Govt re­fuses to share de­tails on EWS quota de­ci­sion-mak­ing process

Millennium Post - - Mp City -

NEW DELHI: The govern­ment has re­fused to share de­tails of the de­ci­sion-mak­ing process on quota for eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tion (EWS) cit­ing a clause of the RTI Act that bars dis­clo­sure of records of cabi­net pa­pers and dis­cus­sions by min­is­ters.

Venkatesh Nayak, who works as Pro­gramme Co­or­di­na­tor, Ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme with NGO Com­mon­wealth Hu­man Rights Ini­tia­tive (CHRI), had sought de­tails like copy of cabi­net note on the mat­ter be­sides cor­re­spon­dence re­ceived from the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice (PMO) in this re­gard. The Cen­tre has im­ple­mented 10 per cent reser­va­tion for eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions of the gen­eral cat­e­gory in cen­tral govern­ment posts and ser­vices from Fe­bru­ary 1, 2019, on­wards.

In re­ply to Nayak's RTI query, the So­cial Jus­tice and Em­pow­er­ment Min­istry said the req­ui­site in­for­ma­tion can­not be pro­vided as it was ex­empted un­der Sec­tion 8 (1) (i) of the trans­parency law.

The Sec­tion bars dis­clo­sure of "cabi­net pa­pers in­clud­ing records of de­lib­er­a­tions of the coun­cil of min­is­ters, sec­re­taries and other of­fi­cers".

How­ever, the same clause, fur­ther says "Pro­vided that the de­ci­sions of coun­cil of min­is­ters, the rea­sons thereof, and the ma­te­rial on the ba­sis of which the de­ci­sions were taken shall be made pub­lic af­ter the de­ci­sion has been taken, and the mat­ter is com­plete, or over".

Nayak said there is no press re­lease about this sub­ject on the web­site of the Press In­for­ma­tion Bureau or the So­cial Jus­tice and Em­pow­er­ment Min­istry. "The govern­ment has de­nied to share the req­ui­site in­for­ma­tion cit­ing the Sec­tion 8 (1) (i) of the RTI Act. How­ever, the ex­emp­tion re­lat­ing to cabi­net pa­pers- which the of­fi­cer con­cerned has quoted in his re­ply it­self per­mits the dis­clo­sure of all the in­for­ma­tion I had sought, af­ter the mat­ter is com­plete or over.

"The 10 per cent quota amend­ment has al­ready come into force. Nev­er­the­less, the of­fi­cer (who has replied to the ap­pli­cant) seems to think that the mat­ter is nei­ther com­plete or over," Nayak said.

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