The PMO has decided to keep the assets of ministers and their relatives under wraps saying information in this regard is exempted from the Right to Information Act.
In a reply to the application of RTI applicant Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the PMO has termed the information as exempt under the Section 8 of the RTI Act and refused to divulge it for the same.
The PMO had reportedly provided the details to the cabinet secretariat to facilitate answering of RTI applications in this regard but later took an about turn and denied the information to the applicant.
Agrawal had filed an RTI application last year seeking seeking details of assets of Union ministers and their relatives for the last two years from Cabinet Secretariat. The letter was forwarded to Prime Minister's Office for necessary action on the application.
"In a letter dated May 19, 2008 the PMO provided the details of assets and liabilities of members of Union Council of Ministers to cabinet secretariat to deal with such RTI applications," Agrawal said.
"But after that I did not get any response from either of the offices. I had even moved an application with the Central Information Commission in this regard," he added.
After six months, PMO in a letter dated December 17, 2008 told Agrawal that the information sought could not be provided as it was exempt under the RTI Act provisions.
The office sought exemption under clauses 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) which relate to immunity granted to "documents fiduciary relationship" and "Cabinet Documents" under the RTI Act, 2005 respectively.