RTI activist wants to know dera chief’s menu in jail, officials seek godman’s nod

RTI activist Kapoor says, “The prisoners who are graduate or post-graduate fall under the category of B Class, who are entitled for better facilities than of General Category in the jail. I have also sought information regarding educational qualification of the dera chief.”

Written by SUKHBIR SIWACH | Chandigarh | Published: September 18, 2017 12:42 am
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Dera Sacha Sauda, RTI Activist, RTI activist P P Kapoor, Dera Chief's Jail Menu, Dera Chief's Menu, Punjab News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Express Photo by Vikram Joy)

Jail authorities in Haryana have sought consent of jailed Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to disclose information regarding his dress, food, bed and furniture being provided to him by the jail administration in a Rohtak jail under the RTI Act. RTI activist P P Kapoor, who had sought information regarding expenditure on these facilities, has accused the jail administration of “knowingly delaying the information”.

In his application under Right to Information Act, Kapoor had sought details about the menu of food items, including breakfast, being served to Ram Rahim. The activist also wants to know the category, B Class or General Category, under which the facilities are being provided to Ram Rahim. Kapoor says, “The prisoners who are graduate or post-graduate fall under the category of B Class, who are entitled for better facilities than of General Category in the jail. I have also sought information regarding educational qualification of the dera chief.”

The activist has also sought information even regarding utensils and chairs, if any, provided to the dera chief inside the jail. The RTI application was submitted on August 31, six days after the controversial baba was lodged in the jail after his conviction under rape charges.

On September 8, the Jail Superintendent sent a letter to Ram Rahim asking his consent under Section 11 of the RTI Act within a week. Ram Rahim has been asked whether the information be provided to the applicant. A copy of the letter has been sent to Kapoor for information.

However, Kapoor says, “The Section 11 of the RTI Act deals with personal information of third party (the person concerned) like the details of property, educational degrees and bank accounts. But I have not sought any such personal information. I simply sought information about the facilities which are being provided by the government to the prisoners. When the government claims that no extra facilities are being provided to the dera chief, what’s harm in disclosing the information? If the officials don’t provide the information within stipulated time period, I will approach the Haryana State Information Commission.”

A senior jail officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Ram Rahim faces threats from various quarters. We will supply the information after due consideration.”

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