Right to Information
CIC calls father for hearing eight months after comatose son dies
28 September 2016: CIC calls for hearing after two years; 
 
6 January 2016: Appellant’s son has already died 
 
On 1 February 2013, Parag Ingle, an 8th standard student from the prestigious Loyola High School of Pune, was hit on the forehead with a bullet that came from the rifle of a junior officer of National Cadet Corps (NCC) who was training him and his classmates on NCC grounds. His family was crushed with grief. Parag, who was a wizard at elocution and drama competitions in school, sunk into a coma at the Command Hospital. And that lasted for two years – from 1 February 2013 until he breathed his last on 6 January 2016.
 
His father, Devendra Ingle, an engineer at the Pune Municipal Corp, knocked at the NCC Headquarters wanting to know was how his son died and what were the circumstances that led to his death as well as what action was been taken against Amod Ghanekar, the junior officer, who shot Parag? He did not get any answers nor was any action taken against Ghanekar, who instead went to court, claiming his innocence.
 
The Pune Police report categorically nailed Ghanekar. The report states “Without having any revolver license or having any authority to conduct firing, Amod Ghanekar stood behind the boys, handled the .22 rifle in an irresponsible manner, loaded and despite the knowledge that it would be grievous or fatal if a student suddenly gets up, he fired. A bullet hit Parag on his forehead and he was grievously injured. Thus, it is an attempt to kill, by Ghanekar.”
 
Ingle, came with the Central Information Commission (CIC) notice to this author. He said, “See, I kept waiting for justice by CIC since the time I filed my second appeal on 7 October 2014. Since my son was battling for life, I filed RTI application with the Additional Directorate General of Army Education, New Delhi, in mid-September 2014, seeking information on the following. On 1 February 2013, at NCC Headquarters, Pune, my son NCC Cadet Master Parag Devendra Ingle was gravely injured when he was shot with five bullets by a .22 Rifle. He is still unconscious. I would like to get all the information and papers regarding the action taken by the Army on all the Army Officers and In-charge person connected to this incident. I would also like to know the nature of punishment was given to the person responsible for this incident.”
 
Since he got no information, he filed second appeal way back in September 2014 with CIC and now he says, “I have got notice for hearing on 28 September 2016, which I have to attend, via video conferencing, when I have already lost my precious son.’’
 
In what can be called as complete apathy by the CIC, his second appeal was simply filed away. Could the CIC not have shown some sensitivity towards such a shocking case, that even a stranger would feel the pangs of pain? Should the CIC not have considered an out-of-turn hearing? Should all second appeals be treated in a nonchalant manner?
 
The CIC notice dated 12 September 2016 has asked Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), in the Ministry of Defence, NCC Group Headquarters, Pune and CPIO of Head Quarter, DG NCC, West Block IV, RK Puram to be present, besides Devendra Ingle, who as complainant would be present through video conference. Despite the delay and post his son’s death, Ingle says “…does not matter if my son had died. I still want to know what were the sequence of events that led to his death. What action has been taken against other NCC officers, besides Ghanekar who has merely been suspended.”
 
 
RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar who co-petitioned the second appeal states, “This is a classic case of the CIC being totally cold and clinical towards some second appeals which may call for great urgency in disposal. It is sad that there was no one to apply balm on Ingle’s grief, not even the RTI Act, which has been enacted to empower a common man.”
 
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(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Surendera Bhanot

2 months ago

I do no how it happened!! It was bad. But the Appellant in this case seems to have not used the "Life and Liberty" provision wherein the CIC has to hear the case within 48-hours of its filing. As per Proviso to Section 7(1), Public Information Officer is required to where the information sought for concerns the life or liberty of a person, the same shall be provided within forty-eight hours of the receipt of the request.

the effect of this percolate down to the appeals under section 19(1) as well 19(3). I have used this in In the CIC more than once and got the notices issued to respondents over telephone!!

Molestation case: SC upholds conviction but let's off former Haryana DGP
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the conviction of former Haryana DGP S.P.D. Rathore for molesting a teenage tennis player but let him off with the sentence already served.
 
A bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice R.K. Agrawal modified the sentence to 18 months that he has already served. 
 
Rathore was initially awarded six months in jail that was later enhanced to one and a half years by the sessions court, following an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 
 
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had declined to interfere with the sessions court's ruling, calling his conduct "shameful".
 
The incident relates to the 1990 case when he had molested a 14-year-old tennis player, who had later committed suicide.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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In Bihar, landgrab does not spare a Bharat Ratna's birthplace
Its the house in Dumraon, some 110 km from here, where shenai mastero Ustad Bismillah Khan was born and lived in for the first six-seven years of his life. Over time, sundry Chief Ministers have promised to preserve the house and develop the town, one of Bihar's oldest municipalities -- but to no avail.
 
Now, a musician, a poet and two theatre activists have petitioned the Bihar government against efforts by anti-social elements to usurp the property and the considerably large grounds around it and said that an "anganwadi" day-care centre for children is being forcibly run from the house.
 
The action came after Subhan Khan, the caretaker of the house, complained to the police that attempts were being made to usurp the property.
 
Pramod Kumar, a district official in Dumraon, said a probe is underway and legal action would soon be taken against the guilty.
 
"Bismillah Khan's ancestral house is a heritage property for the country and its people. It should be protected by the government," Gajender Narain Singh, a musician and a Padma Shri recipient, told IANS.
 
Well-known Hindi poet Alok Dhanwa, the president of the Sangeet Natak Academy here, said the government must promptly initiate action against those involved in the attempted landgrab. "It is shameful and unfortunate that some people have reportedly tried to capture Bismillah Khan's his ancestral house. We will protest against this," Dhanwa told IANS.
 
Theatre activists Anish Ankur and Jai Prakash said the attempt to take over the property exposed the fact that it has remained neglected for years despite top leaders of Bihar repeatedly promising to develop it. "It is not acceptable that a house which should be treated as a heritage property is under attack," Ankur said.
 
Local residents in Dumraon, a part of the Buxur Lok Sabha constituency, admitted that Bismillah Khan - recipient of the Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian honour -- was not given due respect in his hometown.
 
Two Bihar Chief Ministers and a host of other politicians have promised to develop the property but beyond tokenism, there has been nothing concrete on the ground.
 
Lalu Prasad had, in 1994, laid the foundation stone of a town hall-cum-library in Bismillah Khan's memory. In 2006, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the construction of a museum and installation of a life-size statue after the shehnai masetro's death in August of that year.
 
"But nothing has happened so far, Even the marble foundation stone that Lalu Prasad laid has been gathering dust at the Dumraon police station for several years," Murli Manohar Srivastava, who has written a book on Bismillah Khan, said.
 
"It was ironic that promises made to develop the maestro's birthplace remained unfulfilled and were not an issue at the polls," he rued.
 
Bismillah Khan was born Qamruddin on March 21, 1913, at the house, located in Dumraon's Bhirung Raut Ki Gali. According to the locals, his ancestors were court musicians and used to play in the naqqar khana -- a drum house or orchestra pit -- in the erstwhile princely state of Dumraon. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh.
 
Bismillah Khan moved to his maternal grandfather's home in Benaras (now Varanasi) when he was barely six or seven. His uncle, Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu', a shehnai player attached to the holy Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was his guru.
 
Bismillah Khan, who died on August 21, 2006, was a rare recipient of all four of the country's top civilian honours -- the Padma Shri (1961), the Padma Bhushan (1968), the Padma Vibhushan (1990) and the Bharat Ratna (2001).
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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