CIC directs PMO to trace Emergency records
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission
has directed the PMO to "trace and preserve" the copies of
correspondence between the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi
and the President relating to the Emergency proclamation in
1975, as the top office claimed these records are untraceable.
The transparency panel also directed the competent
authorities in the Prime Minister's Office to enquire into the
episode that the records of "an important post-independence
event" are not traceable in the PMO files.
In a reply to an RTI applicant, the Prime Minister's
Office had claimed that despite its best efforts, the
communication relating to proclamation of Emergency could not
be traced in its records.
When the matter reached before the Central Information
Commission, the PMO officials again reiterated the position
stated in the RTI reply.
Although Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra
did not fault the concerned officials for the missing records,
he said, "we must observe that this is something surprising."
"The records relating to such an important event in the
history of post-independence India should be carefully
preserved for future and cannot be allowed to get lost in the
labyrinth of government offices," Mishra said.
In his order, the Chief Information Commissioner
directed, "we would like the competent authorities in the PMO
to enquire into this matter and to ensure that these records
are retrieved of traced, and should be preserved appropriately
for the citizens to access."