Relief For Priyanka Gandhi As HC Says Her Shimla Land Deal Can't Be Revealed For Now

07/07/2015 10:23 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Priyanka Gandhi (R), daughter of India's Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi, and her husband Robert Vadra arrive at a polling station to cast their votes in New Delhi on April 10, 2014. The third phase of voting in India's national elections began at 7:00 am (0130 GMT) in 91 constituencies, representing nearly a fifth of the 543-seat lower house, across the capital and 13 other states, including Maoist insurgency-hit eastern India. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

SHIMLA—The Himachal Pradesh High Court today stayed an order of the State Information Commission that detailed information about the land purchased by Priyanka Vadra, daughter of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, at Chharabra near Shimla be given to an RTI activist.

Allowing a petition of Priyanka challenging the order of the Commission, a division bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice P.S.Rana, said that "we are of the considered opinion that the petitioner has carved out a prima facie case for grant of interim relief.

"Accordingly, the operation and execution of orders passed by the second respondent (State Information Commission) on June 29, 2015, and the earlier order passed by Additional District Magistrate on November 28, 2014 are ordered to be stayed," the bench said.

Observing that the Commission should have dealt with the issue of exemption from disclosure of the information under Section 8, more particularly, sub-section 1(g) of the Act, in detail, the bench said that the petitioner has in no "unequivocal terms" expressed apprehension of danger to her life and physical safety and also the fear regarding unwanted invasion of her privacy.

The court fixed the next hearing on August 7.

The Information Commission had rejected the plea for withholding the information on the grounds that any information which cannot be withheld from Parliament or the state assembly cannot be denied to any individual.

The Commission had not only directed the PIO-cum-ADM to give the information within ten days but also issued a show cause notice to FAA and PIO-cum-ADM and PIO-cum-Tehsildar as to why penalty should not be imposed on them for causing delay in providing the information. The Information Commission had ordered the PIO-cum-ADM to supply the information about Priyanka's land purchase to RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya.

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