State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Ramesh Inder Singh has held that the police will have to maintain the daily diary report (DDR) as part of investigations to any information seeker.
Taking up an appeal filed by a resident of Sangrur, the CIC ordered yesterday that the contents of the daily diary maintained by an investigator should be made available under the RTI Act.
The applicant, Jagvinder Kaur, whose husband is lodged at the Bathinda jail, had asked for copies of the DDR from the Bathinda police, but was denied the information under Section 172 and 172 (3) of the CrPC,which bar giving out any information contained in the DDR. Jagvinder appealed to the Information Commission against the order of the Public Information Officer.
In his order, the CIC stated that the relevant sections of the CrPC did not provide any blacking out of the contents of the case diary.
“From the description of a case diary in Section 172 (1) of the CrPC,it is clear that a case diary is nothing but a record of the sequence of investigation steps reduced in writing. A case diary is certainly a paper or a document or a logbook within the meaning of Section 2(f) of the RTIO Act. It is also memo that is colloquial for memorandum.
Therefore a case diary certainly falls well within the definition of the word information as denied under the RTI Act.”
Relying on the provisions of Section 22 of the RTI Act which state that the Act shall have notwithstanding anything inconsistent with any other law for the time being in force, the CIC has held that it will have an overriding effect on any other law inconsistent with the RTI Act.
The CIC added that a mere presumption that giving out the contents of the DDR would hamper the process of prosecution without giving any sound reasons would “shadow the right (to information) itself.”
Ordering the Public Information Officer in the office of the SSP,Sangrur, to provide information within 20 days, the CIC stated, “I have intentionally allowed the period of 20 days to the complainant as he may like to challenge the order. Undoubtedly the order may have far reaching implications not only for the right of the information seekers, but the manner in which the investigating agencies maintain records of investigations. For this reason, I further direct that copy of this order be forwarded to both the Principal Secretary, Home Punjab, and the DGP to bring this order to their pointed notice.”