Delhi High Court Rejects Mumbai Train Blasts Convict’s RTI Request for Fresh NIA Probe

LI Network

Published on: 4 August 2023 at 17:42 IST

The Delhi High Court, in a recent ruling, declined to entertain a plea filed by Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui, a convict in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case.

Siddiqui had challenged the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) rejection of his Right to Information (RTI) application, where he sought the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to seek sanction from the Central government for a fresh investigation into the terror attack.

Claiming that he was falsely implicated in the blasts, Siddiqui had approached the Court seeking the RTI application’s validation and direction for a new probe.

However, Justice Subramonium Prasad asserted that the RTI Act has its limitations, and it cannot be utilized to direct further investigations or reinvestigations in a case.

The Court stated, “There is a limit to the information and use of this [RTI] Act… RTI is only for information, not direction.”

Justice Prasad highlighted that determining Siddiqui’s alleged false accusation is a matter for the trial court to decide, and if he desires a fresh investigation, he should approach the Court formally.

The Court also cautioned that it would impose costs on the petitioner, even if the petition had been filed through the legal aid cell.

Eventually, Siddiqui’s counsel withdrew the plea, and the Court disposed of the matter sympathetically, acknowledging that it was not a case seeking information but a direction for a new investigation.

In his RTI application, Siddiqui had urged the NIA to seek Central government sanction for initiating a fresh investigation into the train blasts. The

CIC had rejected his plea on the grounds that the information sought related to authorities mentioned in Schedule II of the RTI Act, making it exempt from disclosure.

Notably, Siddiqui had been sentenced to death by a special court in 2015 for his involvement in the blasts, which resulted in the deaths of 189 people and injuries to over 800 others in the local trains of Mumbai.

While his appeal is pending before the Bombay High Court, Siddiqui has raised allegations of being framed in the case, contending that officers had fabricated evidence for promotion purposes.

He cited news reports from 2017, which claimed the involvement of Indian Mujahideen members in the blasts as supporting his claims.

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