Information about affidavit in the Robert Vadra case denied under RTI
A writ petition was filed with the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court seeking enquiry into the allegations of controversial sweetheart land deals against Robert Vadra, son-in-law of the Congress President Sonia Gandhi. In this regard, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had filed an affidavit in the High Court stating the charges against Robert Vadra and real estate giant DLF as false after which the court dismissed the petition.
The petitioner, Nutan Thakur, then filed an application with the PMO under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the entire file notings related to the PMO’s affidavit in the High Court and also the actions taken by the PMO after she filed the petition.
In its reply, the PMO first stated that the records could not be disclosed as the matter was still sub-judice. However, when the petitioner argued that such detail can only be withheld when there is explicit order from the court for not disclosing it, the PMO replied that as the matter in question was confidential, it had sought exemption under Section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act as per a Supreme Court ruling. It has been said that the RTI application was based on hearsay and is vexatious.