National

CIC hearing today on denial of information by Advani’s office

The Central Information Commission is to take up on Thursday a petition filed by activist Subash Chandra Agrawal on the scope of certain information he sought from the Office of Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha under the Right to Information Act.

On a petition from Mr. Agrawal, the CIC in May asked the office to explain denial of information about the correspondence among L. K. Advani, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of black money stashed away in Swiss banks. Mr. Agrawal had demanded a copy of the letter, its reply, file notings and other relevant documents on the issue.

The matter surfaced during the pre-election debates when the BJP leader promised to make efforts to bring back black money stashed away in Swiss accounts. But as there was no reply from the Office of Leader of the Opposition, which carries the status of a Cabinet Minister, Mr. Agrawal filed the complaint.

“The Commission directs you to offer comments on this complaint clearly giving justification for denial of information,” Deputy Secretary Pankaj Shreyaskar wrote to the Public Information Officer, Office of Leader of the Opposition.

According to Mr. Agrawal, in response to the notice, the Office of Leader of the Opposition accepted its being under the purview of the RTI Act by providing the information sought together with relevant documents. “The issues remain now are alleged non-receipt of my RTI petition at the office of Leader of the Opposition, for which an enquiry should be made from postal authorities, if necessary, and of appointment of a Central Public Information Officer by/for the Office of Leader of the Opposition either by the Leader of the Opposition or by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.”

He said: “Neither the Lok Sabha Secretariat nor the Secretary to Leader of the Opposition has objected to my basic plea of the Office of Leader of the Opposition being a ‘public authority’ as defined under the RTI Act.”

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:10:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/CIC-hearing-today-on-denial-of-information-by-Advanirsquos-office/article16883104.ece

Next Story