Give reasons for withdrawing NSG from Bitta`s security: CIC

The Central Information Commission has directed the Home Ministry to disclose details related to the withdrawal of National Security Guards security cover of All India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman Maninderjit Singh Bitta.

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 11:29 AM IST

New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has directed the Home Ministry to disclose details related to the withdrawal of National Security Guards security cover of All India Anti-Terrorist Front chairman Maninderjit Singh Bitta.

The CIC has also directed the ministry to disclose the file notings regarding processing of Bitta`s letters to the Prime Minister and the Home Ministry seeking permission to "lawfully" end his life, alleging that some senior political leaders were applying pressure on intelligence agencies to "disrupt" his security cover.

Bitta, a former Youth Congress leader, claimed he wrote the letter to the PM on March 13, 2009, nearly one-and-a-half year before his National Security Guards (NSG) cover was replaced with Z plus category security on October 15, 2010.
After change in security cover, Bitta again wrote to the Home Minister saying that he should be allowed to "lawfully" end his life as some senior party leader was conniving to create security risks for him and he does not want innocent civilians to be killed in any attack on his life.

Through an RTI application, Bitta sought to know several details about processing of his letters, intelligence reports considered before withdrawal of his NSG cover, threat perception to his life as evaluated by Central Security Agencies, names of the political leaders who were party to decision making in this regard among others.

The Home Ministry objected to the disclosure of the file relating to the processing of the letters written by the Congress leader, who has been on the target of terrorists,
saying notings made on his letter also carry inputs from security agencies, exempted from disclosure under RTI Act.

The ministry also argued that some of this information was sensitive in nature and the disclosure of such information would not be in the security interests of the country.

Rejecting the arguments, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra directed that the MHA must disclose the contents of the file in which various letters received from Bitta, either directly or through the PMO, listed in his RTI applications, had been processed and disposed off after making appropriate deletions wherever necessary.

"We direct the CPIO of the MHA to provide to the Appellant within 15 working days from the receipt of this order the photocopy of the relevant file noting and related
documents concerning the processing and disposal of the letters he has listed in his RTI application," he said.

Bitta has suffered two life-threatening bomb attacks by Punjab militants in which a number of civilians were also killed.

PTI