Are the details of the meetings of PM with industrialists covered under RTI?
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking the number of times the Prime Minister had met industrialists Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani between June, 2004 and June 2012. Apart from this, the application also sought to know the details of his meetings with the representatives of FICCI, CII, Assocham and farmers’ and agriculture workers’ organisations.
The Public Information Officer (PIO) replied that the information came under section 8(1) of the RTI Act which says that personal information which has no relationship to any public interest, or which would cause invasion of the privacy of the individual can be excluded from the purview of RTI.
On appeal, the First Appellate Authority too denied the information holding that some visitors want the meetings to be kept secret in view of the sensitivity involved. Further, the PM meets people from all walks of life, which may or may not be recorded.
Dissatisfied with the reply, the appellant wants to take the matter of denial of information from PMO to the Central Information Commission.