Disciplinary proceedings are not human rights violation and security agencies, exempted from the purview of the RTI Act, need not provide information on such issues, the Delhi High Court has ruled. The ruling by Justice Vibhu Bakhru came on a CBI plea challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) order directing the agency to provide one of its officers the status and details of disciplinary proceedings against him.
The court set aside the CIC’s order of June 9, 2017, saying that the commission “fell in error” by issuing the direction. The verdict assumes significance as agencies which are exempted from the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, are required under the transparency law to provide information they have pertaining to human rights violation and corruption. In the instant case, the CBI officer, who was seeking the status of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him in 2011, had contended that the pendency of the proceedings had resulted in withholding of his promotion, which caused him immense distress and amounted to human rights violation.
The court disagreed with the submission, saying that the expression human rights violation cannot extend to all matters where someone claims a breach of fundamental rights. “Plainly, the said expression cannot be extended to include controversies relating to service matters. “The grievances that respondent (CBI officer) has in respect of the disciplinary proceedings in question do not fall under the ambit of human rights violations,” it said while allowing the CBI plea.
The CBI, in its appeal filed through advocate C K Bhatt, had contended that it was exempted from purview of the transparency law. It had also argued that the information sought by the RTI applicant-CBI officer had no relation to human rights violation or corruption.
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