New Delhi: CBI wants to stop disclosing details of allegations of corruption against its own officials under the RTI Act—an information being provided by it at present under the transparency law.
The agency will challenge before the Delhi High Court an order of the Central Information Commission directing the agency to disclose information about its officials Vivek Dutt and Rajesh Karnatak who are facing allegations of corruption.
RTI activist Subhash Agrawal had sought to know to details of allegations against these officers who were part of CBI's probe in coal scam and were arrested by the agency while allegedly taking bribe to favour a businessman using their influence.
“This is to inform you that CBI is going to file an appeal before the Delhi High Court against the order of CIC,” DIG Arun Bothra said in a communication to Agrawal. CBI, a central investigating agency, was exempted from transparency law by the UPA government which was facing serious allegations of corruption probed by the agency.
The UPA government had brought it under Section 24 of the RTI Act which lists security and intelligence agencies exempted from provisions of the RTI Act. The section, however, makes it clear that such exemption from RTI Act shall not be applicable if any material sought by an information seeker and held by a public authority pertains to “allegations” of corruption.
CBI had said that the agency was exempted from making disclosures under the RTI Act.
Rejecting the arguments of CBI, Chief Information Commissioner Rajiv Mathur held that section 24 of the RTI Act has exempted certain organisations from the purview of the RTI Act including CBI.
“However, information pertaining to allegations of corruption and humar rights violations have been excluded,” Mathur had said in his order.