Is police manual a secret document and excluded from RTI?
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking a copy of the police manual, a document that contains the do’s and don’ts for police personnel and information on disciplinary actions.
The applicant (an advocate) sought the information in connection with a case about disciplinary action on police personnel which he was representing. However, as the information sought under the RTI was declined by the public information officer stating that it was a secret document and was out of the ambit of the transparency act, the matter was brought before the State Information Commission (SIC). The Maharashtra State Information Commission has held that under the RTI Act, it is mandatory for all the authorities to disclose their rules and regulations, information booklets and other such details voluntarily on their websites.
The SIC ordered the PIO to provide the information to the appellant free of cost and has asked the Mumbai police department to upload the manual on its website.