Friday, June 24, 2011

Re: [HumJanenge] Re: What clinched the Govt's decision to exempt CBI under Sec 24 ?

RTI activist, Shri C J Karira who inspected file at DoPT on exempting CBI said on newsx news channel that the relevant file has moved with fast track.  In a single days, it went on four desks while this proposal was pending for the last one year. He has raised questions on the alarcity on clear this file in a huff. 

Explain CBI's RTI exemption: Madras HC

India Blooms News Service

Chennai, June 24 (IBNS) The Madras High Court has issued notice to the Central government to explain why the federal investigating agency CBI should be outside the purview of the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

Responding to a Public Interest Litigation, the High Court on Friday asked the Centre and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to explain within three weeks why it would be outside the RTI.

Amid a civil society onslaught questioning the government's sincerity in drafting a strong anti-corruption Lokpal Bill, the ruling regime on Monday last said theCBI is outside the purview of the RTI.

"It is a question of national security," said V Narayanaswamy, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, defending the government's decision to exempt it from the act which mandates timely response to citizen's request for government information.

He said since CBI investigates cases involving various matters of national security it should be outside the purview.

He said the CBI had said they were facing problem owing to the RTI.

The Minister said organizations like CBI and NIA (National Investigation Agency) are being kept outside the RTI for the simple reason of national security after the opinion of the Attorney General.

Former chief information officer Wajahat Habibullah told a TV channel that he has written to the Prime Minister to bring CBI under RTI after he read the report in a newspaper.

"CBI as an organization should come under it," he said.

Noted RTI activists are also enraged.

"I will take the matter up with the chairperson of the UPA Sonia Gandhi," said noted social activist and National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy, who said she is enraged.

National Advisory Council is an advisory body headed by Sonia Gandhi.

--- On Fri, 24/6/11, sarbajit roy <> wrote:

From: sarbajit roy <>
Subject: [HumJanenge] Re: What clinched the Govt's decision to exempt CBI under Sec 24 ?
To: "HumJanenge Forum People's Right to Information, RTI Act 2005" <>
Date: Friday, 24 June, 2011, 7:51 AM

Dear Guptaji

You asked what we should infer from this ?

ANS: Shri Dharambir Khattar is alleged to be a well known fixer
capable of influencing all kinds of judges and other authorities.
Hence is there any left to be said why the information was ordered to
be given to him.

On Jun 23, 9:04 pm, "M.K. Gupta" <> wrote:
> Please note that in this case heard on 21.6, CBI has not pleaded that it is exempt from the RTI Act.  In an earlier case decided this week by Shri Shailesh Gandhi on Bhopal Gas/ Anderson, CBI has also not pleaded that it is exempt.  In both the cases, CIC has ordered to give information.
> What we should infer from this?
> Club Building (Near Post Office)
> Old JNU Campus, New Delhi - 110067
> Tel: +91-11-26161796
> Decision No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000308/SG/13000
> Appeal No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000308/SG
> Relevant Facts emerging from the Appeal:
> Appellant : Mr. Dharambir Khattar,
> Sal Dham, 2, Khel Gaon Marg,
> Opposite- Siri Fort Auditorium
> Hauz Khas, New Delhi- 110016
> Respondent : Mr. Jagroop S. Gusinha,
> AIG (P) & CPIO,
> Central Bureau of Investigation,
> Policy Division, North Block,
> New Delhi
> RTI application filed on : 31/05 /2010
> PIO replied on : 05/08/2010
> First Appeal filed on : 09/08/2010
> FAA order of : 09/09/2010
> Second Appeal received on : 21/09/2010
> Information sought:
> 1. Regarding interception of phone numbers:
> (a) When you first received the information regarding aforementioned phone number and the mode of
> information.
> (b) What information you received regarding aforementioned phone number.
> (c) From which source you received information regarding aforementioned phone number.
> (d) Initially who has received information against the aforementioned phone number (name of
> officer).
> (e) After receiving information regarding aforementioned phone number, what investigation you
> made. Copy of investigation report be supplied.
> (f) What incriminating material was found against the aforementioned phone number?
> (g) After receiving initial information in how many days you applied for permission for interception
> for aforementioned phone number.
> (h) Kindly supply a copy of the request / proposal sent to the Home Ministry.
> (i) At the time the request for interception was applied to the Home Ministry, in whose name
> aforementioned phone number was registered.
> (j) What material you sent along with request letter to the ministry of Home for obtaining interception
> order.
> (k) Kindly supply a copy of the note portion of the file in which request / proposal for getting
> permission for interception were processed in your office.
> (l) Who is the competent authority in the CBI to direct for getting / processing the file for orders for
> interception?
> (m) By which mode of communication (by hand or by post) the proposal I request for interception of
> aforementioned phone number was sent to the Home Ministry.
> Page 1 of 8
> (n) Kindly supply a copy of acknowledgement I receipt of communication mentioned in pan (m) of
> this application.
> (o) To whom the orders are sent by the Ministry in Top Secret cover.
> (p) Whether the alleged orders of the Home Secretary were obtained, please supply the copies of the
> same.
> (q) Whether those orders were reviewed by the high level Review Committee appointed by the
> Government of India.
> (r) Please supply the copies of the minutes of the meeting of the Review committee which must have
> been received in the CBI because without review of the orders of the committee within the
> stipulated period, as prescribed under the Indian Telegraph Act (Rule 419-A) the cases could not
> been made out or registered against any one by the CBL Therefore, these documents are most
> important for the applicant. Now there is no secrecy because the cases are in the Court of law and
> every document has become a public document and there is no question of hiding the said
> information from the public/applicant.
> Reply of Public Information Officer (PIO):
> Please refer to your RTI request dated 31.5.20120 regarding interception of phone numbers 56008084,
> 56008085, 56002727, 56000067 and 55655200, on the subject cited.
> 2. The required information/documents in respect of point at SI. No. 1 sub para (a) to (r) of your RTI
> application are denied as the same are covered under the exemption under Section 8(1) (a), (g) &(h) of the
> RTI Act, 2005.
> Section 8(1) (a) reads as "Information", disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty of
> India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or
> lead to incitement of an offence".
> Section 8(1) (g) reads as "Information", the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety
> of any person or identity the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement
> or security purposes".
> Section 8(1)(h) reads as "Information", which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension
> or prosecution of offenders".
> 3. The interception by CBl is done with the approval of the Competent Authority as per the provisions of
> Sec. 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 for the reasons of occurrence of any public emergency, or
> in the interest of the public safety, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of
> State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to commission
> of offence.
> Grounds for First Appeal:
> Denial of information not justified.
> Order of First Appellate Authority (FAA):
> 6. The CIC has observed in its Order dated 5th May, 2006, in State Vs. S.C. Sharma, that the orders of
> interception of telephones u/s 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, were themselves sensitive for
> national security, sovereignty & integrity. Therefore, these are firmly within the ambit of Section 8(1)(a)
> of the RTI Act, and cannot, thus, be disclosed. The process of review of a matter connected with any top
> secret interception order must stand on the same footing as the main order itself and by inference be
> exempt from disclosure requirement u/s 8(1 )(a) of the RTI Act. It would be both imprudent and improper
> to apply the criteria of severability and to determine one part of the process as classified and other as
> open. The entire process of telephone interception is one and indivisible and thus, not liable for disclosure.
> Therefore, the information as sought by the Appellant in his RTI request attracts exemption under Section
> 8 (1) (a), (g) & (h) of the RTI Act. In any case, the deliberations of the Review Committee are maintained
> with the Ministry of Home Affairs and, therefore, the CBI is not the custodian of such information. The
> CPIO is directed to transfer the application under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act within 5 working days from
> Page 2 of 8
> issue of this order in respect of information sought by the appellant vide para 1(o), (q) & (r) of the
> application.
> Grounds for Second Appeal:
> Information sought not exempt.
> Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing on 10 May 2011:
> The following were present:
> Appellant: Mr. Dharambir Khattar;
> Respondent: Mr. Jagroop S. Gusinha, AIG (P) & CPIO.
> "The Appellant had sought information on a very large number of queries but states that he would be
> satisfied if he is given the following two points of information:
> 1- The proposal sent to MHA for permission to intercept the phone numbers.
> 2- The minutes of the review committee and the review committee report on this.
> The PIO states that information at point 2 is not held by the Department.
> The Commission will therefore consider whether information on point-1 should be disclosed to the
> Appellant. The PIO has claimed exemptions under Section 8(1) (a), (g) & (h) of the RTI Act. The PIO
> claims that revealing the proposal is likely to have an impact on the safety and security of the Nation,
> disclose the sources of information and impede the process of prosecution. The Appellant states that this
> claim is not true and states that if necessary some information can be severed under Section 10 of the RTI
> Act. Both sides are arguing for their view points. It is difficult for the Commission to decide on this matter
> without looking at the actual proposal. The Commission therefore directs the PIO to bring the proposals to
> the Commission on 25 May 2011 at 05.30 PM.
> The Commission will look at the records on 25 May 2011 at 05.30 PM and decide whether the
> exemptions apply to the information sought at point-1 above."
> Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing on 25 May 2011:
> The following were present:
> Appellant: Mr. Prashant Singh, Advocate on behalf of the Appellant;
> Respondent: Mr. Saurabh Tripathi, PIO & AIG (P), Mr. Dinendra Kashyap, SP (CBI) SU and Mr.
> Jagroop SG, ASP/ SU.
> At the hearing held on 25/05/2011, the Appellant was not allowed to participate initially. The
> Commissioner asked the Respondents to show the relevant records/ information. The Respondents
> produced a file in which there were handwritten notings on green coloured noting sheets for each
> proposal. Below each proposal was the approval.
> On careful perusal of the same, the Commission noted that the information contained in the proposals
> were broad statements to the effect that the accused had connections with government servants holding
> high positions including the judiciary. The proposal also mentioned that the accused was indulging in bad
> practices and hence permission should be granted to tap his phone.
> The Information Commissioner could not find anything which could remotely be connected with any
> matter of security or anything with names of persons or anything specific which was being revealed. The
> Commission therefore asked the Respondents to identify any words, phrases or lines for which the
> exemptions of Section 8 (1)(a), (g) or (h) of the RTI Act would apply. They were unable to identify any
> material which they could claim would harm the security of the country or impede the process of
> prosecution. The only specific claim they made was that if the names of officers who made the proposal
> was disclosed, it might endanger their safety. Despite repeated prodding by the Commission to identify
> Page 3 of 8
> any material for which exemption was being claimed under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, the Respondents
> did not identify anything in the proposals 'which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and...
> read more »

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