New Delhi: Information of about those denied
Padma Awards should not be shared with the media, the Home
Ministry told an RTI applicant, though there is no such
provision in the transparency law.
This year`s final 130 recipients were picked from among
1,163 names discussed by the Padma Awards committee in two
The Ministry, which was directed to disclose information
on the Padma Awards by the Central Information Commission, has
provided it with a caveat that this information was only meant
for the applicant and not for publicity in press.
Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, painter
Jatin Das and dancer-scholar Padma Subrahmanyam were among
those recommended by Prime Minister`s Office but did not find
a place in the final list.
The Home Ministry response came on an RTI application by
Subhash Chandra Agrawal in which it gave a list of candidates
whose names were deliberated by the Padma Awards Committee.
The Right to Information Act does not have any provision
which gives a public authority powers to ask any applicant
not to use information provided to him, Chief Information
Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.
"Under the act it is not possible that a department can
make such a request... Once the information is given under the
law, it is public," Habibullah told PTI.
Eminent Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also said
the reply given by the Home Ministry did not conform to the
provisions of the RTI Act.
He said public authorities cannot make any such
direction which is not in accordance with the transparency
Aggarwal said the CIC should confirm if such directions
by a public-authority were permissible or not.