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November 29, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The recent exemption of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) from the Right to Information Act, 2005, has sparked discussions on the transparency of its operations. This move, executed under Section 24(2) of the RTI Act, raises concerns about limited public access to information regarding CERT-In’s activities.

CERT-In’s Exemption:

How CERT-In was Exempted:

Utilizing powers under Section 24(2) of the RTI Act, the Centre excluded CERT-In from the Act’s purview.

The amendment involved modifying the Second Schedule through a notification in the Official Gazette.

Legal Framework for Exemption:

Section 24(2) empowers the Central Government to alter the Schedule for intelligence or security organizations.

CERT-In joins 26 other organizations exempted, including Intelligence Bureau and Enforcement Directorate.

Exemptions and Limitations:

Exemption doesn’t cover corruption and human rights violation allegations.

Information on human rights violations requires Central Information Commission approval.

Legislative Procedure:

Amendments to the Second Schedule necessitate notification and parliamentary presentation.

Similar powers are granted to state governments under Section 24(4).


CERT-In, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, addresses cybersecurity threats.

Operational since January 2004, it plays a pivotal role in safeguarding India’s digital assets.


Collection, analysis, and dissemination of cyber incident information.

Forecasting and alerting on cybersecurity incidents.

Coordination of emergency measures and response activities.

Issuing guidelines and advisories for information security.

Importance for India:

Protects critical information infrastructure from cyber threats.

Enhances cyber resilience across sectors like government, defense, banking, and telecom.

Contributes to national security and economic development through a secure cyber environment.

The Right to Information Act, 2005:

 Enactment and Foundation:

Enacted in 2005, the RTI Act grants citizens access to public authorities’ information.

Derived from Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, ensuring freedom of speech and expression.

Constitutional Backing:

Considered a fundamental right based on Article 19(1)(a) and established in the Raj Narain vs. State of Uttar Pradesh case.

Time Period and Exemptions:

Information to be supplied within 30 days, 48 hours for matters related to life or liberty.

Section 8(1) outlines exemptions, including national security and foreign relations.


Public Information Office (PIO) acts as a bridge between citizens and information holders.

PIOs play a crucial role in responding to information requests.

Appellate Authority:

Appeals can be made to the First Appellate Authority and further to the Central or State Information Commission if needed.

Recent Amendments in RTI Act:

Amendment in 2023:

Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023 modified Section 8(1)(j), exempting all personal information from disclosure.

Removed previous exceptions allowing the release of such information.

Right to Information (Amendment) Act, 2019:

Altered tenure and conditions of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs).

ICs’ terms made subject to central government prescription.


The recent exemption of CERT-In from the Right to Information Act brings attention to the delicate balance between transparency and national security. Understanding the legal provisions, CERT-In’s crucial role, and the broader context of the RTI Act is essential for informed discussions on governance, security, and the public’s right to information. Striking this balance requires careful consideration of evolving legislative frameworks and their implications on accountability and citizens’ rights.

Mains Question:

  1. The recent exemption of CERT-In from the Right to Information Act, 2005, has ignited debates on the delicate balance between transparency and national security. Analyze the legal provisions, discuss CERT-In’s role in cybersecurity, and evaluate the broader implications of such exemptions on accountability and citizens’ rights. (150 Words)


November 29, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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