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The High Court emphasized that the IB was exempt from the provisions of the RTI Act. The bench also noted that the information sought by the appellant did not fall within the categories specified as exceptions under Section 24 of the RTI Act
The Delhi High Court has ruled that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is exempt from the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, citing Section 24 of the Act, which excludes certain organizations from its purview.
The case arose when an appellant appeared for the Assistant Central Intelligence Officer Grade-II Examination conducted by the IB in 2017. However, his name did not appear on the list of successful candidates. Reports of irregularities related to the examination were published in newspapers, prompting the appellant to file an RTI application seeking information about his marks, a certified copy of his OMR sheet, and a model answer key.
The division bench composed of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula stated, "unsubstantiated submissions and bald averments alleging corruption cannot be the basis for a direction from this Court to an organization specified under the Second Schedule of the RTI Act."
In response, the IB asserted that the information sought was exempt from disclosure under Section 24 of the RTI Act. Dissatisfied with this response, the appellant filed a complaint with the Central Information Commission (CIC).
CIC issued an order rejecting the appellant's RTI application, stating that the IB, as specified in the Second Schedule of the RTI Act, was exempt from its provisions. The CIC also noted that the information sought did not fall under the categories for which exempted institutions are required to disclose information under the proviso to Section 24 of the RTI Act (human rights violations and allegations of corruption).
The appellant challenged the CIC's order before the Delhi High Court, but a Single Bench dismissed the challenge. The appellant's counsel argued that given news articles reporting irregularities in the exam, corruption was apparent.
In the present round, the Division Bench upheld the dismissal of the appeal, emphasizing that the IB was exempt from the provisions of the RTI Act. The bench also noted that the information sought by the appellant did not fall within the categories specified as exceptions under Section 24 of the RTI Act.
Case Title: ADARSH KANOJIA vs. UNION OF INDIA
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