, (Bihar Times): The idea of Right to Information (RTI) may be
too novel, romantic and even effective. But in Bihar bureaucrats have
learnt the art to overcome it. They are implicating those who dare to
seek information, in false and sometimes serious cases (such as rape)
and putting them behind bars.
There are innumerable cases of harassment at the hands of officials.
For example, Shiv Prakash Rai, who is in mid-50s, was charged by a
former district magistrate of Buxar, with demanding randhari tax
(extortion money) from him. But can any person simply barged into the
chamber of district magistrate to charge the amount?
However, thanks to Paresh Saxena, the then Superintendent of Police of
that district, he was released from the jail after 29 days. Rai's
crime was that he, under the Right To Information, dared to ask the
details of beneficiaries under Indira Awas Yojana.
Purushottam Prasad of Nalanda district, who demanded details of land
reforms, was implicated in the false case of stealing kerosene drums.
Retired army personnel, Chandradeep Singh, was even more unlucky. He
was charged with attempting to rape a woman in Maner. His crime was
that he sought from the police the details of the murder of his son
Another person, Jaiprakash, who sought details of the construction of
Chirayatand overbridge was charged with obstructing government
servants in discharging duty and disrupting construction works.
According to Parveen Amanullah, the co-ordinator of Bihar Right To
Information Manch, the government officials had lodged false cases
against those who dared to expose corruption. She further said that
officers should be sensitized as they are unable to accept the fact
that people are now in a position to demand information from them. She
regretted that no action had been taken against the officials who
levelled false charges against RTI activists.
The irony is that Parveen herself is the wife of top bureaucrat of the
state––home secretary Afzal Amanullah––yet she echoes the
helpelessness of the RTI activists.
Thanks to babus many land in jail for daring to use RTI
IGP, SP issued notices by state information panel
As reported in Navhind Times, NT NETWORK Tuesday, June 3, 2008
MAPUSA The State information Commission has issued notices to the IGP, Mr Kishan Kumar and the superintendent of police (headquarters), Mr Allan Dâ€™sa on an appeal filed by the dismissed PSI, Mr Nerlon Albuquerque.
The dismissed PSI filed an appeal before the State Information Commission after his request to Mr Dâ€™sa who is the public information officer and the IGP who is the first appellate authority was turned down.
It may be recalled that Mr Nerlon was dismissed from service over the infamous Scarlette case based on an inquiry conducted by DySP, Mr Nilu Raut Desai wherein Mr Nerlon was indicted for improper investigations and treating the case as a mere suicide. Raising doubts over the authenticity and genuineness of the inquiry conducted against him without seeking his presence, Mr Nerlon had sent a notice to the SP (HQ) and IGP requesting them to furnish the inquiry report. His request was turned down.
When contacted Mr Nerlon said that not taking his statement during the course of inquiry and now by not providing him the inquiry report clearly speaks about the malicious motives of the concerned officers and added that it is obvious that the enquiry is conducted in a biased manner with the sole intention of dismissing him.
â€œIt seems that the IGP is trying to safeguard interests of certain persons by not allowing a fair enquiry in the matter. Why else did he dismiss me and scuttle the process of the enquiry?â€ Mr Nerlon questioned.
Reiterating his demand for a fair enquiry, Mr Nerlon stated that he wanted the enquiry to be conducted by an independent body given the fact that the police department would be pressurized under the influence of the IGP in conducting a biased enquiry.
Mr Nerlon further challenged the IGP to show any significant investigation conducted in the case after the investigation was taken over from him. "In spite of several requests, why did the superiors not permit me to register an offence and arrest the accused?" he asked.
The IGP allegedly has been pressurized by certain vested interests to dismiss me and I will not take this lightly,â€ Mr Nerlon added.