New Delhi, Feb 2: The assets of ministers and their kins would be under cover and is exempted from the Right to Information Act (RTI), said Prime Minister Office (PMO). The decision was in reply to the an application of RTI applicant Subhash Chandra Agarwal. PMO has termed the information as exempt under the Section 8 of the RTI Act.
Earlier to facilitate answering of RTI applications, the PMO had reportedly provided the details to the cabinet secretariat but now it has taken a turn and has denied the information to the applicant.
In 2008, Agarwal had filed an RTI application and had sought the details of assets of Union ministers and their relatives.The letter was forwarded to Prime Minister's Office for necessary action on the application.
"In a letter dated May 19, 2008 the PMO provided the details of assets and liabilities of members of Union Council of Ministers to cabinet secretariat to deal with such RTI applications," Agrawal said.
Agarwal also said that: "But after that I did not get any response from either of the offices. I had even moved an application with the Central Information Commission in this regard."
Agarwal received one more letter from PMO after six months dated December 17, 2008. The letter told that the information sought could not be provided as it was exempt under the RTI Act provisions.
The office sought exemption under clauses 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) which relate to immunity granted to 'documents fiduciary relationship' and 'Cabinet Documents' under the RTI Act, 2005 respectively.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)