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CIC dismisses ex-RAW official’s RTI appeal against ‘rival’ author

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CIC dismisses ex-RAW official’s RTI appeal against ‘rival’ author

as reported by Krishnadas Rajagopal, Oct 11, 2008, Indian Express


New Delhi, October 10 Incensed that the CBI had not taken any action against former intelligence officer B Raman for revealing “official secrets” in a book but had penalised him for his own published work on the workings of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Major General (retd) Vinay Kumar Singh was left disappointed when his RTI appeal against Raman was dismissed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Friday.


Singh’s RTI appeal stemmed from the fact that the ‘revelations’ in his own controversial book, India’s External Intelligence: Secrets of Research and Analysis Wing, had left him facing charges under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC). However, the CBI had not taken any similar action against Raman, who penned The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane.


Claiming that his appeal was beyond the scope of its jurisdiction, the CIC directed Singh to petition the CBI director against the former RAW operative.


Singh, also a former RAW official had highlighted 28 instances in Raman’s book which “appear to violate the provisions” of the OSA, 1923 and the IPC, 1860.


“Yet the CBI has not contemplated any action against the author or publisher of the book under the OSA or the IPC. But similar disclosures in my book have left me facing charges under the OSA and IPC,” Singh submitted on Friday in a hearing before Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.


The CBI had registered an FIR under Section 5 (wrongful communication of information) of the OSA against Singh in September 2007. The agency had then followed it up with a chargesheet against the author on April 11, 2008.


The CBI, meanwhile, stood firm with a stoic reply that they would have taken action against Raman had there been a specific complaint against him.


“There has been no specific complaint on this work (Raman’s),” Superintendent of Police (CBI) Sanjay Singh repeated in his submissions before the Bench.


Reacting to the CBI’s reply, Habibullah has now advised Singh to “petition the CBI Director for action to be taken”.


“You can express your dissatisfaction to him (CBI Director). You can demand action to be taken. I cannot do anything as your query is beyond my jurisdiction,” Habibullah observed.


CIC dismisses ex-RAW official’s RTI appeal against ‘rival’ author

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The CIC's contention seems very correct. Of cource it would have been in CIC's domain, had the General framed the request for information in another way like, asking whether the CBI is aware of existance of Mr.Raman's book etc and a chain of information on those lines in a permissible way.

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It seems that General misfired this time with RTI application.

But the door is still open to him. In his order CIC has also indicated as much about it.

There appears to be some murky things at RAW.

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