Jump to content
Sajib Nandi

Intelligence agencies demand 'blanket exemption' from Right to Privacy Bill

Recommended Posts

Sajib Nandi

Reported by Aman Sharma in Economictimes.indiatimes.com on 17 Mar, 2015



Intelligence agencies have demanded a "blanket exemption" from the ambit of the Right to Privacy Bill, 2014, the legislation under the anvil after the Niira Radia episode. The proposed law will impose heavy costs and punishment for intrusion into a citizen's privacy or leakage of personal details.


The draft bill exempts security and intelligence agencies from the bill's ambit if the agencies can prove that their actions of compromising a citizen's privacy were in national interest.


However, ET has learnt that the Home Ministry has informed the Department of Personnel and Training piloting the bill that Intelligence agencies are not satisfied with the rider. "The Home Ministry has said that establishing in each case, that an action of the agencies was in the interest of integrity, security and sovereignty of the country is not only practically difficult but will lead to litigation. The Home Ministry hence wants blanket exemption for the agencies from the bill," a senior DoPT official told ET.


Section 65 of the Draft Right to Privacy Bill exempts action of intelligence and law enforcement agencies from investigative and adjudicative powers of a proposed Data Protection Authority but subjects such action to scrutiny of a court. Section 64 provides for initiating civil proceedings against any person, including an intelligence agency. The DoPT official said the Home Ministry says these provisions could mean intelligence agencies would be saddled with responsibility of defending themselves against all sorts of litigation and investigation.


"The Home Ministry has said this will expose the methods, capabilities and sources of intelligence agencies and will have a detrimental effect on the agency's functioning," the DoPT official said.


Further, the Home Ministry also has an issue with Section 56 of the draft act which imposes a penalty for obtaining personal data on a false pretext - it wants intelligence agencies and all law enforcement agencies to be exempt from this as well, the DoPT official added. It has also been mentioned by the Home Ministry that the provisions of the bill should apply only to Indian citizens and not all residents of India, implying that foreigners staying here temporarily can be put under surveillance freely for the purpose of national security.


The Right to Privacy Bill is being drafted after leading industrialist Ratan Tata approached the Supreme Court after leakage of the Niira Radia tapes, saying his privacy had been compromised by the leaks.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

      By RAVEENA_O
      DoPT issued clarifications, revisiting its previous instructions on uploading RTI Applications, Appeals and decisions on official website of public authorities vide its OM No. 1/1/2013/IR dated 07/10/2016. DoPT Clarified that the personal details of RTI applicant/appellant should not be disclosed as they do not serve any public interest. It is further clarified that the personal details would include name, designation, address,e-mail id and telephone no. including mobile no. of the applicant.
      Copy of the OM can be accessed here >> http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02rti/1_1_2013-IR-07102016.pdf
    • Shrawan
      By Shrawan
      Central Information Commission


      Decision No.296/IC(A)/2006
      F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00607
      Dated, the 21st September, 2006


      Name of the Appellant : Sh. G.P. Pathak, 152/A, Wright Town, Jabalpur
      Name of the Public Authority: Commissionerate of Income Tax-I, Central Revenue Building, Napier Town, Jabalpur
      Facts of the Case:

      The Lokayukta of M.P. conducted a search under the prevention of Corruption Act and seized cash, jewelry and other assets, worth over Rs.30 lakhs from the appellant. Under the law, these assets were taken under the custody of the DIT. In this backdrop, the appellant had asked for a copy of ‘Note of Satisfaction’ written by the Commission of Income Tax.
      The CPIO has refused to provide the information and sought exemption u/s 8(1)(h) of the Act. The appellate authority has upheld the decision of the CPIO
      The case was heard on 20.9.2006. The appellant could not be present. The CPIO was present, who provided a detailed background of the case. He mentioned that the case is under investigation as the extent of unaccounted assets and the amount of tax evasion are yet to be determined.
      The CPIO showed the copy of the ‘note’ asked for by the appellant. It contains such details as the source of the information and actions taken by the officials, who are identifiable in the note. He, therefore, pleaded that the disclosure of details would endanger the life of officials associated with the process of seizure of assets.
      Commission’s Decision:

      The disclosure of information sought would identify the officials who were associated with the conduct of raid and seizure of un-accounted assets, under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The matter is also under investigation to determine the extent of tax evasion. The CPIO has, therefore, correctly applie dexemption u/s 8(1)(d) & (h) of the Act, from disclosure of information.
      The appeal is therefore dismissed.

      (Prof. M.M. Ansari)
      Information Commissioner


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use & Privacy Policy