On a Maharashtra Government plea, the Bombay High Court has stayed an order of Chief Information Commissioner asking the state to hold an inquiry into the call data records of telephonic talks between police control room and wireless set of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte during the 26/11 terror attacks.
“On due consideration of submissions advanced, in the light of provisions of Right to Information Act, we are of the view that contentions raised by the petitioners (government) as against the impugned order, require consideration,” said a bench of Justice V L Achliya and Justice Anoop Mohata.
“We are, therefore, of the view that a prima facie case has been made out to grant interim stay to the impugned order. We are inclined to grant adinterim stay till final disposal of the matter,” the Judges said in their order on June 17.
Kamte’s wife Vinita had under RTI sought call logs of wireless conversations between the police control room and her husband Ashok Kamate’s van in which he was killed along with Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.
She alleged that the details were first denied to her. However, when the information was provided in November 2009 and February 2010 there were serious discrepencies. She then complained about this to the Chief Information Commissioner.
On July 9, 2014, Chief Information Commissioner, while dealing with the matter filed under the provisions of Right to Information Act, passed an order directing the state to conduct an enquiry into the matter through sitting or retired Judge, in accordance with Commission of Inquiry Act.
The state challenged the impugned order contending that the Chief Information Commissioner had no jurisdiction or competence to pass such an order directing the state to conduct an inquiry under the Commission of Inquiry Act.
The HC issued notice of final disposal to Vinita Kamte and other respondents. Further hearing will he held on July 30.
Senior lawyer Shekhar Naphade appeared for the state while no one appeared on behalf of Kamte’s wife.