Names of those denied Padma Awards shouldn't be disclosed: MHA

Names of those denied Padma Awards shouldn't be disclosed: MHA

This year's final 130 recipients were picked from among 1,163 names discussed by the Padma Awards committee in two batches.The Ministry, which was directed to disclose information on the Padma Awards by the Central Information Commission, has provided it with a caveat that this information was only meant for the applicant and not for publicity in press.

Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, painter Jatin Das and dancer-scholar Padma Subrahmanyam were among those recommended by Prime Minister's Office but did not find a place in the final list.

The Home Ministry response came on an RTI application by Subhash Chandra Agrawal in which it gave a list of candidates whose names were deliberated by the Padma Awards Committee.

The Right to Information Act does not have any provision which gives a public authority powers to ask any applicant not to use information provided to him, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

"Under the act it is not possible that a department can make such a request... Once the information is given under the law, it is public," Habibullah told reporters.Eminent Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan also said the reply given by the Home Ministry did not conform to the provisions of the RTI Act.He said public authorities cannot make any such direction which is not in accordance with the transparency law.Aggarwal said the CIC should confirm if such directions by a public-authority were permissible or not.