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Non-supply of the information/ documents is a human rights violation, if those are required to agitate the right to promotion: High Court of Delhi

The intent of service jurisprudence at the level of any establishment/organization is to promote peace and harmony and at the level of the society, the objective is to promote human rights. If employees of an establishment cannot agitate their grievances before judicial forums, these organizations/establishments may become autocratic. RTI Act is a tool which facilitates the employees and officers in airing their grievances systematically and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE MANMOHAN in the case of UNION OF INDIA vs. CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMMISSION & ANR. [LPA 734/2018] on 25.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that respondent is working as a Superintendent in Administration with Enforcement Directorate (‘ED’). She had filed an application under Right to Information Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as ‘RTI Act’) seeking the information regarding the proposal for promotion of LDCs placed before the DPC together with copies of the Minutes of the Meetings and copies of the promotion orders issued on the recommendations of the DPC from time to time. The aforesaid information was directed to be furnished by the Appellant to respondent by CIC. Aggrieved by the said decision, the Appellant had filed writ petition. However, the said writ petition was dismissed.

Counsel for the Appellant submitted that the learned Single Judge while passing the impugned order held that the information sought by respondent does not fall under the purview of Section 24 of the RTI Act. He submits that learned Single Judge has erred in holding that the information should be provided to respondent since it did not pertain to intelligence or security and secrecy of the Appellant organization. It was contended that Section 24(1) of the RTI Act expressly excludes intelligence and security organizations specified in the Second Schedule of the Act because only information furnished by such organization to the Government pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violation is allowed to be provided and everything else is barred.

Counsel for the respondent stated that in the absence of information sought for, the respondent is unable to enforce her fundamental and legal right to promotion. Despite order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, no information has been furnished by the Appellant to the respondent till date.

The Court held that the employees of a security establishment cannot be deprived of their fundamental and legal rights just because they work in an intelligence and security establishment. To hold so would amount to holding that those who serve in these organizations have no human rights. It was observed, “the intent of service jurisprudence at the level of any establishment/organization is to promote peace and harmony and at the level of the society, the objective is to promote human rights. If employees of an establishment cannot agitate their grievances before judicial forums, these organizations/establishments may become autocratic. RTI Act is a tool which facilitates the employees and officers in airing their grievances systematically.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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