RTI reveals common witnesses in cases of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
A news report by the Indian Express has raised questions about the working of the Directorate of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Revenue Intelligence (DRI). Calling it the “Department” of Revenue Intelligence, the report refers to many cases where the witnesses were shown as present during the time of arrest / seizure but could not be traced later and were not living at the given address.
Quoting a reply to an application filed under the RTI Act, the news points that to Ashok Kumar and Vinod Kumar were witnesses in 27 DRI cases under trial, both the witnesses were untraceable when the case came up before trial while in 11 cases one of the two were not traceable. When the witnesses could not be traced, their cross examination was not possible before the court. The two brothers were shown to be bystanders who were called as witness in many cases at different locations over a period of many years.
As per the DRI records, Ashok, Vinod and Raju are cloth sellers and are among the seven children of Ram Kumar who hails from Jakso village in Samastipur district of Bihar. The Indian Express team went to the Mandawali address and reportedly found that it actually housed a temple and a property dealer’s office. No-one in the neighbourhood could recall any of the three brothers having lived in the area. Advocate Manish Khanna made a virulent attack on the DRI saying “Tomorrow I may be framed with the help of fake witnesses. This is why I filed this RTI application. I have already written to the Delhi High Court about eyewitnesses going missing or being falsely produced.”