An applicant who filed a request with Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) V V Sagade of State Department of Prisons for information on Sanjay Dutt's period of stay in Yerawada Central Prison under the Right to Information Act has been asked to approach the jail.
According to Section 6 (3) of the RTI Act, the request should have been transferred to the PIO of the jail and the applicant informed about such a transfer. The application seeking information on Dutt's stay in the jail was submitted to the State Department of Prisons on August 29. However, APIO Sagade, in his reply on September 11, asked the applicant to file a separate RTI query with PIO Yerawada Central Jail. He said information on every prisoner was unavailable with the department and hence the information sought could not be provided.
Sagade added that the RTI Act 2005 states that when a citizen submits an RTI application to a wrong public information officer, he should be directed to the information officer concerned of the department. "You are requested to file a personal RTI application to PIO of Yerawada Central Jail and obtain the information concerned," said the letter.
Veteran RTI activist Shahid Raza Burney said: "It is a totally wrong method adopted by the department. It is a clear-cut violation of the RTI Act. Such an attitude reflects poor knowledge of the officials when it comes to application of mind."
Maharashtra Prison Dept. open to information about Dutt's Yeravada stay
Pune, Sept. 18 (PTI): The Maharashtra Prisons Department has no reservations about furnishing any information regarding the three-week stay of actor Sanjay Dutt in Yeravada jail in August following his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, a top official said today.
Reacting to a media report that the department has directed an activist seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to the jail authorities at Yeravada, Satish Mathur, Inspector-General of Prisons Maharashtra, told PTI here that the prisons department was not supposed to have day-to-day briefing on every inmate lodged in various jails in the state.
"Whatever information is permissible under the RTI Act regarding the stay of inmates can be given to those who seek it. But the applicant should approach the proper authorities," he said, adding "in every case, rules stipulated in the jail manual are followed by the authorities without making any exception for so called high profile convicts."
Yeravada jail Superintendent, Rajendra Dhamne said he had not received any communication under the RTI Act from any quarters, including state Prisons Department, seeking details of Dutt's stay behind bars.
The Bollywood star is currently out on bail.