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Malegaon 08': CIC Directs Home Ministry To ReplyTo RTI Query Regarding Opinion Given By Law Ministry On Applicability Of MCOCA [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
21 Jun 2019 12:49 PM GMT
Malegaon 08: CIC Directs Home Ministry To ReplyTo RTI Query Regarding Opinion Given By Law Ministry On Applicability Of MCOCA [Read Order]
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The Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide an appropriate reply to an RTI query seeking a copy of the opinion given by Ministry of Law and Justice regarding the applicability of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 on the 2008 Malegaon Bomb blast case. The said opinion was sought by the National Investigation Agency from...

The Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to provide an appropriate reply to an RTI query seeking a copy of the opinion given by Ministry of Law and Justice regarding the applicability of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 on the 2008 Malegaon Bomb blast case.

The said opinion was sought by the National Investigation Agency from the law ministry in 2016 and subsequently NIA decide to withdraw charges under MCOCA against all accused in their supplem2008 Malegaon Bomb blast caseentary charge sheet. Thus, Special NIA Court dropped charges under the stringent MCOCA against all the accused.

Appellant Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui initially filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Ministry of Law & Justice, New Delhi. Then he filed a second appeal before the Commission contending that the CPIO, Ministry of Law and Justice had transferred his RTI application under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act to the CPIO, MHA, New Delhi for necessary action in a letter dated September 29, 2017. However, no reply has been furnished to him till date by the CPIO concerned.

Srinivasu Kollipaka, CPIO and Deputy Secretary (IS-I Division), Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi were present at the time of hearing and the appellant attended through video conferencing.

The respondents submitted that the said RTI application was received in the IS-I Division, however, owing to the creation of a new division to deal with the subject matter at hand and bifurcation of work, the reply could not be furnished to the appellant in time. Thus, respondent CPIO tendered his unconditional apology for the lapse and requested the Commission to condone the same. Commission was informed that the appellant's RTI application was transferred to CTCR Division which deals with NIA matters.

However, more time was sought in order to file a reply.

After hearing submissions, CIC said-

"In view of this, the respondent should have sought the assistance of the officer concerned, under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act, and furnished an appropriate reply to the appellant. The Commission, therefore, directs the respondent to provide an appropriate reply, as per the provisions of the RTI Act, if required by seeking assistance of the officials concerned under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act, to the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order."

Click here to download the order


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