Lokayukta tried to influence decision, says CIC

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Bhopal, Sep 29 (UNI) The ongoing spat between the Lokayukta and the Chief Information Commissioner took a new turn with the CIC's revelation that Mr Justice Ripusudan Dayal had attempted to influence his decision bringing in the Lokayukta under the purview of Right to Information Act.

The Lokayukta had already approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court challenging the CIC order, bringing the Lokayukta, Economic Offences Investigation Bureau and Criminal Investigation Department under its ambit.

In a recent order, CIC P P Tiwari said only intelligence and security agencies could be exempted from the purview of section 24.4 of the Right to Information Act.

In his order sheet, Mr Tiwari noted that on August 21 Mr Justice Dayal had attempted to influence his decision during talks on a visit to his house.

Mr Tiwari also noted that the Lokayukta's act of interfering in judicial process, prima facie, amounted to contempt of court and therefore the case is reserved pending consideration of further action.

On the other hand, the Lokayukta denied any attempt to influence the CIC decision, but admitted making courtsey visit at Mr Tiwari's residence in response to the latter's visits to his house.

Lokayukta sources said Mr Justice Dayal was of the view that vested interests may attempt to impact investigation seeking information midway under RTI and therefore disagreed with the CIC view.

Meanwhile, former High Court judge Gulab Gupta described the development as unfortunate saying the issue involving two legal institutions should be solved through talks. ''Steps should also be taken to insulate institutions dealing with corruption cases from public trial'', he said.

UNI

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