The Punjab and Haryana high court has sought a categorical reply from the Punjab government on whether or not a report by former director general of police (prisons) Shashi Kant — about 10 politicians and social personalities suspected to be involved in drug trade — ever existed with its home department.
The direction came after deputy inspector general (intelligence) Nilabh Kishore submitted that the information was unavailable with the home department. The counsel for the petitioner, Saradvinder Goyal, argued that unavailability could not be the grounds to deny the details, but in that case, the public information officer (PIO) concerned had the duty to transfer the RTI (Right to Information) application to another public authority that had the report.
Upon these submissions, the high court bench of justice RK Jain issued directions to the state government to file an affidavit on whether or not the home department ever had the information. Petitioner Sandeep Kumar Gupta had moved the high court to challenge the information commission order that said intelligence reports could not be shared with public in the RTI reply.
The petitioner submitted that Shashi Kant, who had also remained additional DGP (intelligence), had claimed in the media that he had left the intelligence dossier with the-then DGP and the home department. The next hearing is on April 25.