NEWDELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered that the procedure of appointment of ambassadors to various countries should be made public.
This order was passed by information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi following an appeal by Kishanlal Mittal, who had filed and RTI application with the External Affairs
Ministry wanting to know the procedure of appointment of ambassadors and high commissioners.
In reply to Mittal’s petition, the External affairs ministry denied information stating that “Ambassadors and High Commissioners are appointed to our missions, posts abroad, as per their suitability for the assignment and subject to the provisions of the Vienna Convention of the Diplomatic Relations 1961. Further, the process of these appointments also involves examination of the annual confidential report (ACR) records of the officers containing information about the character, capability and other attributes of the official reported upon, disclosure of which to any other person amounts to unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual. Therefore, this information cannot be provided under section 8 (1) a, which is information, the disclosure of which could prejudicially affect India’s relations with foreign state of the RTI Act, 2005.”
The ministry further stated that the appointment of ambassadors, high commissioners, is done, taking into account India’s bilateral and multilateral relations and disclosure of such information could prejudicially affect India’s relations with the foreign state. Therefore, this information cannot be provided under section 8 (1) (J) unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual of the RTI Act, 2005.
After examining the appeals of both the applicant and the respondent, the Information
Commissioner ordered that the public information officer of the ministry should provide the process of appointment. In case no process exists, this should be stated.