Details of the dossiers handed by India to Pakistan in 2010 cannot be disclosed as they may “prejudicially” affect relations between the two countries, the Central Information Commission has ruled on a plea by a 2006 Mumbai train bombings convict. Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui had filed an RTI application with the Ministry of External Affairs on October 17, 2015, days after being awarded the death sentence by a special MCOCA court for his role in the serial blasts.
Siddiqui had sought a copy of all the documents in the files of the dossiers handed over by then Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao to her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir. India had reportedly handed over three dossiers to Pakistan during the foreign secretary level talks in February 2010.
“From the perusal of the records, it is observed from the reply given by CPIO that dissemination of the sought for information would prejudicially affect the relations of India with a foreign State (Pakistan),” Chief Information Commissioner R K Mathur said. He said MEA had “rightly denied the information” relying on the exemption available under section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act.
Siddiqui was awarded capital punishment by a special MCOCA court in Mumbai along with four other accused of carryng out the blasts. The blasts had ripped through Mumbai’s suburban trains within a span of 10 minutes — between Khar Road-Santacruz, Bandra-Khar Road, Jogeshwari-Mahim Junction, Mira Road- Bhayander, Matunga-Mahim Junction and Borivali — killing 188 people.
On September 30, 2015, Special Judge Yatin D Shinde had pronounced capital punishment for Siddiqui, Kamal Ahamed Ansari, Mohd Faisal Shaikh, Naveed Hussain Khan and Asif Khan, all of them bomb planters.