Suspects use RTI to prove innocence
Reported by Asseem Shaikh,TNN on 22 Feb 2008
PUNE: In a unique case, the Right to Information (RTI) Act has enabled two persons who were accused of opening fire at a police party prove their innocence.
The case not only led to the duo's acquittal but also prompted district and sessions judge BD Kapadnis to recommend stern action against 11 personnel from the Pune rural police for "falsely implicating" Raju Chavan (26) and Nitin Pansare (25) in an offence of attempted murder. Chavan and Pansare hail from Indori in Maval taluka.
The lawyer representing Chavan and Pansare used the RTI provisions for securing various documents, including the station diary extracts and police rewards, to show a series of discrepancies in the case.
In his verdict, judge Kapadnis has described the police act as "dishonest" and "cooked up false encounter story for earning name and rewards". The judge observed that the police personnel concerned "brought a bad name" to the police force by "misusing their authority".
He further stated that the policemen indulged in malpractice by preparing false records to rope in innocent people for their own selfish motive.
The judge preferred not to take a suo motu action against the 11 policemen and stated that he would give an opportunity to the police higher-ups to make amends by taking action against the errant policemen.
Additional public prosecutor Neelima Vartak was directed by the court to forward a copy of the court's judgement to the Special Inspector General of Police (Kolhapur range) for action against the 11 policemen. The Pune rural police fall under the Kolhapur range.