The CIC today directed technical snooping agency National Technical Research Organisation to disclose information related to alleged filming of its women employees in the toilets using hidden cameras.
Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said although the organisation is exempted from making disclosures under the RTI Act, the case was clearly of human rights violation of women employees and hence it must be disclosed.
Gurgaon-based lawyer Naina Kapur had sought information from the NTRO if any of its women employees had filed a complaint regarding their alleged filming in organisation's toilets using spy cameras and action taken on their allegations.
NTRO refused to part with information saying it was an exempted organisation under schedule two of the Section 24 of the RTI Act and hence not required to disclose any information sought by Kapur.
The lawyer challenged the decision before the CIC arguing that even though the organisation was an exempted one, the case was violation of human rights violation and therefore the information must be disclosed.
Section 24 of the RTI Act exempts security organisations listed under second schedule from making any disclosures under the transparency law provided there are no allegations of corruption or human rights violation.
There was furore after news reports surfaced that women employees of NTRO were filmed inside office toilets using spy cams. Women staffers of NTRO had complained and an enquiry was also carried out but its results never came out.
"It is clear that it (information sought) falls squarely within the proviso to section 24. If, indeed, there was any such complaint from any women employees, it would constitute a clear case of violation of the women's human rights.Therefore, in our view, the CPIO is obliged to respond to the RTI queries," Mishra said in the order.