New Delhi: Mentioning the names of minor rape victims of Bhandara in Parliament by then Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde resulted from "heavy work load" of the ministry officials who prepared his statement and was not "unlawful", the Home Ministry has concluded in its enquiry.
The explanation given by the Ministry officials did not go well with Shinde who had to face embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha on March 1, 2013 when he named the victims of the Bhandara rape incident. The remarks had to be expunged at the intervention of then leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley.
"I express my displeasure," he wrote on the explanation submitted by the Ministry officials.
The Ministry did not conduct any "formal inquiry" into the gaffe committed by the officials but the then Home Secretary R K Singh merely called explanation from the officers concerned even though Shinde had sought for an inquiry into the matter.
Even the queries posed under the Right to Information Act remained unanswered for 10 months in gross violation of mandatory one month given under law for responding to such applications.
It was only after Central Information Commission issued show cause notice that the response was sent.
"When a matter is already in the public domain, the names creeping in the note to be read out in Parliament, can be considered avoidable but not necessarily unlawful," the Centre-State relations (CS) division of the ministry has said in the note, accessed under the RTI Act.