Court stays transparency panel’s order against CBI


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday stayed a Central Information Commission (CIC) order which said that “the government appears to be claiming absolute secrecy for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) without the sanction of law”.

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Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw stayed the CIC order which directed the CBI and the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) to make public the properties of its officials posted in Delhi and Mumbai and their source of income in the last 10 years, before July 30.

The transparency commission was also upset over the government’s decision to keep the CBI out of the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The CIC gave its order during a hearing on an appeal filed by Bhilwara-based activist S.S. Ranawat Aug 4, 2010.

Ranawat sought to know the file notings related to the appointment of the probe agency’s director, besides seeking a list of officers working in Delhi and Mumbai along with the details of their immovable assets.

Issuing show cause notice to the CPIO for not providing timely reply to Ranawat, the commission in its order in February directed him to comply with its orders before July 30 and make public the details of properties of CBI officials posted in Delhi and Mumbai and their source of income in the last 10 years.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said: “Given the fact that the right to information is a fundamental right, any provision by which the said right is sought to be curtailed must be strictly viewed.”