The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT),which probed nine key cases of post-Godhra riots,is exempt from queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,according to the state government.
An RTI application filed by The Indian Express with the state Home department on January 18 this year,seeking information on the number of trips SIT chief R K Raghavan made to Gujarat,the expenses incurred on his trips and whether the state government had set aside a budget for the SIT,has failed to get any information so far.
Raghavan,a former CBI director,arrived in Gujarat in 2008 to head the probe,but was never based here. The SIT,though,was given an office in the Old Sachivalaya in Gandhinagar.
On February 3,the government replied to the RTI application,saying the information could not be given to the applicant.
To back its claim,it attached a state governments notification issued on 25 October,2005,stating that the departments and bodies exempted from the RTI Act included State Intelligence Bureau (all intelligence wings),Anti-Terrorism Squad,Detection of Crime Branch and special branches formed under the Home Department.
Though there was no mention of SIT in the notification,the governments reply said SIT fell under the special branches of the Home department.