On November 14, the President had approved the ordinances to extend the tenure of CBI and ED chiefs from two years to five years. The President’s Secretariat, in response to a query under RTI, refused to provide information on what basis these ordinances were brought.
New Delhi: Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Secretariat) has refused to provide information sought through RTI on the basis on which the ordinances were brought, through which the tenure of the chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were extended. Gone.
According to the report, in response to a question asked under a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by activist Anjali Bhardwaj, Rashtrapati Bhavan said, “The said information sought cannot be provided as it contains cabinet notes, which have been amended under the RTI Act.” Exemption from disclosure of information under section 8 (1Xi).
Bhardwaj had filed this RTI petition on November 26, just 12 days after the President’s assent to both the ordinances, the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 and the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021.
Through these ordinances, the tenure of CBI and ED directors has been increased to five years.
Bhardwaj said in his petition, “According to Article 123(1) of the Constitution of India, Parliament shall, at any time except in the session of both the Houses, if the President is satisfied that the prevailing circumstances are such that it is necessary to take any immediate step.” So he (President) can approve such ordinances.
Bhardwaj had demanded a copy of all records, material, information and facts in this regard, on the basis of which the President approved these ordinances.
On December 20, the CPIO of the President’s Secretariat, on a question asked by Bhardwaj, said that this information cannot be provided as it also contains a cabinet note, which prohibits disclosure of information under Section 8 (1Xi) of the RTI Act. There is a discount.
ED director’s tenure extension
Responding to these developments, Bhardwaj said that the information sought by him is particularly relevant and in public interest as it appears to extend the ordinance brought in by amendment of the CVC Acts to extend the tenure of outgoing ED Director SK Mishra before the expiry of his term. brought into.
Darsal Mishra’s term was ending on 18 November 2021.
After clearing the ordinance on November 14 by amending the CVC Act to allow extension in the tenure of the ED director, Bhardwaj extended the term of the ED director by one year, three days after the act was approved.
This is in defiance of a recent Supreme Court order, in which the court had said that Mishra’s tenure should not be extended.
Bhardwaj mentioned this and said that it is worth noting that this ordinance and orders were given after the recent decision of the Supreme Court.
Appeal against non-disclosure of information
On not providing information under RTI, Bhardwaj said that she will challenge this decision.
“Under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, the Council of Ministers, secretaries and other officers are exempted from providing information on cabinet notes including records of deliberations but only till the matter is sub-judice or is not completed,” he said. Ho. However, after the completion of the matter of ordinances, information related to it was sought. These ordinances were approved and published in the Official Gazette and became effective from 14 November 2021.
Bhardwaj said, “In no case is there any provision under the RTI Act, under which the record is not disclosed just because there is some part of it which the Public Information Officer (PIO) is of the view that it is not a part of the Act. Exempted under section 8. In such cases, the PIO should highlight the non-exempt part.
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Categories: India, Special