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Are budget document an official secret

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Yes, they are official secrets. They will not cease to be official secret even after they are later on published. They are official secret s till they are published.

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By disclosing budget papers prior to laying before parliament no public interest will be served.

Infact some people may derive benifts which will go again the basic tenets of the RTI act.

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Unauthorised leaking of information secret or open is punishable.

RTI ACt-2005 has not opened the flood gate to leak information unauthorisedly, the info is to be provided through due process of law irrespective of RTI ACt-2005.

Budget documents or any document cannot be disclosed without the due process, this has nothing to do with secrecy or openness of a document.

The classification of secrecy or confidential etc. as goverend by OSA cannot be done arbitrarily and indiscrimatenely by anyone to hold back the info.

The info that can be obtained under RTI ACt-2005 may not be diclosable otherwise.

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Unauthorised leaking of information secret or open is punishable.

RTI ACt-2005 has not opened the flood gate to leak information unauthorisedly, the info is to be provided through due process of law irrespective of RTI ACt-2005.

Budget documents or any document cannot be disclosed without the due process, this has nothing to do with secrecy or openness of a document.

The classification of secrecy or confidential etc. as goverend by OSA cannot be done arbitrarily and indiscrimatenely by anyone to hold back the info.

The info that can be obtained under RTI ACt-2005 may not be diclosable otherwise.

 

After coming into force of RTI Act, 2005, the words 'confidential', 'secret' stand modified and carries meaning to the extent of Sec.8 & 9 of RTI Act. All other Acts or Rules inconsistent with the provisions of RTI Act also stands repelled. No official of Government or Parliament is empowered to withhold any information except under the provisions under Sec-8 & 9. The budget document is RIGHTLY a secret document till its presentation before the Parliament, which aspect is covered under Sec.8

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Pl. correct me if I have understood correctly that provisions of RTI ACt-2005 would come into force only if an info is asked under RTI Act-2005 otherwise not and the matter would be dealt under OSA if it is applicable.

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Yes Budget document are official secret. It is being guarded like Gold in a fort. High tech tapping devices, Security personnel, sophisticated surveillance gadgetry, digital deterrents, electronic sweeping devices and jammers, huge scanners are the few gadgets provided for the security of the budget. The union budget documents are being kept under the tightest security.

In this electronic age, the finance ministry does not take chances and high security is provided till the budget is to be presented by the Finance Minister. Now the security agencies have started to set up a small telephone tapping exchange in North block. The electronic contraption can intercept private mobile operators’ cell numbers. Electronic sweeping devices are being installed on either side of the corridors of the finance ministry section of the North Block, fortify the security futher The mini intercepting exchange also keep a close eye on the 100 odd landline telephone numbers installed in the chambers of various bureaucrats. The intelligence bureau also block e-mail facilities to most of the computers in the offices of Union Finance Ministry.

Kindly take a note that the entrances of the finance ministry itself used to be cocooned in an electronic umbrella. A huge steel frame, housing a special X-ray scanner used to be fitted with computers. Those have been mounted at the gates to prevent anyone from taking anything unwelcome inside the North block or more importantly smuggling anything out.

 

Friends take a note The finance ministry office, in the North Block of the Central Secretariat is normally open round the year and you can easily walk in after obtaining a pass at the reception. No more. At lest not till the finance minister presents his Budget proposals in Parliament. Till then the hush-hush exercise of the Budget making the Prime Minsiter and the finance minister keep on exchanging ideas and suggestions. And the very important person’s job is to translate these ideas into facts and figures that go in the Budget Speech and Budget papers.

 

Conclusion is that the unauthorized leaking of information Secret open is punishable. But consider it that it is next to impossible to have a leakage of the budget proposals. The question of OSA cannot arise as the documents are kept in such a great lock up that the officials themselves don’t have the access to the budget documents. The funishing of documents under RTI Act can never be possible because the PIO and FAA and the other offcials don’t have access to the documents themselves. Then how can they deliver the information that is not in their possession.

Rajneesh madhok,

B-xxx/63, Nehru nagar, St. No. 2,

Railway Road,

Phagwara (Pb)

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