Information regarding speeches of Muhammad Ali Jinnah denied under RTI
An application was filed with the Prasar Bharti under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the recordings of the speeches of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and other prominent Indian leaders who went over to Pakistan in 1947.
In the reply, the PIO of Prasar Bharti stated that the recordings cannot be provided to the applicant as they are exempted under Section 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; of the RTI Act. During the hearing of the first appeal, the first appellate authority also upheld the decision of the PIO stating that furnishing such information might jeopardize country’s foreign relations and national security.
The appellant filed the second appeal with the central information commission (CIC) who observed that keeping all the information relating to Pakistan as confidential is not justified and has asked the Prasar Bharti to decide in six months as to which records could be made available to the public and to put such list on its website. The Prasar Bharti has, however, decided to provide the recordings to the appellant.