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Rediff.com  » News » Cabinet papers can be disclosed under RTI: HC

Cabinet papers can be disclosed under RTI: HC

December 03, 2009 21:54 IST
The Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected the government's plea that Cabinet papers containing the deliberations of the ministers cannot be disclosed under the Right To Information Act, even after a decision has been taken by it on an issue.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna rejected the plea by the Centre which contended that the decision by the Cabinet can be disclosed but not the Cabinet papers which record the deliberations of the council of ministers, secretaries and
other officers.

The court, while elaborating the provisions of the RTI, pointed out that the exemption to make public such documents is only till the Centre takes the final decision.

"A limited prohibition for a specified time is granted (under the Act). Prohibition is not for an unlimited duration or infinite period but lasts till a decision is taken by the council of ministers and the matter is complete or
over," the court said.

"The prohibition in respect of the decision of the council of ministers, the reasons thereof and the material on the basis of which decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision is taken and the matter is complete or
over," it said.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by the Centre challenging a Central Information Commission order directing the government to disclose cabinet papers.

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