GANDHINAGAR: She was 15-year-old and studying in class VIII in Umarpada taluka in south Gujarat when she was raped last year in February. She became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy who died a fortnight later. But with the rapists still roaming free and the police refusing to take an FIR, the victim used Right to Information (RTI) to know when she would get justice.
For a whole year she knocked on many doors to get her voice heard. On January 23, 2008, she finally filed an RTI application at Mangrol.
Through her RTI application, the victim demanded progress report of her complaint filed on October 10 last year with the police sub inspector (PSI) at Mangrol and assistant PSI of Umarpada outpost. She also wanted to know with which all officers was the matter pending and for how long.
On not getting any response, the victim took the matter before Gujarat Information Commission (GIC). In its order passed on May 16, GIC ordered that information be given to the victim within 10 days free of cost and asked for reasons why penalties should not be imposed. It was only then that on May 29 that the offence was registered based on the victim's complaint of October 10 last year.
At the hearing before GIC on Wednesday, the victim finally made her voice heard. Arguing confidently, she asked the police inspector of Mangrol, "Where is that officer who came to our house and threatened us by showing us his revolver?"
She alleged that the local police had suppressed her case till now as a bribe of Rs 50,000 was given to them by the accused. The police obviously tried to sabotage the case. The FIR mentioned wrong dates of the offence.
The police in their reply to GIC have stated that the crime has been registered as number 45/08 under sections 376, 498-A, 323, 504, 506(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Immediately after the hearing, panicky home department officials were heard shooting off orders to police in Surat to have the accused arrested immediately.
Rape victim takes recourse to RTI, gets justice
as reported by Rahul Mangaonkar |TNN | 3 Oct 2008,
AHMEDABAD: Now, Right to Information (RTI) Act has brought justice to a rape victim in Umarpada taluka in south Gujarat. Following a notice by Gujarat Information Commission (GIC) in May, an FIR was finally lodged and action taken against the accused.
In its notice, GIC slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 jointly on two police officers for violating provisions of the Act. This followed an RTI application filed by a 15-year-old rape victim demanding to know why action had not been taken on her complaint.
The girl was raped in February last year but the accused was roaming free and police was refusing to register an FIR. GIC has penalised police sub-inspector and public information officer (PIO) DN Patel and assistant police sub-inspector Chandubhai Chaudhary, the deemed assistant public information officer (APIO) of Mangrol police station in Surat district, Rs 12,500 each.
Information was provided by Patel only six moths after the RTI application. GIC noted that information sought was neither voluminous nor would it have required time to collect from different sources as it pertained only to Mangrol police station.
“The only reason why information was not provided earlier was that no FIR was registered after the complaint and after inquiry was held,” it said.
From submissions made before it, GIC observed that Patel was passing the buck to Chaudhary to justify the delay in providing information as also slow progress of inquiry into victim’s complaint. Even when an inquiry is incomplete, information available has to be provided within the time limit, it said.