15 Aug 2008, 0356 hrs IST, Koride Mahesh,TNN
HYDERABAD: In a unique case, a life convict has sought information from the GHMC under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to defend himself in a murder case before the Supreme Court.
Mohd Irfan Ali, a resident of Old Santoshnagar, has been convicted in the murder case of M A Qadeer, a former employee of Wakf Board. Currently lodged at the Cherlapally open air jail, he also sought school records from the education department in Nizamabad.
"Generally, we forward letters to relatives and friends of inmates. But Irfan Ali is the only convict who sought information under the RTI that too to defend his case,” K Kesava Naidu, superintendent of jails, Prisoners of Agriculture Colony, Cherlapally, told 'TOI'.
Ali, who earlier worked at the Secretariat in the revenue department, was convicted by the additional metropolitan sessions judge on January 24, 2003, in the murder case. Subsequently, he moved the high court. His appeal was dismissed by the court on October 17, 2003. Then he filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court through the secretary, Supreme Court Legal Aid Services Committee, New Delhi.
Ali said he needed the voter's list pertaining to the addresses of four houses in Santosh Nagar, Old Santosh Nagar and Hafeezbaba Nagar, where he reportedly resided in the 1990s. He sent the request first to the zonal commissioner, south zone, but was informed he should approach the GHMC additional commissioner (elections) for voter's list. Then, Ali sent the letter to the election wing on July 28.
"I have been implicated in the murder case. The copies of voter's list are important to prove my innocence in the case,” Ali said in his RTI application. However, his efforts went down the drain as GHMC replied a couple of days ago that since the information sought was over 18 years old, records were sent to the state archives department. It advised him to approach the department.