Current Affairs

SC to hear Governor ‘RTI’ Case

A bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra will on September 26th hear the Special Leave Petitions filed by the Goa Governor against the Right to Information Act.

The Supreme Court will take up for final hearing the two petitions filed by the Goa Governor challenging the judgment of the Bombay High Court at Goa which while holding that Goa Governor was a Public Authority had directed the Raj Bhavan to furnish then Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar and Adv. Aires Rodrigues the information sought by them under the RTI Act.

The Bombay High Court at Goa in a landmark 58 page judgment had ruled that the Governor of Goa was a Public Authority and was bound to furnish information sought under the RTI Act.

While Manohar Parrikar as the Opposition Leader had sought a copy of Goa Governor’s report to the Union Home minister regarding the political situation in the state during the period July 24-August 14, 2007, Adv. Aires Rodrigues had sought from Raj Bhavan details of the action taken by the Governor on the complaints filed by him against the then Advocate General of Goa Subodh Kantak.  Adv. Rodrigues had also sought copies of noting sheets pertaining to the processing of his complaints against the then Advocate General.

The Goa Raj Bhavan however took a stand that the Goa Governor was not a Public Authority and did not come within the ambit of the RTI Act.

After hearing a complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues the State Chief Information Commissioner Motilal Keny ruled that the Goa Governor was a “Public Authority” and did come within the ambit of the Right to Information Act. That decision was later upheld by the Bombay High Court at Goa

Interestingly despite every other Governor in the country and even the President of India currently complying with the RTI Act, the Goa Raj Bhavan has chosen to avoid furnishing information under the RTI Act on the grounds that the Governor of Goa was not a Public Authority.

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