Details & case files of all cases where sanctions for prosecutions under the Armed Forces (J & K) Special Powers Act was sought by the Govt of J & K from the MHA from 1990-2011 onwards - CIC: generalized information sought; denial upheld u/s 24
1. The appellant is not present for the hearing. The Central Reserve Police Force is being represented by Smt Anupam Kulshreshtha (IPS/DGIP,Admin), Madan Mohan (Dy Comdt), SBS Bist (Dy. Comdt., Spl), M.M Kotnala (SI,M).
2. The appellant filed an RTI application dated 10.1.2012 addressed to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking the following information:
“The details (including decisions taken) and case files of all cases where sanctions for prosecutions under the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act have been sought by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) from 1990-2011 be provided to us”.
The MHA, vide letter dated 10.2.2012 transferred the said RTI application to all the CAPFs (CRPF/BSF/ITBP/CISF/SSB/ARs) and requested to furnish the requisite information directly to the appellant. On non-receipt of any reply the appellant filed first appeal before the First Appellate Authority & DG, CRPF. The CPIO, CRPF replied vide letter dated 15.2.2012 stating as under:
“After careful consideration of your application on the subject, it is intimated that as per section 24 (1) of the Right to Information, 2005, Central Police Forces as listed in the Second Schedule of the Act have been given qualified exemption from the Act in so far as the allegations of other than those connected with Human Rights Violations and Corruption are concerned. From the facts of the case mentioned in your application cited above, there appears to be no violation of Human Rights as well as facts of the case do not attract ingredients to constitute the allegations of corruption. Moreover, information sought are general in nature. Hence, this department is not liable to provide the information sought by you.”
The first appellate authority also vide order dated 12.3.2012 upheld the view taken by the CPIO.
3. The appellant submits vide his second appeal that it is highly probable that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir would have sought sanction for prosecution under AFSPA, particularly in cases involving allegations of human rights violations against CRPF personnel between 1990 to 2011.
4. The respondent CRPF has made the following submissions:
“ i) Allegation made by the appellant is neither tenable nor acceptable as information sought by the applicant was very lengthy and so old. Moreover, there is no specific information/case of human right violation has been asked for. Therefore his request was rejected under section 24(1) 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: of the RTI Act under which CRPF is exempted to provide information except the allegation of human right violation/corruption.
ii) Moreover, there is no specific directive regarding human right violation for public authorities.
iii)In view of facts explained above his appeal may be rejected being devoid of merit under the provision cited above and specific directive regarding human right violation may kindly be issued for our further guidance.
iv) However as per record of this Dte total-08 cases of prosecution sanction Details are as under:
i) Ministry has Declined sanction in 6 cases
ii) Granted Sanction on 01 case
iii) Case is pending with this department – 01 case”
The respondent has further explained as under: · Only one case in which sanction is granted and one case is pending with this department. However after prosecution of sanction, it will be decided by the Hon’ble Court whether individual/party is guilty or not. · Our Personnel are maintaining the law and order situation and fighting with terrorists in J & K. Prosecution sanction will be obtained from MHA for any allegation leveled against the personnel of CRPF regarding detention/confinement/torture of civilian/death/injury of civilian during encounter etc. After sanction of prosecution, the case will be dealt by concerned authority accordingly.
5. The Commission is of the view that the appellant has not sought information in relation to a specific incident rather he has sought details in relation to all cases where sanctions for prosecution have been sought under the AFSPA by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir from MHA for the period 1990-2011. In view of the submissions made by the respondent and also that no specific information is sought, the Commission upholds applicability of section 24 of the RTI Act in the present appeal. The appeal is disposed off accordingly.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Mr. Gautam Navlakha v. Central Reserve Police Force in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/002140