The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has in a recent RTI reply accepted that there were 41 files related to Netaji, of which two had been declassified, but turned down activist Subhash Agrawal’s request to disclose them.
“(The) disclosure of documents contained in these files would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries. As such, these are exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act,” Modi’s office said.
Then BJP president Rajnath Singh had demanded during a visit to Netaji’s birthplace Cuttack this January that the UPA government make public the records. “The entire country is impatient to know how Netaji died and under what circumstances,” Rajnath had said on the eve of Netaji’s 117th birth anniversary on January 23. Rajnath is now home minister.
In its reply, Modi’s PMO has cited an exemption clause in the act to reject the request. The “classified” files include issues related to mortal remains kept in Japan’s Rankoji temple.
Agrawal, the applicant, disagreed with the PMO. “The CPIO (central public information officer in the PMO) did not even specify the country with which relations are likely to be prejudicially affected.”