Govt. forms panel to review Official Secrets Act

Netaji's grand nephew had met Modi and is understood to have raised the issue of declassification of all secret files related to the freedom fighter.

April 15, 2015 04:35 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 07:09 am IST - New Delhi

Photo shows Home Minister Rajnath Singh paying tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Cuttack on January 23, 2014.

Photo shows Home Minister Rajnath Singh paying tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Cuttack on January 23, 2014.

A high-level committee formed by the Union government to look into the provisions of the Official Secrets Act in the light of the Right to Information (RTI) Act will meet for the first time in North Block on Thursday, Home Ministry sources said here on Wednesday.

The committee, comprising Home Secretary L.C. Goyal, Law Secretary P.K. Malhotra and Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Sanjay Kothari, was constituted in February, but notified only recently. The meeting will start a long-awaited process to do away with excessive secrecy through amendments in the Official Secrets Act, a law enacted by the British in 1923, official sources said. The RTI Act has been in force for a decade now.

Officials said the exercise was aimed at making changes to the Official Secrets Act to complete the transition from the secrecy regime of the past century to a more modern and democratic transparency regime. “The idea is to do away with excessive secrecy without compromising on national security. On the one hand, we have an act that makes seeking information a right and on the other, there is an enactment that bars sharing information. The committee will look at removing the contradictions between the two,” an official privy to the developments said. The Home Secretary, who will chair the meeting on Thursday, is expected to seek inputs from the Intelligence Bureau and security agencies.

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