CBI opposes disclosure of CWG overlay contracts, CIC relents

In a hearing before the Central Information Commission, officials of Anti-Corruption Branch of the investigating agency said they had registered three cases related to the allegations of corruption in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games and disclosure of such documents would adversely affect the probe.

Following the submissions of the CBI, Information Commissioner M L Sharma said the information can be withheld from disclosure "at this stage".

"The CBI has suggested that three criminal cases of corruption, misfeasance and malfeasance have been filed against certain officials of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee," he said.

Sharma said since investigations are at preliminary stage, the disclosure of information would impede the process.

He said the appellant also agrees with the view hence the information can be withheld from disclosure at this stage.

The case relates to an RTI application filed by activist S C Agrawal who had sought to know from the Organising Committee the details of "copies of agreements with all the firms including GL Meroform, Nussli, a Swiss firm, ESG Arena D Art Indo consortium, PICO-Deepali consortium etc" in connection with Commonwealth Games 2010.

He had also sought the names of partners of firms mentioned in his query.

The organising committee rejected the application citing section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act which prohibits disclosure of information related commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property on the ground that it can harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.

As the CBI has already started a probe in the alleged corruption in the award of the deals, the Central Information Commissioner M L Sharma had sought agency's views on the disclosure of information.

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