Goa overrules vigilance dept demand for exemption from RTI

Goa overrules vigilance dept demand for exemption from RTI

Panaji: A move by the Goa Directorate of Vigilance seeking to exempt itself from the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act has been overruled by the state government.

A document sourced under RTI by activist Aires Rodrigues yesterday revealed that the vigilance department had moved a note earlier this month to the state government seeking to exempt itself from the RTI Act.

"The investigations or inquiry into the complaints received by the Directorate of Vigilance against the public servants are of serious nature and the finding in the investigation culminates in disciplinary action," the note, moved by a Deputy Director Vigilance, Deputy Superintendent of Police and Public Information Officer (PIO), said.

It also claimed that many of the applications under RTI seek information for personal grudge.

"Some applications seek information about very sensitive matters and providing such information only leads to unnecessary embarrassment and hampers the due process of investigation," the officials had said.

State chief secretary B Vijayan, in his note overruling the relaxation from RTI purview, has said that such an exemption is already granted with regards to sensitive matters under section 8 of RTI Act.

He said that the blanket exemption to Directorate of Vigilance may not be a healthy situation as "the veil of such secrecy may eclipse the minimum required transparency and accountability."

Rodrigues, who sourced this document, has sought an inquiry by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar into the conduct of these officials to know the reason why they wanted to be away from the transparency.

PTI

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