Tihar ignores CIC’s directions on info about Afzal Guru hanging

SRINAGAR: Unmoved by the Central Information Commission’s directions, the authorities at New Delhi’s Tihar jail continue to conceal information related to the execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru.
Responding to an appeal filed by one Paras Nath Singh, whose RTI application Tihar had rejected, the Information Commissioner M Sridhar had last month directed the authorities to furnish all details sought by the applicant.
The information, observed Sridhar, had been denied “without any application of mind and without examining each and every point.”
However, a month on, the jail authorities haven’t provided any information to Singh, who is now considering moving court over the issue.
“As per the directions passed on October 1, the authorities at Tihar were to provide me information within 10 days, but they didn’t. In fact, they told me they will challenge the Commission’s directions in court,” Aligarh-based Singh told Kashmir Reader Thursday.
Afzal, a resident of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, was taken to gallows on the morning of February 9, 2013, after the president of India had rejected his clemency petition. His secret execution and burial in the jail premises happened without any prior information to his family.
Almost two months after the execution, Singh filed the RTI application. Among other documents, he had asked for copies of Afzal’s mercy petition, his death warrant, documents pertaining to denial of clemency, the footage of his execution, and official correspondence with his family about the execution.
But the Tihar jail authorities denied the information, saying it would “endanger national security.”
With his appeals to the highest appellate authority for RTIs failing, Singh is considering moving court over the issue.
“The jail authorities were unmoved. I have no choice but to appeal the High Court now. I am considering the legal recourse,” he said.