LAW SECRETARY TO HEAR ON 11TH JULY RTI APPEAL AGAINST DIRECTOR OF PROSECUTION

PANJIM: Goa’s Law Secretary Mr. Pramod Kamat exercising his powers as the First Appellate Authority under the RTI Act will on July 11th hear the appeal under the RTI Act filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues against the Director of Prosecution Mrs. Shobha Dhumaskar.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues had under the RTI Act sought to know whether the Director of Prosecution/ Public Prosecutors/ Assistant Public Prosecutors have been giving legal opinion/ advice to the Police Officers investigating cases. Adv. Rodrigues had further sought to know under what provision of law such legal opinion/advice was being given.
In her reply to Adv. Rodrigues 20 days after his application was received the Director of Prosecution Mrs. Shobha Dhumaskar while conceding that the legal advice was being given declined to reply as to under which provision of law it was being given on the grounds that the information sought does not come within the meaning and the purview of the term “information” under Section 2 (f) of RTI Act 2005.
In his appeal before the Law Secretary, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has submitted that the information sought goes to the very jurisdiction and competence of the Director of Prosecution/ Public Prosecutors/ Assistant Public Prosecutors to tender legal opinion/advice in as much as such action if not authorized by law, would amount to interference with the investigating authorities.
It has been Adv. Aires Rodrigues’s stand that the role of the Public Prosecutor begins only after the charge sheet is filed and that he cannot interfere or give any opinion while the investigation of any case is on and that this has been reiterated by the Supreme Court on various occasions.
Stating that every act, action or decision of any government authority has to be under some sanction or provision of law, Adv. Rodrigues has submitted that the Director of Prosecution was bound to furnish a proper and complete reply to the information sought by him. Adv. Rodrigues has also submitted that denial of information by the Director of Prosecution was with malafide reasons and cannot be sustained in law.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has in his appeal before the Law Secretary also taken exception to the Director of Prosecution taking 20 days to furnish an incomplete reply to his RTI query which was contrary to the intent and spirit of the Right to Information Act which was enacted to ensure that citizens get instant access to the information sought.
Adv. Rodrigues has also drawn the attention of the Law Secretary to Sec 7 (1) of the RTI Act which mandates that information sought shall be furnished as expeditiously as possible.
Adv. Rodrigues has sought that the Director of Prosecution be directed to immediately furnish the information sought by him and that exemplary costs be imposed on the Director of Prosecution for wrongly and intentionally denying his Right to Information.
It may be recalled that Director of Prosecution Mrs. Shobha Dhumaskar had in a controversial legal opinion last year opined that the son of Goa’s former IGP Mr. K.D Singh should not be charge sheeted in the accident case in which he was driving his father’s official vehicle. The Chief Secretary has already directed the Law Secretary to examine that legal opinion in which the Director of Prosecution had opined that the case against the former IGP’s son be closed.

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