Should the hearing be held in a specific time frame in ‘Life and liberty’ cases?
AG Perarivalan was arrested by CBI in 1991 on the charges of procuring battery cells which were used in the explosive device for the assassination of the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. He was sentenced to death and his punishment was later commuted to life. Though the Tamil Nadu government has directed to release him, he is in prison as the Central Government has opposed to let him go.
Perarivalan filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek information about the constitution and proceedings of the CBI special court, TADA court and the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA). He filed an application under the Section 7 (1) of the RTI Act claiming that the information should be provided to him within 48 hours as it pertains to his life and liberty. His application containing 11 questions was filed on August 12, 2013, while he was still a death row convict. Claiming that answer to just one question was provided, he approached the high court registrar, the first appellate authority and subsequently the State Information Commission. His appeal came up before the State Information Commission and Perarivalan requested to allow him in appear in person to argue. However, a video conference was scheduled between him and the Chief Information Commissioner but the same had to be postponed due to a ‘technical’ malfunction. Within a few minutes of the start of the video conference, the link snapped and forcing the conference to end. An alternate date is yet to be given.