Decision to withhold the number of Indian military personnel must be reviewed: High Court
High Court ruled on Thursday, November 9 that the decision to withhold the number of Indian military personnel in the Maldives was incorrect and directed the Information Commissioner to review the matter and issue a new decision.
According to the judgment, the Information Commissioner failed to provide a sufficient explanation as to why the number of Indian soldiers could not be disclosed. While the decision mentioned adherence to a confidentiality agreement, it remains unclear whether such an agreement existed and whether its terms had been verified.
Yesterday, the court ruled that the Information Commissioner's decision must be substantially justified, especially if disclosing the information could pose a threat to national security. This ruling is in line with decisions made in similar cases in other countries.
The prosecution had said that disclosing the number of Indian soldiers would jeopardize national security and impact bilateral relations.
Therefore, the decision to withhold the number of Indian solders by the Information Commissioner's Office decision was deemed to be noncompliant with the prescribed procedures.