The CM's office had on March 19 said the government's step was only to avoid harassment and ensure safety of those providing secret information on top brass.

Under attack from opposition Kerala UDF govt withdraws notice excluding CM ministers from RTI
news VACB matters Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 12:34

Congress led UDF government in Kerala on Tuesday withdrew its controversial notification that excluded Vigilance and Anti-Corruption bureau matters related to top functionaries, including Chief Minister and Ministers from the ambit of RTI Act after facing flak from Opposition parties and also the KPCC.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who had on March 19 termed the propaganda in this regard as baseless, told reporters after a cabinet meeting today that a decision was taken to cancel the notification as it created confusion.

"However, the provision that excludes information regarding the identity of persons who gave secret information about top brass from the RTI ambit will continue," he said.

The cabinet examined the issue in detail in the wake of KPCC President V M Sudheeran's demand for withdrawal of the impugned order, Chandy said.

The CM's office had on March 19 said the government's step was only to avoid harassment and ensure safety of those providing secret information on top brass.

It had also said that government decided to exclude 'T-Branch' of Vigilance, mainly connected with matters before a case is registered, from RTI after seeking legal advice of Advocate General and experts and that VACB had been repeatedly making such a request since 2009.

CPI(M) leader and opposition leader in the Assembly V S Achuthanandan had accused the UDF government of excluding VACB matters related to Chief Minister, former Chief Ministers, cabinet colleagues, former ministers, IAS and IPS officers from the ambit of RTI.

He had also alleged that it was an attempt to sabotage the RTI act.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee along with BJP had also demanded that the notification be withdrawn.

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