Friday, April 03, 2009

Information on completed cases can be obtained under RTI Act

Information on completed cases can be obtained under RTI Act: Activist
Shyam Ranganathan

It would not apply to notified intelligence and security organisations

CHENNAI: The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) has not been forthcoming with information though the State government clarified that the exemption of the DVAC from the purview of the RTI Act did not include cases where the investigation was completed.

V. Madhav, an RTI activist, says that he had filed a petition asking for some information on number of cases where investigations had been completed and the identity of those convicted after investigation, from the DVAC, on October 4, 2008. When no information was forthcoming after 30 days, he filed a first appeal and also visited the Public Information Officer on November 24, 2008. As he was not even allowed to meet the PIO, he filed a petition with the State Information Commission.


“I am aware that the DVAC has been exempted under the Right to Information Act by G.O. No. 158 dated 26 August, 2008, but there has been a later press release No. 786 dated 23 September, 2008 from the government, which clarified that information regarding cases where investigations have been completed, information can be obtained,” Mr. Madhav says in his petition to the State Information Commission on December 11, 2008.

He also argues that Section 24(4) of the Act, under which the DVAC has been exempted, mentions that the provisions of the Act would not apply to “intelligence and security organisations” which may be identified by the State and the Central government, “provided that the information pertaining to allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section.”

While the High Court has recently upheld the exemption of the DVAC from the RTI Act, the State Information Commission is yet to take up his petition for examination, Mr. Madhav says, while pointing out that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the equivalent bodies under the Central government, are under the purview of the Act.

No comments: