High court rejects Gujarat IPS officer’s petition (Lead)

August 12th, 2011 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, Aug 12 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Friday rejected senior Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rahul Sharma’s petition against stonewalling of information by the state government he needed to answer a show cause notice served on him in February.

The high court rejected the plea on the ground that it was out of its territorial jurisdiction.

Justice Abhilasha Kumari Friday asked Sharma to approach the “appropriate authority” for the remedy as he had sought information under the Right to Information Act (RTI). A petition filed to the Public Information Officer (PIO) under the act is procedurally followed up with the appellate authority and then the information Commission.

However Sharma’s lawyer Mukul Sinha told the media that since the matter involved serious issues of law, Sharma approached the high court instead of going to the appellate authority. Sinha further said that he would challenge the order of the high court in next few days.

The petition came after the state government planned to haul up the officer for passing on, without government permission, information to the Nanavati-Mehta panel probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Sharma handed over copies of CDs of the call records to the Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission probing the 2002 Godhra train carnage and the riots that followed it when he was summoned to depose before it.

This data, in hindsight, has proved to be damning evidence of the call traffic between key elements who led the riots, including political leaders and those in important positions in the state government as well as the police.

In May 2002, he was ordered to assist the investigations into the Naroda Patia massacre case in Ahmedabad wherein he collected the call data for all key numbers during the period of rioting.

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