Saturday, January 28, 2017

HC stays CIC order asking govt, Tihar to compensate convict

The Hindu‎‎: New Delhi: Saturday, January 28, 2017.
The Delhi High Court has stayed the order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) directing the Tihar jail authorities and the Delhi government to compensate a convict who was incarcerated beyond his period of sentence.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva stayed the July 25, 2016 order of the CIC by which the State was told to pay suitable compensation and cost of Rs.1,000 to one O. P. Gandhi for detaining him in prison for 18 extra days.
‘Declare policy on matter’
The CIC had also directed the Delhi government and the jail authorities to declare their policy in the form of a citizen charter under the Right to Information Act regarding the system of compensating inmates who have been incarcerated beyond their period of sentence.
Jurisdiction issue
Challenging the CIC order in the High Court, the Delhi government said that the commission could not ask the State to declare such a policy.
The Delhi government’s counsel Satyakam said that the CIC had heard the matter as if it was deciding a writ petition and it could not have passed such an order, which is outside the scope of the Right to Information Act.
In the instant case, Gandhi was arrested in a case of dishonour of cheque on November 23, 2010. He was granted bail after a month. After a trial, which went on for three months, he was convicted on November 26, 2013 and sentenced to one-year simple imprisonment. Gandhi was to be released on October 24, 2014 but earned remission of 83 days, which brought the release date to August 2, 2014, but he was not released.
Gandhi then filed 36 RTIs concerning his illegal detention and the time within which he would get compensation. The Tihar jail authorities replied that the information sought is not covered under the RTI Act.