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Govt willing to show WLL papers: Shourie
April 08, 2003 18:52 IST
Communications Minister Arun Shourie on Tuesday said government is willing to show all papers on wireless in local loop to the telecom tribunal members, but privilege is on the issue of showing internal notings of the Centre to "business rivals".
"We will show every paper to Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal, there is no question of privilege. The question is of showing papers which are internal notings of government, to business rivals and privilege is in regard to this matter," Shourie said after a meeting with a Singapore business delegation in New Delhi.
Shourie declined to comment on whether government would go for an appeal on the matter, saying, "We will give our considered response on Wednesday. Each of us - Minister for Law and Justice Arun Jaitley, solicitor general Kirit Rawal, telecom secretary Vinod Vaish and I - will study it."
Shourie's comments come in the wake of telecom tribunal on Tuesday dismissing government's claim to have privilege over specific documents and correspondence between Department of Telecommunications and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India which led to the decision to allow basic operators to offer limited mobility services.
Shourie said that the cellular operators had listed seven documents, of which four relating to correspondence between Trai and DoT were already in the public domain.
"Other three are internal paper in files. So we said we affirm on oath the contents of the files. We are actually going a step further," Shourie said.
Shourie said the general position of government had been stated in freedom of information legislation, where an exception has been made for files and internal notings of government, and pointed out, "Naturally every department is bound by that."