CIC Upholds MHA’s View, Naga Accord to Remain a Secret in National Interest
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has upheld the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) view and said that the details of the Naga Accord will remain a secret in the interest of the country’s sovereignty and security.
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Naga leaders.
New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has upheld the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) view and said that the details of the Naga Accord will remain a secret in the interest of the country’s sovereignty and security.
The ruling comes after a RTI plea filed by activist Venkatesh Nayak, seeking details from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on the Naga Accord, was rejected by the government and the applicant moved CIC.
In reply to the RTI, the MHA had earlier said that it did not hold a copy of the framework accord. After four hearings at the CIC, it was revealed that the office of the Government of India’s representative for Naga Peace Talks, who is the chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee, held a copy of the Accord.
The MHA informed the CIC that it had complete authority to decide whether to declare the information of the Accord to the public, or to keep it discrete.
“During the last hearing conducted by the CIC, earlier this month, the CIC called for the text of the Naga Accord and other related documents for examination on camera. The GoI Official Representative for Naga Peace Talks provided an overview of the situation regarding the ongoing parleys during the open part of the hearing. The actual records were examined on camera,” Nayak told News18. After weighing the arguments, the CIC ruled in favor of MHA and said by keeping information of the Accord a private matter, the ministry was protecting India’s sovereignty and strategic interests.
The government signed a peace accord (Naga Accord) with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM (NSCN-IM) in August 2015 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) called it a “framework agreement” and had hinted at releasing the details and the execution plan soon after.
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