Jan 2016 order exempting Anti-Corruption Bureau from RTI ambit revoked: State govt to Kerala HC

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: A government order exempting the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau 'T' Branch of Kerala from the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been rescinded, the ruling Left administration has told the High Court here.

The state government has told the Kerala High Court that it had in January last year rescinded its 2016 order by which the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau 'T' Branch, an intelligence and security organisation, was exempted from the purview of the transparency law.

The submission was made before the court during hearing of two pleas by the Indian Association of Lawyers and the Aam Aadmi Party challenging the January 2016 government order.

The lawyers body and the political party had contended that the State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau 'T' Branch was not a security organisation or intelligence agency, and it was purely an investigation unit for probing graft cases against public servants.

The real intention of the state government was to prevent the public from getting information regarding cases investigated by the State Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau against its own ministers and officials, the pleas had alleged.

They had also contended that the government order of 2016 was against the object and goal of the RTI Act as well as violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution.

The state government, on the other hand, told the court that the 2016 order was rescinded in January 2022.

In view of the government's submission, the court said it was not going to delve into the merits of the pleas and closed the petitions.


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