The Central Information Commission has asked the Indian Army to hand over the court of inquiry, post-mortem and other reports related to the death of Shaurya Chakra awardee Captain Sumit Kohli to his mother Veena Kohli. Captain Kohli's death in 2006 in Jammu and Kashmir was stated to be a case of alleged suicide by his unit.
Moments after hearing the news of the death of his son, Captain Kohli's father also passed away. Veena Kohli, a resident of Chandigarh, has been demanding reports and other documents related to the court of inquiry, post-mortem and inquest proceedings conducted after the officer's death.
Army officials had not passed on documents to the officer's mother on the plea that they could not be provided to individuals who are not governed by the Army Act. It was also stated by the Army that the death had occurred in Jammu and Kashmir and the Right To Information Act was not applicable there.
An aggrieved Veena Kohli had approached the CIC, pleading that the RTI act was also applicable to the Army, as it was a central government organisation.
In its order on Wednesday, the CIC said the RTI Act should now apply to all government organisations, irrespective of their location.
The CIC also said that the court of inquiry proceedings are not excluded from the RTI Act and they have to be disseminated under it. The commission made it clear that the proceedings can be held back in cases where the disclosure of an inquiry can have ramifications on national security.