PANJIM: The Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice F.M.Reis today directed Adv. Mahesh Sonak appearing for the Raj Bhavan to advise and instruct the Public Information officer (PIO) at the Goa Raj Bhavan that he could not deny information to other applications under the Right to Information Act on the pretext that one matter was pending before the High Court.
Stating that the RTI Act continues to be violated by the constitutional head of the State, Adv. Aires Rodrigues today drew the High Court’s attention that currently information was being denied to all applications being made under the Right to Information Act by the Raj Bhavan with a standard reply that the matter is pending before the High Court.
The High Court today directed that the petition filed by the Raj Bhavan against the RTI in the Adv. Aires Rodrigues case be heard and disposed on June 15th. The Court today also directed that the petition filed by the Goa Governor in 2008 against giving information to former Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar which is pending in the High Court be also heard on the same day.
The present petition filed by Goa Governor Dr. S.S.Sidhu’s Special Secretary Dr. N. Radhakrishnan challenges the 31st March order of the Goa State Information Commission which had directed the Raj Bhavan to furnish Adv. Aires Rodrigues the information sought by him under the Right to Information Act.
The State Chief Information Commissioner Mr. Motilal Keny in his order had ruled that the Goa Governor was a “Public Authority” and does come within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues’s complaint against Goa Governor Dr. Sidhu follows the stand taken by the Goa Raj Bhavan that the Governor was not a public authority and did not come within the purview of the RTI Act.
Adv. Rodrigues had sought from Goa Raj Bhavan under the RTI 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 of Goa.
Dr. S.S. Sidhu is the only Governor in the country who has not been complying with the RTI Act by claiming that he was not a “Public Authority”.


renoir said...

This is a clear case of abuse of power. People in high positions have the tendency to think they are the law and that they are always above the law. Its a disgrace that the PIO and the Governor have to be told by the judiciary what their liabilities are towards the public.It baffles me as to how people of such positions do not know how to serve the community they are kept in charge of.
Why cannot the law take its course and make these people holding these positions pay the price for their failures?For definitely  the " COMFORTABLE" life that the Governor and his cronies enjoys is at the cost of the tax payers money.The public definitely need an unconditional apology from them. Well done Adv Aires in highliting the RTI act applicable to the People in Power!

N.Fernandes-London said...

If these idiots do not like the RTI being used against them, there is a simple solution.Retire from the Post.
If the heat in the Kitchen is too hot, just get out of it.
As you say, this is just a cat & mouse game at the expense of the Taxpayer.
As soon as the PIO and Governor are made to pay for Legal advice from their own pockets, they will disappear into the sunset.
This is an abuse of previlege.This is nothing but a Theatrical FARCE being played in Goan Courts.

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