Disclosure of Ayodhya excavation report ordered under RTI
The Appellant had sought the copies of some records relating to the excavation made by the Archaeological Survey of India at Ayodhya. The PIO provided some information but had refused to disclose a copy of the report which the ASI had submitted to the High Court in this regard on the ground that it was meant exclusively for the High Court.
View of CIC
During the hearing, the appellant submitted that if there was any such express direction given by the High Court that the copy of the report should not be disclosed to anyone else, a copy of that direction should be provided to him. The Central Information Commission observed that this is a very fair request and directed the PIO to provide a copy of the relevant extract from the order of the High Court in which the ASI had been instructed to present the report only to the High Court and not to disclose it to anyone else. The Commission further directed that in case there is no such express direction from the High Court, the copy of the said report should be provided to the appellant.
The dispute at Ayodhya was a cause of riots at many places and even affected the fortunes of political parties. The case has demonstrated the power a citizen can wield on sensitive issues using the RTI act.
Citation: Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Archaeological Surve of India in File No.CIC/SM/C/2011/000112