IN THE hands of Krishna Gopal Kaushik the Right To Information (RTI) Act became a tool with which he fleeced people to give money to him. The Delhi Police arrested the 52-year-old RTI activist from Sarai Rohilla area of north Delhi on Thursday.
The accused had so far duped more than 20 people in the last six months. Using the RTI Act, the accused would gather information regarding properties or shops and then extort money from government officials and other people on the pretext of filing complaints against them.
He had even managed to get a few shops challaned on the basis of the details gathered under the Act and boasted about his "connections". Police said the accused, who is a postgraduate, used to give tuitions before he got into extorting money.
The scam came to light when a resident of Sarai Rohilla complained to the police that a man had duped him of Rs 1,000 on the pretext of arranging a loan for him. The complainant, Gurusevak (45), told the police that the accused had promised to arrange a loan of Rs 50,000 for him in November 2007.
He had taken Rs 500 as "processing charge" from him (the complainant). "When Gurusevak asked him to return the money, the accused threatened him that he knew several officers in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and he would complain against the property that he had encroached upon.
He extorted another Rs 1,000 from him," said a senior police officer. Police said Gurusevak then lodged a complaint with the local police about a week ago.
During investigations many other complainants also came up to the police and said that the same person had duped them. "The accused had adopted a unique modus operandi.
He would file applications under the RTI Act regarding encroachments and other property related illegal activities in Sarai Rohilla area," the police said. "He would then go to the shopkeeper or the officer concerned and threaten to register a case against him or expose him if he did not give him money.
We received several complaints against him from Sarai Rohilla area against the accused. During investigations the complaints were found to be genuine and we arrested the accused," said a police officer.
A case of cheating and extortion has been registered at the Sarai Rohilla police station.