Who can refer documents to forensic laboratories for examination?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Department of Science & Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking the date on which some documents had been referred to the forensic laboratory for examination and the report of the laboratory. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that his grievance and his application had been forwarded to the DST. The DST in turn had transferred the application to the MHA. The PIO (MHA) informed that no such information was available with them since the forensic laboratories operated under State Governments.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that there is no information available with any public authority to be provided in this case. The CIC noted that the appellant wants some specific documents to be examined by a forensic laboratory and has been requesting various Government of India ministries or departments to refer those documents for forensic examination. The Commission held that there is no provision under the Right to Information (RTI) Act under which a PIO can refer any documents to the forensic laboratory and ask for their report. The Commission further observed that investigating agencies / courts of law refer documents to state or central forensic laboratories for examination and report. Whether private citizens can directly approach state or central forensic laboratories for getting their documents examined must be found out from the laboratory concerned. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that there is no information to be disclosed.
Citation: Mr. Shivendra Kumar v. Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001182
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1071
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