Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Cabinet papers out under right to info

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 10, 2006

Cabinet papers out under right to info
Himanshi Dhawan
[ 10 Jul, 2006 0131hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Breaching the confidentiality of the Union Cabinet for the first time, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has allowed an appellant access to Cabinet papers and communication between the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and CBI.

The appellant, Anil Kumar, had asked for information under the Right to Information Act from the department of personnel and training (DoPT) regarding the appointment of MTNLs CMD.

In August 2004, on the recommendation of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB), the department of telecommunications (DoT) and DoPT proposed R S P Sinhas name as MTNL CMD to the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, which subsequently approved it.

The appointment was challenged in September in the Delhi High Court by the Indian Telecom Service Association on the ground that PESB had arbitrarily changed the appointment criteria.

In his appeal to CIC, Anil Kumar, who represents an NGO — Telecom Watchdog — alleged that Sinha is a man of doubtful integrity and substantive manipulative skills. He also alleged irregularities by officials in PSEB, DoT and DoPT in appointing Sinha.

Against this backdrop, Kumar had asked for information regarding details of when the interview was conducted by PESB, whether PESB was shown Sinhas annual confidential report (ACR) by the administrative ministries concerned and if Sinhas ACR had adverse entries.

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