CIC directs PMO to produce file on PM Modi’s foreign travels

The Prime Minister's Office had refused the information citing personal safety.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:October 28, 2016 6:39 pm
modi, modi foreign visits, modi visit, modi japan visit, modi travels, modi news, narendra modi news, modi trips govt records, modi govt records Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplanes at AFS Palam in New Delhi. (File/PTI photo)

The CIC has directed the PMO to produce one representative file related to foreign travels of the Prime Minister after the top office refused an RTI applicant access to these documents citing safety concerns.

The case relates to Commodore (Retd) Lokesh Batra who had sought details related to the expenditure incurred on foreign travels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessors, which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had denied citing sections of the RTI related to security.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had refused the information citing personal safety. Chief Information Commissioner Radha Krishna Mathur has now directed the PMO to peruse the files to ascertain whether there was any security concerns in the records on the basis of which information can be denied.

“The Commission observed that without perusal of the file, it cannot be decided that whether the sought for information contains security related information,” Mathur said, directing the Ministry to produce one representative file before it.

Batra stated before the Commission that the case involves substantive public interest as the bailout amount, reported to be in thousands of crores of rupees, being given to Air India is the money of tax payers.

He referred to his RTI application and stated that he was seeking information on four points regarding details of expenses incurred on air travel by Air India in respect of foreign visits of the incumbent Prime Minister and former Prime Ministers, the laid down instructions, process/procedure/steps involved in chartering flights for PM’s foreign visits and later filing ‘flight returns’ and raising bills/invoices and clearing bills on completion of the visit, copy of bills, etc.

Batra told the Commission that the PMO website as on September 13, 2016 was showing that the bills are under process for payment or have not been received for journeys undertaken by the PM during the period between June 15, 2014 and September 8, 2016.

He said there is a need for reforms by understanding the causes of long delays in payments to Air India.

In its response, the PMO had told Batra that the record pertaining to flights of the PM contain information which has security issues and hence it is exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.

The External Affairs Ministry had earlier said the matter falls under the category where the disclosure of information would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India and security interests of the State and hence, attract the provision of section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act.

It said in view of security reasons, the file inspection by the appellant cannot be allowed.

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  1. G
    GGG
    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm
    Modiot is the security concern for Bharat. He doesn't have any fking security concern for himself. He is THE GLOBAL TERRORIST. He visits all countries and KING WHISPERS(barb-aryan technology) "TERRORIST JUST ARRIVED IN YOUR COUNTRY".
    Reply
    1. R
      rahul
      Oct 28, 2016 at 4:07 pm
      ask the applicant to get the info on who paid for Sonia's US treatment?
      Reply
      1. B
        Babu Gupta
        Oct 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm
        There are a lot Porki pigs like you in hidden name.
        Reply
        1. B
          bitterhoney
          Oct 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm
          This is the transparency of Modi govt. As we voted him to power, we will vote him out.
          Reply
          1. A
            ASHOK KUMAR
            Oct 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm
            Modi should abolish RTI Act.
            Reply
            1. H
              harun
              Oct 28, 2016 at 2:15 pm
              MMS was also asked to furnish expenses incurred on his Travel and it was much debated on TV.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Dont remember security reasons being cited as a reason not to provide details.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;PM has managed to convince China in calling stan a terror State by virtue of his extensive Travel and campaign abroad.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Every Paisa of Tax Payer Money was worth the purpose.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Though the applicant may have a motive behind exposing the Amount spent,it should not stop the PMO from providing it.
              Reply
              1. H
                harun
                Oct 28, 2016 at 11:51 pm
                Yes we need to know that as well
                Reply
                1. S
                  SATISH
                  Oct 28, 2016 at 4:50 pm
                  IF madcap kejri starts foreign trips, RTI will ran away as his gunda, murders, rapists in the party will finish RTI activites. God save this country from AAP bhakts
                  Reply
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