Nothing illustrates this better than the continued cold shrugs it gives Sudip Tamankar, a bus driver, an activist and an aspiring politician who has filed over 80 criminal complaints with the police. Barring one, none have been registered as First Information Reports.
The activist’s complaint against illegal mining, which names two former Congress chief ministers was registered as an FIR by the Goa police more than a year after he had written to them.
The registration followed a chiding by the Supreme Court to the state government for not doing much to rein in illegal mining. If one contrasts this with the efficiency displayed by the Goa police in registering the FIR in Tejpal case, even without recording the statement of the victim — purely based on media reports, a clear inconsistency is evident.
“I am glad that they filed the FIR in this rape case, but the same treatment should be given to all complainants who approach the police,” said Tamankar.
Other RTI activists like Kashinath Shetye and Aires Rodrigues have faced a similar plight. Complaints related to corruption and other government impropriety have rarely been registered by the police as FIRs, until the activists approached the judiciary.