The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Nagpur Central Jail’s Superintendent to provide certain books, either as hard or soft copy, to Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddique, who is a death row convict in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings case.
A single-judge bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh said that the books should be provided within four weeks’ time failing which he is at liberty to file an appropriate plea before the court.
Justice Singh said: “Considering this stand, the Superintendent of Nagpur Central Jail shall make available the books to the petitioner either in physical form or a soft copy within four weeks.”
The counsel for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) told the court that they have asked the prison authorities to purchase the books and give them to Siddique if he is not entitled to access the internet in jail.
His petition seeking copies of certain publications free of cost under the RTI Act was disposed of.
The I&B’s counsel argued that the books he has requested for are quite pricey.
Earlier on Friday, the high court had said that intelligence agencies’ reports and dossiers cannot be made public under the RTI Act, especially if doing so will jeopardise the sovereignty or integrity of the nation.
Justice Singh rejected Siddique’s request for the reports that the governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had submitted on 2006 Mumbai train bombings investigations.
Siddique, a death row convict in the case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), has claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case and it amounts to violation of his human rights.
On July 11, 2006, seven explosions had ripped through seven western line local trains in Mumbai, leading to the death of 189 people and injuring 829.