Mumbai: RTI says no rule limiting use of elevators at railway stations
Advocate had filed RTI query after railway magistrate punished four youths for using lift meant for senior citizens and the handicapped
The advocate who took serious concern of the punishment meted to four youths by the railway magistrate for the use of an elevator meant for senior citizens, has got a reply to her RTI query, saying no such rule that restricts the use of the lift exists.
Reena Richard had filed an Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Western Railway to obtain the certified copy of any circular or resolution or Government Resolution, etc that says only senior citizens and handicapped persons are allowed to use the lift or prohibits common public from using it at railway stations on WR.
The RTI reply she received on November 8, a copy of which is with mid-day, clearly says, "There is no government resolution, notification, circular, order, any document or any Act which prohibits all common public other than senior citizens or handicapped persons to use the elevators/lifts installed at the railway station of Western Railway."
"I was shocked to learn that no such circular or GR which allows only senior citizens or handicapped to use the elevator installed at Western Railway stations exists. It was high-handedness to punish the four youth for no reason," Richard told mid-day.
Prior to filing the RTI, Richard had written letters to senior railway officials including the Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Central and Western Railway General Manager, but their responses are still awaited. "I don't think they will respond to my letters. Now, I am planning to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court and challenge the railway magistrate's order to convict the youth," said Richard, who further added that she will contact the youths and their family members soon. She said she wants the youth to be compensated. The four youth, Mitesh Shivram Solanki, 25, Vidhan Ashok Shiladkar, 20, Sachin Ghanilal Yadav, 18, and Santosh Sharma, 25, were caught at an elevator at Virar railway station by Railway Magistrate RN Chavan on October 5. They were convicted under section 155(a) of the Indian Railways Act and given the option of six months' imprisonment or community service by Chavan at the Virar railway station.
The accused opted for community service and were given placards to raise awareness about infrastructure use by the Railway Protection Force (RPF). The youth stood at the railway station for two days — October 6 and 7 — with the placards.
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