Mumbai Police refuse RTI info to Dharavi dead teen's family

Updated: May 07, 2019, 07:55 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty | Mumbai

Family claims 17-year-old died after he was brutally thrashed by cops; Mumbai police say giving info would impede probe

Ravindra and Indu Jaiswar with their son, Sachin's picture. Ravindra claims he died because of a brutal beating by the cops. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Ravindra and Indu Jaiswar with their son, Sachin's picture. Ravindra claims he died because of a brutal beating by the cops. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Determined to find out the truth behind the death of their 17-year-old son after police allegedly thrashed him, a family took the help of a Right to Information (RTI) query. But, the cops have refused to provide any information. The Dharavi police have also refused to provide CCTV footage of July 12, 2018, when Sachin Jaiswar was allegedly beaten for 22 hours.

Dharavi police refused to give the details citing Section 8(1)(H) of RTI, which makes an exemption of information which would impede the investigation, or apprehension, or prosecution of offenders. "If they haven't done anything wrong, why are they scared to give us the footage? In India, poor people don't have any rights. But, I am not giving up," said Sachin's father Ravindra Jaiswar, a painter.

Also Read: Mumbai: Family refuses to claim body even 130 days after boy's death

Activists say

RTI activist Anil Galgali said, "CCTV footage is evidence which can be used in the investigation, so usage of section 8 is pointless." Under the RTI Act, citizens can seek information which can be in the form of CCTV footage from a government body.

Manoj Patil, an activist with RTI India said, "If the police have refused it will be counted as a violation of the RTI Act. No public body can refuse to provide CCTV footage for such an important case."

Lawyer say

"CCTVs have been put up in police stations for transparency, as there have been cases of torture and custodial death, and guilty officers get away. The RTI Act was brought for transparency in the working of the government and its agencies, so CCTV footage from police stations must be covered under it," said Bombay High Court lawyer Siddharth S Chandrashekhar. DCP Vikram Deshmane did not respond despite repeated calls and messages regarding the issue.

The incident

According to the family, the Dharavi police detained Sachin on July 12 in connection with a mobile theft, and brutally beat him. A day after he was released on July 13, Sachin fell sick and was admitted to Sion hospital where on July 21 he died. The postmortem cited leptospirosis as cause of death. But his parents don't accept this. It has been around 10 months since Sachin's body is lying in the morgue at JJ Hospital. The family has decided not to do the last rites until justice is served.

Also Read: It happened in Dharavi

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