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Thread: Cannot intervene in Netaji-R&AW case, says CIC

  1. "PMO not bound to disclose list of secret Netaji files"


    http://www.missionnetaji.org/page/pmo_12oct.html

    Prime Minister's Office has informed Central Information Commission that it has no obligation under the RTI Act to disclose information relating to list of secret files on Subhas Chandra Bose. The assertion follows the CIC's notice to PMO over an appeal by Mission Netaji's Anuj Dhar, who sought the list in October last year, but was denied.

    "Disclosure of information relating to list of classified files being held in this office will prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries, writes PMO's Central Public Information Officer Kamal Dayani. "In view of that, there was no obligation for this office to disclose information to this information seeker."

    PMO wants the appeal to CIC "be dismissed as not maintainable" because it seeks information protected by Sections 8(1)(a) and (f) of the RTI Act.

    Dhar had asked the PMO to confirm if they were holding several classified records/materials on Subhas Bose, and requested for descriptive lists of classified and unclassified records. He also inquired if the PMO had any plan to transfer these records/materials to the National Archives.

    In reply, the PMO furnished a list of unclassified files and stated that "an exercise was underway to review classified files held by PMO for declassification and on declassification such files would be sent to National Archives". There was no word on the classified (secret) files.

    Subsequently, Dhar approached the Appellate Authority in the PMO only to be told that the details about classified files cannot be provided.

    In his appeal to CIC, Dhar argued that "it defies common sense as to how the disclosure of a mere list of files on and about a national hero, whom the Government holds to have died more than 60 years ago in an accident, can prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries in 2006-2007".





  2. #10

    RTI effect: Netaji papers to be released


    The government is finally preparing to make public a selection of secret and controversial documents relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s reported death and subsequent events.

    The documents include communications to and from then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the chiefs of intelligence, which had been given to the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee of 1956 and Justice GD Khosla Commission of 1970.

    Both had concluded that Netaji died in an air crash in August 1945, a conclusion trashed by the Justice M.K. Mukherjee Commission in its November 2005 report.

    The documents were never allowed to be made public for the next four decades. Till July, the Union Home Ministry also staved off attempts to release them under the Right To Information law saying the documents sought were voluminous, top secret in nature and may lead to chaos in the country if disclosed.
    But a Central Information Commission decision in the same month has helped bring about the change in its assessment.

    Officials said the Shivraj Patil-led Home Ministry had come around to the view that there really was no fear of a law and order problem if the secret documents were revealed.
    Last week, Patil moved the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs to seek a decision on releasing the files.

    Sources said the committee was, in principle, inclined to make the documents public but had sought some clarifications from the bureaucracy before putting its seal of approval.

    There were concerns that people may read parts of the communication out of context, which could result in a controversy that would necessarily have political overtones.

    But the overall view was the worst that the Congress-led coalition government may have to face was a controversy that would die a natural death.

    But Anuj Dhar of Mission Netaji — the organisation that used the information law to seek access to the confidential Netaji papers — said he had his doubts if the ministry would declassify the whole lot comprising thousands of papers.

    “They will hold back the sensitive papers,” said Dhar who authored Back from Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery, questioning the official plane crash version.

    He had obtained information from the government in Taiwan in 2003, which claimed that no plane carrying Netaji had ever crashed there.

    RTI effect: Netaji papers to be released- Hindustan Times

  3. Re: Destroyed Netaji file: PMO asked to produce records


    This is a different case -- Mission Netaji seeking papers from MHA, the Ministry in charge of such intelligence related affairs.

    There is no way Govt will release all papers -- including those kept by IB and RAW.

  4. India-Russia correspondence on Netaji disappearance won't be released



    It is curtains for the RTI case involving the correspondence between India and Russia over Subhas Bose's disappearance. The Ministry of External Affairs has informed Central Information Commission that the Russians are not for disclosure. The MEA had taken up the matter with the Russians for the second time following a CIC directive in August.

    Writing to Information Commissioner Dr OP Kejariwal, AK Nag, Central Public Information Officer (MEA), has stated that the Indian embassy in Moscow again "approached the Government of Russian Federation to get their consent to the disclosure of documents". "But the Government of Russian Federation reiterated that documents were submitted exclusively for official use by the Government of India."

    Curiously, the focal of the request - correspondence between India & USSR/Russia - appears to have been put aside.

    Kajeriwal had noted in August that the Central Information Commission was "all for disclosure of this material" and directed the MEA "to seek a formal clearance from the Russian Authorities in the matter".

    :::MISSION NETAJI::: India-Russia correspondence on Netaji disappearance won't be released


  5. #13
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    Re: India-Russia correspondence on Netaji disappearance won't be released


    Does this mean that the Russian Government is being treated as a "third party" under the RTI Act ?
    If yes, I have two doubts:
    1. Can a Foreign Government or a Foreigner be a "third party" under the RTI Act ?
    2. Did the PIO follow the due process in sending a notice to the third party and also
    applied his mind before coming to this decision of non-disclosure ?

    If no, then what is the basis of this decision ?

  6. Re: India-Russia correspondence on Netaji disappearance won't be released


    No. It so happened that the GOI refused to release the correspondence as Russia would not like it. As such the CIC asked them to check up with the Russians. MEA did that through our embassy and the answer is that they are not in favour.

    I dont think so the CIC can anything now. Matter closed. People are more keen to speculate which will be next Monica Bedi flick than whatever happened to Bose. If only Bose and others had known this, they might have not risked their neck. Mind you, this was as true in 1950 -- then people were more interested in Raj Kapoor or some actress of that time. I have seen old newspaper -- not one of them in 1950s or 1960s actually pushed for the case. there were always a few individuals making noises.

  7. #15
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    Re: "PMO not bound to disclose list of secret Netaji files"


    As reported in hindu.com on 19 February 2008:
    The Hindu News Update Service

    CIC asks PMO to make public list of 29 files on Netaji

    New Delhi (PTI): Rejecting the PMO's refusal to provide a list of classified files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked it to make public a list of 29 such files.

    The Commission's decision came after the PMO produced before it 33 classified files on the revolutionary leader. It, however, exempted four related files as they had reference to foreign states.

    Acting on an RTI application of 'Mission Netaji' - a Delhi-based research trust - challenging PMO's refusal to make public its classified files on Netaji, the CIC had, in its order of January 25, asked the latter to produce in a sealed cover a list of classified files for its perusal.

    The Prime Minister's Office while declining to produce the list of the classified files had earlier said that divulging their contents could affect India's sovereignty and relations with foreign nations.

    Perusing through the files as produced by the PMO, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said while four of the 33 classified files had a reference to foreign nations, rest of the 29 files should be given.
    In its order passed on Monday, the CIC also noted that out of the 29 files, seven were classified "top secret," three "confidential" while the rest were marked "secret." Apart from the 33 files, the PMO also informed the Commission about two recently de-classified files.

    "Under the circumstances, the PMO will provide a list of the 29 remaining files in addition to the two recently de-classified files, and list their titles," Habibullah said while directing the PMO's information officer Amit Agrawal to provide the list within 10 days to Anuj Dhar, a Mission Netaji functionary.

  8. Re: "PMO not bound to disclose list of secret Netaji files"


    Our take is here:

    Details about 31 PMO Netaji files to be disclosed


    The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Prime Minister's Office to partially disclose the list of classified files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. After personally reviewing a list of 35 files provided by the PMO under a sealed envelope, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has directed that the details about 31 be given to Mission Netaji's Anuj Dhar. The titles of remaining 4 files have references to foreign states and, therefore, will not figure in the list to be made public.

    The latest CIC decision follows a previous one on January 2008, when the PMO was directed to furnish the list of classified files to enable Chief Information Commissioner assess the bona fide of the PMO's decision to not to release the same under RTI. Last week, PMO Director Amit Agrawal showed Wajahat Habibullah the list containing titles and filing numbers of 33 classified and 2 recently declassified files. Out of 33 files, 7 are classified "top secret", 3 "confidential" and the rest "secret".

    While CIC favoured the release of information about 31 files, it accepted the plea of PMO that disclosing the names of 4 files having references to foreign states will prejudicially effect relation with those foreign states. The CIC states that it "does not arrogate to itself the authority to adjudicate on matters concerning foreign relations, an issue to decide upon which the authorised agency competent so to do is the Ministry of External Affairs."

    "We will therefore not address the issue of whether such reference will 'prejudicially effect relation with a foreign state' and accept the plea of respondents (PMO) that disclosure of the file names will so do," Chief Information Commissioner said in his decision.

    Case background

    Mission Netaji's Anuj Dhar had asked the PMO to confirm if they were holding several classified records/materials on Subhas Bose, and requested for descriptive lists of classified and unclassified records. He also inquired if the PMO had any plan to transfer these records/materials to the National Archives.

    In reply, the PMO furnished a list of unclassified files and stated that "an exercise was underway to review classified files held by PMO for declassification and on declassification such files would be sent to National Archives". There was no word on the classified (secret) files.

    Subsequently, Dhar approached the Appellate Authority in the PMO and was informed that "disclosure of information relating to list of classified files being held in this office will prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries …(and) in view of that, there was no obligation for this office to disclose information to this information seeker."

    In his appeal to CIC, Dhar argued that "it defies common sense as to how the disclosure of a mere list of files on and about a national hero, whom the Government holds to have died more than 60 years ago in an accident, can prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries".

    In January this year, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah heard the arguments of PMO and Dhar and decided to see the list for himself.

    After the perusal, the Commissioner has ruled in favour of Dhar, marking another achievement for Mission Netaji in the efforts to access information under the Right to Information Act.


    Read the CIC decisions

    :::MISSION NETAJI::: CIC decision on list of classified files in PMO on Subhas Bose


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