UIDAI invokes non-disclosure clauses to deny information about the contracts
A RTI (Right to Information) application seeking copies of the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) contracts with four private companies (two foreign and two Indian) has been turned down claiming that these could not be furnished as non-disclosure agreements have been signed with these companies. In reply to another query, the UIDAI declined to furnish the copies of applications submitted by three empanelled Enrolling Agencies (EAs), copies of contracts pertaining to three empanelled Enrolling Agencies (EAs), and minutes of decision to empanel them.
Critics have argued that it is the taxpayers’ money which is being paid to private companies and hence non-disclose the contract to taxpayers is incorrect. As the RTI Act overrides any other contract or law, the non-disclosure clause of the contract cannot be used to deny information.