List of death convicts where death penalty had been commuted to life imprisonment
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the President’s Secretariat seeking list of death convicts where death penalty had been commuted to life imprisonment after consideration of their mercy petitions by the President since 1970 and the copies of the orders. The President’s Secretariat transferred the RTI application to the PIO, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the list of the death convicts whose mercy petitions were considered under Article 72 of the Constitution were available since 1981 only, which would be supplied on payment of Rs. 4/-. The PIO also informed that the files were available only in 11 cases and would be provided on payment of Rs. 22/-. The appellant filed first appeal stating that he should be provided requisite information free of cost since he is in prison for the last 17 years. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) held that the available information had been provided to him by the PIO and that only persons having BPL Card are entitled to get information free of cost.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant reiterated he is prepared to deposit the requisite fee for authenticated copies of the documents sought by him in his RTI application. The respondent submitted that list of cases of mercy petitions since 1981 only and the communication of order in 11 cases only were available. The appellant insisted on being provided complete information since 1970.
View of CIC
The Commission held that the records are not so old that they cannot be traced. The list of cases ought to be available with the respondent. The CIC, in larger public interest, directed the PIO to compile the list of cases of mercy petitions considered under Article 72 of the Constitution along with communication of orders since 1970 and provide to the appellant free of cost.
Citation: Mr. Narender v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/001735
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1400
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