The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is not entirely exempted under the Right to Information Act (RTI) Act and must provide information related to corruption and human rights violations when requested under the Act.
While the CBI is listed in the Second Schedule of the RTI Act, which includes organisations exempt from the Act, the court clarified that this exemption doesn't mean the entire Act is inapplicable to such entities.
Justice Subramonium Prasad stated that the proviso to Section 24 permits information concerning allegations of corruption and human rights violations to be made available to the applicant.
This cannot be included in the exception provided to organisations mentioned in the Second Schedule.
The court's decision came in response to a case where Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi, the Chief Vigilance Officer of AIIMS, sought information from the CBI about corruption allegations in AIIMS.
The court directed the CBI to provide Chaturvedi with the requested information.
Justice Prasad rejected the CBI's argument that Section 24 of the RTI Act acts as a complete bar and exempts the agency from RTI provisions.
The court said that the case did not involve sensitive investigations that could endanger the lives of CBI officers.
However, it clarified that, in appropriate cases, the CBI can establish that certain information is sensitive, allowing them to refuse its disclosure.
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