Wednesday, June 22, 2011

[HumJanenge] Re: The People's fight against the pliable Attorney General - Ghulam Vahanvati

"AG okayed CBI exemption from RTI purview
TNN | Jun 23, 2011, 07.06am IST

HYDERABAD: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was exempted from
the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act on the sole
recommendation of attorney general Goolam Vahanvati.

The RTI exemption for the CBI announced by the central government on
June 9 was in contradiction with suggestions made by the law ministry
and also department of personnel and training (DoPT), the nodal agency
for RTI implementation.

This was unearthed by a Hyderabad-based RTI activist, C J Karira, on
Wednesday after he went through the files at the DoPT office in North
Block, New Delhi. Karira was allowed to inspect the documents after he
filed an RTI application seeking permission for the same. His
contention was that "transparent functioning" of CBI was crucial given
that it was probing the country's biggest scams.

The activist took 50 minutes to go through the documents and was also
allowed to make copies of pages that he felt were important. Karira
found documents revealing DoPT's denial to give CBI exemption from RTI
on the grounds that it did not deal either with 'intelligence' or
'security' issues — the only two conditions that can make a government
department RTI-proof.

"The response of the law ministry carried the suggestion that while
the agency could be exempted from RTI, it should be answerable to
queries on matters of administration, personnel, budget, etc," said
Karira, quoting from the files he scanned on Wednesday.

However, the only document at DoPT that strongly recommended CBI's
exemption from RTI was an 11-page report by attorney general
Vahanvati, a copy of which was taken by the activist and is in
possession of TOI. According to the AG's report, intelligence agencies
are RTI proof because the information they gather is crucial to the
nation's security.

The report states: "While the main purpose of intelligence gathering
and assessment is the prevention and occurrence of activities which
could endanger the security of the country, it cannot be restricted
only to gathering of intelligence prior to the happening of an event,
but should extend to post-event intelligence gathered, which falls
under investigation." It was soon after receiving this report that the
government granted CBI the RTI ACT exemption.

CBI, too, used Section 24 of the RTI Act for the exemption, which
states that "nothing contained in the act shall apply to the
intelligence and security organizations established by the central

On Jun 22, 11:26 pm, sroy 1947 <> wrote:
> To:
> 1) HumJanenge/GoogleGroups
> 2) RTI_India
> 4) RTIACT2005/GoogleGroups
> Dear Group / Forum Members
> All of us are stakeholders in the RTI process, either as clients or servers.
> Today I ("stoy1947") and Mr C.J.Karira ("rtiwanted") inspected the files at
> DoPT pertaining to exemption of CBI and 2 other Intelligence Agencies from
> RTI Act. What we read SHOCKED us. We have already placed the AG's legal
> opinion in public domain in public interest.
> 1) Contrary to the belief that it was the "babus" of DoPT who wanted the CBI
> out of the RTI net, we found that the Babudom has consistently opposed this
> demand to the extent of recording that the CBI could not strictly be
> considered to be either an "intelligence" or "security" organisation
> established by Central Govt to fall within section 24. This was endorsed by
> the opinion of the Ld. Solictor General Mr Gopal Subramaniam on this point
> (and others).
> 2) Till as late as 2 months ago, the CBI itself did not seriously press for
> exemption under the RTI Act. So the question is what changed ? Could it be a
> string of recent legally bankrupt decisions against CBI by India's first
> "private sector" Information Commissioner, who is also considered in certain
> circles to be a fixer par excellence. Is it a coincidence that almost all
> these cases have a very strong Mumbai connection with the information sought
> concerning corruption worth thousands of crores of rupees or involves a
> usual group of NGO RTI activists this IC was in bed with earlier.
> 3) Is it a coincidence that the Ld AG (who is also from Mumbai) overturned
> the deeply reasoned opinion of the nations next most senior (and highly
> respected) Law Officer and gave a patently political, expedient and legally
> bizarre opinion to somehow get the CBI out of the RTI net till such time as
> these NGO 'haraamis" can get the CBI amalgamated into the Lokpal apparatus.
> 4)  On behalf of the members of this group, I feel we must say that ENOUGH
> IS ENOUGH. It is now time for a CITIZENS WAR against lackeys like Mr
> Vahanvati. I say that we should fight such toadies on their own home turf
> (the Supreme Court) so that he can explain the GLARING INCONISTENCIES and
> 5) It is bizarre that a primarily CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIVE agency like the CBI
> which inquires AFTER THE FACT can be equated with organistions like the RAW
> or the IB or the NatGrid which gather and analyse INTELLIGENCE BEFORE THE
> 6) The moderators of the above mentioned groups / forum have decided to seek
> the views of our members - RUNNING INTO ALMOST 3 LAKH REGISTERED
> STAKEHOLDERS on wheter THIS kind of corruption must we tolerated. We don't
> want your mere  moral support,, We need your sweat, toil, tears etc. We need
> active participants in this WAR against HIGH-LEVEL bootlickers and
> collaborators.
> SO please email me OFFLIST at "". We really want to know
> what you think and if you are prepared to help us.
> Sarbajit

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