CIC to IB: Why report on Sanjiv Chaturvedi be not made public?
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a notice to Intelligence Bureau (IB), an organisation exempted from the transparency law except in some cases, asking it to explain why its report on alleged harassment of whistleblower IFoS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi by officials be not made public.
“The Information Bureau is one of the organisations specified in Second Schedule to the RTI Act u/s 24, exempting it from the purview of the RTI Act, except when the CIC considered that the information sought is either related to corruption or violation of human rights by that organisation,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu held.
He noted that the applicant had stated that the information sought related to alleged violation of human rights.
Acharyulu said even if the IB had objected to sharing its report, gist of which is already in public domain, the Ministry of Environment and Forest could have given a copy of it to Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
“Even though the organisation/IB is totally exempted under Section 24, this kind of information could be furnished by the IB. As per the second provision to Section 24, the information shall only be provided after the approval of the CIC. Hence, the applicant approached the Commission, seeking approval for disclosure of IB report mentioned above,” he noted.
Chaturvedi, who exposed alleged forestry scam in Haryana, had sought a copy of IB report, which was sent to Cabinet Secretary and the Ministry of Environment and Forests in August 2014, on the issue of allegedly “foisting false cases against him in retaliation of his investigation and reports against major corruption in the state”.
The IB being an exempted organisation, except in cases of allegations of human rights violations or corruption, refused to make it public.
The summary of IB report provided to him stated, “There appears to be truth in the contention of Sanjiv Chaturvedi regarding alleged harassment meted out to him by the Haryana government. His request for change of cadre from Haryana to Uttarakhand merits consideration.”