Govt to challenge CIC order on disclosure of SG advice

Last Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 16:31

New Delhi: The Law Ministry has decided to challenge the Central Information Commission order directing it to disclose the advice of the then Solicitor General Goolam E Vahanvati to former telecom minister A Raja on spectrum allocation to telecom companies.
The Commission had rejected the argument of the Law Ministry that advice was given in fiduciary capacity and cannot be disclosed under exemption clauses of the RTI Act.
In a recent communication, the Law Ministry has informed RTI applicant Subhash Agrawal that "it has been decided by the competent authority to file an appeal before the Delhi High Court against the CIC order under reference."

The information sought by activist Agrawal was refused by the Department of Legal Affairs citing exemption clause of "fiduciary relationship" under the Right to Information Act.

Raja had allegedly cited the discussion with Vahanvati to press his point before the Prime Minister to go ahead with spectrum allocation as against the advice of the Prime Minister asking him to wait for some days before taking any action on the issue.

Raja, on December 26, 2007, had written to the Prime Minister saying, "I have already consulted the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Solicitor General of India GE Vahanvati and they have advised me that as a pre-emptive and proactive measure, I can go ahead with the allocation of 2G spectrum space immediately."

The then telecom minister, who has been arrested by the CBI in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, had written the letter in response to Prime Minister`s communique to him asking him to wait for some days before taking any action on
spectrum allocation.


First Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 16:30
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