Less than a year after it made an abortive bid to keep filing notings out of the purview of the right to information (RTI) law, the government on Thursday insisted that the law did not specifically provide for letting the public access filing notings.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) had last year junked this interpretation of the information law, holding that file notings were part of the files that could be accessed under the law.
In his written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel Suresh Pachouri said the RTI law “does not specifically provide for the disclosure of file notings”.
The Department of Personnel and Training had last year attempted to undo the CIC’s interpretation and pushed amendments to the law to specifically keep file notings out of the purview of the RTI Act. The government, however, had to put off the plan in view of stiff opposition from RTI campaigners and Left Front leaders.
The department, however, retained its controversial interpretation of the information accessible under the law on its official website that said “file notings” are out of this law’s purview. The Central Information Commission had earlier this year told the government to take this interpretation off the website since it was misleading other departments but to no avail.
Pachouri also told the Rajya Sabha that the position taken on the website was in accordance with the legislative intent.