The Prime Minister has no power to declassify secret files relating to the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Prime Minister’s Office said in an RTI reply.
“There are no mentions in Manual of Office Procedure or Public Records Rules, 1997, regarding any discretionary power vested in PM to de-classify records,” the PMO said.
Sreejith Panickar, an IT professional based in Thiruvananthapuram, had sent an RTI application asking, “Does the PM have any prerogative to issue an order to declassify the files and send them to the National Archives?”
Last year, when Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Agarwal appealed to the PMO to disclose records relating to Netaji, it had had refused arguing that the “disclosure would prejudicially affect relation with foreign countries”.
When under house arrest by the British in then Calcutta, Netaji had escaped in 1941 to seek international support and formed the Indian National Army with Japanese help. He went missing in 1945 and since then little has been known about his whereabouts.
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