CIC raps Dadwal for not enquiring assault on RTI applicant

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.