Malavdan Gadhvi,the younger brother of RTI activist Jabardan Gadhvi who had immolated himself in Rapar taluka of Kutch district last month on Friday filed an application with the state Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) seeking compensation for his brothers death.
In his complaint,Malavdan said that the family members of the deceased be provided compensation by deducting from the salaries and savings of the government officials who allegedly pushed Jabardan to take the extreme step of self-immolation by allegedly denying information under the RTI Act regarding his own land.
Malavdan has also sought penal and criminal action against the concerned Public Information Officer and appellate authority of Rapar taluka who suppressed information as also against the concerned sub-inspector of the Rapar police station. He alleged that the three officials together deliberately forced his brother to end his life in desperation and hence,criminal action be initiated against them.
He requested the CIC to take possession of all the information and records his brother had demanded through an RTI application. He also sought an order to allow him to intervene on behalf of his deceased brother in the case for which he had sought information.
While a sub-inspector and four constables along with village talati of Davari have been suspended and Rapar mamlatdar transferred,no arrest has been made in the case so far.
Harinesh Pandya,who operates RTI Helpline,said the CIC has all the powers of a civil court under rule 18 of the RTI Act,2005,and he could issue summons and warrants to the parties in the case.
Malavdan told The Indian Express that in 2007,he came to know that a piece of land belonging to his ancestors had been sold illegally to some people by the talati of the village by tampering with the land records. Subsequently,he said,he filed a case in this regard with the Rapar police station. But instead of investigating the matter,the police filed a case of cheating and tampering with the land record against him.
I had to sell four buffaloes to raise money to seek bail from the Gujarat High Court, he said,adding: As my brother as an activist was fighting cases for others,he tried to help me by filing an RTI application seeking information about the ownership of the land since 1949 till date.
Malavdan said he had the land records till 1993 in the name of his grandfather. But the name of the owner of the land was changed thereafter. So we wanted the information about the person in whose name the land was transferred by the talati, he said.
He further said that if the state police could arrest Pradeep Sharma for his alleged involvement in a land scam in Bhuj,why could not the same police arrest the absconding talati and a sub-inspector allegedly linked with his brothers self-immolation.