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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Details of police complaints, arrest warrants can be made public: CIC

As reported by Himanshi Dhawan of TNN in on 07 March 2009:

NEW DELHI: Overruling Delhi Police's objections, the Central Information Commission (CIC) recently decided that complaints, action taken reports, arrest warrants and other details against an individual could be made public and did not violate the person's right to privacy.

The commission ordered that the information be made available to the applicant within 15 working days, saying the matter was already discussed in Parliament -- which attests to the demands of public interest -- and left no justification for withholding the information.

Quoting a recent Madras High Court decision, chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said the court had concluded that the "right to privacy fades out in front of the Right to Information and larger public interest".

An applicant, Prakash Jus Roy, had asked for information related to list of complaints, FIRs, arrest warrants, action taken reports and non-traceable reports filed in the case of builders T C Jaina and his sons, Rajender and Rakesh Jaina.

The information was denied by joint commissioner of police (New Delhi) Alok Verma on the plea that the appellant had sought information related to a third party. Under section 11 of the RTI Act, for information related to a third party, the person must be allowed to present his objections. When contacted, the third party, in this case Rajender Jaina, objected to information being given to Roy.

Roy then approached the CIC, arguing that the issue was discussed on the floor of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and that Jaina continued to cheat people and it was in larger public interest to disclose the information.

Habibullah heard Jaina's objections who sought exemption under section 8 of the RTI Act that says notwithstanding anything in the Act, no citizen shall be obligated to give "information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court".

However, CIC finally ruled that there was larger public interest in making this information public.
Details of police complaints, arrest warrants can be made public: CIC -India-The Times of India

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