MHA directed to disclose reports of Jain and Verma Commissions under RTI
An application was filed with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the copies of the inquiry reports of Justice M C Jain Commission and Justice J S Verma Commission which were formed to investigate the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The applicant, Perarivalan, who was sentenced to death in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and whose mercy plea was rejected in 2011 by the then President Prathiba Patil, had cited the issue of life and liberty to seek certified copies of all the reports submitted by the Jain and Verma Commission, terms of reference to these Commissions and copies of the action taken by the Government of India on the recommendations of the Commissions. All the divisions of the ministry stated that the matter was not concerned with them. The National Archives of India stated that the reports were not available with it. However, it said that 918 files pertaining to the Commissions were in its possession.
During the hearing before the Central information Commission (CIC), the home ministry contended that the sought reports could not be located earlier. However, some records regarding Justice MC Jain Commission of inquiry have now been located but complete records pertaining to Justice J S Verma Commission of inquiry are still not traceable. The ministry also said that some of the sought files contained inputs from the IB and CBI which were exempt under RTI and hence the information could not be provided.
However, the CIC didn't agree with the justification provided by the ministry and has directed the MHA to provide the demanded information to the appellant within a week. The CIC also referred the matter related to file notings and correspondences back to the first appellate authority, VIP Security wing and sought its order within two weeks.