‘22 organisations are exempted from disclosing information’

The Central Information Commission has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to disclose within 10 days details of corruption complaints it received against sitting and former members of the Legislative Assembly, Council and Parliament and other politicians during the past 10 years (April 2001-May 2011).

While hearing a complaint filed by Anil Bairwal of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra last week asked the CBI to give the details sought by him, through an RTI query. He rejected the agency’s plea that it was exempted from disclosing information, saying the notification through which the CBI was included under Section 24, Schedule 2 of the RTI Act came on June 9, 2011, while Mr. Beriwal had sought the information on June 2. The information could not have been refused solely on the ground that the CBI was included under Section 24 of the 2005 Act, said Mr. Mishra.

The CIC website lists 22 organisations which are exempted from disclosing information under Section 24 of the RTI Act. The CBI is excluded from the purview of the Act except in cases of sexual harassment, corruption and human rights violation as is stated in the Proviso to Section 24.

The details sought by Mr. Beriwal include names of politicians against whom complaints have been disposed of without any action taken, alongside complaints that have been converted into cases. He also sought to know about the nature and status of all complaints.