Disclose file notings on mercy petition of death row convict

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The Central Information Commission has allowed disclosure of file notings on the mercy petition of a rape and murder convict, rejecting the government’s contention that the records cannot be disclosed as these are privileged documents under Article 74(2) of the Constitution.

Mother of Pradeep Yeshwanth Kokde, who is on death row in Yerwada jail in Pune, had approached the Union Home Ministry seeking copies of file notings made in relation to the mercy petition filed by him under the Right to Information.

The Home Ministry denied the information citing Article 74(2) of the Constitution which protects from disclosure the advice tendered by the Council of Ministers to the President as it is privileged communication.

The applicant argued before the Commission, highest adjudicating body onI matters, that the Article protects only the advice tendered by the Council of Ministers and that the information sought by her does not pertain to the ministerial advice.

The ministry said that the recommendations along with all documents which lead to the formation of ministerial advice to the President of India are privileged under Article 74 (2) of the Constitution and cannot be disclosed under theI Act.

These documents are an integral part of the government decision-making process and cannot be isolated from the ambit of “advice to the President”, the Home Ministry contended.

Source:Livelaw.com