An editor arrested for using RTI as a tool for extortion
The editor of a Kannada weekly ‘Vismaya’, was arrested from Sagar Hotel by the Lokayukta police for demanding money from an official of the Department of Legal Metrology (Weights and Measures). Acting on a complaint by a manual assistant K Pushpavathi, the Lokayukta police trapped the editor Saifulla while accepting a bribe of Rs 45,000/- from her. A FIR has been registered under Section 384 of the IPC for extortion and Saifulla has been handed over to the Cottonpet police.
The Complainant alleged that Saifulla had obtained information under the RTI about her work and had lodged a complaint about an alleged irregularity. Though a subsequent departmental inquiry exonerated her, Saifulla continued to file RTI applications asking why no action was taken against her. He continued harassing her and demanded Rs one lakh to stop harassment which was later scaled down to Rs 45,000/-. Many other officials in the department have reportedly complained of being harassed by journalists like Saifulla, who threatened them with saying that the officials have made a lot of money and unless they shared it, they would face problems.