Madurai: The Madras High Court bench here has directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to upload its crime manual on its website within six weeks, rejecting DVAC's contention that it was a privileged document and could not be made public.
The manual should contain details about Government instructions and guidelines to investigating officers relating to corruption cases, Justice M Sathyanarayanan said in his order Tuesday on a batch of petitions filed by some public servants who wanted to prove that the investigating officer in the corruption case against them had not followed procedures prescribed under the manual.
The DVAC had refused to issue a copy of the manual to them, following which they moved the High Court.
The counsel for the petitioners submitted that the DVAC could not insist on keeping the manual secret much to the disadvantage of the accused, who required it desperately to establish their innocence during the course of trial.
The judge said the DVAC was not entitled to claim that it was a privileged document and could not be made public.
"We are in the era of Right to Information Act and especially when the Central Bureau of Investigation itself had hosted its crime manual on its website, why can't the DVAC do the same", he asked.
The State Information Commission had directed the DVAC on November 28,2011 to furnish a copy of the manual to an RTI applicant. Justice D Hariparanthaman had then dismissed the petition against the Commission's order in December 2012 and upheld the Information Commission's order.
The judge pointed out that G Rajagopalan, counsel for Tamil Nadu Information Commission, had also submitted that the manual was not exempted from disclosure.