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A. A. JOSE (LAWYER; LEGAL ADVISER/CONSULTANT& TRAINER)     13 March 2009

CIC to take up for making public assets of Ministers and their kin.

CIC to take up issue of making public assets of ministers & kin

13 Mar 2009, 0237 hrs IST, TNN
 
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NEW DELHI: Should the assets of ministers and their kin be available for public scrutiny? The Central Information Commission (CIC) will take up the
issue for consideration on Friday.

The controversial matter comes at a time when the Delhi High Court has overturned the CIC order for assets of judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to be made public.

Applicant Subhash Chandra Agarwal had demanded information related to the assets owned by Union ministers and their kin in the past two years.

Incidentally, the Prime Minister's Office had initially forwarded the application to the cabinet secretariat asking for information to be disclosed. In his appeal, Agarwal pointed out that in a letter on May 19, 2008, the PMO had provided details of assets and liabilities of Union ministers to cabinet secretariat to deal with such RTI applications. However, Agarwal was later informed by the PMO that the information sought was exempt under section 8 of the RTI Act.

After six months, PMO in a letter dated December 17, 2008, told Agarwal that the information sought could not be provided as it was exempt under the RTI Act. The PMO sought exemption under clauses 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) which relate to immunity granted to "documents fiduciary relationship" and "Cabinet documents" under the RTI Act.



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