New Delhi: There are no records of the advice given by former Attorney General Milon Banerjee to withhold from disclosure the communication exchanged with the then President APJ Abdul Kalam after the results of the 2004 general elections, the office of the law officer said.
During a hearing before the Central Information
Commission, the Attorney General`s office said, "the former
Attorney General did not leave behind any such paper or record
or handed over any file containing any such opinion and
consequently, the office of present attorney general did not
have any records to share."
The case relates to an RTI application filed by activist
Milap Choraria who demanded the advice given by Banerjee
wherein he is understood to have said that communications made
with Kalam in connection with and following?2004 general
elections should not be disclosed.
In his appeal, Choraria said, "The communication
contained the actual fact that who initially and actually
claimed before the President of India, to stake the claim for
becoming the Prime Minister of India? Whether such claim was
for Smt Sonia Gandhi or for Dr. Manmohan Singh?"
The office had earlier refused to provide information
saying the advice tendered by the law officer was given in
fiduciary capacity and cannot be made public as per the
exemption clauses of the transparency law. But later changed
his stand saying no such record exists now.
"In view of the fact that the office of the Attorney
General claims not have any record of file relating to this
matter and since the then Attorney General has passed away, we
have to believe the Attorney General`s office. Thus there is
no information to be disclosed," Chief Information
Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said.