Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
'62 war to remain under wraps

'62 war to remain under wraps

Author: Girja Shankar Kaura
Publication: The Tribune
Date: March 22, 2009
URL: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090322/main5.htm

CIC turns down appeal to make Henderson Brooks report public

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has turned down the appeal of former MP Kuldip Nayar for making the analysis of the 1962 India-China war, brought out in the Henderson Brooks report, public.

A bench of Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Information Commissioner M.L. Sharma today ruled that the analysis would remain confidential at this stage as it contains sensitive information over which the stance of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) till date has been that it cannot be declassified.

In its order the bench said, "This division bench agrees that no part of the report might at this stage be disclosed".

Former Rajya Sabha MP Kuldip Nayar had sought the report, which was submitted three decades ago as an "internal review" to the MoD, under the RTI Act. He had moved an application in front of the Chief Information Commissioner in August 2007 after his earlier appeal was not taken into account by the CIC.

The bench took into account various arguments from the MoD including that of ministry's joint secretary Bimal Julka before taking the decision.

Julka in his reply to the CIC said: "As regards merit of the present complaint, it is informed that the matter has been reviewed from time to time, in consultation with the Army Headquarters and till date it has been the consistent stand for the ministry not to declassify the report".

Nayar had initially written to the MoD in 2005 seeking the report saying that the report, which was now being 43-year-old, should have been formally available in the Archives of India, 30 years after it was submitted.

The MoD informed him that the Army Headquarters was of the view that the document was presently classified and contains information, which is sensitive. In view of the above, your request for making available the copy of the document is regretted.

On CIC seeking the details from the MoD, it was informed that the report prepared by Lt Gen Henderson Brooks and Brig Prem Bhagat was a part of internal review conducted on the orders of the then chief of Army staff Gen Choudhary.

"Reports of internal review are not even submitted to the government let alone placed in the public domain. Disclosure of this information will amount to disclosure of the Army's operational strategy in the North-East and the discussion on deployments has a direct bearing on the question of the demarcation of the Line of Actual Control between India and China, a live issue under examination between the two countries at present," MoD said.

The CIC bench then also inspected the original report, which had been placed before it, including the conclusion contained in pages 199 to 222 of the main report and came to the conclusion that it had a bearing on national security.

"We have examined the report specifically in terms of its bearing on present national security. There is no doubt that the issue of the India-China Border particularly along the North-East parts of India is still a live issue with ongoing negotiations between the two countries on this matter," the bench said, while adding that the disclosure of information of which the Henderson Brooks report carries considerable detail on what precipitated the war of 1962 between India and China will seriously compromise both security and the relationship between India and China, thus having a bearing both on internal and external security.

"We have examined the report from the point of view of severability u/s 10(1). For reasons that we consider unwise to discuss in this decision notice, this bench agrees that no part of the report might at this stage be disclosed."

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements