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No public access to 2G files till probe gets over: CIC

January 27, 2013 17:57 IST

Documents related to 2G spectrum allocation cannot be accessed by the public till the Joint Parliamentary Committee completes its probe and submits its report, the Central Information Commission has stated.

The JPC, which is probing the high-profile scam, has directed the finance ministry not to reveal any information till it completes the probe.

The case relates to an RTI application filed by Vikas Saluja, who sought from the department of economic affairs and the finance ministry the details of meetings between then telecom minister A Raja and then finance minister P Chidambaram, with respect to 2G spectrum allocation.

Saluja had sought dates of meetings between the two and the minutes of these meetings but the department did not provide them to him.

The department told Saluja that those documents have been provided to the JPC. Those documents cannot be disclosed as doing so would be violation of Parliamentary privileges.

Section 8(1)(c) of the RTI Act exempts disclosure of information which would cause a breach of privilege of Parliament or the State Legislature.

When the matter reached the CIC, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra concurred with the view of the Central Public Information Officer of the department.

"We have considered the case on merits. We do not find anything wrong in the response of the CPIO. The desired information has been specifically prohibited by the Joint Parliamentary Committee from disclosure. Therefore, disclosure of such information would lead to the breach of privilege of the Parliament, a sufficient ground for not disclosing the information," Mishra said.

He asked Saluja to wait till the JPC submits its report to Parliament and apply for the same information again.

The 2G spectrum scam involves charges of last-moment tweaking of the date of allocation of spectrum and other irregularities allegedly committed by Raja in collusion with officials of the telecom ministry and executives of beneficiary telecom companies in 2008.

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