New Delhi: Voicing concern over death
threats being received by a whistle blower who claimed to have
exposed a fake ration cards racket, the Central Information
Commission has directed the Delhi Police to inquire into the
complaint and ensure that he is not harmed.
"The Commission has taken this matter with utmost
seriousness. There have been numerous instances of RTI
applicants being threatened, attacked and murdered,"
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said and also
directed the Delhi Government to conduct an inquiry into the
alleged racket and submit its report before March 10.
The case relates to an urgent plea filed by Ram Sagar
who had sought information on his application for a new
biometric ration card in place of an old card. The applicant
Sagar alleged that a biometric ration card had already been
issued on his name and address without his knowledge.
Sagar alleged that after filing the application, two
masked men knocked at his door in the night and threatened to
kill him if he pursued the matter any more.
He said that he fears for his life. Taking cognisance
of Sagar`s plea, Gandhi wrote to the Delhi Police
The "Commission taking cognisance of the matter under
the powers vested in it by Section 18 of the Right to
Information Act, 2005, hereby directs you to inquire
into his complaint which is attached herewith and ensure that
no physical harm is caused to the complainant," he said.
The Commissioner also directed the Secretary, Food and
Civil Supplies of Delhi Government to carry out investigations
into the allegations of fake ration card racket.
"The Commission must act as Parens Patrice in such
matters so as to protect the citizen`s right to information,
and remove any hindrances that may be faced in the exercise of
such a right," it said.
Gandhi directed the Secretary to issue necessary
directions to the concerned Assistant Commissioner, FSO and
any other officials connected with this matter to ensure that
the appellant is not intimidated in any manner.
In a separate case related for harassment of BPL card
holders, Gandhi found that genuine candidates are not getting
due entitlements and awarded a compensation of Rs 2000 to one
"Even after such a long period the Department has been
unable to tell a BPL card holder why he is not getting his
due entitlements. This shows that the government`s programme
to ensure that the poor get their entitlement has not
been able to deliver even in the capital of this country
because of gross inefficiency," Gandhi lamented.