A cop in Jammu who sought information under the Right to Information Act has been asked to appear at the police headquarters in Srinagar on any working day.
Narotam Singh had sought details about recruitment of women in police under “women’s category” and also whether any such SRO (statutory regulation and order) for the purpose was ever issued by the state government.
Pointing out that this information should be given to Singh, a letter from the district police headquarters at Jammu has also instructed the Pacca Danga SHO that “his rank, regimental number and present place of posting may also be communicated to PHQ through fax or telephone number 0194-2443026”. “The information should be delivered to the applicant under proper receipt and the same be furnished to this headquarters in original for onward submission to PHQ,” the letter says.
Significantly, the applicant had mentioned only his name, parentage and residential address, and had nowhere in the application said he belonged to the police department.
“We have acted on instructions from the PHQ at Srinagar,” said a senior police officer.
Under the J&K RTI Act 2009, an application has to be filed in a prescribed format along with a fee of Rs 50 and this can be sent to the Public Information Officer (PIO) concerned either in person against proper receipt or through registered post. The PIO has to furnish the information sought within a month through registered post.
Singh filed the RTI application before the Home Department’s PIO on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs 50 on June 16, 2011. On June 27, 2011, the Home Department forwarded the application to the DGP with a request “to furnish information to the applicant”.
However, as Singh did not get any reply for a week, he sent a reminder to the PIO on July 25. He was informed that his application had been sent to the DGP. A week thereafter, the district police headquarters asked the SHO to inform the applicant to appear before the Srinagar police headquarters.