NEW DELHI: Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy’s statement in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday stating that ‘even after a thorough search, the documents pertaining to imposition of Emergency could not be traced in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) records’, has surprised RTI activists as they have been in the public domain since September 2010, courtesy the National Archives of India (NAI).
After a hard-fought battle, M G Devasahayam, an IAS officer who served as Chandigarh district magistrate during Emergency got the documents through an RTI application from the NAI, as early Sep 2, 2010.
Narayanasamy’s reply in the case of RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal’s application becomes curious as the same PMO in 2010, in response to the Devasahayam’s similar application on Emergency documents, had referred it to the Home Ministry and then to the NAI from where the documents were finally obtained.
The matter become even more curious as Devasahayam’s fight to get the Emergency documents was extensively reported in newspapers in 2010.
In fact, documents obtained from the NAI had revealed that except for the document signed by Gandhi and sent to the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, all others were available.
While the original proclamation bearing Ahmed’s signature was part of the documents, there was only a typed copy of the PM’s top secret letter that had recommended imposition of Emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution.
The scrutiny of the file also revealed that the Home Ministry had obtained a copy of Gandhi’s historic letter from the President’s Secretariat.