You are here: Home » Politics » News » National
Business Standard

Can't disclose Modi-Vajpayee letters during Gujarat riots: PMO

The applicant had also sought copy of the communication exchanged between Vajpayee and Modi during that period which saw tense atmosphere in the state

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Manmoham Singh & Narendra Modi
Manmoham Singh & Narendra Modi

The Prime Minister's Office has refused to disclose communication exchanged between former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chief Minister Narendra Modi during the 2002 Gujarat riots even after 11 years.

Responding to an RTI application, the Prime Minister's Office cited section 8(1)(h) of transparency, which exempts information that would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

The response raises questions whether the communication between Modi and then Prime Minister Vajpayee carried any information related to rioters or people behind the pogrom.

The RTI applicant had sought copy of all communications exchanged between the PMO and the Gujarat government between February 27, 2002 and April 30, 2002 on the law and order situation in the state.

The applicant had also sought copy of the communication exchanged between Vajpayee and Modi during that period which saw tense atmosphere in the state.

While refusing disclosure of information, the country's top office did not give any reasons as to how disclosure of information would attract section 8(1)(h) even though Delhi High Court has made it clear that cogent reasons be given while denying information under the clause.

"It is apparent that the mere existence of an investigation process cannot be a ground for refusal of the information; the authority withholding information must show satisfactory reasons as to why the release of such information would hamper the investigation process.

"Such reasons should be germane, and the opinion of the process being hampered should be reasonable and based on some material. Sans this consideration, Section 8(1)(h) and other such provisions would become the haven for dodging demands for information," Justice Ravindra Bhat had held.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, December 15 2013. 20:58 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU