Seeking evidence based on which the raid had been conducted by CBI in 2000 - the relevant case file was weeded out - CIC: the relevant records were destroyed on the expiry of the scheduled period of retention – no disclosure obligation
1. In respect of some raid the CBI had conducted way back on 24 May 2000, the Appellant had wanted to get the basic material/evidence based on which the raid had been conducted. The CPIO had informed him that the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act did not apply any longer to the CBI since it had been included in the second schedule to that Act. Not satisfied, the Appellant had preferred an appeal although it is not clear if the Appellate Authority had passed any order.
2. During the hearing, the Appellant submitted that the information he wanted concerned himself and he had every right to know about that. On the other hand, the respondent pointed out that not only the CBI had been included in the second schedule to the RTI Act but also the relevant case file had since been weeded out and no records were now available about the raid.
3. We have carefully considered the facts of the case. As it appears from the submissions of the respondent, some complaint had been received against the Appellant himself who was then an Income Tax Officer and, in connection with that, some raid had been conducted way back in 2000. Later, it appears, the CBI did not get sufficient evidence in the case and filed a closure report which the competent court accepted in 2004. In 2009, the relevant records were destroyed on the expiry of the scheduled period of retention. Thus, there is simply no information to be disclosed. Therefore, we do not need to go into the question of whether the CBI is obliged to provide such information or not.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Gurdial Sahota v. Central Bureau of Investigation in File No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000520