The curiosity of a rape convict couple to know about a dead woman through RTI proved costly for them as it helped police establish their involvement in three murders, leading a local court to sentence them to life.
Kanhaiya Lal Seth and his wife Usha Rani, who were serving seven year jail term in the rape case of a minor, had sought information under RTI about a dead woman, Wazero, whose photograph was published in media for identification.
After the RTI was filed in 2007, a probe was conducted in which it was found that Wazero was the mother of the minor for whose rape Seth was convicted while his wife was held guilty of abetting the crime. The couple was also held guilty for forcing the victim into prostitution.
During the probe, it was also found that the duo had murdered Wazero and her two minor sons -- Chillu and Ashu.
Additional Sessions judge Pinki sentenced the duo to life imprisonment with the direction that they would not be released from prison for the rest of their lives.
The ASJ refrained from awarding death sentences saying it was a rare case but not the rarest of rare.
Wazero and her sons were murdered in 2004. Wazero's body body was recovered from near Kashmere Gate post office on May 13, 2004, while the bodies of her sons were found in a carton near New Delhi Railway Station on April 19, 2004.
Police were trying to locate the kin of the dead woman for which the publicity was launched.
While serving the sentence in the rape case, Seth in his RTI application had sought details of the dead woman as he had noticed that the photograph in the advertisement had her name engraved on her hand.
The RTI application addressed to the Commissioner of Police (north district) said Seth had come across a torn piece of newspaper of June 2004 from which he gathered that police has recovered an unclaimed body of a woman with 'Wazero Bai' engraved on her hand and has advertised her picture to look for her relatives.
Seth had said in his plea that he was accused in a false rape case and has been in judicial custody since November 1, 2004.
He said the girl who had accused him of rape had also alleged Seth of being behind her missing siblings and mother whose name was 'Wazero Bai', as mentioned in the charge sheet filed against him.
Seth said he was being implicated in the rape case due to which he is seeking information about the woman whose body was recovered from Kashmere Gate area.
The police, who had by then closed the cases of the three unclaimed bodies as untraced, swung into action after receiving the RTI plea.
On further probe and interrogation of Seth and Usha in jail, police discovered their hand in the three murders.
As per the prosecution, the convicts had brought Mauj Pur residents Chillu and Ashu, along with their mother Wazero and their elder sister, 16, (a prosecution witness in murder case) to their house in Pahar Ganj area in April 2004.
They then murdered the two boys and Wazero while Seth raped the girl and forced her into prostitution. His wife Usha aided him in the crime.
Meanwhile, the girl managed to escape from their clutches and the duo was later convicted for rape and sentenced to seven years in jail.
Pursuant to the filing of the RTI plea by Seth, police interrogated him and his wife and Usha while Wazero's daughter also testified against the couple.
The couple was also identified by the porter who they had asked to place the carton carrying the minor boys' bodies at the railway station.