Print Friendly, PDF & Email

IAF moves court against RTI disclosure

Topics Covered: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

IAF moves court against RTI disclosure:


Context:

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has moved the Delhi High Court challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) direction to provide an RTI activist details regarding every foreign visit undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on lAF aircraft.

What’s the issue?

  • CIC had directed the Indian Air Force (IAF) to disclose details of the Prime Minister’s entourage under the RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005).
  • The IAF, in its plea, said the information sought to be disclosed was “extremely sensitive in nature” as it related to details of the Prime Minister’s security apparatus. It can potentially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India

What information has been sought?

The information sought includes details related to the entire entourage, names of Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel accompanying the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on foreign tours for his personal safety.

Is there any exemption in this regard?

  • IAF says, the information sought is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a), 8(1)(e) & 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.
  • Besides, SPG is explicitly exempted from the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005 by the virtue of section 24(1) read with the Schedule II of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Key Provisions:

  1. Section 24of the RTI Act 2005 lays down that this law is not applicable to the intelligence and security organisations specified in the Second Schedule. However, the only exception these organisations have is for information on allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
  2. Second Schedule: It includes 26 intelligence and security agencies under its ambit. Some of them are (i) Intelligence Bureau (IB), (ii) Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of the Cabinet Secretariat (iii) Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), (iv) Special Frontier Force (SFF), (v) Border Security Force (BSF) (vi) National Security Guards (NSG) and (Vii) Assam Rifles.
  3. Section 8 of the RTI: It deals with exemption from disclosure of information under this legislation. As per this section there shall be no obligation on Government to provide any citizen information, disclosure which will affect (i) India’s sovereignty and integrity, (ii) security, (iii) strategic, scientific or economic interests of the state and (iv) relations with foreign States or (v) will lead to incitement of an offence.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Definition of Public Authority under the act.
  2. Exceptions under the act.
  3. About Chief Information Commissioner.
  4. State Information Commissioners.
  5. Public Information Officers.
  6. Latest amendments.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the RTI Act, 2005.

Sources: the Hindu.