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Legal Beaten Up For Seeking Info Under Right To Information Act

Jan 1, 2010
Beaten up for seeking info Under Right to Information Act

?Beaten? up for seeking info?- Hindustan Times

New Delhi, February 22, 2010: Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has asked the Delhi Police Commissioner and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) Commissioner to probe an incident wherein RTI users were allegedly beaten up at the behest of a local councillor in the presence of police and MCD personnel.
“Prima facie it appears that there has been serious collusion involved herein,” Gandhi wrote on February 18 in his letters.
The incident referred to RTI users’ NGO Public Grievance and Welfare Society from Kishan Ganj in north Delhi.
The members have alleged that around 25 people beat them at the behest of local Municipal councillor Satbir Sharma. Sharma has denied the charges.
The society had filed an RTI application with the MCD about alleged unauthorised construction by Sharma. With the civic body not forthcoming, they approached the Central Information Commission (CIC). Gandhi asked the civic body and the appellants to conduct joint inspection on January 12.
Society president Surinder Puri claimed that MCD officials asked only two of their members to go for inspection. Hence, only Ajay Kumar, also the society general secretary and Manmohan Gupta, entered the area. “Sharma himself asked his men, around 25, to thrash us, which resulted in my fractured nose,” Kumar said, adding, “Neither the police nor the MCD officials helped us.”
Puri alleged, “The police registered an FIR on January 18, after we took up the matter with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. But to our horror, we found that on January 12, they had filed a false FIR against us in connection with a weapon found in our car.”
Sharma claimed he was not present at the site and added, “I was in hospital till 4 pm. My men were not involved in any kind of fracas.”
Further, calling the appellants “habitual trouble-makers”, he alleged, “A loaded katta (countrymade gun) was found from their car. The crime branch can testify about it.”
He also denied charges of any encroachment or unauthorised construction done by him.

Rajneesh Madhok
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