June 21, 2022
The Orissa High Court in a significant judgment held that the Odisha Vigilance cannot withhold information relating to human rights violations and allegations of corruption except sensitive and confidential activities.
According to the reports, Siddharth Prasad Das, counsel for petitioners speaking to reporters on the High Court’s judgment said “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.”
He further stated that 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.
The High Court pronounced the judgment after hearing three PILs (public interest litigations) challenging the State government’s notification of August 11, 2016.
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