Deliberative bodies should be insulated from RTI: CIC
2 Oct 2007, Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has said that multi-member deliberative bodies should be insulated from disclosing their details under the Right to Information Act.
"A certain amount of insularity from disclosure requirement needs to be accepted if multi-member deliberative bodies are to function effectively and carry out their statutory function objectively, fairly and justly," Information Commissioner A N Tiwari observed in an order.
The observation came in light of a RTI plea of Mumbai resident R B Jain, who had sought from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) recordings of its council meeting in a disciplinary proceeding against him.
While the institute took a plea that objective and unbiased functioning of its Council was
"critically dependent on the confidentiality of its deliberative process", the applicant submitted that openness in such matters would enhance the credibility of the ICAI Council.
Agreeing with ICAI's decision to deny recordings of its Council meeting, the Commission noted, "insularity immunizes the members of such decision-making bodies from pressures and counter-pressures, which have the potentiality to impair their functioning as free-agents."