Should the details of encounters be provided under RTI?
Hearing an appeal filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Chief Information Commissioner G R Sufi of the Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the police to provide details of all the encounters that took place in the state in the last 21 years sought within two months. The SIC observed that that the reputation of the police, armed and paramilitary forces will get enhanced if this information is made public.
The applicant, Khurram Parvez, had sought details about the total number of encounters that the police department has recorded across J&K between 1989 and 2012, and a list of those encounter cases where police investigations later proved the encounters to be fake. Following rejection of the RTI application under Section 8(1) (a) of RTI Act, 2009 by the Public Information officer (PIO) of the police headquarters, he went for an appeal.
Section 8(1) (a) exempts disclosure of information the disclosure of which affects the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, scientific, strategic or economic interest of the state or lead to incitement of an offence.