Goa, December 5th, (GCCurrentAffairs) Adv. Aires Rodrigues today in a eight page reply filed before the Bombay High Court at Goa has strongly opposed the petition filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan challenging the 15th October order passed by the State Information Commission upholding that the Raj Bhavan is a Public Authority and comes within the purview of the RTI Act. The Goa Raj Bhavan’s petition will come up for final hearing before Justice C.V.Bhadang on Monday 10th December.
Adv. Rodrigues in his affidavit in reply has stated that it was most reprehensible and a red letter day to see that the Secretary to the Governor has approached the Court with an intent to stifle due enforcement of the RTI Act which is a legislation passed by Parliament with a view to bring transparency in the working of the Government both at the Centre and the State.
Pointing out that all Raj Bhavans across the country have opened their gates for freedom of Information. Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the Goa Raj Bhavan has apparently forgotten that the Governor is a constitutional functionary required to act as per the constitutional mandate with total transparency and not as any colonial hangover.
Adv. Rodrigues has also stated that only those who have skeletons to hide would attempt to insulate themselves by claiming privileges with their inability to free themselves from the shackles of glory which they seek to enjoy with gubernatorial positions.
Stating that all acts of Ministers are subject to scrutiny and available to the public under RTI, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that there was no justification why the Governor should be shying away from furnishing information as the Governor is maintained and paid by the State Exchequer.
Alleging that the Raj Bhavan’s petition was not only an attempt to subvert the legislative intent of the RTI Act but also a brazen arrogance in not complying with the law of the country which cannot be permitted nor accepted from Constitutional functionaries, Adv. Rodrigues in his reply has sought that the petition filed by the Goa Raj Bhavan be dismissed with exemplary costs.