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Justice Jayant Nath of Delhi High Court issued notice to CPIO of publication division of  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a plea moved by Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddique, convict in 7/11 Mumbai train blast case.

In his plea filed through Advocate Arpit Bhargava, Ehtesham had sought hard copies of 10 publications published by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. CPIO refused to provide copies stating that these are priced publications and cannot be provided free of cost to general public under any circumstances.

Advocate Arpit Bhargava contended that since Ehtesham, a death row convict, is lodged in Nagpur Central Jail, he is a person below poverty line and as per Right to Information Act and its corresponding Rules, he is eligible to get all such publications free of cost.

The petition states, “It is the fundamental right of the petitioner (Siddique) to have access to and acquire education and knowledge and a democratic government is under an obligation to provide means to spread education and knowledge to its citizens irrespective of the fact that a person is in jail or not.”

Justice Nath issued notice and directed the Ministry to file reply within two weeks and listed the matter for arguments on 15th November 2019.

–India Legal Bureau

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