Report on Integrated Strategy for Water Management by Group of Ministers (GoM)
The appellant sought copies of minutes of the meetings of the Group of Ministers (GoM) from 2005 till date and a copy of the report submitted by the GoM on Integrated Strategy for Water Management. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the minutes and the copy of report of the meeting of the GoM cannot be provided under 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 RTI Act, 2005 and the deliberations by the GoM were in progress and no report has yet been submitted to the Cabinet. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) upheld the PIO’s decision and stated that the ‘Cabinet papers’ have been defined as records of deliberations not only of the Council of Ministers but also of Secretaries and other Officers. The Group of Ministers (GoM) are ad hoc Committees, and the papers of GoM would constitute the papers for Cabinet consideration. These documents are exempt from disclosure as per section 8(1) (i) of RTI Act, till a decision is taken in the matter.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) rejected the appeal noting that no decision has been taken by the Cabinet and therefore the provisions of section 8(1) (i) of the RTI Act are attracted in the present case and no details can be disclosed.
Citation: Mr. Kishanlal Mittal v. Ministry of Water Resources in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000097
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/397
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