The UPA might be regretful of the scope of the right to information (RTI) it introduced, but at least one government agency - and the country’s premier investigating agency, no less - apparently is quite thankful for its existence on occasion. In Chhattisgarh, the Central of Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is arming itself with the RTI to extract documents from Chhattisgarh’s health department. The CBI is probing a case of alleged financial irregularities in the purchase of medical equipment for prevention of malaria. Despite repeated demands, the investigating officials have failed to get the documents they needed from Chhattisgarh’s health department officials, and eventually filed an RTI application.
It appears, however, that even the RTI won’t help. The department has claimed that the relevant files are “missing”. If there is no document available with it, the department asks, how can it provide interested citizens - or, in this case, India’s top-flight investigators - with copies?