CIC order: Disclose details of removal of Arvind Jadhav as the CMD of Air India
Hearing the second appeal filed by the RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed to disclose all the records relating to the removal of Arvind Jadhav as the CMD of Air India and appointment of Rohit Nandan in his place. Jadhav was replaced and the interim charge of Air India was given to the then Joint Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Rohit Nandan in August 2011. He was subsequently made permanent as the CMD.
Earlier the appellant sought complete correspondence, documents and file notings in relation to the removal of Arvind Jadhav and appointment of Rohit Nandan.This information was refused on the ground that the desired records constituted Cabinet papers and therefore could not be disclosed.
The Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra held that even if it is admitted that these documents constitute part of the papers which had been put up before the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), the decision of the ACC has already been implemented; the then CMD of Air India has been reverted and a new incumbent appointed in his place. Referring to section 8(1)(i) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers: Provided that the decisions of 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, or over: Provided further that those matters which come under the exemptions specified in this section shall not be disclosed; of the Right to Information Act, he observed that the above provision clearly stipulates that while, ordinarily, the Cabinet papers would not be disclosed, the basis on which the Cabinet decision is taken including the documents placed before the Cabinet for this purpose must be disclosed once the decision is taken and completely implemented. The CIC directed that the relevant records which constituted the grounds for the government decision to revert the then CMD of the Air India and appoint someone else in his place within 10 working days of the receipt of the order.