The internal guidelines provided by MHA to West Bengal for detection & deportation of illegal immigrants were denied u/s 8(1)(a) claiming that the issue could get internationalized and may affect the relations with other countries - CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant filed an application dated 26.04.2013 under the RTI Act seeking information regarding population data, various rules, year wise fund allotted for minorities, cases relating to riots, influx of Bangladeshi in West Bengal, etc. CPIO responded on May’ 2013. Appellant filed first appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 31.05.2013. FAA vide order dated 28.06.2013 upheld the decision of the CPIO. Appellant filed this present appeal on 08.07.2013.
2. Appellant and respondent were present before the Commission.
3. Appellant referred to the RTI application and stated that he was seeking information regarding population data, various rules, year wise fund allotted for minorities, cases relating to riots, influx of Bangladeshi in West Bengal, etc.
4. Appellant stated that he had received a response from the respondent and that the information provided to him was reasonably satisfactory but on point no. 10 of the RTI application he wanted to know the internal guidelines provided by the MHA to the state for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants.
5. Appellant stated that the internal guidelines was a domestic policy and by disclosing the guidelines there would be accountability in implementation of the guidelines. Appellant stated that the problems regarding the illegal immigrants had become a major problem in the state. Appellant stated that by disclosing the guidelines the public could check whether the state is effectively following the guidelines or not.
6. Respondent stated that the procedure for detecting and deportation of illegal immigrants is a detailed one and it depends on the circumstances and overall situation in which the immigrants are being apprehended.
7. Respondent stated that disclosing the internal guidelines that guide the process may affect the relations of India with other countries. Respondent stated that there was apprehension that the issue could get internationalized which should be avoided. The respondent said that section 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; of the RTI Act is applicable in the present case.
8. Respondent has acted in conformity with the RTI Act.
9. No further action was to be taken in the matter at the level of the Commission. The appeal is disposed of. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawalv. M/o Home Affairs in Decision No.CIC/SS/A/2013/002101/VS/07026