Information about encounters – should it be provided under RTI?
An application was filed under the Right to Information Act (RTI) Act submitted by Khurram Parvez, a human right activist, vide which he sought:
“How many encounters in total have taken place in JK, since 1989 till date. The date-wise list of all the encounters, FIRs registered in all the encounter cases since 1989 till date, name of the Army, BSF, CRPF, SSB, ITBP or Police unit which carried out each encounter and names of the militants who were ambushed in the gunfights. List of local/ foreign militants killed in each encounter till date. List of personnel of Army, BSF, CRPF, SSB, ITBP or Police killed. List of civilians killed in each encounter. List of those encounter cases where Police investigations later proved the encounters to be fake encounters.”
The Police have refused to provide information under section 8(1) (a) of the RTI act 2009.” Khurram had sought details about the total number of encounters that the Police Department has recorded in all the Police Stations across JK between 1989 and 2012.
The question of national security and the issue whether information can be denied under such a clause is likely to come up before the Information Commission.