बुधवार, 3 सितंबर 2008

Padma awards list confidential, can't be disclosed: CIC

by Himanshi Dhawan

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled thatnames of those considered for Padma awards should not be disclosed asit would be a social embarrassment and may amount to invasion of privacy.

While issuing the order, Chief Information Commissioner WajahatHabibullah said that while the Right to Information Act aimed atbringing in transparency and accountability, it also recognisedpreservation of confidentiality of sensitive information.

An appeal filed by Subhash Chandra Agarwal raised questions about theselection process and insinuated that the committee might be onlygoing through the motions.

Agarwal, in his appeal, said, "Please specify how it is practicallypossible for a selection committee of about 10 members to select about100 Padma awardees out of a list of more than one thousand in its oneor two meetings. Is it true that the selection committee only fulfilsthe formality of endorsing a pre-approved government list in somehours only to meet guidelines fixed by the apex court?"

Rejecting the appeal, Habibullah said, "It will definitely not beproper if the personal information concerning certain personalitieswho were recommended but not considered for grant of the award for anyreason, is disclosed and made public. It will surely be at the least asocial embarrassment and may amount to invasion of privacy. Thecommission is not convinced that details concerning them be madepublic and become a subject matter of public scrutiny.

"Agarwal had demanded details of members of the selection committee,the number of meetings held by it and the approved names rejected bytax and intelligence agencies. In response, the home ministry hadreplied that the selection committee held two meetings and hadreceived names that covered 169 pages.

0 टिप्पणियाँ: