“As per the record/report of RPHQ’s establishment section, there is no such document regarding graduation degree/marks card found attached with the character roll of Inspector Vijay Singh Choudhary”
Inspector General of Police (HQrs) Jammu and Kashmir police has been directed to cause an appropriate inquiry into the unavailability of records related to the appointment of police Inspector Vijay Singh Choudhary, who has been accused of securing a job with ‘fake documents’.
According to the documents available with The Typewriter, acting over the absurdity of PIO’s claim of ‘unavailability of records’ related to the appointment of a Police Officer, Information Commissioner, Divya Prakash Sinha stated that the matter is of larger public interest.
“Commission observed that the apprehension of the complainant regarding the absurdity of PIO’s claim of unavailability of records related to the appointment of an officer in their force is not out of place. Commission is rather perturbed by the repeated shifting of onus of providing information between multiple public authorities, yet, no material information has been provided by either of these authorities,” reads the document, adding that even so, at the outset, the information sought in the RTI Act, however, given the fact that multiple public authorities of police administration of Jammu and Kashmir are affirming that ‘no records of recruitment of a public officer is available’, the subject matter would fall under the proviso to section 8 (1) (j) of RTI Act which provides for disclosure of information in larger public interest.
Sinha further directed the IGP (HQrs), Jammu and Kashmir to initiate an appropriate inquiry into the matter.
“In exercise of powers conferred under section 18(2) of RTI Act, copy of this order is marked to the Inspector General of Police (HQrs), Jammu and Kashmir police to look into the larger issue of concern brought on record in the instant case, which is unavailability of records related to the appointment of Police Officer (Vijay Singh Choudhary) of Jammu and Kashmir police,” reads the document, adding “Inspector General of Police (HQrs), Jammu and Kashmir police is directed to cause an appropriate inquiry into the matter to ascertain the facts and for fixing responsibility of omissions and commissions with respect to record keeping and providing access to relevant records.”
He asked the IGP (HQrs) to conduct the said inquiry through an officer of competent rank under the overall supervision of the Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir police. “An inquiry report including inter alia the submissions of concerned record holders on sworn affidavits should be sent to the commission by the Inspector General of Police (HQrs), Jammu and Kashmir police within 45 days from the date of receipt of this order,” reads the document, adding that the DGP, Jammu and Kashmir Police shall take note of the baffling stance of the respondent office as well as other concerned police establishments in terms of availability of records.
The document stated that the complainant was aggrieved that instead of providing information, PIO, PHQ, Jammu referred the matter for a CID inquiry against the appointment of the individual regarding whom the information has been sought on the allegation of submission of fake certificate impliedly raised by the appellant in RTI. “Even after First Appellate Authority (FAA) called out the action of PIO as inappropriate and directed disclosure of information, PIO did not comply with the FAA order,” reads the document, adding that the complainant had sought copy of application form and other testimonials submitted by Vijay Singh Choudhary, Son of Jia Lal Choudhary, a resident of Village Nonial, Tehsil Nowshera, District Rajouri at the time of applying for the post of Sub Inspector in the years 1993/1994/1995 as well as copy of verification reports submitted by various agencies, including that of CID upon the appointment of said individual as Sub Inspector.
During the hearing on 29-06-2020, the complainant stated that PIO has not provided any information sought by him in the instant RTI Application. He further stated that First Appellate Authority vide its order dated 24.03.2016 directed the PIO to provide the relevant information, however said direction was also not complied. He furthermore stated that subsequent to the said directions of the FAA, he personally visited the respondent office many times and yet no information was provided, instead they claimed that relevant information was not available on record.
Badar Hussain, SP (Admn) & PIO, O/o Inspector General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir Police, Jammu, submitted that instant RTI application was examined in the HQrs and it was observed that the said Inspector Vijay Singh, in respect of whom information has been sought, was appointed by the then DIG Rajouri-Poonch range, HQrs Rajouri.
“Therefore, the instant RTI Application was transferred to PIO-RPHQ Rajouri under section 6 (3) of J&K RTI Act, vide letter dated 04-11-2015,” said Badar during the hearing. He further submitted that RPHQ Rajouri instead of replying directly to the complainant inadvertently addressed their reply to the respondent office stating that record pertaining to the appointment of Vijay Singh is not available in their office.
He furthermore submitted that upon receipt of said reply, the RTI application was transferred to PIO, Sher-I-Kashmir police academy Udhampur, vide letter dated 21-04-2016 for necessary action, however, the said application was transferred back to DIG Rajouri-Poonch under section 6 (3) of J&K RTI Act-2009 stating that they had only conducted basic training of the said SI Vijay Singh, whereas his appointment was done by DIG Rajouri-Poonch. Subsequently, DIG Rajouri vide letter dated 15-06-2016 intimated that as per available records recruitment records pertaining to inspector Vijay Singh have not been found available in their office.
However, in reply to another RTI, office of CIV responded vide letter dated 18-06-2016 that this matter was taken up with all the concerned quarters i.e, AIG (P) PHQ/PIO SKPA Udhampur/PIO RPHQ Rajouri, who have intimated that the information sought is not available in their offices.
Meanwhile, Range Police Headquarters (RPHQ) made startling disclosures about the qualification of Vijay Singh Choudhary.
“As per the record/report of RPHQ’s establishment section, there is no such document regarding graduation degree/marks card found attached with the character roll of Inspector Vijay Singh Choudhary (No 4434/NGO Exj-955655-CID),” reads the RTI reply dated 09-10-2015, adding “However, perusal of service record of the officer reveals that he has passed B A, but there is no mention of roll number, registration number and name of the college from where he has passed the graduation degree”.