Appeal No. 01/IC(A)/2006. Case: Ashok Kumar Aggarwal, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax Vs Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. Central Information Commission

Case NumberAppeal No. 01/IC(A)/2006
JudgesWajahat Habibullah, C.I.C. and M.M. Ansari, I.C.
IssueRight to Information Act
Judgement DateFebruary 16, 2006
CourtCentral Information Commission

Decision:

Wajahat Habibullah, C.I.C. and M.M. Ansari, I.C.

The Appeal:

1. Shri Ashok Kumar Aggarwal has filed an appeal on 27.12.2005 against an order dated 1st November, 2005 passed by Shri Rakesh Singh, Joint Secretary (Revenue) & Appellate Authority under RTI Act, 2005 (the Act), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance rejecting the appeal preferred against the order dated 28th October, 2005 passed by Shri Mukul Singhal, CPIO, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

2. The Appellant has asked for the certified copies of following files Under Section 6 of the RTI Act, 2005 vide his application dated 14.10.2005.

(1) F. No. 16/1/99-Ad.IC of Department of Revenue pertaining to grant of sanction for prosecution of the appellant.

(2) F. No. 31/17/2003-Vig. of Department of Revenue pertaining to review of sanction for prosecution of the appellant.

3. The Appellant has submitted that the documents asked for by him do not have any adverse implications in relation to "law enforcement" or "security purposes". The appellant has further stated that the concerned documents would go to show that the CBI has fraudulently obtained the sanction for his prosecution from the sanctioning authority. He has further stated that since a charge-sheet has been filed by the CBI in the court on 28th June, 2002, there would be no adverse impact on any investigation process.

Facts of the Case:

4. The Appellant has sought information/document from the said files that relate to the sanction for prosecution granted by the competent authority on the investigation made by the CBI in case No. RC-S.18.1999.E0001. In addition, the files contain representations made by the appellant for review and withdrawal of the prosecution sanction dated 21.6.2002, the examination of the said representation, the decision taken by the competent authority to reject the request, as also other documents/correspondence made with the agencies concerned with the matter. The Appellant is facing prosecution before the trial court in the above said matter. CPIO has stated that the information pertaining to documents required by him is covered by the exemptions provided in Section 8(1)(g) and 8(i) (h) of the Act.

5. CPIO has concluded that disclosure of the information required by the Appellant would impede and prejudice the prosecution by causing breach of confidentiality of assistance given for law enforcement purposes.

6. An appeal was filed by Shri Ashok Kumar Aggarwal to first Appellate Authority on the ground that Section 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(h) are not applicable in this case and request was again made for the requisite information.

7. The first Appellate Authority held that the CPIO has rightly held that whatever documents Shri Aggarwal is entitled to, as per legal procedure, have already been made available to him through the trial court. The CPIO has further rightly held that this case is covered under exemptions provided Under Section 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(h) since the information sought is likely to impede his prosecution and would cause breach of confidentiality of assistance given for law...

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