NOW ADDITIONAL SOLICITOR GENERAL TO DEFEND GOA GOVERNOR AGAINST RTI

PANJIM: Additional Solicitor General of India Mr. Vivek Tankha arrived in Goa this evening to defend Governor of Goa Dr. S.S.Sidhu before the Bombay High Court at Goa on Monday 18th July in his case against the RTI Act. Mr. Tankha is one of the 14 current Additional Solicitor Generals in the country.
The Goa Raj Bhavan’s petition against the Right to Information Act will come up for hearing before a Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice S. A. Bobde and Justice F.M.Reis.
Mr. Gopal Subramaniam who was scheduled to defend Governor Sidhu before the High Court, cancelled his visit to Goa last week following his resignation as the Solicitor General of India.
Special Secretary to the Governor Dr. N. Radhakrishnan in his petition before the High Court has challenged 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 Goa Raj Bhavan has in its petition contended that the Governor not being a “Public Authority” does not come within the purview of the RTI Act. The Raj Bhavan has also further contended that the Goa State Information Commission has not been properly constituted and that the State Chief Information Commissioner could not have heard matters in the absence of another Information Commissioner.
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. Aires Rodrigues had sought from Goa Raj Bhavan under the RTI Act details of action taken on his complaints to the Governor of Goa against the 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.
With even the President of India complying with the RTI Act, Dr. S.S.Sidhu is India’s only Governor to have taken a stand that he is not a “Public Authority” and has refused to comply with the RTI Act.

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