PMO refuses to answer RTI query regarding number of employees from minority communities

By Raqib Hameed Naik,

New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has denied providing information regarding the number of employees from minority communities currently employed with it citing ‘non-availability of information’.

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The PMO consist of the immediate staff of the Prime Minister of India, as well as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the Prime Minister.

The reply was given by the PMO in an RTI filed by staff reporter seeking information on the community wise breakup i.e Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsis and Jain along with their Rank/position. The RTI had also asked for providing list of schedule caste and schedule tribe employees.

The PMO in its reply said that there are currently 399 officials working with it and said that their details such as name, designation is available on their official website of PMO. But when we searched for the 399 employees, we found the names of only 41 employees listed on the site. Out of these 41 people, only one Muslim name: Syed Ekram Rizwi, Director, RTI, figures in the list.

Besides, the PMO further replied that officers/officials working in PMO, falling under the category of minority community or belonging to SC/ST category  is scattered in different files and is not available in a compiled form. The PMO feels that compilation of data from several records will disproportionately divert the public resources.

“It would attack provisions of section 7(9) of the RTI ACT, 2005,” the reply says.

Section 7(9) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, says that an information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.

Last month, the office of Ministry of Minority Affairs in an RTI reply revealed that only eight minority employees-seven Muslims and one Christian-out of total 74 employees were employed with it.