Delhi: CIC`s twist to exemption clause of the RTI Act
The CIC has allowed CBI to withhold information related to allegations of corruption which are not levelled against its employees in an order which may not be entirely in tune with the provisions of the RTI Act.
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has allowed CBI to withhold information related to allegations of corruption which are not levelled against its employees in an order which may not be entirely in tune with the provisions of the RTI Act.
The CBI has recently been placed under second schedule of section 24 of the RTI Act by the central government which exempts it from making disclosures under the Right to Information Act provided "allegations of corruption or human rights violation shall not be excluded."
"In our view, the reference to allegations of corruption in the proviso to section 24 of the RTI Act is only to such allegations against the employees of the CBI and not about the cases of corruption being investigated by the CBI.
"Had the latter been true, there would be no purpose including the CBI in the second schedule as all cases investigated by it relate to allegations of corruption in one form or the other," Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said in his order dated August 7.
He was hearing the plea of activist Subhash Agrawal, who had sought information on corruption cases against Chief Ministers.
According to the RTI Act, the exemption proviso is meant only for "intelligence and security organisations" and CBI was included in the schedule as it also probed cases related to national security.
Two former Chief Information Commissioners were of the view that information related to allegations of corruption means "any information" not specifically about the organisation or its employees.
The definition of `Right to Information` under the Act says "the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority". Information defined under the act says "any material in any form".