HC stays CIC order on withdrawal of security clearance to GVHL

Tags: News
The Delhi High Court has stayed a Central Information Commission order directing the Ministry of Home Affairs to disclose the reasons behind withdrawal of security clearance to Global Vectra Helicorp Limited (GVHL), the country's largest private helicopter company.

Justice Manmohan was of the "prima facie" view that the ministry was exempted under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from providing the information as directed by the commission.

The order had come on the plea of the ministry which has contended that security inputs of government agencies cannot be disclosed as it would impede the process of ongoing probe by agencies like Enforcement Directorate.

"Having heard counsel for petitioner, this court is prima facie of the view that exemption under Right to Information Act 2005 are attracted to the present case. Consequently, the order of the CIC dated November 20, 2013 is stayed till further orders," the court said.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) had directed the ministry to broadly provide the reason, as available on the record of the public authority, for withdrawal of the security clearance of GVHL, after which the company's Non-Scheduled Operator's Permit was suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The CIC had passed the order on the plea of an RTI applicant Rakesh Soni.

The court also issued notice to Soni and others and has sought their responses by the next date of hearing September 30.

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