Retired Army major Ramesh Upadhyay, one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, has approached the Bombay high court after failing to get a reply from the home department under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
Upadhyay had sent a letter from Taloja jail, which has been converted into a petition. He had sought to know why sanctions were accorded to charge him under MCOCA and intercept his phone calls. He was denied the information as it was gathered by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and so, exempted under the RTI Act. Advocate Mubin Solkar, who was appointed amicus curie (friend of court), argued that the exemption was given to state intelligence bureau, but it was unclear if it was applicable to the ATS. Once the ATS passes the information to the home department, the information can be disclosed because the latter is not exempted under the RTI.
In May 2009, Upadhyay had made an application under the RTI Act to the home department with a total of 15 queries. His query was forwarded to the office of the DGP, which replied on June 17, 2009, saying they didn’t have the information. He appealed before the appellate authority, which was rejected. The court will hear the petition on March 31.