PMO to issue third party notice to Narendra Modi
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) requesting for copies of all the communications between the PMO and the Gujarat Government between February 27, 2002, and April 30, 2002, regarding the law and order issues in the State of Gujarat after the Godhra riots. The applicant also sought a copy of the correspondence between the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The Public Information Officer (PIO) of the PMO S E Rizwi refused to provide the information citing section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act, which exempts information that would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.
The applicant filed an appeal before the First Appellate Authority Krishan Kumar, (Director PMO) claiming that the applicant failed to give germane reasons behind denial of information. He contended that the correspondence was 11 years old and such an old information was not likely to have an impact on the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of offenders.
The first appellate authority has directed the PIO to obtain fresh inputs in this regard and provide the same to the applicant within 15 working days. The first appellate authority informed that third party (Gujarat Government and Narendra Modi in the this case) consultation under Section 11(1) Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information: of the RTI Act is underway on a similar request and response regarding disclosure of information in this regard shall be provided after due process as envisaged in section 11 of the Act is completed.