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Cabinet secretariat loses vital records, pulled up

The failure of the Cabinet Secretariat to locate the file drew flak from Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra.

News18test sharma |

Updated:January 18, 2012, 5:47 PM IST
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Cabinet secretariat loses vital records, pulled up
The failure of the Cabinet Secretariat to locate the file drew flak from Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra.

New Delhi: The CIC has pulled up the Cabinet Secretariat for failing to trace records that led to issuance of a circular in 1975 which requires the Prime Minister's nod for setting up a high level committee or commission.

The failure of the Cabinet Secretariat to locate the file related to such an important circular drew flak from Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra for poor record keeping in such an important office.

"This shows the state of maintenance of public records, even such important records. The Right to Information (RTI) Act mandated the public authorities to catalogue and index their records and computerise such records. More than six years after this act came into being, the government at the highest level has not been able to do so," Mishra said.

Mishra was hearing the petition of activist Raj Mangal Prasad who had sought from the Cabinet Secretariat a copy of records and files which led to issuance of the circular issued in 1975 which requires permission of the Prime Minister before setting any high-level committee or commission.

When the Central Public Information Officer at the Cabinet Secretariat did not provide any response he filed an appeal with higher authorities in the Secretariat. The higher authorities ordered disclosure of the records.

During the hearing before the CIC, the CPIO said despite best efforts in the record room, the file could not be traced and hence the records cannot be provided.

In his order, Mishra said he could not compel the CPIO to produce the records as they are untraceable.

"We hope the authorities will pay attention to this at the earlierst and set out not only to computerise the records but also to index and catalogue them in the manner expected in Section 4 (1)(a) of the RTI Act," Mishra said.

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