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Home > News > PTI

Rare records missing from National Archives

December 09, 2007 18:28 IST

Rare government records pertaining to events leading to abolition of privileges of erstwhile rulers of Indian states appear to be missing from the National Archives.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh came to know about this through an RTI application in which he had sought information on these records. The National Archives said that the documents could not be traced and they were looking for it.

Singh, represented through his Secretary Raghvendra Singh, moved his request before Home Ministry on January 17 this year. He sought an inspection of documents, including cabinet papers and notings that preceded the abolition of "privileges and privy purses" of rulers of then Indian states.

What followed thereafter was a eight-month-long hiatus wherein the records were searched in the Ministry's record office, which finally took a stand that documents and files have been transferred to the National Archives.

The Archives, after its efforts to trace out the records, could only manage to find only two amongst a total of 10 files sought by Singh, who required those documents for research and study.

NAI, however, said its efforts were on to trace out the remaining documents.

A complaint was thereafter preferred before the Central Information Commission seeking appropriate directions.

While the Ministry did not approach its Appellate Authority in relation to his RTI plea, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah allowed his appeal on grounds that despite Singh's repeated requests, no documents could be provided to him.

Habibullah has directed the National Archives to make "renewed efforts" to look out for the files that have by far remained untraced. The documents would have to be opened to Singh, for inspection, within 20 days.

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