This Article is From Jun 24, 2011

Should RTI cover CBI? Madras High Court steps in

Should RTI cover CBI? Madras High Court steps in
Chennai: The Madras High Court has asked the government and the CBI to explain why the investigative agency should be exempted from the Right to Information Act.

On Saturday, the Cabinet approved the CBI's request, which stressed the need for privacy on the grounds that it handles "the investigations of several politically sensitive cases which have inter-state and international ramifications." The court has asked the government to defend this stand in three weeks. It's intervention was based on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The petitioner S Vijayalakshmi, an RTI activist,alleged that the Centre has become "jittery and rudderless" in the war against corruption. The Centre has "maliciously" decided to conceal its "wrongdoings," the petition claims.

The proposed exemption for the CBI comes at a time when the government is being accused of not being transparent enough. Activists are upset, for example, with the government's version of the Lokpal Bill, meant to tackle corruption among politicians and bureaucrats.

"I am enraged... I will take the matter up with the chairperson of the UPA," said Aruna Roy, earlier this week. She is a member of the National Advisory Council, an advisory body headed by Sonia Gandhi which influences government policy.