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Govt of India rejects RTI plea for Cabinet note on 10% quota to EWS, survey, if any, on it

By Our Representative
The Government of India has rejected a right to information (RTI) plea, sent to the Social Justice Ministry for seeking Cabinet note, along with Annexures, if any, submitted to the Union Cabinet for securing the Constitutional amendment for providing 10% quota to the economically weaker sections (EWS), saying, as per the provision under Section 8(1)(i) of RTI Act, 2005, it is not obligatory “to give any citizen Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers”.
The GoI has also rejected senior RTI activist Venatesh Nayak plea to receive copies of “correspondence and file notings pertaining to the subject”, copies of “any census or survey data or study or research report along with recommendations received from any committee or commission that constitutes the material which formed the basis of the said proposal to amend the Constitution”, and copies of “correspondence received from the office of the Prime Minister in relation to the proposal to amend the Constitution.”
Belonging to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Nayak said, the rejection goes against a June 2012 decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) that all Cabinet Notes and materials related to Bills tabled in Parliament must be placed in the public domain within the next seven days.
Claims Nayak, “The entire legislative exercise surrounding the 10% quota law lacked any kind of transparency or a consultation process with the people of India”, insisting, “The 10% quota amendment proposal did not comply with the Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy adopted by the Central Government in 2014.”
As per this policy every department mooting a legislative proposal is required to place the draft text of the legislation in the public domain for thirty days, invite people's suggestions and views, incorporate any, if so determined, tabulate all the suggestions received and attach it to the Cabinet Note along with the suggestions received in the Inter-Ministerial Consultation on the draft Bill. “However, none of these measures were complied with in relation to the 10% quota proposal”, Nayak adds.

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