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."