Monday, June 21, 2010

Re: [rti_india] Info panel delivers first split verdict


Now even zeenews has a piece on this.

The question is where is this "decision" available and when was it pronounced ?
Why are citizens not allowed to peruse the reasoned arguments of IC AN
Tiwari / SN Mishra?

In any case there is no such thing as a "split verdict" and Shailesh
Gandhi should know it.


The CBI correspondence seeking sanction of prosecution cannot be
termed as given in fiduciary capacity, Information Commissioner
Shailesh Gandhi said in a dissenting note on the decision of a
three-member bench of the CIC.

It is for the first time where an Information Commissioner has
expressed his dissent over a decision endorsed by the majority of
commissioners on the bench.

The case relates to the plea of C Seetharamaiah whose son, an
inspector with Customs, is facing CBI probe in an alleged corruption

Seetharamaiah had filed an RTI application seeking correspondence of
CBI with the Additional Customs Commissioner requesting for sanction
of prosecution and related documents.

The CBI raised objections to disclosure of these, saying it would
impede the process of prosecution. It also said that report and
correspondence with the said department and ministry is given in
fiduciary capacity to the department, and hence, exempt from
disclosure under the RTI Act.

The bench comprising Satyananda Mishra, A N Tiwari and Shailesh Gandhi
gave a split verdict, with the majority (Mishra, Tiwari) supporting
the CBI's view and rejecting the appeal for disclosure.

They said the issue of disclosure should be left with the trial court
which has powers under the CrPC to decide if the accused had access to
the said documents.

"It is an admitted fact the CBI as third-party, seeking prosecution of
the accused... had handed over to the Chief Commissioner of Central
Excise and Customs, Vadodara evidence collected by it against the

"Transmission of this evidence was done in confidence for the
exclusive purpose of helping the public authority make up its mind
regarding whether there was a case to order prosecution against the
accused public servant, the son of the appellant," Mishra and Tiwari
had said.

However, the arguments put forth by the agency were outrightly
rejected by Gandhi who said, "In the present case, the information the
appellant is seeking is that which has been sent by the CBI to the
Department for the grant of the sanction of prosecution.

"This is a procedural requirement in the CBI's Crime Manual 2005 as
mentioned in the submissions made by the CBI and therefore, the CBI
does not have choice with regard to who they would submit this report
to...Therefore exemption under Section 8(1)(e) claimed by the CBI is
not tenable under the Right to Information Act," he said.

He said CBI has advanced no reasons to show how the process of
prosecution would be impeded by disclosing the information.

"When denying a right to the citizen, it has to be established beyond
doubt that prosecution or apprehension of an offender would be
impeded," Gandhi said.

Recent Activity:

Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.

Get great advice about dogs and cats. Visit the Dog & Cat Answers Center.

Get real-time World Cup coverage on the Yahoo! Toolbar. Download now to win a signed team jersey!



No comments:

Post a Comment