Nationality details of RBI governor cannot be given

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Government has refused to answer queries on the nationality of Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan citing a provision of the RTI Act which exempts information on cabinet documents to be disclosed.

"The proposal which is a note received from the Finance Minister being 'Cabinet paper' is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act 2005. However, a copy of order No 18(75) EO/13(ACC) dated August 6, 2013 conveying approval of the ACC, in the matter, is enclosed," the Central Public Information Officer of the Cabinet Secretariat said.

However, the cited section mandates that material, on the basis of which the decisions were taken, should be made public after the decision making process is completed.

The reply was sent to activist Subhash Agrawal in response to his RTI application seeking to know whether Rajan has American nationality at present or at some time earlier along with relevant details.

He also sought complete information on nationality of Rajan from his birth till date mentioning dates of change of his nationality and whether rules permit a person with nationality other than Indian to become RBI Governor.

The issue has already been clarified by Rajan in a press conference last year where he said, "I am an Indian citizen, I have always been an Indian citizen. I always held an Indian passport. I held an Indian diplomatic passport when my father was in the foreign service and when I travelled on behalf of the ministry of finance.

"I have never applied for the citizenship of another country, I have never been a citizen of another country and have never taken a pledge of allegiance to another country."

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