The Hindu: New Delhi: Thursday, 27 November 2014.
The Central Information Commission has directed the Centre’s Department of Legal Affairs to share information on the appointment of law officers and also whether there was any proposal from the Law Ministry asking the former Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati to “take part in the 2G allocation matter.”
The order of the CIC came on an appeal filed by RTI activist Subhash Chand Agrawal. Mr. Agrawal had in an RTI application sought to know from the Department of Legal Affairs information on any complaint received against any law officer with action taken against them. He sought information on law officers having violated the Law Officers (Service Conditions) Rules, 1972.
He sought information on “appointment of G.E. Vahanvati as the Attorney-General and sought copy of proposal/ reference by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice for him to take part in discussion process and/or drafting press note in respect of the 2G spectrum allocation.”
As per the rule, a law officer shall not advise any ministry or department of the Centre or a statutory body or public sector undertaking unless there is a proposal or reference in that regard received through Ministry of Law and Justice.
Mr. Vahanvati’s role as then Solicitor General in the 2G spectrum allocation had come into question. He was later given a clean chit. Mr. Vahanvati died of cardiac arrest in September.
The Public Information Officer of the Department of Legal Affairs, however, replied that the correspondences and documents concerning appointment of law officers (G.E. Vahanvati, Gopal Subramanium and Rohinton Nariman), were bulky and would involve diversion of resources.