CBI outside RTI: Activists critisise government

NCPRI says that the government is misusing its power


Danish Raza | June 20, 2011

The National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) has questioned the central government’s move to exclude central bureau of investigation (CBI) from the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).

As per section 24 of the RTI Act, government can exclude intelligence and security organisations from general obligations of transparency applicable to other public authorities. “The CBI is not mandated by law to undertake any intelligence gathering or security-related duties. It is tasked with conducting investigations into cases of corruption or any other criminal case involving heinous offences that may be referred to it by the government or by the courts.

The Government’s decision to exclude an organisation whose job description does not fit the criteria given in the RTI Act is patently illegal and illegitimate,” said NCPRI statement.

According to the statement, a copy of which is with Governance Now, NCPRI is deeply concerned about the opaqueness involved in this decision-making process.

The group, which contributed significantly in the drafting and enactment of the transparency act, said that there is no official statement yet in the public domain despite the union cabinet approving the proposal to exempt the CBI and nor did the government volunteer information as to why this organisation must be insulated from public gaze in a season of scandals involving graft. “The CBI is currently investigating some of these high profile cases of grand theft of public money and resources. The Government’s decision to exempt the CBI without any public debate about the necessity of such a step is in violation of the very purpose of the RTI Act. This is clearly a case of misuse of the powers delegated by parliament to the government.”




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