Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked a question to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice last year on August 11, 2014 which remains unanswered till date. The question was posed by him on the floor of Lok Sabha to which the then Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad responded by saying that "information is being collected and will be laid on the Table of the House". However, 6 months and 13 days later, the question still remains unanswered.
Modi had asked a question related to information provided on the website of Lok Sabha pertaining to the inclusion of parents' name in documents. He had asked –
1. Whether it is mandatory to write the name of the father while writing the full name of an individual in government documents
2. If so, the details thereof and the provision of relevant law
3. Whether an individual can write the name of his /her mother, instead of father, in government document
4. If so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons along with the provision of law
5. Whether the government proposes to enact/amend relevant law to enable the citizens to write the name of the mother or father, as per the wish of an individual
6. If so, the details thereof and the time by which it is likely to be amended?
The question is the six-part unstarred question numbered 4604.
As per the protocol, an unstarred question is the one which is not called for oral answer in the House and on which no supplementary questions can be asked. A written answer is laid on the Table after the Question Hour by the minister to whom it is addressed.
The issue was brought to notice by an RTI activist Rakesh Dubbudu who is also the founder of an online portal ‘Factly' which aims to make public data meaningful.
As published in a report by Times of India, when Union Ministry was contacted for the same, its officials confirmed that the PM's question was still pending with the committee of government assurances (CGA).
An official dealing with the issue said, “There is a procedure that is followed with every question. Once the minister concerned gives his/her assurance, the matter is referred to the CGA. The matter is pending there.”
An additional director with CGA, on condition of anonymity, added, "After three months, the usual time-frame for filing a response, the law ministry sought an extension of three months. I think they will seek yet another extension now as the 'assurance' is yet to be implemented."