Why can’t Sino-India war report be made public, court asks government

July 17th, 2009 - 12:02 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday directed the government to place
before it the report of Lt Gen Henderson Brooks on the reasons behind the 1962 Sino-India war to decide whether it could be made public.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the government and asked it to file its response on a petition filed by noted journalist Kuldip Nayar, seeking the court’s direction to the centre to disclose the report.

Advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the report was more that 45 years old and it could not remain classified.

“It is now 43 years old and should have been formally available in the Archives of India, some 30 years after it was submitted to the Government of India. I hope I can use my right under Right to Information to get a copy,” the petition said, adding that in the US, the papers relating to the Vietnam war were made public.

The court after hearing his arguments asked the government to file the report in a sealed envelope and posted the matter for further hearing on Oct 22.

Nayar, a former Rajya Sabha MP, approached the court challenging Central Information Commission (CIC) order which said that the report could not be disclosed under RTI Act as it would seriously compromise the country’s security and its ties with the neighbouring country.

The defence ministry, while opposing the plea of Nayar, had pleaded that making the report public would amount to disclosure of the army’s operational strategy in the north-east and would have a direct bearing on the question of the demarcation of the Line of Actual Control between India and China which is a live issue.

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