Direct all RTI applications on PM to us: Health Min to AIIMS

The Health Min has told the AIIMS that RTI applications related to the PM`s health should not be handled by the Institute and all such queries be forwarded to it so that suitable replies can be provided to information seekers.

Updated: Jan 17, 2011, 15:59 PM IST

New Delhi: The Health Ministry has told the AIIMS that RTI applications related to the Prime Minister`s health should not be handled by the Institute and all such queries be forwarded to it so that suitable replies can be provided to information seekers.

The decision to invite Dr Rama Kant Panda of Mumbai-based Asian Heart Institute to perform bypass surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 2009 had resulted in a number of RTI queries seeking reasons about the same.

Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Vineet Chaudhary had told the Institute that all the RTI petitions relating to the health of the Prime Minister will be replied by the Ministry and all such queries be transferred to it through the legal cell of the Institute, an AIIMS official told the
Central Information Commission during a hearing.

Central Public Information Officer of AIIMS Dr D K Sharma told the Information Commissioner that the move to invite Dr Panda was a personal decision of the family of the
Prime Minister and the institute did not maintain files on it.
Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit directed Sharma to provide an affidavit in this regard clarifying that the Institute does not have any file notings on inviting Dr Panda
at the AIIMS to perform surgery on the Prime Minister in 2009.

RTI applicant Jagdish Chander Jetli had sought to know from the AIIMS on how the decision to invite Dr Panda was arrived at among other details about the surgery.
On his application, the CIC had directed the AIIMS to give all the file notings on the details sought by him. But no details were provided to him despite the orders from the
Commission.

Jetli then filed a non-compliance complaint with the transparency panel during which the Commission issued the directives to submit the affidavit.

PTI