The law ministry has refused to accept the Central Information Commission's order directing it to make public the advice given by Attorney General GE Vahanvati to jailed former telecom minister A Raja on giving licences for allocation of 2G spectrum.
The legal arm of the government has decided to challenge the CIC order in the Delhi high court, directing it to provide Delhi-based RTI activist, Subhash Chandra Agrawal, a copy of Vahanvati's opinion given in December 2007.
"In compliance with the CIC's order, it has been decided by the competent authority to file an appeal before the Delhi high court against it," the ministry has said in its reply to Agrawal.
The CIC had in December last rejected the ministry's argument that Vahanvati advice, as Solicitor General in 2007, was sought by another ministry (telecom) and was therefore exempt from the RTI Act.
"The commission shall take this opportunity to clarify that the records of any advice/opinion tendered by the law ministry to other government departments do not fall under the category of information held by it on behalf of other ministry and is confidential," it had ruled.
Raja, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on December 26, 2007 had cited his discussion with the then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vahanvati to press his point for going ahead with spectrum allocation.
The PM had asked Raja to wait before taking any action. But the former telecom minister had told Singh: “As I have already promised to you, my efforts in this sector are intended to give lower tariff to the consumer and bring higher tele-density in the country.”