- Bengaluru Police says that rowdy-sheeters under trial are not convicts yet, so displaying their details could go against them.
- Activists, however, believe that the measure has been taken to safeguard politicians who may be exposed.
- Police, however, says that the decision has been taken after consulting legal experts.
The fact that intelligence information cannot be demanded through the RTI Act is understood, given the high-profile involvement in such cases and the nation's security at stake. In that context, Bangalore police has said that even the information on rowdy-sheeters is also confidential. This has surprised many citizens, especially as they displayed their details on the rogue list in police stations to create awareness among citizens. With the new explanation, the police has nullified the entire purpose of displaying the name of offenders on their board.
Citing the recent example of Nagraj alias Bomb Raja, a city-based activist Bhaskaran S, filed an RTI act asking why the names of rowdy-sheeters have been removed from the display at the behest of politicians. The activist, on May 2, had sought the details of rowdy-sheeters whose names have been dropped from the list, along with the photos and details, including the dates when they have been dropped. Another piece of information that was sought was the recommendation letter that was issued by politicians and police officers on behalf of rowdies or the so-called reformed rowdies. Speaking to the Bangalore Mirror, Bhaskaran said, "to my shock, I was denied the info."
He also said, "the information sought can’t be provided as it is department’s confidential information,” G U Somegowda, PIO and assistant commissioner of police said while turning down the application. To this, Bhaskaran said, “this is surprising because the information which they themselves publicised is now being dubbed confidential. The Supreme Court has ruled that even FIRs, the first step of investigation, should be shared. I believe the information is being denied because some of the politicians may get exposed."
Apparently, the police says that rowdy-sheeters cannot be called as accused until and unless they have been convicted of something. Till then, they are just under-trials who have every right to privacy. ACP Somegowda said that the decision has been taken after consulting legal experts. He also said that if the information is personal in nature, it can't be shared.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:45 PM IST