Monday, November 29, 1999

Make public reasons for installing statues: CIC to LS

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New Delhi, Jun 16 (PTI) The Central Information Commission has directed the Lok Sabha Secretariat to put on its website details of each statue on the Parliament campus along with the reasons for granting permission for their installation. However, acknowledging that culling out reasons for permitting the installation of statues and posters of various leaders from the records of committee meetings in the entire post-independence period will be a "next to impossible" task, the Commission gave six months'' time to the LS Secretariat to finish the exercise. "Record of minutes of the Committee meetings from the period 1947 to 2000 is bulky and inspecting each to cull out the information regarding the decision taken on requests to install various statues and portraits will, in the present system of record keeping, be next to impossible," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said. However, the Commissioner asked the Central Public Information Officer to provide RTI applicant Harish Kumar with any five illustrative samples of the decisions of the Committee on portraits and statues for the period 1993-2005 within 10 days. While ordering the secretariat to make public information about each statue on Parliament campus, the Commission said people have the right to know the reasons for granting permission for installation of statues and posters of different leaders. "The installation of statues and portraits, the reasons for approval of the same and other details, as sought by appellant Harish Kumar in the present case are matters not only of public interest but matters on which the public has a right to be informed," Habibullah said. Kumar a resident of Pul Mithai locality in the national capital had sought to know all the details of statues and portraits of National Leaders, Parliamentarians and Martyrs installed in Parliament House Complex.

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