No record of expenditure on Afzal Guru

Last Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 10:04

New Delhi: Tihar Jail authorities have not maintained the accounts of expenditure incurred on ensuring safety of Mohammed Afzal Guru, facing gallows for his role in
the December 13, 2001 Parliament attack, according to an RTI reply.

The jail authority has responded to the information seeker by saying that there is no practice of keeping separate records relating to such expenditure on individual inmates.

"In this regards, it is informed that no separate record regarding expenditure on security, safety and food of an individual prisoner is maintained," the Public Information Officer in the Office of Director General of Prisons, Tihar Jail, said in the reply.

Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties had filed the RTI application seeking information as to how much money has been spent so far by the government on safety, security and food of Guru.

The NGO`s vice-president, Mukesh Kumar, who had filed the application, has now preferred to appeal against the response before the first appellate authority in the Director General of Prison`s office saying the reply is "unconvincing".

In his appeal, Kumar claimed that as per his knowledge, every jail maintains record of expenditure about high profile convicts.

He supported his contention by making mention of media reports suggesting that Maharashtra government has been maintaining records of expenditure on the safety and security of Pakistani militant Ajmal Kasab who is also sentenced to
death in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case.

The NGO in the appeal said, "As per our knowledge such high profile convicts are kept in special cells and records of every expenditure is maintained by the prison authorities.

"Needless to mention that Maharashtra Police is maintaining such records on Ajmal Kasab, a convict of Mumbai attack and according to press reports Maharashtra government police has spent more than Rs 35 crore in his security, safety
and food etc."

The NGO mentioned in its appeal that it requires the information regarding money spent on Guru`s security to compare the expenditure made by different state police on similar convicts.

Before receiving the response, the RTI application of May 25, 2011, filed in the Union Home Ministry, went to three government departments. The union ministry had forwarded the application to the Delhi Government on June 8, saying the
issue in question does not fall under its jurisdiction.

The Delhi Government then forwarded the application to its home department saying the issue pertains to them.

From the home department the application was sent to the office of Director General of Prison, Tihar Jail, which sfinally responded saying no such record is maintained.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 10:04

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