Friday, August 04, 2017

Nikhil Dey, 3 others acquitted in 19-year-old RTI-related case

The Hindu: Jaipur: Friday, August 04, 2017.
Nearly one month after their conviction on charges of criminal trespass and causing hurt in a 19-year-old Right to Information-related case, social activist Nikhil Dey and his three associates in Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) have been acquitted by a Sessions court at Kishangarh in Ajmer district of Rajasthan.
A Judicial Magistrate had sentenced Mr. Dey and others to four months in jail in a case pertaining to an incident on May 6, 1998, when the RTI activists demanded information from the sarpanch of the Harmada panchayat samiti in response to a large number of complaints of corruption in development works in the panchayat.
Sarpanch Pyarelal, an alleged liquor contractor, had filed a criminal case accusing the activists of assaulting him at his house when they came to ask for information from him. The activists defended themselves, saying they had tried to deliver a letter from the Block Development Officer and the sarpanch had come out of his house and assaulted them.
The Kishangarh Additional Sessions Judge compounded the offence under Section 320 of Criminal Procedure Code, while setting aside the conviction of activists by the lower court in the third week of July. Besides Mr. Dey, others set free from criminal charges under Sections 323 and 451 of Indian Penal Code were Norti Bai, Ram Karan and Chotu Lal Malakar.