The Indian Consulate in Sydney has refused to make public, the records related to alleged fake passport issued to Chhota Rajan which enabled his stay in Australia.
Venkatesh Nayak of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), a New Delhi based organisation, had sought from the Indian High Commission in Australia details of the passport issued to Rajan aka Mohan Kumar on the basis of forged identity.
According to a report published by NDTV, the Indian Consulate in Sydney has refused to make public the records related to alleged fake passport issued to Chhota Rajan aka Mohan Kumar on 8/07/2008.
Mr Nayak's application was forwarded to the consulate in Sydney where the travel document was issued. Citing four exemption clauses from the RTI Act without giving any reason to substantiate them the consulate refused to divulge the details citing Sections 8(1)(a), (e), (g) and (h) of the RTI Act.
Mr Nayak claimed: "... The First Appellate Authority has sent the email that the CPIO rejected my RTI application under Sections 8A, 8E, 8G and 8H. There is no attachment or email form the CPIO that was supposedly sent to me. To which email address, I am not sure."
NDTV reports that several high courts have given orders in the past that mere invoking exemptions is not enough and the public authority must give sufficient reasons to justify denial of information.
"This reply from the Sydney Consulate amounts to shielding officers who may have issued the passport without due diligence or perhaps even through corrupt means. The CBI has already registered an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against unnamed officials in this case. So there is a great amount of public interest in making the identity of these officials public instead of protecting them," Mr Nayak said.