In a recent development, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has instructed the Defence Ministry to review its denial of disclosing records related to the Agnipath military recruitment scheme under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Earlier, the Ministry had classified the files as "secret," citing Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act.
This comes in response to a RTI application filled by Activist Vihar Durve, who contested the use of the term "secret", alleging that the Act did not explicitly include such a classification.
As reported by The Hindu, Durve argued that the word "secret" is nowhere in the exemption clause under which information could be denied to an applicant.
He said merely stating that a piece of information was secret was not enough to deny the information by invoking Section 8(1)(a) of the Act.
Subsequently, Information Commissioner Vinod Kumar Tiwari directed the Ministry to re-evaluate the application and provide revised information or an appropriate exemption under the RTI Act.
The Agnipath scheme allows individuals aged 17.5 to 21 to serve in the armed forces for four years, with the best performers eligible for regular cadre selection based on a transparent and merit-based assessment.
After the initial period, participants receive a one-time 'Seva Nidhi' package, comprising their contributions and government-matched amounts.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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