Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[rti_india] Don't destroy documents till disclosure is decided: CIC


Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, April 27, 2010

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) not to destroy documents, whose disclosure is yet to be decided by it, even if there is a policy of disposing them after a specified period.

CIC Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said, during a hearing, that the documents sought by Right to Information (RTI) applicants should not be destroyed till a decision is made on their disclosure.

The case is related to Major General (Retired) V K Singh who, through his RTI application in 2008, wanted to know from the CVC the status of his complaint highlighting the alleged corruption in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

The CVC said in its reply that his complaint was "filed" and no file notings were available.

Author of book 'India's External Intelligence: Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing', Singh said that it is impossible that no records of deliberations over the complaint were available. He submitted before the Commission that he wanted to inspect the records.

The representative of CVC at the hearing before transparency panel on Monday said it may be possible that records may have been destroyed as the Commission has a policy of destroying records of "filed" complaints which are more than a year old. Hence, inspection may not be possible.

She said she will check the status and inform Singh about it.

Habibullah said, "If there is a case pending under the RTI Act then the documents should not be destroyed till a final decision is taken on the disclosure."

Singh who alleged several instances of corruption in the India's external intelligence agency RAW, in his book, has been facing trial for alleged violation of Official Secrets Act.

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