Allegation of corruption ought to be supported by cogent and sound evidence under RTI

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:

  1. Cogent and sound evidence reasons need to be provided before the commission
  2. 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.cogent and sound evidence

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!

Posted in RTI Act 2005, Section 24
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One comment on “Allegation of corruption ought to be supported by cogent and sound evidence under RTI
  1. R K Mishra says:

    If one goes through all the decisions of IC SS concerning exempted organisations, the lines for ‘ALLEGATIONS of corruption’ may be found just copy-pasted.

    The same thing happened to me & the following quotations are common for all the appellants.

    http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SS_A_2012_001162_M_86206.pdf

    “…. 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.”

    Now, let’s see the section:

    “24. (1) Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the INTELLIGENCE and SECURITY
    organisations ………….
    Provided that the information pertaining to the ALLEGATIONS of corruption and human
    rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section:
    ……violation of human rights, the information shall only be provided after the approval of
    the Central Information Commission, …..….forty-five days from the date of the receipt of request.”

    The legislators intended to include certain exempted organizations as in Sch-II, so that the INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY of our country is not compromised in any manner.

    This is the reason, information from those organisations can only be obtained after approval of Information commission u/s section 24 of the Act.

    The IC should look after the INTELLIGENCE & SECURITY aspect of the requested information, by carefully examining the ALLEGATIONS (not proof) of human right & corruption involved in it. Before the order,
    The IC may him/herself examine the records to confirm the above issues.

    The act clearly utters that the appellant NEED NOT to prove delinquency; but in respect of the ALLEGATIONS, the IC must approve for disclosure.

    Common citizens are not like detective karamchand, who can arrange “cogent evidence” before applying for information.
    Through RTI only, common citizen can expose ‘corruption/human right violation’ issue involved in an organisation.
    To obtain information on the same issue, why should a common citizen file time consuming RTI (till IC’s approval), if already s/he has EVIDENCE?

    R K Mishra

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