Right to Information – Master key to good governance

TN man wants Vajpayee’s riot letters

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 9, 2006

TN man wants Vajpayee’s riot letters


Press Trust Of India

Posted Tuesday , August 08, 2006 at 17:23Updated Tuesday , August 08, 2006 at 21:38



New Delhi: Notwithstanding the reservation of both the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Government, the Central Information Commission on Tuesday called for the classified correspendence exchanged between former president KR Narayanan and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee regarding the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Commission’s full bench headed by Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah asked the Ministry of Personnel to submit the correspondence between the period February 28 and March 15, 2002.

Riots had broken out in Gujarat after 57 people were killed in a fire that engulfed S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express carrying kar sevaks from Ayodhya on February 27 near Godhra.

CIC’s order came on an appeal filed by a citizen in February this year invoking the Right to Information Act.

The appeal was filed by Ramesh, a resident of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, seeking directions from the CIC to order the Ministry of Personnel disclose the contents of the letters which were earlier asked by Justice Nanavati-Shah Commission claiming privilege.

The Commission has directed the ministry to produce the document for perusal on August 22 this year through a senior officer, who shall remain present during the process and will take them back after sealing the same in the presence of CIC.

The order added that it would issue appropriate directions to the Ministry of Personnel only after a careful examination of the sensitive documents.

The Full Bench had on June 27 heard the matter and also recorded the views of Ramesh via video-conferencing.

The Ministry of Personnel, represented by the Additional Solicitor General, had asserted that the correspondence concerned a matter involving national security and it would not be in public interest to disclose its contents.

In reply to this, Ramesh’s counsel strongly argued that the disclosure would in fact help restore confidence in a section of the community that was badly affected by civil strife.


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