The Ministry of Interior was directed to provide certified copies of the final orders pertaining to the removal from, and, placing names of people on Exit Control List issued from 1st October 2018 to 1st October 2019. The Ministry of Interior was also directed to put the contact details of the Public Information Officer on its web sites as required under Section 5 (1) (h)of the Act and submit compliance report to the commission within 10 working days of the receipt of this order. It was also directed to take immediate steps to proactively share through the web site all categories of information mentioned in Section 5 of the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 and submit the compliance report to the commission by 03/10/2020.
The commission observed that the instant appeal has brought to the fore intersectionality of the constitutionally guaranteed right of access to information in matters of public importance with other constitutional rights such as right to fair trial under Article 10-A, inviolability of dignity of man under Article 14, freedom of movement under Article 15, freedom of assembly Article 16 and freedom of trade, business or profession, Article 18.
There have been reported incidents of people finding out at the air ports that their names have been placed on the Exit Control List. It would be stating the obvious that people go through the entire process of getting travel documents and booking tickets and hotels for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: jobs, trade, professional pursuits, education, visiting friends, families and places. The constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights are adversely impacted and infringed if people find out their names to be placed on ECL at air ports in the absence of robust mechanism informing them of the same.
The commission held that the requested information should be made available to the Appellant under Section 6 (d) of the Act as well as the Respondent is legally bound to proactively share through is web site under Section 5 (1) (b) of the Act.