Tuesday 25th Jun 2024
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Indian military

Indian Military Aircraft Agreement To Be Kept Secret For Greater Good: ICOM

The Information Commission has decided that the Ministry of Defence does not have to disclose the details of an agreement signed between the Maldives in India which allows the Indian military to operate a Dornier-228 aircraft within Maldivian borders.
Dhiyares, the sister-newspaper of The Maldives Journal, had filed a request for a copy of the agreement through the Right To Information Act with the Ministry of Defence. After the Ministry of Defence had refused to disclose the information, Dhiyares had appealed the case with the Information Commission.
At a hearing held at the Information Commissioner's Office today, the Information Commission decided that there were keeping the information confidential was better for "the greater good" than disclosing it.
The Information Commissioner said that disclosing the information in that agreement would affect the bond between India and the Maldives, as well.
The Information Commissioner had asked the Ministry of Defence many questions during the previous hearing, and the Ministry of Defence had been unable to provide a clear answer to any of the questions. The Ministry's inability to answer those questions were not addressed during today's hearing.
Dhiyares had previously submitted such a request with the Ministry of Defence to seek out the number of Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives. Even then, the Information Commissioner had decided to not disclose the requested information for similar reasons as today. Dhiyares has since appealed the case to the High Court.