In a landmark decision, Goa State Chief Information Commissioner Motilal Kenny on Thursday held that Governor was a “public authority” and directed the Information Officer to furnish within 30 days the information sought by complainant Aires Rodrigues.
The order was pronounced following a complaint by Aires Rodrigues to the Information Commissioner after the Governor’s office refused to entertain his application under the Right to Information Act, claiming that the Governor was not a public authority and therefore does not come under the purview of the Right to Information Act.
Aires Rodrigues had sought information from the Governor on action taken following his complaint to the Governor regarding Advocate General Subhodh Kantak. He had also sought copies of noting sheets and correspondence with regard to his complaint.
Aires Rodrigues argued before the State Information Commission that the Governor was a “public authority” as defined in the act and hence duty bound to furnish the information sought under RTI Act by him.
While pointing out that even the President of India complies with the RTI Act, he argued that violation of law by the Head of the State was a very bad precedent and was an obstruction to the enforcement of RTI Act in Goa.
The Election Commission rejected the arguments put forth by Advocate Carlos Ferreira and Advocate Mahesh Sonak who appeared for the Raj Bhavan and upheld Advocate Aires Rodrigues’ contention.