MP High Court to hear the PIL regarding keeping Lokayukta out of RTI
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) High Court (HC) is going to hear the public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the decision to keep all the anti-graft agencies - the special police establishment (SPE), Lokayukta and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) – out of the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The bench comprising of Chief Justice Sharad Aravind Bobde and Justice Mulchand Garg has fixed the next hearing on January 16, 2012. Hearing was adjourned earlier when the Madhya Pradesh government was given a last opportunity to file its reply on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by RTI activist Ajay Dubey.
In its reply, the Lokayukta had justified the government stand, pointing out that intelligence gathering was its main function and even the union government had done the same with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Through a notification issued on August 25, 2011, the MP government had invoked Section 24(4) to exempt these two investigating agencies from the purview of RTI Act. The notification was challenged alleging that the state government had misused the Section 24(4) to exempt these agencies from RTI with a mala fide intention. It was claimed that the Lokayukta's SPE and EOW do not come under the category of organisations responsible for intelligence and security.