New Delhi: Pratibha Patil, who had undertaken a number of foreign trips as President, visited Seychelles for which invitation came as a telegram.
The invitation was received by Central Cipher Bureau and the CCB telegram in question has been destroyed by shredding and then by burning as per prescribed norms, an RTI reply from the President`s Secretariat has revealed. The Central Cipher Bureau deciphers coded messages for the Government.
Patil who had undertaken 14 foreign trips covering 24 countries had visited Seychelles and South Africa during the last leg of her tenure between April 29-May 7, 2012.
Acting on the Central Information Commission orders, the Secretariat stated, "As regards copy of the invitation received from the President of Seychelles, it is informed that the invitation was received by CCB and the CCB telegram in question has been destroyed by shredding and then by burning, as per prescribed norms of handling CCBs, under the signature of the then Joint Secretary to the President."
The Secretariat said Patil`s grandchildren Prithvi Singh Shekhawat and Vedika Rathore had also travelled with her.
The reply was given to activist Subhash Agrawal who sought from the Secretariat the copy of the invitation received from the President of Seychelles and names of Patil`s relatives who had travelled along with her on the trip.
When the matter reached the CIC, the Secretariat submitted that invitation was with the CCB and could not be disclosed.
"He (CPIO) must write to the appellant once again either providing the copy of the invitation or, if he decides to deny it, then to pass a speaking order citing the appropriate exemption provisions of the RTI Act," Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra had directed.
Patil had come under media headlines after it was revealed under the RTI Act that her foreign travels had cost exchequer over Rs 205 crore.