The State Information Commission (SIC), Punjab, has summoned the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Phillaur Police for not providing information sought by a journalist under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The police had put the journalist’s name in the bad character (BC) list and not removed it despite directions from the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) in October 2000.

Name of Dalbir Singh, 78, of Ganna Pind, a former journalist and patron of the Khalra Mission Organisation (KMO), was placed in the BC list by the Jalandhar Police in the mid-eighties, but he was never summoned to the police station.

He came to know about his “entry” into the list when a police team raided his house on the night of January 31, 2000. “I was not at home at that time, and when I came back, my wife told me about it. Next day, I lodged a complaint with the PSHRC,” said Dalbir.

“The PSHRC ordered the police to remove my name from the list. The police though removed it from the list, but put it in my personal file, which was in contravention of the PSHRC’s directions,” he said.

When Dalbir used the RTI Act to know the status of his case, the Phillaur Police PIO not only refused to give the information, but also sent back the postal orders in which he had also sent the fee.

“The PIO didn’t even care to guide me on where should I apply to get the required information,” he said. Aggrieved at this, Dalbir approached the SIC, which has ordered personal appearance of the PIO on November 14.
Dalbir said, “The police had booked me in five cases, including that of a murder and one under the National Security Act (NSA), but I was absolved in all. It shows that the police tried to falsely implicate me since I held opinions different from that of the government.”

Jalandhar, November 12, 2007
Anju Agnihotri Chaba
Commission hauls up Phillaur cop