The Bombay high court has stayed an order of the Maharashtra’s Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), directing the government to probe the call records of the police control room and the wireless set of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte during the 26/11 terror attacks.
Kamte, along with the Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare and other police officers, was killed during the 26/11 terror attacks.
The order comes after the state challenged the CIC’s directive, claiming the body does not have the powers to issue an inquiry, and at the most, its role is restricted to asking the state to supply information desired under the RTI Act.
A bench of justice Anoop V Mohta and justice VL Achiliya granted the state the interim relief, till the case is disposed off finally.
“The petitioners [government] have questioned the jurisdiction of the state CIC..On due consideration of the government’s submission, in the light of provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005, we are of the view that the petitioner’s contentions need to be given a consideration,” the bench said.
The state CIC’s order had come following an application made by Kamte’s wife Vinita.
In 2009, Vinita had filed an RTI application seeking call logs of the wireless conversations between the control room and Kamte’s van, in which he and the other officers were killed.
She alleged that initially, the state police had initially denied her request and when it did provide some information, first in November 2009 and then in February 2010, there were “serious discrepancies.”
On July 9, 2014, the state CIC ordered the state to conduct an inquiry into the matter through a sitting or retired judge, in accordance with the Commission of Inquiry Act.
The HC issued notices of final disposal to Vinita and other respondents in the case and further hearing is likely on July 30.