NEW DELHI: Delhi Police found an unusual way of getting out of parting with information and even managed to get a nod from CIC. It was allowed to do so by claiming the relevant files had been destroyed — except that in one of the six cases before CIC, the certificate was dated six months after the RTI request was filed!
The appellant, Vasant Kunj resident Sadhana, had asked for details about a case registered in 2001 and the action taken regarding the petition under the RTI Act. The application was filed in July 2006 with the south-west district police.
Sadhana was not given copies of findings of enquiries conducted on her petition by the CPIO and the appellate authority. She then approached the CIC in November 2006 and was informed by cops that "documents of 2001 has been weeded out and destroyed in 2004".
In a hearing conducted on December 28, 2006, information commissioner A N Tiwari ordered that since "all files and documents for 2001 stand destroyed, there is no way this information can be retrieved and supplied to the appellant (Sadhana)". He asked police to supply her with the destruction certificate. But when Sadhana received the certificate, it was dated February 2007.
In another case, an appellant, Nahar Singh, had asked for action taken on a series of complaints against north-west district cops who had allegedly forced entry into his house and picked up his son. The complaints were filed in 2003 and the RTI was filed by Singh in January 2006. The public authority's response was the same.
Tiwari said: "If the case is part of schedule of destruction, I do not ask for the destruction certificate. While we understand that the government is not working efficiently, I prima facie do not look at whether the case records have been rightly or wrongly destroyed."