With tags of 'patriots' and 'anti-nationals' being at the centre of debate, the Central Information Commission has asked the Home Ministry to make public the list of people who are facing sedition charges for indulging in alleged anti-national activities.
The transparency watchdog's directives came on a petition by Moradabad-resident Pawan Aggarwal, who had sought from the PM’s Office through an RTI application the list of persons declared as "martyrs" and "anti-nationals".
Aggarwal's petition was forwarded by the PMO to the Home Ministry which responded that there was no list available with it in which people were categorised as "patriots", "martyrs" or anti-nationals, hence the information cannot be provided. The Ministry had said that it did not categorise any person as a "patriot", "traitor" or a "martyr" based on certain yardsticks and specifications or maintained any data of such categories of persons.
"The respondent further submitted that under the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, a public authority is under obligation to provide an applicant only that information which exists in the records and is held by or under the control of that authority," Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava noted in the order.