Uttar Pradesh government keeps Lokayukta out of the purview of RTI Act
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Cabinet has placed the office of the Lokayukta in the list of organisation which are beyond the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The UP government has argued that the Lokayukta it is an investigating agency and so there is a need to maintain secrecy in its investigation of corruption cases as a disclosure can adversely affect the course of the investigation. Section 24(4) of the RTI Act provides that nothing contained in the RTI Act shall apply to such intelligence and security organisation being organisations established by the State Government, as that Government may specify from time to time by notification in the Official Gazette. However, cases related to corruption and human rights violation are liable for disclosure.
The RTI activists have decried the move saying that instead of increasing the transparency to tackle the deep-rooted corruption, the government is taking decisions which will increase corruption as the accountability of the institution will be curbed.
The Lokayukta of UP Shri N. K. Mehrotra had written to the government about the inconvenience caused by some people asking information pertaining to investigations under the RTI Act. His reports had been behind the loss of ministerial post of six ministers in the Mayawati government.