The Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday refused to share the details of black money brought back from abroad in its response to a Central Information Commission order, PTI reported. The PMO cited a provision of the Right to Information Act that bars the disclosure of information that may impede investigation and prosecution of offenders.

Indian Forest Service officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi had filed a RTI application in August 2017 seeking details on the quantum of black money brought from abroad since June 1, 2014. But the PMO refused to share the details in October 2017, claiming that “the request is not covered under RTI rules”. Chaturvedi then approached the Central Information Commission. On October 16, the panel ordered the PMO to provide the information within 15 days.

“As such, disclosure of all the action/efforts undertaken by the government at this juncture may impede the whole process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders and hence would attract the provision of exemption under Section 8 [1] [h] of the RTI Act,” the PMO said after the Central Information Commission’s order.

The office added that such investigations come under the purview of different government intelligence and security organisations which have been excluded from the ambit of the RTI Act.