Kerala: Information related to inter-State water issues not be disclosed under RTI
As per an order issued by Kerala Additional Chief Secretary (Water Resources) V. J. Kurian, all documents and information related to inter-State water issues not be disclosed to the public including the applicants who file an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The order cites Section 8 (1)(a) of the RTI Act which says that the State has no obligation to release information that would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific and economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence. As per the order from the Water Resources (Inter-State Water Cell) Department, the pleadings filed in pending cases and the documents relied upon in the cases should not be made public as their disclosure might adversely affect the conduct of cases and may hamper the interest of the State in future.
The order has invited protests and general secretary of the Kerala RTI Federation D.B. Binu has filed a complaint before the Commission challenging the order. Under section 8(1)(b)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court;
of the RTI Act, information can be denied only if it is expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure may constitute contempt of court.