Tours taken by MPs on govt expense to be made public

Ministry of railways had refused information saying it would endanger the life of parliamentarians


Danish Raza | June 22, 2011

The central information commission (CIC) has directed the ministry of railways to provide details about foreign and national tours taken by parliamentarians at the expense of union government.

In June last year, RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarawal had filed a query with the ministry of parliamentary affairs seeking these details including the expenses, purpose, class of travel, names of touring persons and destinations.

The ministry of parliamentary affairs transferred to the query to the Railway Board which refused to provide information. "The information sought by the applicant is not maintained in the format as desired by the applicant. The revelation of information relating to movement of high dignitaries could endanger their life and physical safety and exemption is sought under clause 8(g) of the RTI Act," said the reply.

The applicant then filed first appeal, but the appellate authority also gave the same excuse to deny information.

Agrawal then moved the CIC. “Hence the commission directs the PIO to provide the same to the Appellant and in the event any part of the information sought is not available with the Ministry of Railways, to transfer the particular query in the RTI Application to the custodian of the in information in the Cabinet Secretariat. The information may be provided by the end of July, 2011,” ruled information commissioner Annapurna Dixit on June 14.



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