RTI activist seeks clarification on denial of information

Home Department, which has provided information regarding phone tapping following direction of the State Information Commission (SIC) two years ago, refused to divulge similar information this year terming it as ‘confidential’.

Stunned by the conduct of the Home Department, Right To Information activist Biswapriya Kanungo has appealed before the first appellate authority of the department seeking clarification on denial of information by public information officer.

Mr. Kanungo had to fight a long battle in 2008 for getting information about phone tapping carried out by the State government between 2006 and 2008. Home Department had then refused to share the information. The RTI activist took the matter in court of SIC which directed the department to supply the information.

“In 2010, the Home Department had informed that as many as 417 phone tappings were carried out. Recently, I had asked the number of phone tappings done between 2008 and 2012, the Home Department flatly refused to share it,” Mr. Kanungo alleged.

“It sounds strange that the department which had to supply me information on direction of SIC two years ago is denying information of similar nature now. This behaviour shows the State government is afraid of making the information about phone tapping public,” he said.

The RTI activist said order for tapping phone was generally given by the Home Secretary and his order undergoes thorough scrutiny by a review committee headed by the Chief Secretary.