The home ministry won’t tell why and how, the Centre decided to issue its controversial notification in May this year that stripped chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of his right to be consulted by Raj Niwas.
The home ministry has refused to make public documents relating to the May 21 notification under the Right to Information Act, saying the matter was sub-judice.
The RTI Act, however, does not exempt information relating to a case pending before a court.
Under the law, information of a sub-judice matter could be denied if it is “expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court”.
But the ministry’s response to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal is in line with its approach to try regulating the flow of information out of the ministry.
The home ministry had cited the same grounds to block an application filed by HT to access the file relating to its last year’s notification to clip the wings of the Delhi government’s anti-corruption branch.
Last month, the home ministry also barred journalists from interacting with senior officials other than the spokesperson and came up with a set of guidelines on dissemination of information to the media.
A Delhi government official suggested the home ministry appeared determined to block access to these files under the transparency law over concerns that it could embarrass the Centre.
Home minister Rajnath Singh has insisted that the centre had not withdrawn any powers from the Kejriwal government but only clarified on the constitutional position.