Modi administration includes Strategic Forces Command in RTI Act exemption list
India’s nuclear weapons stockpile now out of purview of information freedom laws
New Delhi: India’s Narendra Modi government has pulled out the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and details regarding their tests and trials from the purview of the law on information freedom.
In its latest move, the Modi administration added the tri-service Strategic Forces Command, which has its fingers on the trigger of nuclear weapons of India, to a list of government organisations excluded from the purview of the Right to Information Act.
The law now permits information to be shared with the citizens, in case of requests, only regarding corruption or human rights allegations within the Strategic Forces Command.
This is the first addition to the exemption list under the law by the Modi administration, the Economic Times said in its report today.
The previous Manmohan Singh-led government had in 2011 last added the Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency and National Intelligence Grid to the list of intelligence and security outfits that would be exempted from giving out information to the citizens under the RTI Act, the report said.
Strategic Forces Command has the mandate to deliver India’s land-, air- and sea-based nuclear weapons on the enemy, and operates under the command of the Prime Minister-led Nuclear Command Authority.
The Strategic Forces Command not only stocks the nuclear weapons in highly secure facility across the country, it is also responsible for testing the nuclear warheads and delivery platforms such as the long range ballistic missiles, including the inter-continental China-specific Agni-5 ballistic missile.