Direct all RTI applications on PM to us: Health Min to AIIMS

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) The Health Ministry has told theAIIMS that RTI applications related to the Prime Minister''shealth should not be handled by the Institute and all suchqueries be forwarded to it so that suitable replies can beprovided to information seekers.

The decision to invite Dr Rama Kant Panda ofMumbai-based Asian Heart Institute to perform bypass surgeryon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the All India Institute ofMedical Sciences (AIIMS) in 2009 had resulted in a number ofRTI queries seeking reasons about the same.

Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Vineet Chaudharyhad told the Institute that all the RTI petitions relating tothe health of the Prime Minister will be replied by theMinistry and all such queries be transferred to it through thelegal cell of the Institute, an AIIMS official told theCentral Information Commission during a hearing.

Central Public Information Officer of AIIMS Dr D KSharma told the Information Commissioner that the move toinvite Dr Panda was a personal decision of the family of thePrime Minister and the institute did not maintain files on it.

Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit directed Sharmato provide an affidavit in this regard clarifying that theInstitute does not have any file notings on inviting Dr Pandaat the AIIMS to perform surgery on the Prime Minister in 2009.

RTI applicant Jagdish�Chander�Jetli had sought to knowfrom the AIIMS on how the decision to invite Dr Panda wasarrived at among other details about the surgery.

On his application, the CIC had directed the AIIMS togive all the file notings on the details sought by him. But nodetails were provided to him despite the orders from theCommission.

Jetli then filed a non-compliance complaint with thetransparency panel during which the Commission issued thedirectives to submit the affidavit.

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