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CIC not disclosing proceeding of Batla hearing held on Feb 9

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,

New Delhi: About one and half month after the Central Information Commission summoned Delhi Police and conducted a hearing on an RTI petition seeking details about the Batla House encounter and the Delhi serial blasts accused, no one knows, not even the RTI petitioner, what happened on February 9, the day of the hearing. Interestingly, the CIC had taken more than one year against the provision of 90 days – to call the hearing on the second appeal of the RTI petitioner.

RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil 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.

RTI activist Afroz Alam Sahil filed the petition with the Delhi Police on September 25, 2008, six days after the encounter. 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 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.

Sahil 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 itself took more than one year to conduct a hearing which was at last held on February 9.

Generally, a day after the hearing, CIC puts the order on its website the second day. But not in this case. There is no information till date about the February 9 hearing. According to rule, applicant should get the copy of the order from CIC in a week, but one and half month later, he is yet to get.

When I did not get the order, I called CIC office, first they did not want to talk but later said they have sent a report to me. But when a couple of weeks later I did not find one I went to CIC office on March 5. I was surprised when they said the dictation of the proceeding has not yet completed,” says Afroz Alam Sahil.

Now he is planning to file another RTI on the conduct of CIC itself.