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Information on PM’s meetings with top industrialists ‘cannot be revealed’

A.M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on November 17, 2017




The Prime Minister’s Office has denied an answer to a query on how many meetings the PM had with top industrialists in the last nine years.

A journalist of a regional daily, D. Dhanasumod, had asked the PMO to provide information under the Right to Information Act as to how many times the Prime Minister had met industrialists Ratan Tata, Sunil Mittal, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani between June, 2004 and June 2012.

He also sought to know the details of the PM’s meetings with the representatives of FICCI, CII and Assocham as well as leaders of farmers’ and agriculture workers’ organisations since he assumed office.

In the reply, Central Public Information Officer Sanjukta Ray said the information cannot be provided and invoked section 8(1) in RTI Act. The section says that “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual” could be denied.

The applicant appealed to the appellate authority, which also denied the information. The appellate authority, the director in the PMO, Dheeraj Gupta, said some visitors want the meetings to be kept secret in view of the sensitivity involved. Gupta said in the reply to the appeal that the PM meets people from all walks of life, which may or may not be recorded.

He said it is difficult to associate concerns relating to prejudicial effect on sovereignty and integrity, the security and other interests of the State and relations with foreign States, as well as confidential third party information, etc. with individual meetings.

Dhanasumod said he filed an RTI application amid complaints that the Prime Minister had, on several occasions, denied appointments for meetings with leaders of farmers’ organisations. He said he would approach the Central Information Commission against the PMO’s decision to deny the information.

> jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 06, 2012

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