The Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Police to provide to an accused the daily diary (DD) entry mentioning his arrest, information collected during the investigation and copies of the case diary.
Justice S. Muralidhar passed the direction dismissing an appeal by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Anti-Corruption Branch) against an order by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on a petition by the accused, D.K. Sharma, when the officer refused to provide the documents asked for by him.
The police had denied the information to the accused on the ground that trial of the case had been completed and that he was not entitled to a case diary in terms of Section 172 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code and that the provisions of the RTI Act had to be read subject to Section 172.
Countering the police’s argument, the accused in person argued that his right to ask for the information under the RTI Act could not be denied citing the quoted Section of the Code and that no prejudice would be caused to the investigating agency as the trial had been completed.
Dismissing the appeal, Justice Muralidhar said: ``This Court is inclined to concur with the view expressed by CIC that in order to deny information under the RTI Act, the authority concerned would have to show a justification with reference to one of the specific clauses under Section 8 (1) of the Act.’’
``In the instant case, the police have been unable to discharge that burden. The mere fact that a criminal case is pending may not by itself be sufficient unless there is a specific power to deny disclosure of the information concerning such case’’, Justice Muralidhar said.
``No prejudice can be caused to the police if the D.D. entry concerning his arrest, the information gathered during the course of the investigation, and the copies of the case diary are furnished to the accused. The right of an applicant to seek such information……cannot be said to be barred by any provision of the Cr.P.C’’, Justice Muralidhar further said.
``It is required to be noticed that Section 22 of the RTI Act states that the RTI Act would prevail notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and any other law for the time being in force’’, Justice Muralidhar said, elucidating the provision of the RTI Act.