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Display criteria for selecting Haj delegation on website: CIC

delhi Updated: May 15, 2012 16:43 IST
New Delhi

The Central Information Commission has directed the Prime Minister's Office to display on its website the process of selecting the Haj goodwill delegation and the names of its members.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, using powers under the Right to Information Act, directed the PMO to display the information as part of mandatory proactive disclosure clause of the transparency law.

The case relates to RTI application filed by one Abdul Rashid Hanjura of Jammu and Kashmir, who sought to know the reasons for not selecting him for the Haj delegation.

He claimed that he had a 30 year practice at bar and had been associated with social and voluntary causes but despite his application with the Prime Minister's Office and External Affairs Ministry, his name was not in the Haj goodwill delegation.

The External Affairs Ministry, while replying to his RTI application, said it sends Haj goodwill delegation to Saudi Arabia during Haj season.

"The delegation includes eminent Muslim personalities such as union ministers, MPs, MLAs etc. Many persons send recommendations for their inclusion in the delegation but strength of Haj goodwill delegation varies from 20-35.

"Hence the number of delegates is limited. The composition and size of Haj goodwill delegation is determined at the highest level and with the approval of Prime Minister, it is finalised," the Ministry said.

Gandhi said the applicant is basically seeking to understand the criteria of selecting the Haj delegation.

"This information should ideally be disclosed suo-moto as per provisions of section 4(1)(b)(xii) of the RTI Act. The respondent states that the information is not with the MEA and delegation is selected. The Commission directs the PIO to send this order to PIO of PMO," he said while directing to display the information on the website of the PMO.