The Prime Minister’s Office does not have any information about meetings held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Telecom Minister and 2G scam accused A Raja, between August 2007 and July 2008.
Replying to an RTI application filed by one Deepak Saluja in this regard, the top office has passed the buck to Special Protection Group, an exempted organisation under the RTI Act, for furnishing details of the meetings. The SPG which is exempted from making any disclosure under the RTI Act except those related to allegations of human rights violation and corruption has refused to furnish the information citing the exemption clause.
The PMO also transferred the application to Department of Telecommunication to provide the information but it was also sent back with Director (coordination) stating that it was PMO to answer the application. After SPG and DOT refused to furnish the information, PMO cited another exemption clause related to national security to deny the information saying “it has been consistent stand not to reveal details of appointment.” Following the refusal to furnish the information, Saluja approached the Central Information Commission with a plea that information be made available to them.
A Bench of M L Sharma and Deepak Sandhu heard the matter where the PMO official Sanjukta Ray stated that it has no records related to meetings of A Raja with the Prime Minister however it was quite possible that SPG may be having those records. Following the arguments, CIC has issued notices to Central Public Information Officer of the SPG to present his case before the Bench in detail.
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