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Shanti Bhushan CD case: Can’t provide probe data under RTI, police to HC

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court was Thursday informed by the city police that it cannot provide investigation material under the RTI Act, while challenging a CIC direction to make public forensic reports of a CD that purportedly contained a conversation among lawyer Shanti Bhushan and politicians Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Justice V.P. Vaish was informed by an additional solicitor general (ASG), appearing for Delhi Police, that an “untraced report”, stating that police failed to get any “clue of the culprits” involved in the case related to the CD, was filed in a trial court and the matter was still pending there.

The court posted the matter for May 21, after taking into note that the next date posted by the trial court was May 6.

During the hearing, the ASG said forensic reports of the CD were part of the investigation and cannot be provided to an RTI activist under the Right to Information Act by the order of Central Information Commission (CIC).

“Any material subject matter of investigation will not be given under the RTI Act. We have here challenged the CIC order of asking us (police) to made public the documents,” he added.

In 2011, the high court had stayed the CIC order on an appeal by Delhi Police against its Nov 14, 2011 decision. The CIC order came on RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal’s plea.

The CD purportedly contained a conversation where Bhushan allegedly promised Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh that a judge could be influenced for a price and suggested that his son and lawyer Prashant Bhushan would facilitate this.

Advocate Shyam Singh Chauhan, appearing for Agarwal, pleaded that the CIC order was correct and documents be provided to him as ordered by the CIC.

Delhi Police in its plea contended that it cannot comply with the CIC order as the matter was subjudice before a trial court.

The CIC had directed Delhi Police and the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh to make public the forensic reports on the allegedly doctored CD.

Agarwal claimed the Chandigarh lab has already revealed its report on the CD, reportedly certifying it as doctored.

The trial court, which has been hearing the case related to the CD, had rejected a closure report filed by police in July 2011.

The magistrate rejected the closure report and had directed officials to expeditiously probe the motive behind creation of the controversial CD.

In May last year, Delhi Police had filed an “untraced report” before the trial court saying it failed to get any “clue of the culprits” who were involved in the case.