Delhi High Court Affirms CBI’s Partial Accountability under RTI Act

Feb5,2024 #Delhi HC #RTI

LI Network

Published on: February 5, 2024 at 13:59 IST

In a recent ruling, the has asserted that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not completely immune to the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The Court emphasized that the CBI, although listed in the Second Schedule of the RTI Act alongside entities exempt from its purview, must still furnish information pertaining to corruption and human rights violations upon request.

While recognizing the CBI’s inclusion in the list of exempt organizations, the court clarified that this designation does not render the entire RTI Act inapplicable to such entities.

Justice Subramonium Prasad pointed out that Section 24’s proviso allows for the disclosure of information related to allegations of corruption and human rights violations, which cannot be considered an exception for organizations mentioned in the Second Schedule.

The Court’s decision stemmed from a case involving Sanjeev Chaturvedi, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and the Chief Vigilance Officer of AIIMS, who sought information from the CBI regarding corruption allegations within AIIMS. The court directed the CBI to provide the requested information to Chaturvedi.

Justice Prasad dismissed the CBI’s argument that Section 24 of the RTI Act serves as a complete bar, exempting the agency from RTI provisions. The court emphasized that the case in question did not involve sensitive investigations posing a threat to the lives of CBI officers.

However, the Court clarified that the CBI may, in appropriate cases, establish the sensitivity of certain information, providing grounds for refusal of disclosure.

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