The Lok Sabha Secretariat has refused to disclose action taken by Speaker Meira Kumar on the objections raised by Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj to the extension given to Secretary General T.K.Vishwanathan.
The Secretariat while replying to an RTI application has said disclosure of communication or consultations entered by the Speaker may cause breach of privilege of the House and exempted under the Right to Information Act.
Ms. Swaraj in a strongly worded letter in August to the Speaker had criticised the extension given to Mr. Vishwanathan saying his behaviour and conduct was “not up to the mark” for the high post.
Activist Subhash Agrawal sought from the Lok Sabha Secretariat complete information with “related correspondence and file notings” on action taken on letter of Ms. Swaraj.
“Communications/Consultation by Honourable Speaker with the functionaries of the House in the discharge of the constitutional duties, which, if disclosed, may cause breach of parliamentary privilege and hence exempted under Section 8(1)(c) of the RTI Act,” the RTI reply said.
As part of reply the Secretariat has provided the letter from Ms. Swaraj and the rules of appointment of the Secretary General as sought by Mr. Agrawal.
Mr. Vishwanathan, 63, who was made the Lok Sabha Secretary General last year after his retirement as Law Secretary, got one year’s extension in the post in August this year.
Following this, Ms. Swaraj shot off a letter to the Speaker, saying his behaviour and conduct was “not up to the mark” for the high post.