Monday, May 3, 2010

Not the end of story regarding Cash at door scam

Only in India if a High court judge gets Rs 15 lakh cash delivered at door, the powers that be will look the other way!  Now it seems the law ministry is siding with CPIO of Supreme Court on the matter of disclosure of information under RTI.  If CJI was not enough in holding lid on happenings inside Supreme Court, now law ministry is backing him up as a spokesperson.

CPIO had earlier this month denied information to RTI applicant Abhishek Shukla regarding chief justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan’s inputs on transferring Punjab and Haryana high court judge Nirmal Yadav to another HC, saying the matter was confidential.

Yadav is mired in a controversy related to the scam in which Rs15 lakh was recovered from outside the door of her official residence nearly 19 months ago.

On Sunday, the law ministry defended CPIO, saying the CJI input on Yadav was indeed confidential and could not be made public.
CPIO had told Shukla that his query, whether CBI approached CJI in connection with the scam, was “confidential and exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(e) and (j) of the RTI Act”. “You have no right to access the said information,” CPIO said.

The ministry, which has been working hard to introduce certain amendments in the RTI Act, which Congress president Sonia Gandhi has termed “landmark”, said the CJI input to law
minister Veerappa Moily on the issue was “in the nature of advice tendered by the cabinet” which is exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.

The ministry cited section 8(1)(i) of the Act in its defence. The section exempts “disclosure of cabinet papers, including records of deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and other officers”, provided “the decisions of the council of ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken and the matter is complete”.

Meanwhile, in a setback to the moves by a section in the government to put a lid on the scam, a special court in Chandigarh refused last Friday to accept the CBI plea for closing the case. Judge Darshan Singh asked CBI to probe the case further.

No comments:

Post a Comment