RTI query demanding information about Kargil war victims rejected by army
An application was filed with the Indian army under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the names and ranks of Indian soldiers who were allegedly killed after being tortured by Pakistani Army during the Kargil war in 1999.
The application, which also sought details about Captain Saurabh Kalia case in which the body of the captain was handed over to India in a mutilated condition by Pakistan at the climax of the Kargil War, was rejected by the Indian Army. In its reply to the application, the Indian Army has claimed that the information cannot be disclosed as it falls under the purview of 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 which holds that any information, 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, is exempt from disclosure under the Act.
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal who had filed the RTI application has expressed surprise how merely revealing the names and ranks of other Indian soldiers who were killed after being tortured by Pakistani army would affect the security of the country. He stressed that the information sought by him is of great public interest.