The Central Information Commission on its website has asked the National Archives of India to publish the statements of Nathuram Godse, who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu responding to a petition moved by Ashutosh Bansal stated in its order not only Godse’s statements but also all other statements related to the murder of Mahatma Gandhi should be “pro-actively disclosed”.
Acharyulu in his order said, “One may disagree with Godse and his co-accused, but we cannot refuse disclosure or circulation of his opinion. At the same time, neither Godse nor the holder of his theme or opinion can go to the extent of killing a person whose philosophy he cannot agree with.”
Ashutosh Bansal demanded the chargesheet and Godse’s statement from Delhi police and it forwarded to the application to the National Archives of India.
The National Archives has directed Bansal to check the records. Bansal approached the commissioner after he failed to get the information.
Acharyulu asked the central public information commissioner not to charge more than Rs 3 per page for photocopying, saying Section 22 of the Right to Information Act which overrides any such provision of the Public Records Act.
Godse had murdered Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948. Neither Delhi Police nor the National Archives objected to disclosing the information.
The central information commissioner explained that Bansal’s petition does not violate the Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act which prohibits the disclosure of information which hampers the security of the state or relations with foreign countries.
Acharyulu stated, “The Commission also directs the National Archives to place the index of records available now with it about the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on its official website along with the procedure to gain access, and recommends development of an archive to include present digitised records and collect as many as possible from various sources to be part of their disclosures under Section 4(1)(b).”
He mentioned Gandhi’s image, life and character as a champion of peace, Indian Independence and Hindu-Muslim unity couldn’t be tainted by any adverse analysis of his policies.