The Central Information Commission has held that Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force, does not fall within the purview of the Right to Information Act, 2005 as it is an exempted organization under Section 24(1) of the Act.
Section 24(1) states that the RTI Act shall not apply to intelligence and security organizations.
The order was passed in an appeal filed by one Rajendra Singh Balmiki, who had sought information from the Respondent, CPIO, Directorate General, Assam Rifles, Shillong, with respect to his salary, pensions and other benefits paid to him. The hearing in the matter was held via video conferencing.
Balmiki contended before the Commission that the CPIO had wrongly denied the information sought for by taking plea of being an exempted organization under Section 24 read with Schedule II of the RTI Act.
Noting on the contrary that Assam Rifles has been declared an exempted organization under the aforesaid provisions, Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava said,
"…information has been sought from an organization to which the RTI Act does not apply as per Section 24(1) of the RTI Act. Further, the information sought does not pertain to allegations of corruption and human rights violations. Hence, information cannot be provided to the appellant".
Notably, information relating to corruption or human rights is not protected under the Act in view of the first proviso to Section 24(1).