Ministers’ assets case referred to Lok Sabha SpeakerMarch 16th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Central Information Commission (CIC) Monday referred the case regarding public disclosure of assets of union ministers, who are members of Lok Sabha, to Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
The decision of the CIC came on an appeal filed by a Delhi-based businessman Subhash Chandra Agrawal who had sought information related to the assets owned by union ministers and their kin in the past two years. The hearing was conducted Friday after which the Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah had reserved the order.
“Under the Lok Sabha rules, such information is not disclosable except with the permission of the speaker. The matter will be referred to Somnath Chatterjee, speaker of the Lok Sabha,” Habibullah noted in the order.
However, regarding ministers who are members of the Rajya Sabha, the CIC said that if rules in Rajya Sabha are similar to that of Lok Sabha, they will follow them or else would refer the matter directly to the third parties (the ministers).
“If there is any equivalent rule with regard to the Rajya Sabha, this may also be exercised, although, we were not told of existence of any such rules during the hearing. If no such rules in fact exist, the matter will be referred to the third parties concerned as per the process.
“This process may be completed within 30 working days of the date of issue of the decision notice,” Habibullah said.
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Tags: agrawal, assets, businessman, chandra, cic, decision notice, existence, habibullah, information commission, information commissioner, Lok Sabha, New Delhi, public disclosure, rajya sabha, regard, somnath, third parties, union ministers, wajahat