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Plea in SC to bring CBI under ambit of transparency law

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A plea challenging the government's 2011 decision to keep the out of the ambit of the Right to Information Act has been moved in the Supreme Court, seeking an early hearing.

The case was first filed in the High Court, but later transferred to the top after the Centre had said that several petitions in this regard have been filed in different high courts across the country.


A PIL was filed in 2011 in the High by advocate Agrawal, who had contested the 2014 elections from Rai Bareilly constituency against President

The high court, in July 2011, had issued notices to the and the as the advocate had alleged that the agency was brought out of the ambit of the RTI as he had sought information regarding documents relating to the politically-sensitive Bofors payoff scandal case.

The had told the high that the exemption granted to the under RTI was not a "blanket exemption" and does not warrant judicial interference.

The petition said that exemption from RTI was prevelant for intelligence and security organisations, including Intelligence Bureau, RAW, DRI and ED.

When the agency filed the plea for transfer of all similar matters from different high courts to the apex court, the proceedings before the High got stayed.

In the fresh application before the apex court, Agrawal has alleged that the notification was issued by the Centre "solely to scuttle the RTI appeal pending before the Chief Information Commissioner, New in regard to the Bofors case in which order was passed by the CIC directing the to provide the requisite papers to the petitioner".

In the application, he has alleged that the erstwhile UPA government's decision was aimed at "only to save Ottavio Quattrochhi, the prime accused in Bofors scam".

Agrawal, who has been pursuing Bofors payoff case for years, in his petition has sought quashing of the June 9, 2011 notification, contending that "by issuing the notification and placing in the second Schedule, the appears to be claiming absolute secrecy for without the sanction of the "

He has contended that the "impugned notification No GSR 442(E) RTI Act, 2005 is ultravires to the RTI Act, 2005 as well as Constitution".

The petition has claimed that government's move appeared to be "arbitrary" in nature, as with no reasons advanced, "citizens are likely to deduce that the purpose of including in the Second Schedule was to curb transparency and accountability from the investigations of several corruption cases against high-ranking officers".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 08 2017. 16:13 IST
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