New Delhi: The Central Information Commission
has sought in a "sealed envelope" the records related to
alleged spy of American intelligence agency CIA in the 1971
cabinet and death of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri
in Tashkent in 1966.
In two separate RTI applications, author of "CIA`s eye on
South Asia" Anuj Dhar had sought to know from the government
the details about alleged CIA mole in the Indira Gandhi
cabinet of 1971 who, according to some reports, passed on
crucial information about India-Pakistan war to the USA.
Most of the information was denied to him citing section
8(1)(a) of the RTI Act that exempts disclosure of information
which would "prejudicially affect the sovereignty and
integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or
economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State
or lead to incitement of an offence."
During the hearing, Dhar submitted that the US government
had already declassified information which had references to
some sources in India leaking information about the briefings
given to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on the ongoing
India-Pakistan war to the American snooping agency.
Taking cognisance of the fact that the information sought
was 30-40 years old, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda
Mishra directed Prime Minister`s Office and the Cabinet
Secretariat to produce records before him in sealed cover.
"Keeping in view that the information relates to a period
now nearly three to four decades old, we would like to see the
contents to satisfy ourselves that, indeed, the information is
sensitive enough for India`s security and foreign relations
concerns. It is only after that it should be possible to
decide, if the information should be disclosed," Mishra said
in the order.