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Give Sonia foreign trip info: CIC

The Central Information Commission has asked the government to disclose details about foreign visits undertaken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and costs incurred during these trips,besides the purpose of these visits.

Written by Tanu Sharma | New Delhi |
June 14, 2011 3:37:57 am

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the government to disclose details about foreign visits undertaken by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and costs incurred during these trips,besides the purpose of these visits.

The CIC was responding to an appeal filed by Hisar-based RTI applicant Ramesh Verma,who sought to know from the Prime Minister’s Office information pertaining to the foreign visits of Sonia Gandhi,costs incurred,benefits and purpose of these visits. “It seems the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry had informed that the Central government had incurred no expenditure on the foreign visits of Sonia Gandhi during the last 10 years. However,the Cabinet Secretariat had no knowledge if any information had been given to the applicant regarding her foreign visits as the chairperson of the National Advisory Council (NAC),” Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra pointed out,giving 10 days to the government to furnish the details.

The application received by the PMO on February 26,2010 was transferred to the External Affairs Ministry on March 16,2010 and further forwarded to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry on March 26,2010. Pulling up the PMO for “casual handling” of the application,Mishra directed it to ensure that in future information seeking pleas should be sent to concerned ministries only.

“One thing is for sure that in this case the RTI request has been handled very casually. It was originally addressed to the CPIO of the PMO. The CPIO should have taken care to find out which ministry in the Central government was concerned and should have transferred the application to that ministry or ministries. Instead,the application was forwarded from one place to another,resulting in so much delay,” he said.

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