New Delhi: The Central Information
Commission has directed the External Affairs Ministry to
disclose whether any compensation received from Nepal was paid
to victims of hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814.
The flight with 174 passengers was coming from
Kathmandu when it was hijacked on December 24, 1999 by a group
of five terrorists who took the plane to Taliban-ruled
Kandahar in Afghanistan.
The passengers were released after an eight day ordeal
in exchange to release of three dreaded terrorists -- Maulana
Masood Azhar, Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar-- by Indian
government. One passenger Rupin Katyal was killed in the
An RTI applicant had sought to know from the External
Affairs Ministry three details on the issue -- the action
taken by it with Nepalese counterpart in respect of the lapses
that resulted in hijacking of IC-814, whether any compensation
has been demanded by India from Nepal and if any such
compensation has been paid to victims.
The information was denied by the ministry saying it
would have bearing on international relations of the country
and the matter would be held with discreet confidentiality and
that information relating to air-security could be misused if
it falls in incorrect hands.
Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit agreed with the
stand taken by the ministry for two questions asked by the
applicant but with regard to the third question relating to
compensation issue, she directed the Ministry to reply in the
form of "Yes or No".
"The Commission is of the opinion that query number "c"
as asked by appellant in the RTI application may be answered
in the form of a "yes" or "no" and such information to be
provided by June 20, 2011," Dixit said in her order.