Raising hopes of some transparency in the process of Padma award selections, Central Information Commissioner (CIC) Satyananda Mishra has asked home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to go public with details of how selections for the coveted award are made.
Mishra asked Shinde to instruct officers to post all relevant details on the ministry website. The CIC suggested that the ministry start with details of nominations received last year, minutes of the selection committee and the approval of various authorities.
The CIC’s letter follows several requests for information about Padma awards landing up at the CIC due to home ministry’s refusal to part with information that could embarrass politicians.
The home ministry has been refusing to reveal the names of ministers and other influential people who send recommendations on grounds that it would invade their privacy. But it has no problems releasing the names of the nominees.
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, who has filed several requests, wondered if the home ministry destroys nomination files within a year of the award to ensure there is no risk of their getting into public domain ever.