HC Orders Crime Branch to probe RTI activist death
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the Crime Branch of Delhi Police to probe into the mysterious death of transparency activist Ravinder Balwani.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked police to appraise it of its probe every fortnight by filing progress reports.
"Having regard to the seriousness of the case, the investigation is to be conducted by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police and the progress report to be filed fortnightly," the bench said.
The court passed the order after the Lokayukta`s counsel pointed out that Balwani`s son has recently sent a letter, written by his father before his death, to the corruption watchdog, in which the deceased had apprehended threat to his life.
Appearing before the bench, Delhi government`s Standing Counsel Pawan Sharma told the court that Balwani`s case is one of hit-and-run and an FIR was also lodged with the Vasant Kunj police station for it.
The issue of Balwani`s death was mentioned when the court was hearing the Lokayukta`s plea challenging a single judge?s order which had said that Lokayukta has no authority to inquire into allegations against any member of the judicial service or of the civil services of the Union or the state.
The Lokayukta had, in 2009, summoned some IAS officers who were posted with the Delhi Transco on Balwani`s complaint against them for their alleged role in some corrupt deeds.
A former manager with Delhi Transco Limited, Balwani was found fatally injured near a bustling marketplace, less than 2km from his house, on April 26 evening.
Balwani used the Right to Information Act extensively to expose the wrongdoings of officials in the power sector. He was actively involved in the RTI campaign of Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejriwal`s NGO Parivartan way back in 2005.
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