Details of encounters to be provided under RTI

 The Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the police to provide details of all the encounters that took place in the state in the last 21 years sought by an applicant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act within a period of two months.

“The Commission is of the view that the reputation of the police, armed and paramilitary forces will get enhanced if this information is made public. Therefore, the Public Information Officer (PIO) police headquarter is directed to provide the information sought by the applicant,” the chief information commissioner G R Sufi, said.

However, in view of the magnitude of details to be assembled from every nook and corner of the state, the Commission has relaxed the time limit for 30 days and has asked the PIO to provide the information within two months.

Earlier the police had declined to provide information about the encounters that took place in Jammu and Kashmir between 1989 and 2012.

In reply to a query under RTI Act filed by a human rights activist, Khurram Parvez, the PIO of the police had said: “The information cannot be supplied as it falls under Section 8(1) a of RTI Act 2009.”

Khurram had sought details about the total number of encounters that the police department has recorded across J&K between 1989 and 2012.

 He had also sought a list of those encounter cases where police investigations later proved the encounters to be fake.After denial of the information by the police, Khurram had claimed that the information sought does not fall within restrictions contained in Section 8 and 9 of RTI Act, a view upheld by the SIC, “This Commission is of the considered opinion that these provisions are not applicable,” reads the decision.

“The provisions are meant to ensure that nothing should be done which affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, scientific, strategic or economic interest of the state or lead to incitement of an offence,” it added.

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