Government plays volley with RTI on Netaji's children

PMO, MHA disown responsibility, keep transferring application to each other


Danish Raza | February 10, 2010

Even as details of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's death remain subject to conjecture, the government is shirking from revealing other details of his life.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the ministry of home affairs (MHA) have been playing quite the volley with a RTI application seeking details of Netaji's children.

In November 2009, Navi Mumbai resident Ajay Marathe filed an RTI application with the PMO asking for the details of Netaji’s children available with the government. He also asked for the grounds on which the government believed that they were Netaji’s children in his application.

The PMO transferred the application to the MHA, which returned it saying that the information demanded was with the PMO.

Last month, the PMO again transferred the application to the MHA.

“All the matters relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are the subject matter of the Ministry of Home affairs, the application was transferred to the Ministry, upon receipt in the PMO in accordance with the provisions of Section 6(3) of the RTI Act 2005,” said the PMO’s letter to the MHA dated January 15. 2010.

The latter also stated that it was the MHA which provided Justice Mukherjee Commission of Enquiry with the photocopies of records regarding Netaji. “The Mukherjee Commission has been wound up and the photocopy of this entire set of this office’s record is available with the Ministry of Home Affairs,” said the letter, asking the MHA to respond appropriately taking into account all the records available with it.

Marathe filed the application after reading an article which mentioned German resident Anita Pfaff as Netaji’s daughter. “I got curious and wanted to know if he fathered a child while in Germany where he was attempting to gather support for the Indian National Army which he founded."

However, he is surprised by the response of the government. “My application has become a football. They keep on kicking it,’ said Marathe, 52, a chemical engineer.



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