The Central Information Commission has directed the government to disclose all papers relating to the removal of Arvind Jadhav as the CMD of Air India and appointment of incumbent Rohit Nandan, in response to an RTI activist's appeal.
Activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal had appealed to the CIC saying that the government had not provided "any information on the ground that the desired records constituted Cabinet papers and therefore could not be disclosed."
Following the appeal, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra gave a hearing to the government and the appellant on the issue and ordered that "after weighing the submissions and arguments made before us, we are of the view that the desired document should be disclosed."
"Even if it is admitted that these documents constitute part of the papers which had been put up before the
Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), the decision of the ACC has already been implemented; the then CMD of Air India has been reverted and a new incumbent appointed in his place.
"The above provision clearly stipulates that while, ordinarily, the Cabinet papers would not be disclosed, the
basis on which the Cabinet decision is taken including the documents placed before the Cabinet for this purpose must be disclosed once the decision is taken and completely implemented."
The CIC directed that Agarwal be provided "the relevant records which constituted the grounds for the government decision to revert the then CMD of the Air India and appoint someone else in his place" within 10 working days.
In his original RTI queries last year, Agarwal had, among other things, sought complete correspondence, documents and file notings on removal of Arvind Jadhav as Air India chief and appointment of Rohit Nandan in his place.
In mid-August last year, the government had decided to replace Jadhav and had handed over interim charge of Air India to Civil Aviation Ministry Joint Secretary Rohit Nandan, who was later made permanent as the CMD.