New Delhi: The CIC has rapped the Delhi police chief for non-cooperation in inquiring a case where RTI applicants were allegedly assaulted by a Municipal Councillor,
in the presence of police officials, during the inspection of
an illegal construction site.
"Neither the Commissioner, MCD nor the Commissioner,
Delhi Police have extended cooperation in the conduct of this
inquiry," Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said in his
order on the plea of applicant, Surinder Puri.
Expressing his helplessness in acting against officials
of Delhi Police and MCD, he said, "It is with deep concern
that I admit that I am unable to take any further action as my
powers under the Act have now been rendered completely
ineffective by the non-cooperation of the Police and the MCD."
Puri had gone for a joint-inspection with MCD officials
of an alleged illegal construction in Kishanganj area on the
orders of the Commission.
In his complaint before the Commission, Puri alleged the
associates of Municipal Councillor Satbir Singh "physically
assaulted" and "brutally manhandled" two persons, accompanying
him during the inspection, in the presence of
Delhi Police officials.
Following which, the Commission, under the powers vested
with it, directed Commissioners of Delhi Police and Municipal
Corporation of Delhi to inquire the matter and send a report.
After repeated reminders, the Delhi Police challenged the
decision in the High Court whereas the MCD Commissioner did
not reply back.
Gandhi said the commission can work effectively only if
it gets cooperation from other government departments,
especially those which are trained in investigative methods.
"If the statutory bodies such as the Delhi Police and
Municipal Corporation of Delhi decide not to assist the
Commission in the performance of its statutory function, the
Commission will find it difficult to discharge its duties
under the RTI Act," he said.
The Information Commissioner, however, recorded
statements of some eyewitnesses who were present at the site
when the incident took place and concluded that police
personnel were present during the whole episode.
"Trouble had been anticipated at the site and when it did
start, the police was unable or unwilling to take any
action. This points to a very sorry state of affairs of law
and order... Now it is over ten weeks since the incident
occurred, but the police did not give a report but instead
deemed it a fit case to oppose in a writ petition," he said.