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Thread: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case

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    Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case


    A University conducted investigation into a sexual harassment case against a college teacher. Vice Chancellor, on completion of the investigation by the Apex Committee of the University, marked the report confidential and sent it to the college for necessary action. The college Governing Body meeting was not allowed to be held. Can RTI help in getting a copy of the report? PIO has denied access to the report under the pretext of its being 'Confidential'


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    Dr. Pathak
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    The information cannot be hidden on the pretext of being 'confidential', and if asked under RTI Act need to be revealed. And the PIO refusal would not stand in the Appeal.However, Section 8 (1) (h) of RTI act exempt the information being so provided which impede the process of investigation, thus the committee report cannot be shown under RTI act if the process of investigation is not complete.

    Read following threads for reference:
    1. http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/appeal...stigation.html
    2. http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/appeal...on-exempt.html
    3. http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/appeal...formation.html
    4. http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/rti-ne...ommission.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. P.K.Parihar View Post
    Can RTI help in getting a copy of the report? PIO has denied access to the report under the pretext of its being 'Confidential'
    I am afraid, the PIO has something to hide and hence does not want to disclose this report. I guess you must appeal on this subject. Kaushal has already provided appropriate information.

    Best wishes

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    Re: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case



    I think looking to the larger interest of the people (Public Interest), the information should be revealed by the PIO, if the inquiry is over nder 8 (2).

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    Re: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case


    FYI,

    The minsitry of women and child development is completely ignoring the RTI act 2005 in cases of inquiary and punishment for sexual harrassment cases.

    Please have a look at the section 14 and 15 of the Sexual Harrassment at Workplace act bill 2007 at:
    http://www.prsindia.org/docs/draft/d...sment_bill.pdf

    I am producing the exact laguage of these two sections for your ready reference:

    14. Notwithstanding anything contained in the Right to Information Act, 2005, the contents of the complaint made under sub-section (1) of section 7, the identity and addresses of the aggrieved woman, respondent and witnesses, any information relating to conciliation and enquiry proceedings, recommendations of the Committee or the Local Committee, as the case may be, and the action taken by the employer under the provisions of this Act shall not be published, communicated or made known to the public, press and media in any manner:

    Provided that information may be disseminated regarding the justice secured to any victim of sexual harassment under this Act without disclosing the identity and address of the aggrieved woman, respondent and witnesses.

    15. Where any person entrusted with the duty to handle or deal with the complaint, enquiry or any recommendations or action to be taken under the provisions of this Act contravenes the provisions of section 14 shall be liable for penalty in accordance with the provisions of the service rules applicable to the said person or where no such service rules have been made, in such manner as may be prescribed.

    So, PIOs are out of the purview of the RTI act specially for the cases under this proposed legislation.

    Can any RTI activist digest it that a new legislation is being intentionally kept out of purview of the RTI act?

    Regards,
    Neeraj Aggarwal
    0XXXXXXXXXX
    Last edited by ambrish.p; 04-02-10 at 04:06 PM. Reason: mob no deleted

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    Re: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case


    This is only a bill. It has not become an Act. Before it becomes an Act the concerns of the public should be communicted to the Parliament. Our reps viz. MPs may help. Besides, it appears that this provision is not going to help the victim of 'sexual harrassment' in any way. The victim will be denied of info on what action has been taken on the complaint quoting this section!!

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    Re: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case


    This is a quite serious issue, and needs to be handled with care. As RTI activists we always feel that any exception to RTI is bad. But in case of sexual harassment (or for that matter cases like rape), the victim may feel that making the issue public is another form of harrasment.

    This issue requires deepper analysis, may be from activists in both these causes. It will certainly benefit the victim and future victims if the punishment given to the perpetrator becomes known to all. Also, any future perpetrator may get discouraged by publicity.

    Both cases have some merit, and both are liable to be misused. But all good things can be misused, can they not?

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    Re: Accessing Investigation Report marked Confidential in a Sexual Harassment case


    RTI Act itself provides sufficient exemptions to cover such cases.



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