* Information Commission moves Dispur again
GUWAHATI: The Assam Information Commission has again moved the State government to include two premier investigation agencies of the State in the 'RTI (Right To Information) Act-2005'. These two organizations are the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) and the BIEO (Bureau of Investigation of Economic Offences). This has been revealed in the Commission latest annual report 2019-2020.
Mentionably, the two agencies were exempted from the purview of the RTI Act-2005 in 2006. The Commission had moved the State government in this regard earlier also. However, there was no response from Dispur.
The report states, "Under Section 24 (4) of the Act, the Government of Assam issued a notification on March 8, 2006 listing nine 'intelligence and security' organizations exempting them from the purview of the RTI Act -2005."
Section 24 (4) of the RTI Act authorizes the State government to include security and intelligence agencies in the list of exempted categories under RTI Act-2005. This State's list of nine organizations also includes the CID and the BIEO.
However, the Commission's report points out, "Exemption of BIEO seems to run counter to the objectives of containment of corruption and transparency in dealing with corruption. In any case, as their very names suggest, these two organizations are investigating agencies and not intelligence and security organizations.
The Assam Information Commission adds, "Section 8(1) (h) of the Act gives them reasonable and adequate exemptions to maintain confidentiality of the investigation process. Therefore, exempting these two investigating agencies u/s 24(4) of the Act appears to be not consonant with Section 24(4) of the Act, which is meant only for intelligence and security organizations.
"This Commission, therefore, recommends deletion of CID and BIEO from the list of exempted organizations as notified vide notification mentioned above".