Central Information Commission (CIC) has turned down a plea of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A G Perarivalan seeking records carrying reasons for the rejection of his clemency petition.
Opposing the plea, ministry of home affairs cited a Delhi high court order, which restricted disclosure of communication between the then President K R Narayanan and the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying RTI Act cannot have overriding effect over the Constitution of India.
According to a Supreme Court decision, advice tendered by the ministers to the President under Article 72 of the Constitution shall not be enquired into in any court.
However, none of the cases cited by the home ministry relate to the issue of disclosure of material on the basis of which mercy petition of death row convicts were decided by the President and applicability of the RTI Act on such records.
In his RTI application, Perarivalan wanted to know the reasons of rejection of his mercy petition filed under Article 72 of the Constitution.
While rejecting the petition of Perarivalan, information commissioner Sushma Singh said, "In this case the reasons are primarily recorded in the advice tendered by the council of ministers, which is protected by Article 74 (2) of the Constitution. As held by the Delhi high court, the provisions of the RTI Act is also bound by the Constitution."
However, Singh allowed the disclosure of report of the Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency to Perarivalan as was instructed by the CIC in a separate case filed by his lawyer Mayilsamy K.