'Letters of support by parties to be under RTI ambit' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Letters of support by parties to be under RTI ambit'

Letters by political parties given to the president pledging their support for forming a government at the Centre has been brought under the ambit of Right to Information by the CIC.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2009 12:53 IST

Letters by political parties given to the president pledging their support for forming a government at the Centre has been brought under the ambit of Right to Information by the CIC.

In a recent decision, the Central Information Commission held that the information provided to the president by various political parties cannot be treated as one emanating from "fiduciary relationship" and thus cannot be denied under the Act.

Exercising his Right to Information, Kerala-based advocate T Asaf Ali, in 2007, had asked for a copy of letters given by CPI-M, DMK, RJD and other coalition partners of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to then President A P J Abdul Kalam extending support to Congress leader Manmohan Singh for forming a government at the Centre.

The information was, however, denied by the CPIO. "... These letters were given under fiduciary relationship between the authors of their letter and the president, therefore they come under Section 8(e) of the Right to Information Act," Nitin Wakankar said in response to the RTI query.

After being denied information from the First Appellate Authority at the President's Secretariat, Ali filed his second appeal before the CIC.