The Punjab and Haryana high court has issued a notice to the state government and the state information commission over a plea by a right to information (RTI) activist, who said he was denied information about corrupt administrative officers.
Subhash, state convener of Rohtak-based Haryana soochna adhikar manch, said he had filed an RTI application seeking a list of IAS, IPS, HCS and HPS officers who faced corruption charges between January 1, 2000 and October 31, 2013.
He also asked the government to provide details about action taken against such officers.
Refusing to divulge the details, the chief secretary had replied that the application "in respect of IAS and HCS officers is personal in nature and is exempted" from being sought under RTI, Subhash told the court.
The RTI activist, through his advocate Pradeep Rapria, said he later approached the appellate authorities but was still not provided the details.
"What's more socking is that the state information commission, Haryana, had even maintained that indulging in corrupt practices was part of the officials' personal information and its disclosure would lead to invasion of their privacy," Subhash added.
Pleading in court, he said, "The public has the fundamental right to know about the conduct of administrative officers, especially in reference to corruption cases registered during discharge of their public duties. The officials involved in corruption cases do not have any right to privacy and disclosure of such information is larger public interest."
Seeking time to file its reply, the state government has sought time from the court to respond to the RTI activist's queries.
The court has set May 2 as the next date of hearing.