CIC upholds DOPT decision denying fmr Kerala CAG access to IB repo

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) The Central Information Commisson(CIC) has ruled that the government was not bound to supply information regarding reports of Intelligence Bureau about a government functionary under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The Commission's ruling came while disposing off a petition filed by James K Joseph of Trivandrum, the former CAG of Keraala, who wanted to know from the Department of Personnel and Training as to who took the decision of denying him appointment as Administrative Member of CAT after he had been duly selected for the same.

On an application filed by him under RTI in August, 2006, the DOPT allowed him to inspect the files relating to his service, but his complaint was that he was denied access to the adverse IB rpeort which was stated to be the ground for denial of promotion.

The petitioner felt that ''given my unblemished record of service there cannot be any adverse report from any agency warranting such injustice. Therefore, it has to be presumed that the adverse report is unsubstantiated and baseless.'' '' Although my case for justice has been pending in the High Court of Kerala for more than one year it is intriguing that the adverse report has not so far been cited as reason for denial.

In the circumstances I feel that the DOPT is hiding the IB Report from me as well as the Hon'ble High Court for fear of being exposed,'' he further said in his application to the Apellate Authority of the DOPT.

However, Mr R Meena, Director&Appellate Authority DOPT in his order of october 18, 2006 held that inspection or supply of the information furnished by the said Intelligence organisation cpould not be allowed. Therefore, the decision of the CPIO to deny its disclosure to the petitioner was right.

Following this ruling, Mr Joseph appealed to the Central Information Commission seeking a copy of the IB report on the ground that it would help him in demolishing point by point the charges of corruption against him in the case pending in the Kerala High Court.

The Commission after holding hearing in the caese and after perusng the IB Report came to the conclusion was that it was not necessary for the DOPT to discloses the contents of the IB report to him.

The CIC based its decision on the Sec 24 sub-section (1) of the RTI Act 2005, which exempts intelligence and security organisations from disclosure of information under RTI provided that the information pertains to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

The CIC said after perusing the document in question, it found that there has indeed been allusion to allegation of corruption when appellant was CAG, but this stood dismissed in the report. ''The report goes on to examine other issues in considerable detail, which in light of sec. 24(1), it is not open to us to disclose,'' the Commission said.

UNI NAZ VD VC1425

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