The right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security

Ms. Eliamma Sebastian vs Ministry Of Home Affairs And Ors.

Delhi HC

17/03/2016

W.P.(C) 6532/2013, C.M. NOS. 14204-14205/2013, 16799/2014 & 20303/2014

About/from the judgment:

The next question that arises for consideration is the scope of Section 22 of the RTI Act and its applicability to the provisions of Section 139 of the DCS, Act. Section 22 declares all laws, bye-laws, rules etc. which are inconsistent with the provisions of the RTI Act shall be overridden by its provisions. To gather what is inconsistent with the provisions of the Act, it is essential to see what is the purpose and intent behind passing of this Act. In People's Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India (2004) 2 SCC 476, the Supreme Court held that right of information is a facet of the freedom of "speech and expression" as contained in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and such a right is subject to any reasonable restriction in the interest of the security of the state and subject to exemptions and exceptions. In State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain - (1975) 4 SCC 428, the Supreme Court observed that “the right to know, which is derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security."

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