Creating a record is not new for this Guinness Book Record holder for highest number of ‘Letters to the Editor’. But this time round, the 59-year-old Subhash Chandra Agrawal’s action has led to a landmark decision, which has shaken the judiciary.
Not many know that it was an application under the Right to Information (RTI) by Agrawal which triggered the entire debate about declaration of assets by the judges.
“It was HT’s report that prompted me to file the RTI,” he says.
The textile trader from Chandni Chowk, with a BE and management degree, started writing ‘Letters to Editor’ when in college. But it was a court case pertaining to a family matter which ultimately turned into a public interest mission.
In 1991, his own relative filed a case against him over ancestral property. “Because my uncle’s son-in-law was an influential judge, things started going against us.”
The RTI Act came into being on October 12, 2005 and Agrawal was the first to file an application under the new law on October 17. The information he sought was simply about action taken on his complaint.
Though his complaint was not redressed properly, the reply prompted him to take up other judiciary related issues.
Just then came a news report in HT in November 2007 about a 1997 resolution by SC judges about declaration of assets.
Two days later he filed an RTI application asking a copy of that resolution and its implementation. The rest is history.