India Diaspora
Right to Information Act covers Indian missions too
Apr 2, 2007 - 3:49:22 PM

New Delhi, April 2 - All Indian missions abroad are under the ambit of the Right to Information - Act and are duty bound to provide requisite information to Indian citizens, according to the Central Information Commission -.

'Since the Indian missions are set up by the foreign ministry, they come under the ambit of the Right to Information Act,' the CIC said in a ruling Friday.

The ruling was delivered on an appeal demanding reasons for denial of visa by the Indian embassy in Paris to a French national Benjamin Mailian, who was to join as faculty member of the Ahmedabad-based Mahatma Gandhi International School.

The appeal was filed by another faculty member of the school and an Ahmedabad resident Anju Musafir.

Information Commissioner O.P. Kejariwal directed the consular, passport and visa division of the external affairs ministry to provide the information to Musafir by April 25 after collecting it from the Indian embassy in Paris.

During the hearing, the Commission was informed that though Musafir's application was forwarded to the Indian embassy in Paris, she did not get a proper reply.

Defending non-disclosure of information, the ministry and other authorities said that missions abroad were not covered by the RTI Act.

Musafir had first approached the public information officer of the ministry of external affairs on July 19, 2006, to know why the Indian consulate had denied a visa to Mailian.

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