Gujarat cop moves high court for denial of information (Second Lead)

August 11th, 2011 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi Gandhinagar, Aug 11 (IANS) Senior Gujarat police officer Rahul Sharma Thursday moved the state high court against denial of information he needed to reply to a show cause notice served on him by the state government in February. He has been hauled up for giving without permission information to a judicial panel probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The matter is slated to come up for hearing Friday.

Sharma’s lawyer Mukul Sinha said the government has been stonewalling all efforts by the officer to get information necessary to file a reply to the show cause notice.

“He has sought information through his own department’s disciplinary authorities as well as through the RTI (Right to Information) but to no avail,” Sinha added.

The lawyer alleged: “The official strategy was first to serve show cause notice, then deliberately deny requisite information needed to file a reply, then charge sheet him.”

Sharma had sought information from Balwant Singh, then additional chief secretary (Home), a public information officer under the RTI, and Director General of Police Chitranjan Singh.

The public information officer refused him information under the RTI on the pretext that information cannot be shared with a person undergoing disciplinary enquiry.

Sharma is facing disciplinary action by the government for providing key call details during the 2002 communal riots that followed the Godhra train carnage to the Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission appointed by the Narendra Modi government to probe the incidents.

The proposed action against him was cleared at the highest level in the state, sources said here.

Sharma was posted as the district superintendent of police in Bhavnagar during the riots. His prompt action ensured that the district and town remained unscathed. He was immediately transferred thereafter to the police control room in Ahmedabad.

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.

He was subsequently transferred.

The data Sharma provided to the judical commission, on 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.

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

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