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The Irony of RTI in Batla House Encounter

Afroz Alam Sahil & Kamala Kanta Dash, BeyondHeadlines

Three years have passed. There have been protests and demands for a probe into the encounter throughout the country.  Many NGOs, activists and community organizations have taken up this issue. A few community and political platforms have also been established.  Beyond Headlines filed four RTIs and asked clarification on four questions from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), President’s Secretariat, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the NHRC.  The four questions were related to the need of an independent judicial probe and the reasons if any for the rejection of such an inquiry.

The PMO and the President’s Secretariat transferred the RTI as per the Section 6 (3) of RTI Act 2005 to the MHA and the NHRC. In one and half years time the MHA has not responded and the NHRC replied but chose not to answer the questions.  What’s more interesting is that the NHRC labeled the questions as kalpanik which means hypothetical and imaginary. 

This is the irony of RTI. RTI has been marketed as a strong weapon against corruption and exploitation Even though the UPA initiated this act but it has so far failed to implement its own promise as we have seen in the case of Batla House Encounter.

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