Emergency records not in PMO files, CIC wants it to be traced

The records of correspondence between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed relating to Emergency proclamation in 1975 are not traceable in PMO files prompting a direction by the Central Information Commission to locate and preserve them.

The transparency panel also directed the competent authorities in the Prime Minister's Office(PMO) to enquire into how the records of "an important post-independence event" are not traceable in the PMO files.

In a reply to an RTI applicant, the PMO had claimed that despite its best efforts, the communication relating to proclamation of Emergency could not be traced in its records.

When the matter reached the Central Information Commission(CIC), the PMO officials again reiterated the position stated in the RTI reply.

Although Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra did not fault the concerned officials for the missing records, he said, "we must observe that this is something surprising."

"The records relating to such an important event in the history of post-independence India should be carefully preserved for future and cannot be allowed to get lost in the labyrinth of government offices," Mishra said.

In his order, Mishra said, "we would like the competent authorities in the PMO to enquire into this matter and to ensure that these records are retrieved or traced, and should be preserved appropriately for the citizens to access."

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