Hyderabad: An application by anti-corruption activist and Founder of Forum against Corruption, Vijay Gopal seeking information under the RTI Act on whether there is an advisory/GO/directive about the zero FIR issued by the state law departments to the Telangana police department.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an advisory back in 2015 with regard to the Zero FIR and its guidelines.
In an advisory issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs back in 2015, Point No.6 of thd advisory says "Home departments of the states/UTs may direct the DGPs/IGPs to issue necessary instructions in light of the above advisory so that all police officers are made aware of them and the contents are also incorporated in the training curriculum of the police personnel."
But when it comes to the remarks given by the office of Director General of Police, Telangana, the question asked by Mr. Vijay Gopal was whether any advisory/GO/Directive has been issued by the state law Dept to the police department to adhere to the Zero FIR guidelines as issued in the MHA advisory in 2015.
The office replied saying "Guidelines issued by the GOI are enclosed."
The twist in the tale comes in when the second question is asked. It reads "Please confirm why no advisory has been issued so far, if no is the answer for the first question."
The remark from the office of the DGP reads "This information is in the form of questionnaire. As per Govt. of India had clarified that application under RTI act in the form of question need not be answered to a citizen", hence the same maybe rejected. Hence it is rejected."
The recent case of Vet doctor Disha can be an example of the lesser known Zero FIR among the people and putting it the other way, how officials tend to overlook it.
Mr Gopal said "Its more than an irresponsible statement because I don't think the circular issued by the MHA came in the light of Supreme Court's orders stating that we have orders, please go ahead and follow the same. Now inspite of that, for the last 3-4 years, nobody had really followed the orders. After the crime that has happened, at least after that, the Andhra Pradesh DGP was sensible enough to issue the orders in writing. Similarly, all the orders that the police get from their superiors, has to be produced in writing. That is what the 5th & 6th point of the circular issued in 2015 says.
But, instead of issuing orders, the same circular is attached to me and says we have circulars in place. That doesn't help anybody, especially the local police."