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Bihar RTI activist lands in jail in connection with SC/ST Act

Bihar RTI activist lands in jail in connection with SC/ST Act
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New Delhi: Filing an RTI to get information about policy decisions is not as easy as it seems. Sometimes, you may be behind the bars for seeking information about officials in the government.

In a similar case that has come to the notice, an RTI activist Hemant Kumar has been sent to judicial custody in connection with SC/ST atrocities act case for seeking information regarding a top IPS officer in Bihar.

Kumar, who dubbed the charges as fabricated, had also urged chief information commissioner (CIC), New Delhi to defer the scheduled video conferencing. The conferencing was scheduled for March 18 in regard to his query about MSc degree of the officer.

As his case was heard on the scheduled date without his presence, Kumar was arrested on March 24, a few days after the hearing of his case by the CIC. Sources have claimed that Kumar was fighting against various irregularities and seeking information under the RTI including overstay of a regional rural bank's employees at the same branch.

Sources further claimed that Kumar's query had led to the transfer of several bank employees, including a woman who had lodged a case against him with Mithanpura police station.

On December 21, 2012, Muzaffarpur police was not only arrested him but paraded in the town with placards dangling on his chest and back saying he was a habitual eve-teaser. When produced before the chief judicial magistrate, he was granted bail.

The then SHO Jitendra Prasad, who had forced Kumar to wear the placard, apologised in court following a show-cause notice against him. While talking to Millennium Post, Kumar's advocate Sumit Kumar Suman said that one Ajay Kumar Paswan of Vaishali lodged an FIR against his client with SC/ST police station on March 12 on the charges of forgery.

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