CBI exempt from revealing details of investigations into corruption cases
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was recently exempted from replying to applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by placing it in the second schedule. Under section 24 of the RTI Act, all the organisations which are placed under the second schedule are not expected to reply to applications filed under the Act, except in cases of corruption or human rights violation.
The Chief Information Commissioner at the Central Information Commission (CIC), Mr. Satyananda Mishra, has held that the CBI has the right to withhold information related to allegations of corruption which are not leveled against its employees. The CIC has ruled that the reference to allegations of corruption in section 24 relates only to allegations against the employees of the CBI. The order of the CIC has generated much discussion amongst the activists and legal luminaries. It has been argued that the said order is entirely in the spirit of the RTI Act. The Act nowhere differentiates between corruption of the employees of the organisation and that being investigated by the organisation. Even the former Information Commissioners have viewed that the allegation of corruption means "any information" not specifically about the employees of the organisation.
Section 24 (1) of the RTI Act says, "Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second Schedule, being organisations established by the Central Government or any information furnished by such organisations to that Government.
"Provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section." Now there is a limit to how many questions you can ask under the right to information law.