The statement of Nathuram Godse along with other relevant records related to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi should be put up on the National Archives of India’s website, the Central Information Commission has said.
Central Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu also asked the National Archives to provide certified copies of the chargesheet and Godse’s statement within 20 days, reported PTI. Acharyulu asked the central public information commissioner not to charge more than Rs 2 per page for photocopying, citing Section 22 of the Right to Information Act.
The CIC was hearing a petition filed by one Ashutosh Bansal who had sought the chargesheet and Godse’s statement from the Delhi Police. The National Archives had asked Bansal to look into the records and retrieve the necessary information. However, Bansal failed to get the relevant information and then approached the CIC.
Godse had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi January 30, 1948. “One may disagree with Godse and his co-accused, but we cannot refuse disclosure or circulation of his opinion,” said Acharyulu. He went on to direct the National Archives to place an index of records available with it as of now, along with the procedure to gain access. He also recommended “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),” Acharyulu said, according to The Times of India.
The central information commissioner clarified that Bansal’s petition does not violate Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act, which bars disclosure of information that may hamper security of the state or relations with foreign countries. Acharyulu argued that Gandhi’s image as a “champion of peace and Hindu-Muslim unity couldn’t be tarnished” by any adverse analysis of his policies.