Why exempt CBI from RTI Act?


A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court for an early hearing of a petition challenging a 2011 government notification, which includes the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the list of “intelligence and security organisations” exempted from disclosing information to the public under the Right to Information Act.

The Petition:

The petition, said the June 9, 2011 notification including the CBI in the Second Schedule of the Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2005 was arbitrary, especially when the organisation was only an investigating agency and not a security or intelligence organisation.

Why CBI is denying for sharing information?

  • The CBI has been denying information citing Section 24 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which says its provisions will not apply on intelligence and security organisations, which also include the IB, RAW, NIA and the Enforcement Directorate.
  • The CBI was included in the list by the erstwhile UPA government.
  • It also said that the information on alleged corruption and human rights violation could only be disclosed if the allegations were against any official of the agency.

HC decision:

  • The information sought by the respondent would not be denied on the ground that CBI is excluded from the purview of the Act by virtue of Section 24(1) of the Act.
  • However, Delhi HC added that the CBI would be at liberty to examine whether the information sought is otherwise exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1) of the Act.
  • In the event the petitioner is of the view that the information sought is exempt under any of the clauses of Section 8(1) of the Act, the same would be communicated to the respondent within a period of six weeks from today.
  • If aggrieved, the respondent would be at liberty to avail of such remedies as may be advised.



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