Can communications from the President or its office be disclosed under the Right to Information Act?
Maintaining that such a communication is “protected” from disclosure, the President’s secretariat has raised the issue before Delhi High Court in a writ petition challenging the Central Information Commission directive on the disclosure of the communication between then President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the Padma Awards.
“The issue of law which arises pertains to the communication entered into or which emanates from the President's Secretariat and the President of India; whether such communication, material and information is protected by the operation of Article 74 of the Constitution of India or whether...open to disclosure in terms of the Right to Information Act, 2005,” the secretariat has pleaded.
The communication between the council of ministers and the President is protected under Article 74 of the Constitution and hence cannot be disclosed, the President’s office said.
The CIC had ordered part disclosure of the communication in which Kalam reportedly raised questions over some of the Padma awardees.