CBI to provide information to undertrial
Reported in NDTV Online March 2, 2008 (New Delhi)
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the CBI to provide documents related to an accused in a corruption case.
Normally it denies undertrials access to details related to their pending trials under the transparency law, CIC's order came in connection with a RTI plea of Delhi resident Dhirendra Krishna seeking documents from CBI.
He claimed that over 80 hearings and years of court proceedings have not culminated into framing of charges against him.
The agency denied the details on grounds that the matter was sub-judice and pending before a trial court.
The RTI Act-2005 has categorically exempted prosecuting agencies from revealing documents about pending cases if they are apprehensive that such disclosures could affect the trial.
While CIC has consistently exempted prosecuting agencies like police and CBI from divulging details on pending cases, it took an apparently divergent view in the present case to ensure that the information was denied on justifiable grounds.
''In the normal course, it has been our practice not to substitute our judgement for that of the prosecuting agencies in cases under prosecution, as to what will or what will not impede the process of investigation.
''In this case, we find that the prosecution has been proceeding for years without caring to even frame charges,'' Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.
The Commission will inspect the concerned files as sought by Krishna on May two at the office of CBI to ensure the justifiability in denying the documents to the applicant.
In his application of August 2006, Krishna sought copies of certain documents produced by the investigating agency before the court in a corruption case brought against him.
The case relates to an alleged loss of Rs 10.24 crores to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.