NEW DELHI: Correspondence between late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed preceding the infamous Emergency are missing from the Prime Minister’s Office. At least, that’s what the PMO has stated in response to an RTI application seeking details of the conversation leading to two dark years of Indian democracy. This has prompted the applicant to knock on the doors of the Central Information Commission.
Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Satyananda Mishra, in a landmark judgement, has directed the PMO to ensure that copies of the correspondence between the then President and PM be traced and preserved appropriately, for posterity.
“We must observe that this is somewhat surprising. The records relating to such an important event in history of post-independence India should be carefully preserved for future and cannot be allowed to get lost in the labyrinth of the government offices.
We would like the competent authorities in the PMO to inquire into this matter and to ensure that these records are retrieved or traced, wherever they might be, and should be preserved appropriately for the citizens to access,” the order stated.
During the CIC hearing, the appellant, Paras Nath Singh from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh insisted that he be provided with the entire information, as he refused to accept that the Prime Minister’s Office does not have the correspondence—only record of the events surrounding such a crucial period of history— however infamous.