Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sharm-el-Sheikh statement: MEA can seek HC stay, says Habibullah

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah on Wednesday said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) can "very well go to the High Court and get a stay" on the Central Information Commission (CIC) direction to the foreign office to disclose file notings on the drafting of Indo-Pak Joint Statement at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit held last year. "There is a clear provision in the Right to Information (RTI) Act which says that the government need not disclose information given by a foreign country in confidence or if the data would affect the relationship with that nation. The MEA can of course go to the High Court under this provision," Habibullah told The Indian Express on Wednesday. Two specific clauses of Section 8 of the RTI Act deal with disclosure of documents relating to India's relationship with foreign countries.

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