The Central Information Commission has directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to provide copies of all orders passed by the Union Government from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2015, granting remission to various prisoners across the country to A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts undergoing life imprisonment in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case. Perarivalan had sought to know whether any set of rules governing the provisions of Article 72 & 73 of the Constitution of India as well as those under Section 432-435 Cr. PC were framed by the Central government in compliance with the decision of the Supreme Court in Union of India Vs. V. Sriharanalias Murugan and others. Directing the MHA to furnish an ‘unambiguous reply’, Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Yashovardhan Azad said the petitioner was entitled to access the information.
Referring to the denial of the information, the CIC said the Public Information Officer (PIO) had failed to apply his mind and sought a blanket refuge under the guise of the matter being sub judice. “It is well settled that mere pendency of a matter before a court of law does not render all information espousing the matter as exempted under the RTI Act. There was no specific direction from the court to that effect. Hence, the decision of PIO was bad in law.”