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Make cabinet notes related to proposed bills public: CIC

June 26, 2012 17:28 IST

The Central Information Commission on Tuesday directed the Atomic Energy Department to make public the cabinet note relating to proposals for new bills on web sites within seven days of tabling in the Parliament.

The directives came while ordering the department to make public the cabinet note prepared for introduction of the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill by placing it on their web site before July 20, 2012.

"The commission directs the secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, to display this Cabinet note and all Cabinet notes in future on the department's website where such Cabinet notes relate to proposing a new bill to be tabled in Parliament, within seven days of the bill being tabled in Parliament," Information Commission Shailesh Gandhi said.

Hearing the petition of RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak, Gandhi said a citizen has the right to know the basis on which the Cabinet decided to bring a particular law.

"There is a larger public interest in disclosing Cabinet notes regarding introduction of any new bill in Parliament, after the Cabinet has taken a decision to table such a bill and the bill is tabled", he said.

Gandhi said suo-moto disclosure clause of the RTI Act in Section 4(1)(d) says all public authorities must 'provide reasons for administrative or quasi judicial decisions to affected persons'.

"Citizens are certainly deeply affected by every law made by Parliament, and hence have a right to know the basis on which these laws are being made. The citizen who gives legitimacy to the members of Parliament and thereby, to the institution of Parliament itself must be provided reasons which are behind the laws being made by Parliament," he said.

PTI
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