Jail inmates increasingly using RTI to get variety of information
In an interesting disclosure from the jail officials at Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, the inmates lodged in the ‘anda cell’ have been frequently resorting to exercise their Right to Information (RTI) to get vivid information from public authorities.
The jail authorities reportedly said that around 50 RTI applications are being filed each year from the jail and most of them belong to the ‘anda cell’. They said that earlier only five to eight RTI application used to be filed. The authorities also said that inmates are demanding for varied information. The inmates facing serious charges are seeking information from courts, investigating agencies, police, etc. that might prove useful in their defense. Many inmates use RTI to pursue their hobbies and interests like tourism and wildlife. Apart from this, many inmates file RTI to seek answers to their queries as they have lots of spare time.
The jail officials also said that rise in use of RTI by the inmates was also caused by court’s decision to waive the court fee for those falling below the poverty line (BPL). The jail mates do not have to pay for filing an application under the RTI Act and are considered to be BPL. However, the request of an inmate, Kailash Mathura Suryavanshi, to the MTDC, asking for the coffee table book on the wildlife of Maharashtra costing Rs 3,000/- was shot down.