As reported by Poornima Swaminathan in mid-day.com on 21 January 2011:
Jail stint: 2.5 yrs, In hospital: 1.5 yrs)
Jail stint: 2.5 yrs, In hospital: 1.5 yrs
Matka queen Jaya Bhagat has spent 490 days out of her 30-month jail custody at JJ hospital, reveals RTI; sources say she even runs her racket from there
The safest place to run a gambling racket in the city could well be from the sanitised environs of a hospital bed.
It has come to the fore that Jaya Bhagat, arrested on charges of orchestrating the murder of ex-husband matka king Suresh Bhagat in 2008, has competently been running the matka business while admitted to JJ hospital's general ward over the last year.
Jaya Bhagat stays in the general ward instead of the prisoners' ward at JJ Hospital.
At a time when medical facilities in the prison are dismal and most prisoners do not have access to basic cough tablets and painkillers, Jaya's overstay at the hospital is raising many eyebrows.
Well-placed sources said that instead of serving time in a prison, Jaya, under the guise of being treated, is "being pampered and is enjoying a good time and has also been running the matka business from the hospital ward".
Sources said she has been running the matka business using the cell phones of relatives and visitors who come to see her.
The details of her stay were revealed through an RTI enquiry.
The documents (in MiD DAY's possession) state that Jaya's last stint at JJ hospital was a year long, since January 21, 2010, until January 8, 2011, the date the reply was issued.
Moreover, ever since her jail custody since August 2008, she has been visiting the hospital almost every month (see box), spending an aggregate of 490 days in the hospital's care until date.
According to hospital authorities, Jaya is being treated for hypothyroidism, infection in the urinary bladder, psychotic depression, uterine fibroid, and has been admitted to the neurology ward of the hospital.
As per the rule, undertrials are supposed to be admitted in the prison ward. But jail authorities say that even after they intervened, Jaya has still not been shifted. "Jaya's continual hospital stays did come to my notice.
I wrote to the hospital authorities asking them to shift her to the prisoner ward, but to no avail," said Surinder Kumar, deputy inspector general, prisons.
Earlier this month, when MiD DAY asked JJ hospital dean, Dr T P Lahane, about prisoners staying at hospitals for long stretches, he had said, "It's a difficult task to handle prisoners.
Matka king Suresh Bhagat's murder was orchestrated by Jaya Bhagat in 2008
They approach us with various special requests and unnecessarily pressurise the doctors and hospital administration.
But if the patient is really ill, irrespective of their prisoner status, we will treat the patient as a human being first."
Suresh Bhagat was allegedly murdered by his wife Jaya, son Hitesh and five others in June 2008.
The seven accused were booked under the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act, after investigations revealed that they had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate Bhagat. The MCOCA charges were dropped later.
According to the police, Jaya and Suresh were running two separate matka gambling operations in the city after they divorced.
The murder conspiracy came to light after a dispute over earnings worth
Rs 100 crore.
Details of Jaya Bhagat's stay at JJ hospital
Jan 21, 2010 to Jan 8, 2011: nearly a year
Dec 12, 2009 to Jan 4, 2010: 25 days
May 30, 2009 to July 14 2009: 45 days
April 25, 2009 to May 15, 2009: 20 days
Mar 25, 2009 to Mar 30, 2009: 6 days
Feb 4, 2009 to Mar 3, 2009: 30 days
As reported by Shiv Sahay Singh in indianexpress.com on 23 January 2011
‘Govt must spend more money for awareness about RTI Act’
The true stories of those who were empowered by using the Right to Information Act made Anindya Kishor an activist.
In two years Anindya has used the Act so extensively that today he is known in the state as the face of RTI activism. People from across the state call this 35-year-old activist to inquire about ways to file application, make second appeals and get information through the Act. Anindya has formed an organisation, Indian Peoples’ Right for Information and Democracy, to spread RTI activism especially in rural Bengal.
In a very short period, Anindya has organised numerous RTI awareness camps in North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts. According to him, it is essential in a democracy that villagers can use the Act and assert their rights. He is also in regular touch with the activists across the country and has built a network of activists.
“People of the country on whose money the government runs have no idea how their money is utilised. There is an undesirable secrecy about government expenditure,” says Anindya.
According to Anindya a lotneeds to be done till people can question how and why their money has been spent (Mera paisa mera hisab).
“A girl once told me that after the death of her father she was denied his pension from Railways. The reason--Railway official was unable to trace the concerned file. When we told them we would use RTI, the officials released the pension money in a couple of days,” says Anindya.
What pains Anindya is sorry state of RTI implementation in the state. “More money should be spent on generating the awareness of RTI. The commission should play a more proactive role in making the people use the biggest tool of democracy,” he says.