Tribune News Service
Rohtak, December 5
Efforts of a Rohtak-based RTI activist to get details about the involvement of IAS, HCS, IPS and HPS officers in corruption cases finally seem to be bearing fruit.
The Haryana government as well as the State Information Commission had earlier refused to furnish the information sought by the applicant under the RTI Act. The applicant then moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which directed the commission to reconsider the matter.
Following the High Court’s order, a three-member Bench of the commission observed that “the disclosure of information relating to corruption cases registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, is warranted on account of larger public interest.”
The Bench, comprising State Information Commissioners Urvashi Gulati, Major-Gen (retd) JS Kundu and Yoginder Paul Gupta has directed the SPIOs at the offices of the Haryana Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to furnish point-wise certified information, including copies of FIRs registered against IAS, HCS, IPS and HPS officers under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Earlier, in a reply filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Haryana government had stated that the information relating to the involvement of IAS, HCS, IPS and HPS officers was “personal information of the officers concerned” and action against such officers was a “matter between the employer and the employee”.
In an application submitted under the RTI Act, Subhash, state convener of the Haryana Soochna Adhikar Manch, had sought information about IAS, HCS, IPS and HPS officers serving in the state who had faced corruption charges between January 1, 2000, and October 31, 2013.
The Haryana Government authorities had refused to provide any information sought by the Rohtak-based RTI organisation in this regard, stating that the information was personal in nature and exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right To Information Act.
Subhash then filed another application to the First Appellate Authority – the State Public Information Officer-cum-Secretary to the Government of Haryana – but failed to get the desired information as the said authority also maintained that the disclosure of names of corrupt officers and action taken against them was a matter of privacy between employee and employer.
The RTI activist then filed a complaint against both government agencies with the State Information Commission and urged it to take suitable action against them for shielding corrupt officers in the name of privacy.
However, the State Information Commission had then upheld the decision of the State Public Information Officer, maintaining that indulging in corrupt practices was part of the officials’ personal information and its disclosure would lead to invasion of privacy.
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