Kerala not to release RTI info before government orders issuance
Thiruvananthapuram: The state government is planning to appeal against a State Information Commission directive to provide minutes and agenda of Cabinet under the Right to Information Act. Top sources said the government was not against issuing copies of Cabinet agenda and minutes on matters in which the government orders (GO) are issued.
Though the norms stipulate that GOs on Cabinet decisions need to be issued within 48-hours, it is often followed more in the breach especially on those come out-of-the-agenda. Making public Cabinet minutes and agenda before issuing final order can create confusion. Hence the government is exploring the scope of filing an appeal against a recent order of the SIC.
Chief Information Commissioner Vinson M. Paul had recently directed the government to disburse minutes and agenda of Cabinet decisions taken between January 1 and March 12. But even after the ten-day time limit prescribed by the commission, the government did not provide them and the petitioner Human Rights Defence Forum general secretary D. B. Binu was approaching the commission seeking action against the officials concerned.
The Cabinet meetings during the last days of the previous UDF government assumed significance, as many controversial land assignment and wetland conversion decisions were taken during that period. Government orders in most of these decisions were yet to be issued and the decisions are under review of a Cabinet sub-committee.