Details of MPs who gave the Motion of Impeachment and subsequently withdrew the names is exempted from the disclosure under RTI Act as it stands covered under Section 8(1)(c) of the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has held.
"Giving notice of Motion by any Member in the course of discharge of his Parliamentary duties is covered within the meaning and scope of the term 'Proceedings in Parliament'. Hence, disclosure of details of members who gave the Motion and some who subsequently withdrew their names under RTI may open the parliamentary conduct of such Members to public scrutiny" noted by the Chief Information Commissioner (Sudhir Bhargava)
The commission while deciding the second appeal filed by Malleswara Rao seeking the information on five points, pertaining the details of the number of Mps who signed the impeachment motion and moved and subsequently number of Mps who withdrew it. However, the Commission directed the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to provide the appellant the relevant extract of the rules/procedure relating to acceptance and withdrawal of motion by MPs.
The appellant had told the Commission that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat had wrongly denied the information regarding the names and state-wise representations given by the members of Rajya Sabha for impeachment and those who later withdrew the motion under Section 8(1) (c) of the RTI Act and contended that the matter has already been published by the newspapers.
Arun Sharma, Director (Coord.) and CPIO, Rajya Sabha Secretariat submitted that
Such documents relating to or connected with the proceedings of the House are privileged documents and exempted under Section 8(1)(c) of the RTI Act, 2005.
Subsequently Commission agreed with the submission "giving a notice of motion by any member in the course of discharge of his parliamentary duties is covered within the meaning and scope of the term 'Proceedings in Parliament'. Hence, disclosure of details of members who gave the Motion and some who subsequently withdrew their names under the RTI Act may open the parliamentary conduct of such Members to public scrutiny. Such disclosure may not only indirectly influence the members in discharge of their parliamentary duties but has a tendency to influence their independence in the future performance of their duties, thereby would cause breach of privilege".