Skip to main content

Govt of India, RBI refuse to part with details of internal meetings on Modi's demonetization move before Nov 8

By Our Representative
The Reservation Bank of India (RBI) has rejected a right to information (RTI) plea seeking access to RBI's board meeting minutes and recommendations to the government, as also related file notings, starting with the date on which the recommendation may have been made to demonetize the Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
The RTI plea was set aside under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act, which authorities government officials to reject an RTI plea as it would allegedly “infringe” upon sovereignty and territorial integrity, strategic, scientific, economic, security and defence interests of the state, “affect” relations with foreign states, or might lead to “incitement” to an offence.
The authorities also rejected the RTI plea invoking Section 7(9), saying that the information cannot be provided in the form sought as it would allegedly “lead to disproportionate diversion of resources of the organization.”
The RTI application was made by well-known RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) on November 17.
Earlier, on November 14, Nayak had filed an RTI plea with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Government of India, seeking copies of the note that was approved by the Union Cabinet regarding the decision to demonetize the two currency denominations. The DEA has so far not cared to reply to the RTI application.
Calling the rejections as running against the objective of the RTI Act, of fostering greater transparency and accountability in government, Nayak in an email alert says, “It is not as if RBI refuses to disclose minutes of meetings of all committees that provide it with advice.”
Shashikanta Das
Citing an example, Nayak says, “The minutes of the meeting of the Committee on Monetary Policy held as recently as December 21, 2016 were proactively disclosed on its website”, insisting, “The refusal to disclose the minutes of the RBI board meeting where the decision was taken to recommend demonetisation of the high value currency notes, is perplexing.”
Recalling Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address at the 10th Annual RTI Convention organized by the Central Information Commission (CIC) in October 2015, Nayak says, he had said, people should “not only have the right to seek copies of official records under RTI, but also demand accountability for the decisions taken by public authorities.”
Nayak regrets, “It is sad that the Prime Minister's vision of transparency is not shared by the officers who work under him”, adding, “I was not even questioning the wisdom of the decision. Instead, I had sought only copies of official records containing details of the decision making process.”
“If there cannot be complete transparency on this issue, then it must be assumed that the transparency regime has simply not taken roots in India even after 11 years of implementation of the RTI Act”, complains Nayak.
He adds, “While confidentiality prior to the making of the demonetization decision is understandable, continued secrecy after the decision is implemented is difficult to understand when crores of Indians have faced difficulties due to the shortage of cash supply.”
RBI, and earlier DEA, decision not to reveal the decisions leading to the demonetization announcement of November 8, comes amidst Shashikanta Das, secretary, DEA, saying, there is “no need to go into the process of decision making regarding the November 8 demonetization drive” (click HERE to watch video).
Comments Nayak, “This is a worrisome departure from the commitment to transparency and accountability voiced by the Prime Minister time and again.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.