Orissa High Court Orders To Bring Vigilance Under Purview Of RTI

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court in a significant judgement today held that the Odisha Vigilance cannot withhold information relating to human rights violations and allegations of corruption except sensitive and confidential activities.

“The High Court today ruled that barring sensitive and confidential activities of the Vigilance department, all other information relating to human rights violation and allegations of corruption cannot be withheld by the Vigilance department. Since it is the fundamental right of all citizens to have access to information,” informed Siddharth Prasad Das, counsel for petitioners speaking to reporters on the High Court’s judgement.

The High Court has allowed four weeks’ time for the Odisha government to issue a clarificatory notification on its earlier issued notification of August 11, 2016, which had excluded the Vigilance department from the purview of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, Das said.

In the clarificatory notification, the government will have to pay attention so that allegations of corruption and human rights violation is brought under the purview of RTI, Das added.

The High Court pronounced the judgement after hearing three PILs (public interest litigations) challenging the State government’s notification of August 11, 2016.

Siddharth Prasad Das, Counsel for petitioners