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Rediff.com  » News » IB, RAW turn down RTI plea on rights violations

IB, RAW turn down RTI plea on rights violations

July 08, 2010 18:11 IST

The country's intelligence agencies -- RAW and Intelligence Bureau -- have refused to make public the information on cases related to human rights violation and corruption against their personnel though the RTI Act states otherwise.

Interestingly, both the agencies wrongfully cited section 24 of the RTI Act for denial of response to the petitioner.

According to the section, Central intelligence and security organisations have been kept outside the ambit of the RTI Act except for allegations of human rights violation or corruption.

"As per the provision of the RTI Act 2005, the Intelligence Bureau has been exempted from providing any information or detail. Hence it is regretted that the information sought cannot be provided," said the Public Information Officer of IB in his reply.

The Chief Public Information Officer of Cabinet Secretariat, which controls RAW, in his reply said: "It is stated that the requisite information pertains to Intelligence and Security Organisation under the Cabinet Secretariat, which is exempted from the purview of RTI Act."

Exercising his Right to Information, petitioner Ashwini Shrivastava, had asked for information related to cases of corruption, human rights violation and sexual exploitation in IB, RAW and Central Paramilitary Forces.

In its reply, Assam Rifles said it has registered 39 cases related to alleged human rights violation and two cases of corruption in the past ten years.

National Security Guard (NSG) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force personnel witnessed no such cases. However, four other Central paramilitary forces -- CRPF, CISF, SSB and BSF -- refused to make public the information.

"In this connection it is intimated that under section 24 of Right to Information Act, 2005, SSB is exempted from the provisions of said Act except in the cases pertaining to corruption and human rights violation.

"As no case of corruption and human rights violation is involved in the instant case on the part of the department, the information asked... cannot be provided," the PIO of the force said.

"The information solicited by you relates to personal information and it would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual," the Public Information Officer of CISF said in his reply.

The Public Information Officers of Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force denied the information and cited the Act.

Besides IB, RAW and Central Paramilitary forces, nine other organisations like Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Directorate of Enforcement, Narcotics Control Bureau, Aviation Research Centre and Special Frontier Force are kept out of the ambit of RTI Act.

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