The CBI cannot claim to have a fiduciary relationship with an accused in an inquiry and reject an RTI application seeking information on the same, the CIC has held.
The transparency panel held this while hearing the case of an RTI applicant who was not given access to files containing details of CBI's preliminary inquiry report against an Indian Revenue Service official.
The Anti Corruption Branch of the investigating agency had earlier refused to share the file saying it was not "traceable" in its Mumbai office but after applicant G S Reddy moved an appeal with a senior official, they accepted that it has been traced.
But even after locating the file, the CBI said its inquiry report and related documents cannot be given as they contain details of its recommendation against the government official held in fiduciary capacity with it.
"The CBI cannot be a fiduciary vis-a-vis accused in an enquiry. The latter's office (accused) is independent of CBI, and there is no hierarchy in their judicial functions, which places him at a different plane than the CBI," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.
He also said that exemption clause given for fiduciary relationships in the RTI Act cannot cover investigation of complaints of corruption.