Information relating to Court Martial conducted by the BSF in case of Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, abducted on 17 April 2000 & subsequently killed was denied u/s 24 - Appellant: it is a case of human rights violation - CIC: information denied u/s 8(1)(j)
1. The appellant is not present for the hearing. The respondent is being represented by K.J.S Bains (DIG), Aditya Mishra (IG) and SS Rana (Comdt.).
1. The appellant filed an RTI application dated 29.2.2012 requesting for "information relating to Court Martial conducted by the Border Security Force in case of Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, abducted on 17 April 2000 and subsequently killed". The appellant has also provided the FIR No. registered at Police Station Beerwah in this case and the name of the security personnel. The appellant has sought the following information:
· results of the court-martial including the qauntum of punishment ordered or alternatively, the present status of the court martial
· Charges framed against the accused persons
· Details of the incidents alleged/found to have been committed
3. The CPIO replied as under: “in terms of section 24 of the RTI Act-2005, Border Security Force, being a Security Organization, as listed in the second schedule of the Act, has been exempted from the operation of this Act.” The appellant filed first appeal dated 11.4.2012 and submitted that “the alleged abduction and killing of Tariq Ahmad Sheikh is clearly an allegation of a human rights violation. The requested information relating to the General Security Force Court Trial instituted would therefore be information that should have been provided.” On non receipt of reply the appellant has filed the present second appeal.
4. The Commission is of the view that the information sought pertains to an allegation of human rights violation as a matter pertaining to abduction and killing is related to life and liberty of an individual, however the Commission will examine the information sought under provisions of section 8 of the RTI Act, 2005.
5. In the matter of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande Vs Central Information Commission & Ors. The Hon’ble Supreme Court vide Judgement dated 3.10.2012 has held as under:
“13. We are in agreement with the CIC and the courts below that the details called for by the petitioner i.e. copies of all memos issued to the third respondent, show cause notices and orders of censure/punishment etc. are qualified to be personal information as defined in clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act. The performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and normally those aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the expression “personal information”, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or public interest. On the other hand, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of that individual. Of course, in a given case, if the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer of the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information, appropriate orders could be passed but the petitioner cannot claim those details as a matter of right.”
6. The appellant contests that the information sought pertains to a case involving abduction and killing and hence violation of human rights. The appellant has not clarified how he is related to this specific case. The Commission is of the view that in the present appeal filed before the Commission, the information sought is in relation to court martial proceedings of a particular security personnel. Disclosure of such information in relation to a particular individual would attract provisions of section 8 (1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, the status of the said court martial proceedings shall be provided to the appellant.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Mr. Gautam Navlakha v. Border Security Force in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/002298