Saturday, November 13, 2010

Railways refuse to divulge Mamata's tour expenses

November 12, 2010 18:41 IST

Disclosure of expenditure incurred on domestic and international tours of Railway Minister will endanger her life-- this was the argument cited by the ministry while denying information about the travels undertaken by her.

Activist S C Agrawal had filed an RTI application seeking to know the travel expenses of Members of Parliament and ministers, which was transferred to Railway Ministry for giving details about domestic as well as international tours undertaken by their minister and two ministers of State.

"The information sought by the applicant is not maintained in the format as desired by the applicant. The revelation of information relating to movement of high dignitaries could endanger their life and physical safety and exemption is sought under clause 8(g) of the RTI Act, 2005," Under Secretary Protocol Sudhir Kumar said in the reply.

But at the same time, the ministry has provided file notings on the movement of RTI application, sought by the applicant, wherein the protocol officer has said Minister of State for Railways E Ahmed has taken one foreign visit.

However, Agarwal said he will appeal against the decision. "How can information about tours undertaken in the past endanger lives of Ministers? It is beyond comprehension why Railway is not ready to share expenses of its minister and ministers of state," Agrawal said.


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