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Don’t shield corrupt officers, HC tells police info panel

The Kerala High Court verdict holding that the data authority underneath the police can’t shield the names of officers who’ve been discovered responsible or dismissed from service on prices of corruption or human rights violations has introduced cheers to Right to Information (RTI) and human rights activists.

Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan handed the decision whereas disposing of a petition filed by the State Public Information Officer (Deputy Superintendent of Police) and Appellate Authority (Superintendent of Police) of the Crime Records Bureau, Thiruvananthapuram, towards the State Information Commission’s directive to publish particulars of corrupt officers who’re discovered responsible in a court docket of legislation or dismissed from service on prices of corruption and human rights violations and in addition add the names of the officers towards whom prices of corruption or human rights violation are established by means of investigation on the web site of the police.

The court docket, nonetheless, ordered that the main points of officers towards whom the offences had been established on investigation, however a conclusive discovering has not been arrived at by a court docket of legislation needn’t be printed.

The court docket upheld the opposite directives of the State Information Commission to publish the names of officers convicted on corruption or human rights violations equivalent to wrongful confinement, sexual abuse, rape, and use of abusive languages and had been faraway from providers after a due strategy of inquiry.

The High Court additionally ordered that these directives be strictly complied with.

The court docket added that the police info authority “will not be justified in shielding the names of such officers and will be bound to publish the same” however the truth that Section 4 of the RTI Act didn’t oblige them to publish such info.

Public curiosity

The court docket noticed that the data authority would have to remember that whereas coping with info not falling inside Section 4(1)(b) and (c) of the RTI Act “the authorities cannot read the exemptions in a restrictive manner,” however needs to be learn in a sensible method in order that public curiosity was preserved and the RTI Act attains a wonderful steadiness between its objective of accomplishing transparency of data and safeguarding the general public curiosity.

The petitioners contended that if the data sought by the RTI activists was disclosed to the general public it might demoralise your complete police drive. Besides, an individual towards whom a discovering of guilt had not been arrived at by a court docket of legislation was presumed to be harmless. Therefore, the State Commission was not justified in ordering the disclosure of the names and particulars of these police officers towards whom the ultimate report had not been laid.

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