Saturday, June 19, 2010

Info panel delivers first split verdict

Transparency watchdog Central Information Commission (CIC) has given its first split decision on whether an accused can seek information on the reasons for his or her prosecution sanctions. Two information commissioners, former bureaucrats AN Tiwari and Satyananda Mishra, said the information could not be provided under the Right to
Information Act, whereas the third commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, an RTI activist before he joined the commission, said it could be provided. RTI applicant Seetharamaih showed records of conversation between customs officials and the Central Bureau of Investigation for initiating proceedings against his son for alleged corruption practices. The Directorate of Customs and Taxation denied the information on the ground
that it was the property of the trial court, which can provide the information as per relevant criminal laws. Not satisfied, Seetharamaih appealed before the CIC.

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