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Sunday, July 20, 2014
CIC upholds PMO's refusal to declassify three Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose files
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has upheld the Prime Minister's Office's contention of keeping, as classified, three files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, on grounds their declassification would adversely affect foreign relations.
Researcher Chandrachur Ghose in April last year filed a Right to Information (RTI) application seeking copies of documents contained in three PMO files relating to the widow and daughter of the nationalist leader.
But the PMO turned down the request contending the disclosure of the documents would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries and as such they were exempt under the RTI Act.
When Ghose's appeal was too turned by the PMO director, he took the matter before the CIC which Thursday upheld the PMO's stand of refusing the declassification of the files.
"It is not for us to substitute our judgment on the applicability of exemptions to that agency duly authorized to determine such issues.
"In view of the above, and Central Public Information Officer's submission that due diligence has been exercised, we uphold the decision of denying the information," CIC Rajiv Mathur said in his decision.
Ghose was represented by author and researcher Anuj Dhar at the hearing before Mathur.
Ghose and Dhar are part of a group called "Mission Netaji", which since 2006 has filed several RTI applications concerning Netaji.