RTI activist Urvashi Sharma from Lucknow had written to the PMO May 29 seeking details of the UPA-II's dinner. She sought to know the guest list, expense incurred and other arrangements.
In response, the PMO's public information officer Sayyed Ikram Rizvi said the details could not be revealed under Section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act, as it would compromise national security. About the expenses, Rizvi said that bills for dinner had not yet been received by the PMO, and hence the information sought could not be provided.
Sharma told IANS: "I find it completely bizarre. How can a guest list be a security threat to the nation," she said adding that the event was telecast on national television.
The activist alleged that the UPA was trying to cover up its lavish expenditure for the dinner under the garb of national security. She has now appealed to the director and appellate authority in the PMO Krishna Kumar.
"I will not give up on the issue and will ensure that this plundering of public money is accounted for," Sharma said.
UPA-II celebrated its fourth anniversary in style at 7, Race Course Road, the prime minister's official residence May 23, amid opposition charges that there was nothing to celebrate.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at email@example.com)
--IANS (Posted on 12-08-2013)