The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that the information sought by a convict in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings case regarding an Intelligence Bureau report purportedly calling for review of evidence in the matter, did pertain to human rights violation and asked the Central Information Commission to consider his request afresh.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru said the Central Information Commission (CIC) “erroneously” concluded that the information sought by the convict, Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddique, did not pertain to allegations of corruption or human rights violation.
“The gravamen of his allegation is that he has been falsely implicated by the respondent despite the respondent having information that the petitioner was not involved in the July 11, 2006 blast case. This court is of the view that the said conclusion is erroneous, as the information does relate to violation of human rights,” the judge said.
With the observation, the court set aside the CIC’s March 26, 2018 order denying the information sought by the convict, and remanded the matter back to the commission for fresh consideration.
The order came on a plea by Siddique, represented by advocate Arpit Bhargava, seeking directions to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to provide him with the report which was tabled before the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2009.
Siddique, presently lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail, was given capital punishment for the July 11, 2006 serial blasts when seven RDX bombs ripped through as many Western line local trains in Mumbai leading to the death of 189 persons and injuring 829.
In his plea, filed through Bhargava, he had claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case which amounts to violation of his human rights and therefore, he needed the IB report which purportedly called for review of the evidence in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case.
The IB, represented by advocates Rahul Sharma and
C K Bhatt, had opposed the plea saying since Siddique was convicted after trial by a court set up under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), he could not in another forum claim that he was falsely implicated.
The IB’s lawyers had also contended that the convict was “trying to create a parallel trial” since the death sentence to him was pending confirmation in the Bombay High Court.
The court while sending the matter back to CIC for a fresh consideration, made it clear that merely because information regarding allegations of corruption and human rights violations falls within the purview of RTI Act does not mean it has to be disclosed.
It said the commission will examine whether the information sought was relevant and if it found that it was not, then approval for disclosure would not be granted.