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Friday, 3 February 2012

Produce request letter for chartered flight: CIC

RTI activist says Alliance Air has only partly complied with order

Serving a show-cause on Alliance Air, the Central Information Commission has directed the Central Public Information Officer to “disclose the name of the person/body/organisation making the request for the chartered flight,” which was operated in 2010, after cancelling the scheduled service. This chartered operation was allegedly to facilitate a service carrying the daughter of a former Civil Aviation Minister and a few members of an Indian Premier League team.

This direction comes as Right to Information activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal complained that the public sector company had only partly complied with the CIC order.

When the company said it had made a call to its call centre to change the flight allotment, Mr. Agrawal sought the details of the communication, documents and file notings. The company refused to disclose them as also the names of the officials who gave and received the orders.

Hearing an appeal, the CIC noted that the company, to protect its commercial confidentiality, had the right not to disclose the terms and conditions of the agreement it signed with India Cements Limited. But “the commission finds no reason to deny the rest of the information requested by the appellant.”

The CIC has directed the company to provide India Cement Limited's request letter for the chartered flight, file notings and documents about the decision within a fortnight.

Referring to a newspaper report, Mr. Agrawal had said in his application: “A Union Minister has no right to run a public sector undertaking like his private business firm by making it dance to the requirements of his family members. However, if the news report is wrong, it will rather clear the position of all concerned, including Alliance Air and the Union Minister. Therefore, it is in the interests of all, including the public interest, to reveal the sought information.”

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