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sidmis

CIC to visit Tihar, meet War Room Leak accused

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sidmis

CIC to visit Tihar, meet War Room Leak accused

AS REPORTED by Mohit Sharma, July 07, 2008, Express India

 

New Delhi, July 6 Chief Information Commissioner Wajahad Habibbullah will be visiting the Tihar Jail next week. The reason: Intelligence Bureau's denial to reply a Right To Information (RTI) query by two accused in the Navy War Room Leak case.

 

The two are currently lodged in the jail, having been booked under the Official Secrets Act.

 

According to sources in the jail, the matter came to light when the officers — Ravi Shankaran and Vijender Rana — filed the RTI application last month, seeking to know the basis of their arrest and the cases against them.

 

The jail officials said after a month, they received a reply. “The Intelligence Bureau refused to present the documents,” an official said. “The applicants were reluctant to accept the reply given by the IB.” Following this, the two wrote to Habibbullah's office and it was decided last week that the CIC would visit Tihar.

 

Confirming the visit, Habibbullah said: “A visit to Tihar Jail on July 16 is on our schedule. We have two to three matters, including the War Room Leak case pending for hearing. To avoid inconvenience to Tihar authorities in producing them before us, we have decided to pay a visit to the jail.”

He said the two officers did indeed have queries about the Intelligence Bureau's denial.

 

Tihar sources added that the CIC would be accompanied by a few officials of the Commission. Undertrials Shankaran and Rana are in jail number one. They, along with three other defence officers, were charged under the Officials Secret Act for allegedly entering into a conspiracy and

“compromising” about 7,000 pages of defence information.

 

The documents from the Naval war room and air defence headquarters had a direct bearing on national security. The CBI registered the case on March 20, 2006, following a reference from the Defence Ministry and a scrutiny of an inquiry conducted by the Indian Air Force.

 

CIC to visit Tihar, meet War Room Leak accused - ExpressIndia.Com

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karira

As reported by IANS in dnaindia.com on 15 July 2008:

DNA - India - CIC to visit Tihar Jail on RTI plea today - Daily News & Analysis

CIC to visit Tihar Jail on RTI plea today

 

NEW DELHI: For the first time, India’s Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) will visit the Tihar Jail on Wednesday to meet an Indian Navy officer who has been sacked for alleged espionage and who has filed a plea under the Right to Information (RTI) Act questioning his incarceration.

 

“A visit to Tihar is scheduled on July 16. We have two-three matters for hearing, which includes the application of Vijender Rana,” CIC Wajahat Habibullah confirmed.

 

“Yes, the CIC is coming to Tihar Jail on July 16 to get first hand information in the cases of those prisoners who have filed RTI applications,” Tihar PRO Sunil Gupta said.

“This is for the first time that the CIC is coming to the jail,” Gupta added.

 

Rana has been lodged in the Tihar Jail after having been booked under the Official

Secrets Act.

 

“He had filed an RTI application last month with the Intelligence Bureau to know the basis of his arrest. However, the agency had refused to present the documents concerned,” a Tihar official said.

 

Rana, a sacked naval commander, is one of the five accused in a case relating to the leak of classified information from the Naval War Room here. Besides Rana, the other accused are Ravi Shankaran, a relative of former Indian Navy chief admiral Arun Prakash; retired naval commander Kulbushan Parashar and sacked naval commander VK Jha, as also retired Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander SL Surve.

 

An Interpol Red Corner lookout notice has been issued against Shankaran, who has been declared a proclaimed offender. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed a charge sheet against the five accused. According to the CBI, the accused had leaked 7,000 pages of classified defence information that had a direct bearing on national security.

 

The CBI registered the case March 20, 2006, on a reference from the defence ministry and after scrutiny of the inquiry held by the IAF against Surve and the board of inquiry conducted by the Indian Navy.

 

The CBI claimed in its 250-page charge sheet that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy for obtaining and collecting information related to defence matters that was calculated to be useful to the enemy or which related to a matter the disclosure of which was prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

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karira

As reported by Bhavana Vij_Aurora in telegraphindia.com on 17 July 2008:

The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Tihar information trip

Tihar information trip

- Commissioner meets inmates who filed RTI appeals

 

New Delhi, July 16: Chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah today visited Tihar jail for the first time to meet inmates who had filed applications under the Right to Information Act.

 

Among the inmates was sacked navy commander Vijender Rana, an accused in the navy war room leak case, who last month had wanted to know from the Intelligence Bureau why he had been arrested.

 

Another accused in the case, Ravi Shankaran, a nephew of former navy chief Arun Prakash, is still on the run.

 

Habibullah told The Telegraph Rana’s request on information from the IB had been turned down as the intelligence agency was outside the RTI act’s purview.

 

“The IB had earlier denied the sought information on the ground of exemption and we upheld the agency’s stand,” he said.

 

Rana had also filed three other applications. “Two were related and pertained to the report of the board of inquiry instituted by the navy. They wanted access to the report. The decision on this request is pending and would be taken later,” Habibullah said.

 

The last application, in which Rana had asked for some documents, was upheld by the CIC.

 

Habibullah said other than Rana’s applications, there were some other pending RTI inquiries that needed to be heard in Tihar.

 

These were from a former employee of the National Security Council, Shiv Shankar Paul, jailed for leaking information. “No decision has been taken on his applications,” Habibullah said. “They would be taken up later.”

 

Tihar sources said it was unusual for the information commissioner to visit the jail. “We were told that the CIC wanted to get first-hand information on the cases of those prisoners who have filed RTI applications,” said an official.

 

Rana was lodged in Tihar after being booked under the Official Secrets Act. Besides Rana and Shankaran, the other accused in the case were Kulbushan Parashar, sacked navy commander V.K. Jha and retired air force wing commander S.L. Surve.

 

The CBI, which has already filed a chargesheet against the five accused, says they leaked 7,000 pages of classified defence information that had a direct bearing on national security.

 

The agency had registered the case in March 2006 on a reference from the defence ministry and after probes conducted by the air force and the navy.

 

In its 250-page chargesheet, the CBI claimed that the accused had entered into criminal conspiracy to collect information related to defence matters.

 

It said the information was “calculated to be, or might be, or was intended to be, useful to the enemy”.

 

The agency said the information “related to a matter” whose “disclosure” to unauthorised persons “was prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the state”.

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karira

As reported by INS in thaiindian.com on 16 July 2008:

RTI chief seeks report on naval officer jailed for spying - Thaindian News

 

RTI chief seeks report on naval officer jailed for spying

 

 

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) India’s RTI chief has asked the defence ministry for the enquiry report on the basis of which a naval officer was sacked and jailed for espionage and who has now sought the grounds for his incarceration. “The applicant (Vijender Rana) had asked for the board enquiry report and board enquiry proceedings. I heard what he had to say,” Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah told IANS.

 

Habibullah, who heads the Central Information Commission that administers the Right to Information (RTI) act, was speaking after he met Rana in the Tihar Jail here. This is the first time the CIC had visited the prison.

 

“However, (an official of) the appellate authority (the defence ministry) was not present on the occasion. The ministry been directed to provide us the board enquiry report for inspection,” Habibullah said.

 

Rana, a sacked Indian Navy commander who has been jailed under the Official Secrets Act, is one of the five accused in a case relating to the leak of classified information from the Naval War Room here.

 

“We have asked for the board enquiry report to ascertain whether it can be given to Rana or not as the appellate authority has refused to give it to him citing national security concerns,” a commission official said.

“The matter is expected to complete very soon as it concerns the liberty of an individual person,” the official added.

 

Rana had filed an RTI application last month to get the enquiry report of his case.

 

“But when he was refused the report, he had approached CIC,” a Tihar jail official said.

 

Besides Rana, the other accused are Ravi Shankaran, a relative of former Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash; retired naval Commander Kulbushan Parashar and sacked naval Commander V.K. Jha, as also retired Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander S.L. Surve.

 

An Interpol Red Corner lookout notice has been issued against Shankaran, who has been declared a proclaimed offender.

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed a charge sheet against the five accused.

 

According to the CBI, the accused had leaked 7,000 pages of classified defence information that had a direct bearing on national security.

 

The CBI registered the case March 20, 2006, on a reference from the defence ministry and after scrutiny of the inquiry held by the IAF against Surve and the board of inquiry conducted by the Indian Navy.

 

The CBI claimed in its 250-page charge sheet that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy for obtaining and collecting information related to defence matters that was calculated to be or might be or was intended to be useful to the enemy or which related to a matter the disclosure of which, to unauthorised persons, was prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the state.

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colnrkurup

The CIC is stepping outside his shoes. The CIC is neither the Ombudsman of India nor he has any authority to step outside the RTI Act. When the Act specifically has included the IB in the Second schedule he has no business to enquire this case. He is required to function within the frame work of the RTI Act only. When cases fully falling under the Act are pending with him for more than 15 months he has no reason to waste time and effort in such cases.

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sidmis

CIC dismisses plea of navy war-room case accused

As Reported in OutLook India, NEW DELHI, JUL 18 (PTI)

 

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has dismissed the plea of navy war-room leak case accused and sacked commander Vijender Rana who had alleged that the Navy is not disclosing information related to an inquiry conducted against him.

 

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, who had held a special hearing on his plea on July 16, examined Navy records and found that the information sought by Rana has already been provided to him.

 

The Commission while disposing his plea said that he can approach the Navy for any further information he had sought under the RTI Act.

 

The CIC while hearing another plea of Rana refused to direct the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to disclose charges made against him.

 

"Simply asking what charges have been made against him is not an allegation of human rights violation. Therefore, the complaint of Rana is unsustainable and is dismissed," Habibullah said while pointing out that IB is exempted from sharing the information under the transparency law.

 

The Commissioner said the Intelligence Bureau can be directed to disclose the information in case of human rights violation and corruption.

 

Rana had approached the Commission after the Navy had refused to divulge the findings of its report. Following an earlier direction of the CIC, the inquiry report was placed before the transparency panel.

 

The Navy had constituted a board of inquiry after intelligence officer had recovered a pen drive from a senior Air Force officer Wing Commander S L Surve in 2006 which reportedly contained classified naval information.

 

outlookindia.com | wired

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shakti

As per my view the decesion of visiting Tihar Jail by CIC is perfect and in accordence with not only providing Justice but making the system more transparent and effective.

At the moment how we can presume/decide that they are the real culprits.They might be just puppets in the hands of other high profile officals /Politicians etc who are using them.

Let the truth come out if they have done wrong to the Nation they should be severely punished/no mercy should be shown

But if some other Black Sheep(s)/anti nation forces are working behind the curtain they must be unearthed in the Intrest of Justice.

" Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere "

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colnrkurup

I sincerely wish that the CIC should not interefere in such cases. Personal indulged in such anti-national activities does not need any sympathy.

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sidmis

I too believe that neither CIC nor for that matter any Information Commissioners have any grounds to meet the Info Seekers at such places. It has created a bad precedent. We don't know what transpired between CIC and the Appellant. But the outcome was predictable.

 

I am also curios to know why the Under trial cannot visit the CIC's office for hearing? Is it because of curtailed authority of the commission?

 

To reach a conscious decision, a thorough perusal of available records are enough. As such the commission is not conducting a criminal investigation that warrants his personal interaction with Info Seekers.

 

Tomorrow if another under trial from Andaman Jail comes out with a request to the CIC to visit him at the Jail, what the CIC will do? Go to Andaman to meet him?

 

> Persons indulged in such anti-national activities does not need any sympathy.

 

Here I beg to differ from views expressed above. 'A man is innocent until proven guilty'. So under trials have every right to seek information that will help them in their case.

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bahl_ajay

CIC rejects war-room leak accused’s complaint

 

http:/ /epaper.timesofindia.com/Daily/skins/TOI/navigator.asp?Daily=CAP&login=default&AW=1214785133921

 

TIMES NEWS NETWORK July 20, 2008

 

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has dismissed the plea of navy warroom leak case accused and sacked commander Vijender Rana who had alleged that the navy was not disclosing infor mation related to an inquiry conducted against him. Chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, who had held a special hearing on his plea in Tihar Jail on July 16, examined naval records and found that the in formation sought by Rana had already been provided to him. Rana had demanded to know whether he had been charged with treason or with contravention of commercial law. In this context, he had also submitted a memorandum to the Delhi Police commissioner, complaining that he had been severely tortured and therefore, the question of human rights was at issue. Dismissing the plea that he had been a victim of human rights violation, the CIC refused to direct the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to disclose charges made against him. ‘‘Simply asking what charges have been made against him is not an allegation of human rights violation. Therefore, Rana’s complaint is unsustainable and is dismissed,’’ Habibullah said while pointing out that IB was exempted from sharing the in formation under RTI. Rana had approached the commission after the navy had refused to divulge the findings of its report. Following an earlier direction of the CIC, the inquiry report was placed before the commission . Under RTI Act, intelligence and security organizations specified in the second schedule are exempt from disclosure unless the information relates to allegations of corruption or human rights violations. The navy had constituted a board of inquiry after sleuths had recovered a pen drive from air force Wing Commander S L Surve in 2006 which reportedly contained classified naval information . After two months of inquiry, the board found Captain Kashyap Kumar (former director of naval operation), Commander Vijender Rana and V K Jha guilty.

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colnrkurup

Every Indian National should realise that a leak of even an innoscent information from the War Room may be a Key Stone in a larger plan, if expossed can put the enemy wiser. Such leaks will surpirse our Operation Plans and can cause failure of our operation and death of our soldiers. Therefore the so called officers who have indulged in such antinational activities do not deserve any consideration or sympathy.

 

There is nothing wrong in the CIC accepting an application from Vijendra Rane and processing it in normal course as being done by the CIC in cases pertaining to you and me. Officers posted at the Ministry of defence are not that foolish to part with such information even if the CIC order them to furnish.

 

If any such order is received by persons of my way of thinking, he will defenitely strip the IC who gave such orders.The CIC must have learned it by now. But the CIC's enthusiasm to go out of the way, to do out of the way things and according high priority over 15 months old pending application from Officers lke me cannot be pardoned.

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karira

As reported by IANS in sindhtoday.net on 5 August 2008:

 

 

Navy chief urged to re-look denial of information to sacked officer

 

New Delhi, Aug 5(IANS) India’s RTI head Wajahat Habibullah has asked the naval chief to re-examine his decision denying the plea of an officer sacked for leaking secrets to furnish him the reasons for the action.

 

The ruling came on a plea by sacked navy Commander Vijender Rana, arrested for his role in the Naval War Room leak case, who had sought a copy of the enquiry report against him.

 

‘The Chief of the Naval Staff will re-examine the disclosure of the recommendations of Board of Inquiry contained in Page 193, a copy of which will, if so agreed, be provided to appellant Vijendra Rana within ten working days of the date of receipt of this Decision Notice,’ the CIC held in his decision August 4.

 

The naval headquarters had declined to provide the report citing national security.

 

Rana had thereafter approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) from the Tihar Jail here where he is lodged.

 

Habibullah had visited Tihar jail July 16 to hear Rana’s plea.

 

After this meeting, the CIC had decided to inspect the board of inquiry report to ascertain whether its disclosure to Rana was reasonable or not. It had asked defence ministry officials to bring the file to the CIC’s office July 28 for inspection.

 

‘The Chief of Naval Staff shall be free to take a decision regarding any other portions of the Board of Inquiry proceedings that he feels can be disclosed to Vijendra Rana in light of the exemption u/s 8(1)(a) and provide him copies of the same, or at any rate, a letter of refusal also to be served,’ Habibullah stated in his decision.

 

Defence ministry officials told the CIC at the July 28 meeting that disclosure of the enquiry proceedings would ‘reveal the modus operandi of the entities inimical to the nation’s security interests and will identify the agencies handling different subjects’.

 

‘The full documents concerning the Board of Inquiry proceedings with supplements were submitted for our inspection,’ Habibullah noted in his decision.

 

‘These contain information on the circumstances leading to the breach of information security and the manner in which security was so grievously compromised. In the view of respondents, disclosure of these documents would enable future hostile elements to the ideas of how they may access any information sought,’ the CIC added.

 

Rana, who has been jailed under the Official Secrets Act, is one of the five accused in a case relating to the leak of classified information from the Naval War Room here.

 

Besides Rana, the other accused are Ravi Shankaran, a relative of former Indian Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash; retired naval Commander Kulbhushan Parashar and sacked naval Commander V.K. Jha, as also retired Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander S.L. Surve.

 

An Interpol Red Corner lookout notice has been issued against Shankaran, who has been declared a proclaimed offender.

 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already filed a charge sheet against the five accused.

 

According to the CBI, the accused had leaked 7,000 pages of classified defence information that had a direct bearing on national security.

 

The CBI registered the case March 20, 2006, on a reference from the defence ministry and after scrutiny of the inquiry held by the IAF against Surve and the board of inquiry conducted by the Indian Navy.

 

The CBI claimed in its 250-page charge sheet that the accused entered into a criminal conspiracy for obtaining and collecting information related to defence matters that was calculated to be or might be or was intended to be useful to the enemy or which related to a matter the disclosure of which, to unauthorised persons, was prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India and the security of the state.

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colnrkurup

My worry is that why the CIC assign this task a very high priority overlooking hundreds of Second appeals/complaints of honest and law abiding cityzens pending with him since more than an year.

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ideopreneur
The CIC is stepping outside his shoes. The CIC is neither the Ombudsman of India nor he has any authority to step outside the RTI Act. When the Act specifically has included the IB in the Second schedule he has no business to enquire this case. He is required to function within the frame work of the RTI Act only. When cases fully falling under the Act are pending with him for more than 15 months he has no reason to waste time and effort in such cases.

 

He has full rights to inquire into the matter. The way the War Room Leak Case has played out, the finger of suspicion is pointing towards every direction, including the armed forces top brass who allegedly conspired to frame the low rung officials

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