Disclose whether any compensation paid to IC-814 victims: CIC

The flight with 174 passengers was coming here from Kathmandu when it was hijacked on December 24, 1999 by a group of five terrorists who took the plane to Taliban-ruled Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The passengers were released after an eight day ordeal in exchange to release of three dreaded terrorists -- Maulana Masood Azhar, Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar-- by Indian government. One passenger Rupin Katyal was killed in the incident.

An RTI applicant had sought to know from the External Affairs Ministry three details on the issue -- the action taken by it with Nepalese counterpart in respect of the lapses that resulted in hijacking of IC-814, whether any compensation has been demanded by India from Nepal and if any such compensation has been paid to victims.

The information was denied by the ministry saying it would have bearing on international relations of the country and the matter would be held with discreet confidentiality and that information relating to air-security could be misused if it falls in incorrect hands.

Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit agreed with the stand taken by the ministry on two questions asked by the applicant but with regard to the third question relating to compensation issue, she directed the Ministry to reply in the form of "Yes or No".

"The Commission is of the opinion that query number "c" as asked by appellant in the RTI application may be answered in the form of a "yes" or "no" and such information to be provided by June 20, 2011," Dixit said in her order.

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