Did former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh take voluntary retirement from service?

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has maintained silence on the issue about the sacking of former Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh five months ago. Without disclosing much details about the matter, the Cabinet Secretariat stated that Singh had sought voluntary retirement from the service.

As reported by ET, the Cabinet Secretariat has not divulged the Cabinet note, file notings and papers related to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) meeting on January 28, which had decided to replace Singh with S Jaishankar.

“Copies of available file notings/ papers on this matter (related to ACC’s approval) being ‘Cabinet papers’ are exempted from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (i) of the RTI Act,” the Cabinet Secretariat was reported as saying.

An application was filed by RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak, who sought a photocopy of the Cabinet note, file notings, the names of the people who attended the ACC meeting and the minutes of the meeting.

However, as reported by leading English daily, the Cabinet Secretariat did not even divulge who attended the ACC meeting. It only said that Singh had sought voluntary retirement from service, repeating information already available in the public domain.

“External affairs minister had, while approving the voluntary retirement, sought approval of the Prime Minister for curtailment of tenure of Ms Sujatha Singh and suggested appointment of Dr S Jaishankar (IFS:1977) as foreign secretary vice Ms Sujatha Singh,” the Cabinet Secretariat was reported as saying.

Reportedly it further stated that file notings cannot be disclosed as the matter is sub judice in some other cases before Delhi High Court.