Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 17:51 IST
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad to publish all the principles and orders framed underneath Sec.33 of the Gujarat Police Act on the Department’s web site to make it obtainable and accessible to the general public.
The court docket handed the order in a petition filed in opposition to the denial of knowledge on the Rules underneath which the petitioners’ utility in search of permission to stage a peaceable protest in opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 29, 2019 was denied by the Police.
When the petitioner, by a letter to the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, requested underneath which guidelines or laws she had been denied permission to protest, the data was denied by the division.
Consequently, the petitioner moved the excessive court docket in search of publication and on-line entry to all guidelines, laws, directions, manuals and information held by the workplace of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad or underneath its management or utilized by its workers for discharging its features.
However, the Assistant Government Pleader opposed the petition objecting to its maintainability. He primarily argued that as an alternative of pursuing the treatment of attraction obtainable underneath the Right to Information Act, the petitioner adopted a intelligent strategy and resorted to the excessive court docket straight.
The AGP additionally contended that the Special Branch of the Commissioner of Police is a Security & Intelligence Organization of the State Government which is among the exempted 11 organizations underneath Sec.24(4) of the Right to Information Act which entitles the federal government not to give or half with info.
The bench of Biren Vaishnav noticed that assemblies and processions could be regulated by guidelines which could be framed underneath the provisions of Sec.33(1) (o) of the Gujarat Police Act, 1951 and sub-section 6 of Sec.33 mandates publication of such guidelines or orders.
Further, referring to the preamble of the Right to Information Act, the court docket mentioned that the Constitution of India has established a democratic republic. “Democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed,” it observed.
The HC held that the information pertaining to rules, acts, regulations and manuals withheld on the website of the Police Department as being “departmental use only”, when learn within the context of Sec.33(6) of the Act can be opposite to the mandate as offered underneath the Section which mandates publication of the principles.
The court agreed with the submission of the petitioner’s counsel who had quoted Lon L Fuller for stating that “there can be no greater legal monstrosity than a secret statute”.
Therefore, in light of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the petitioner under Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution, the court held the petitioner was entitled to the information she sought from Police Department.
“The petitioner is entitled to know the rules framed under Sec.33 of the Gujarat Police Act, so as to know the reasons by which the petitioner was denied permission as in the absence of such knowledge, the petitioner will be handicapped in challenging such permission which will be a direct infringement of her fundamental right and a statutory right to know and access the law of the land which he violated,” the court said.
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