The Information Commission has decided to reach a decision by February 10, regarding a request for information regarding the Indian helicopters operated by the Indian military in the Maldives.
Dhiyares, sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, had lodged a request with the Ministry of Defence under the Right to Information Act regarding details pertaining to the agreement signed between the Maldives and India which allows the Indian military to operate a Dornier-228 in the Maldives. The Ministry had refused to disclose any information, which lead to Dhiyares appealing to the Information Commission.
The Information Commission had scheduled the final hearing for February 10, and said that they would come to a decision on the case by then.
The Ministry of Defence was unable to provide any clear or straight answers to any of the Information Commission’s questions in the two hearings that had so far been held. Specifically, the Ministry of Defence has been unable to specify the reason for keeping the information classified.
Prior to this, Dhiyares had requested the Ministry of Defence for the number of Indian military personnel currently stationed in the Maldives. The Ministry had refused to disclose their number, and after an appeals process, the Information Commission had concluded that the Ministry was not obliged to disclose that information.
Dhiyares has since appealed the case at the High Court, and the High Court has ordered the Information Commission to provide an answer to the information request.