In a recent decision the Delhi High Court ruled that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is exempt from disclosing information under Section 24 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI). The RTI Applicant/ Respondent in this case i.e.
Dr. Sonali G. Badhe Assistant Legal Adviser, Directorate of Enforcement, Ahmedabad filed an RTI Application dated 5th April, 2017 seeking certain information and details regarding implementation of the order dated 21stJune, 2016 against Mr. A.C Singh which related to certain allegations of sexual harassment made by the RTI Applicant/ Respondent. The Counsel for the ED submitted that as per the said judicial precedents, the consistent view has been that the IB, ED and DRDO are considered to be exempted organizations as per Section 24 of the RTI Act, 2005. Zoheb Hossain, Counsel for the ED, fairly submitted that the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court had taken a different view in decision dated 22nd March, 2022 in LPA 734/2018 titled Union of India v. Central Information Commission & Anr. In the said judgment, the Division Bench has come to the conclusion that the non-supply of information relating to the service record could be considered as human rights violation and had, therefore, allowed the disclosure of the information by the ED under the RTI Act, 2005.
The legal position was affirmed by another Single Judge of the Court in CPIO, Intelligence Bureau vs. Sanjiv Chaturvedi, wherein the proviso to Section 24 of the RTI Act, 2005 has been interpreted and it has been held that except in the case of corruption and human rights violations, the information of these exempted organisations cannot be disclosed. A Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh observed that “As can be seen from the above judicial precedents, the consistent view has been that the IB, ED and DRDO are considered to be exempted organizations as per Section 24 of the RTI Act, 2005.” To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE