RTI query: Are chief ministers drawing MP pension? Lok Sabha office says information is personal -Vishal Narayan

-The Telegraph

An MP loses his entitlement to pension and perks if he is appointed the President, Vice-President or is re-elected to either House or gets employed in the government

New Delhi:
An RTI query seeking details on allowances and pensions to former MPs who are chief ministers has resulted in a strange reply. The information, the Lok Sabha secretariat has informed, was "personal", so details would not be shared.

According to the Finance Bill of 2018, former MPs are entitled to a pension of Rs 25,000 every month, if they complete their five-year term. The MPs are entitled to an additional Rs 2,000 for every year served as an MP over the five-year period.

Under the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, an MP loses his entitlement to pension and perks in case he is appointed the President, Vice-President, or is re-elected to either House or gets employed in the central or state government.

The RTI query was filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur. The Lok Sabha Secretariat’s First Appellate Authority cited Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, which authorises the information holding authority to refuse information if it deems it personal.

The section says that “information which relates to personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual" may not be shared "unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure". It also adds that this is "provided that the information, which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person”.

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The Telegraph, 3 September, 2019, https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/rti-query-are-chief-ministers-drawing-mp-pension-lok-sabha-office-says-information-is-personal/cid/1702111?ref=india_india-page&a

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