RAW Is An Exempted Organization Under RTI, Information Not Liable To Be Disclosed Unless It’s Human Rights Or Corruption Issues: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court has observed that Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is an exempt organization under the Right To Information Act. Thus the Court held unless the nature of information sought relates to human rights or corruption, information is not liable to be disclosed.
“RAW is an organisation which is specifically mentioned in the Section Schedule to the RTI Act. It is an exempt organisation. Unless the nature of information sought relates to human rights or corruption related issues, information is not liable to be disclosed”, Justice Prathiba M Singh observed.
The Court was dealing with a plea challenging an order by which the CIC dismissed the appeal of the RTI Applicant who had sought information on the residences of a former RAW chief.
CGSC Rakesh Kumar appeared for UOI.
The finding of the CIC was that the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is covered by Section 24 as an exempt organization and no case of human rights or corruption was made out to attract the exception.
Section 24 of the Right to Information Act provides that the said Act does not apply to the security and intelligence organizations specified in the Second Schedule of the Act. RAW is one of the organizations specified in the Second Schedule. However, the first proviso to Section 24 provides an exception to exemption provided in section 24 if the information sought pertains to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations.
“In the present petition, the nature of information sought, i.e., the residences where the subject person who was the head of RAW which is a security agency, would not be covered in the exemption. In view of the above discussion, the impugned order does not deserve to be interfered with”, the Court held.
Cause Title- Nisha Priya Bhatia v. CPIO, Directorate Of Estates, Ministry Of Urban Development & Anr (Neutral Citation- 2023:DHC:2937)