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TN: HC directs DVAC to upload its crime manual on its website

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[h=1]HC directs DVAC to upload its crime manual on its website[/h]

The Madras High Court bench here has directed the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to upload its crime manual on its website within six weeks, rejecing DVAC's contention that it was a privileged document and could not be made public.

 

 

The manual should contain details about Government instructions and guidelines to investigating officers relating to corruption cases, Justice M Sathyanarayanan said in his order said yesterday on a batch of petitions filed by some public servants who wanted to prove that the investigating officer in the corruption case against them had not followed procedures prescribed under the manual.

 

 

The DVAC had refused to issue a copy of the manual to them, following which they moved the High Court.

 

 

The counsel for the petitioners submitted that the DVAC could not insist on keeping the manual secret much to the disadvantage of the accused, who required it desperately to establish their innocence during the course of trial.

 

 

The judge said the DVAC was not entitled to claim that it was a privileged document and could not be made public.

 

 

"We are in the era of Right to Information Act and especially when the Central Bureau of Investigation itself had hosted its crime manual on its website, why can't the DVAC do the same", he asked.

 

 

The State Information Commission had directed the DVAC on November 28,2011 to furnish a copy of the manual to an RTI applicant. Justice D Hariparanthaman had then dismissed the petition against the Commission's order in December 2012 and upheld the Information Commission's order.

 

 

The judge pointed out that G Rajagopalan, counsel for Tamil Nadu Information Commission, had also submitted that the manual was not exempted from disclosure.

 

Read More: HC directs DVAC to upload its crime manual on its website | Business Standard News

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      The contention of the appellant in his appeals, rejoinders to the comments of the CPIO and during the hearing was:
       
      The decisions of CPIOs are totally non-speaking and unreasoned. The provisions of Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act have been wrongly applied by them without any elaboration or justification. This Section can be applied only if furnishing of information would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders. A careful analysis of this Section would reveal that exemption from disclosure could be claimed only if any criminal investigation is pending. As far as the appellant is concerned, the CBI has already closed the case stating that no allegations could be proved against him and as such there is no criminal investigation is pending against him. Since no investigation is pending against the appellant, the question of “apprehension” or “prosecution” does not arise.
       
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      The case was decided by Mrs. Padma Balasubramanian, Information Commissioner on 27th December 2006.

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