RTI CASE AGAINST AG SUBODH KANTAK: VERDICT ON FEB 28TH

PANJIM: The Goa Chief Information Commissioner Mr. Motilal Kenny will on Feb 28th deliver his verdict on the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues against the Advocate General of Goa Mr. Subodh Kantak for not complying with the provisions of the Right to Information Act. Arguments in the case were heard today.
Appearing on behalf of Advocate General Subodh Kantak, Adv. Mahesh Sonak today argued that the Advocate General was not a “Public Authority” and does not come within the purview of the RTI Act.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues however submitted that the Advocate General was very much a public authority his being a constitutional post and even enjoying cabinet status.
Adv Rodrigues submitted that the Advocate General as a “public authority” was required under Section 5 of the Act to designate within 100 days Public Information Officers to provide information to persons requesting the same from the Advocate General’s office.
Adv. Rodrigues has also stated that Section 4 the Act required the Advocate General to publish and make public within one hundred and twenty days various information details about the Advocate General’s office.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has also sought that the Advocate General of Goa be penalized in terms of section 20 of the RTI Act for not complying with the provisions of the Act for over five years.
Meanwhile, the Goa Chief Information Commissioner Mr. Motilal Kenny will on Feb 18th deliver his order on Goa Governor Dr. S.S.Sidhu’s plea for constitutionally immunity in the RTI case filed against him by Adv. Aires Rodrigues.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues’s complaint against the Governor Sidhu follows the stand taken by the Raj Bhavan that the Governor of Goa is not a public authority and does not come within the purview of the RTI Act.
Adv. Rodrigues had sought from Raj Bhavan under the Right to Information Act details of action taken on the complaints made by him to the Governor of Goa against Advocate General of Goa Mr. Subodh Kantak. Adv. Rodrigues had also sought copies of noting sheets and correspondence pertaining to the processing of his complaints against the Advocate General.
In his petition Adv. Aires Rodrigues has stated that the office of the Governor is a constitutional post within the definition of “Public authority” under section 2 (h) (a) of the RTI Act.
Adv. Rodrigues has stated that as the Governor is a public authority and with even Public Information Officers under the Act being notified, that Raj Bhavan was bound to furnish the information sought and that the refusal was unreasonable, malafide and without reasonable cause.

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