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  1. #1
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    Default Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    As reported by Mahim Pratap Singh in thehindu.com on 26 August 2011:
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nationa...cle2400555.ece

    Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit

    The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to take the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Lokayukta’s Special Police Establishment out of the ambit of Right to Information Act.

    In an order passed on Thursday by the General Administration Department (GAD), the government has declared that the provisions of the RTI Act will not apply to the EOW and the Lokayukta police.

    Several high-profile cases of corruption involving government officials and politicians are currently being investigated by the two institutions.

    Interestingly, the government has cited the danger to the lives of those seeking information on such cases as the main reason behind the move. Additionally, it has cited that providing information on cases being pursued by the two institutions may hamper investigations.

    “Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act provides for exemption from disclosure of information on certain grounds,” the order reads.

    While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has urged President Pratibha Patil to give her assent to the State’s Special Courts Bill, 2011, in order for it to curb corruption, civil society activists in the State have termed the order unconstitutional and pointed out that the State government’s recent order seems motivated to protect the corrupt.

    RTI activist Ajay Dube of Prayatna, an NGO, has submitted a memorandum to the Governor, appealing for a repeal of the order.

    “The government has used, or rather misused, sub-section 4 of section 24 of the RTI Act to pass this order. At the most, they can omit confidential information on cases under investigation, but what’s the harm in providing information on human rights and corruption related cases?,” asked Mr. Dube.

    “But they have exempted these two institutions from disclosure of information altogether, which is illegal and unconstitutional. This just shows that the government intends to shield powerful people involved in corruption, including top officials and ministers, against whom investigations are going on in the EOW and the Lokayukta,” he said.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    As reported by Joseph John in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 28 August 2011:
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...ow/9769914.cms

    Exemption is bad in law, says activist

    BHOPAL: What is it that provoked the BJP government to decide that the RTI Act shall not apply to the cases under investigation by the Special Police Establishment of Lokayukta or state Economic Offences Wing, that too when a wave of public sentiment against corruption is sweeping the country in the wake of Anna Hazare's campaign?

    Many in political and bureaucratic circles suspect that this move has something to do with the "dumper scam" where in it was alleged that Chouhan misused his official position to rent out dumper trucks to an industrial house as a quid pro quo for allotting a mining lease. After the chief minister and his wife Sadhna Singh recently got a clean chit from a court, the BJP government apparently feared that there could be a flood of RTI applications with the SPE of Lokayukta, seeking copies of note-sheets and other documents on how the agency probed the case and whether right procedures were followed or not.

    "This notification exempting SPE of Lokayukta and EOW is bad in law. While exercising powers under Section 24 sub-section four of the RTI Act, the government deliberately avoided mentioning a part of the same sub-section which stipulates that any information pertaining to allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this sub-section," says RTI activist Ajay Dubey, secretary of "Prayatna", an environmental action group.

    In a memorandum submitted to the state Governor, he pointed out that the BJP government's move was aimed at keeping secret the complaints of corruption against influential persons, as both agencies were probing corruption complaints against some ministers and senior bureaucrats. Besides, a number of recommendations-both from the Lokayukta and the EOW-for prosecution are pending for approval before the state government.

    However, in the preamble of the notification, the state government sought to explain the rationale behind the decision, saying that it considered that disclosure of details regarding names of informers or complainants in economic offences under investigation in the SPE or EOW RTI may endanger the life and physical safety of such informers or complainants. It said the government also considered that the disclosure of such information would impede the process of investigation or apprehension and prosecution of offenders.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    As reported by Supriya Amber in lawetalnews.com on 24 Sep 2011:
    http://www.lawetalnews.com/NewsDetail.asp?newsid=4774

    Exemption from RTI challenged

    In a petition before the Madhya Pradesh High Court a recent notification of the state government has been challenged. The state vide the notification excludes the office of lokayukta, special units of the Madhya Pradesh police and state economic offences investigation bureau from the purview of Right to Information Act. The bench issued notices to the principal secretary State of MP & Chief Information Commissioner of MP to file reply within four weeks.

    Counsel Rajneesh Gupta appeared for the petitioner.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit



    MP info panel chief raps Govt bid to protect EOW - Indian Express

    MP info panel chief raps Govt bid to protect EOW


    The Madhya Pradesh Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) has asked the state Government to remove the Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Lokaykuta Sangathan and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from the list of agencies exempted under the Right to Information Act.

    The Government tried to protect these establishments by refusing to provide information about them, the Commissioner said, adding that, “it amounts to escaping through the back door”. The state has been given 15 days to amend the earlier notification and asked to submit compliance report by September 14, 2007.

    The general administration department in a notification dated October 13, 2005 had clubbed these establishments under “intelligence and security agencies” category, thus exempting them from the ambit of the RTI Act. Two applicants—advocate Prakash Upadhyay, a resident of Jabalpur, and Ramnarayan Rathore, a resident of Sehore—were denied information related to these establishments and their separate applications turned down.
    CIC P P Tiwari held that that Lokayukta, EOW and CID mainly dealt with corruption-related offences and could not be clubbed with intelligence and security agencies. He said the law was very clear: any agency that deals with corruption and violation of human rights can’t be kept out of the Act’s purview.

    “It’s unfortunate that legal and constitutional agencies from whom people have high expectations try to escape from a revolutionary law that encourages transparency, accountability and openness,” said Tiwari, adding that it goes without saying that any notification which violates the Act is null and void. To avoid any confusion, the Government should amend the notification and make necessary changes within a fortnight, the CIC said.

    Tiwari said the applicants were entitled to receive the information they wanted and asked the public information officer (PIO) to provide information available with him within seven days, free of cost. He also directed the PIO to send a compliance report.
    The CIC said confusion was created for a long time though the law is very clear in such matters. The PIO has been asked to explain why he should not be penalised under Section 20(1) of the Act.


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  5. #5
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    Default Alleged misuse of RTI: High Court serves notice on state govt


    Alleged misuse of RTI: High Court serves notice on state govt


    Reported by daily.bhaskar.com on August 14,2012
    Alleged misuse of RTI: High Court serves notice on state govt - daily.bhaskar.com

    Jabalpur/Bhopal: Hearing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of exempting the Lokayukta and the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) from the purview Right to Information Act 2005, Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday served notice on state government asking it to file the reply within three weeks.

    The state government, through a notification issued on August 25 last year, had exempted the anti-graft agencies from being covered under the transparency law invoking the provisions in the Act that allowed the state to exempt only intelligence and security agencies that too for the safety and security of the state.


    RTI activist Ajay Dubey in his petition contented that state government had misused Section 24 (4) of RTI Act 2005 keeping the special police establishment of Lokayukta and EOW outside the purview of transparency law.

    According to him, under the said provisions only the organisation responsible for intelligence and security can be excluded from the purview of the RTI Act and pointed out that the anti-graft agencies would not come under this category.

    Even the state government failed to bring the notification before the legislature for its approval mandatory under the Section 24 (5) Act indicating that the motive behind the amendment was not aimed at curbing corruption but also hush up corruption, he said.


    The petition cited the example of denial of information in the closed case of dumper scam involving Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.


    Appearing for the petitioner, Advocates Rajesh Chand and Sanjay K Agrawal submitted that exempting the anti-graft agencies from the purview of the transparency law was ultra virus.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    As reported in daily.bhaskar.com on 14 Aug 2012:
    Alleged misuse of RTI: High Court serves notice on state govt - daily.bhaskar.com

    Alleged misuse of RTI: High Court serves notice on state govt


    Jabalpur/Bhopal: Hearing a petition challenging the constitutional validity of exempting the Lokayukta and the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) from the purview Right to Information Act 2005, Madhya Pradesh High Court on Monday served notice on state government asking it to file the reply within three weeks.

    The state government, through a notification issued on August 25 last year, had exempted the anti-graft agencies from being covered under the transparency law invoking the provisions in the Act that allowed the state to exempt only intelligence and security agencies that too for the safety and security of the state.

    RTI activist Ajay Dubey in his petition contented that state government had misused Section 24 (4) of RTI Act 2005 keeping the special police establishment of Lokayukta and EOW outside the purview of transparency law.

    According to him, under the said provisions only the organisation responsible for intelligence and security can be excluded from the purview of the RTI Act and pointed out that the anti-graft agencies would not come under this category.

    Even the state government failed to bring the notification before the legislature for its approval mandatory under the Section 24 (5) Act indicating that the motive behind the amendment was not aimed at curbing corruption but also hush up corruption, he said.

    The petition cited the example of denial of information in the closed case of dumper scam involving Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

    Appearing for the petitioner, Advocates Rajesh Chand and Sanjay K Agrawal submitted that exempting the anti-graft agencies from the purview of the transparency law was ultra virus.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    ​As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 Dec 2012:
    Lokayukta out of RTI: HC gives deadline to govt - Times Of India

    Lokayukta out of RTI: HC gives deadline to govt


    BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court has given the Madhya Pradesh government a last opportunity to file its reply on a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged the constitutional validity of its decision to exempt the anti-graft agencies - the special police establishment (SPE), Lokayukta and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) - from the ambit of Right to Information Act (RTI).

    The bench of Chief Justice Sharad Aravind Bobde and Justice Mulchand Garg during the hearing on Wednesday gave the state government last opportunity to file its reply and posted the case for next hearing on January 16.

    Meanwhile, the Lokayukta organisation had in its reply justified the government stand, pointing out that intelligence gathering was its main function and even the union government had done the same with the central bureau of investigation ( CBI).
    The state government through a notification issued on August 25, 2011 had exempted these two investigating agencies from the purview of RTI Act invoking its Section 24 (4).

    In August 2012, RTI activist Ajay Dubey, moved court challenging the notification, alleging that the state government has misused Section 24(4) to exempt these agencies from RTI with a mala fide intention.

    Under Section 24(4), only the organisations responsible for intelligence and security can be excluded from the purview of the RTI Act but the Lokayukta's SPE and EOW do not come under this category, the petitioner's counsels Rajesh Chand argued pleading that the notification should be quashed.

    "Government has taken this step to shelter those high officials, whose cases are pending before the Lokayukta and EOW "claims Dubey. The 'exemption' has close links to the alleged 'Dumper Scam', he alleged adding "In 2010 SPE was investigating the dumper scam and chief minister (CM) was under agency scanner, thus the chief of Lokayukta had no right, morally and ethically, to send a letter to CM requesting the exemption".



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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Madhya Pradesh puts EOW, Lokayukta police out of RTI ambit


    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    ​As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 Dec 2012:
    Lokayukta out of RTI: HC gives deadline to govt - Times Of India

    Lokayukta out of RTI: HC gives deadline to govt


    [SIZE=2][FONT=verdana]BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh high court has given the Madhya Pradesh government a last opportunity to file its reply on a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged the constitutional validity of its decision to exempt the anti-graft agencies - the special police establishment (SPE), Lokayukta and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) - from the ambit of Right to Information Act (RTI).


    Meanwhile, the Lokayukta organisation had in its reply justified the government stand, pointing out that intelligence gathering was its main function and even the union government had done the same with the central bureau of investigation ( CBI).
    The state government through a notification issued on August 25, 2011 had exempted these two investigating agencies from the purview of RTI Act invoking its Section 24

    [/COLOR]
    Hon'ble members-Please take a glance of Section 27: Miscellaneous

    1. The appropriate Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the provisions of this Act.
    2. In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—
    a. the cost of the medium or print cost price of the materials to be disseminated under sub-section (4) of section 4;
    b. the fee payable under sub-section (1) of section 6;
    c. the fee payable under sub-sections (1) and (5) of section 7;
    d. the salaries and allowances payable to and the terms and conditions of service of the officers and other employees under sub-section (6) of section 13 and sub-section (6) of section 16;
    e. the procedure to be adopted by the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, in deciding the appeals under sub-section (10) of section 19; and
    f. any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.
    Whether the action taken by state government to exempt the aforesaid organization from disclosure of information is in order to carry out the provisions of the Act. Whether this act of Government will be instrumental in providing information . How this provision supports the stand of state Government when many officials and executives are already under the dragnet of such anti-corruption institutions. Who struck down the aforesaid organizations from the purview of Transparency act , must reply the notice of High court so that its legality may be checked. Whether the decision to strike down was taken by aforesaid organizations itself or government ,if Government then it should justify its stand before the court. THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005-An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority. How this goal will be achieved?



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