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CBI says it has no record of pending cases
December 02, 2007 15:54 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is expected to keep a tab on cases under trial involving it, has claimed it has no records of the cases pending in various courts throughout the country.
Even the Central Information Commission (CIC) has expressed its inability to come to the rescue of one of CBI's lawyer who feared that the non-maintenance of list of its
pending cases could compromise the agency's ability to pursue prosecution.
Hearing a Right to Information application filed by Rajendra Singh, a public prosecutor with CBI, the apex information body said it was not competent under the law to decide on the matter.
"The information held by the public authority (CBI) in this case has been provided and that is that they maintain no such list," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said in a recent order.
Referring to the apprehensions raised by Singh, Habibullah said: "This may be the case but the point raised by the applicant is beyond the competence of this Commission to adjudicate upon."
Singh, in his RTI application with the agency, had also sought inspection of files pertaining to him, as maintained by CBI's administration division as well as directorate of prosecution.
"It is clarified that in the Directorate of Prosecution (DOP) no list of cases under trial is maintained," the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the agency's DOP had said in reply.
The applicant who, thereafter, moved an application with CIC stated that the CBI's stand on non-maintainability of trial case records was "unacceptable".
Singh also referred to a Kolkata High Court order where it was held that in cases where a public prosecutor not appointed under law contested a case, the entire prosecution was void.
The CIC, however, found fault with the agency's failure to forward to Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Singh's plea that had also sought copy of the finding of the disciplinary authority which had inquired into his written statement of defence.
While the RTI Act provide five days for a public office to transfer an application, filed wrongly with it, to the proper authority, the CBI in this case took 11 months to transfer Singh's query to the DoPT.
The CPIO of the office of Superintendent of Police has been provided 15 days to inquire into the cause of delay and identify the erring officials before the Commission.