Allegation of corruption ought to be supported by cogent and sound evidence under RTI. Also allegation of corruption’ does not mean mere conjectures and surmises. For the Information commission to frame a prima facie view about corrupt or malpractices being involved in any given case reasonably or to frame a view on the violation of human rights under Proviso (I) to Section 24 of the RTI Act, it should be supported by cogent and sound evidence.
As per the provisions of Section 24 (4) of the RTI Act 2005
“Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to such intelligence and security organisation being organisations established by the State Government, as that Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify:
Provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section:
Provided further that in the case of information sought for is in respect of allegations of violation of human rights, the information shall only be provided after the approval of the State Information Commission and, notwithstanding anything contained in section 7, such information shall be provided within forty-five days from the date of the receipt of request.”
Cogent and sound evidence under RTI
With the above provision of the Act following is to be remembered while make an Allegation of corruption:
- Cogent and sound evidence reasons need to be provided before the commission
- For any information relating to exempt organisation(s) under the RTI Act, a prior approval of the State Information Commission is required. Therefore, instead of approaching the PIO, an applicant should approach Information commission first. This will help in speedy resolution of an RTI query.
The Present case
Shri Amit Bhargava, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 17.10.2012 before the Commission against the respondent Ministry of Home Affairs and Bureau of Immigration/Intelligence Bureau, New Delhi for not providing complete and satisfactory information in response to his RTI application dated 14.4.2012.
Decision of the commission:
As far as information in respect of Point No. 4 to 7 of the RTI application is concerned, the same is related to the Bureau of Immigration/IB, the respondent is an exempted organization listed under Schedule II of the RTI Act and therefore, is not amenable to any provision contained in the RTI Act by virtue of Section 24 of the RTI Act. Furthermore, the information sought by the appellant does not pertain to any violation of human rights and allegation of corruption, and therefore, does not fall under Proviso (I) to Section 24 of the RTI Act. It has to be appreciated that ‘allegation of corruption’ does not mean mere conjectures and
surmises. Allegations ought to be supported by cogent and sound evidence which can lead the Commission to frame a prima facie view about corrupt or malpractices being involved in any given case. Such element is clearly missing in the instant appeal as no evidence or material has been placed by the appellant
before the Commission so as to establish prima facie case of corruption. Even anything to reasonably support the violation of human right is also absent in the appeal preferred by the appellant before the Commission. Hence the reply of FAA/Bureau of Immigration/IB is upheld.
Here are the numerous discussions thread on Exempted organisations at our forum- Click Here! Also you may be interested in reading discussions threads here about Section 24- Click here! If you are interested in the discussions threads about Human Rights Violations click here!