Panaji: A group of Right to Information (RTI) activists here on Tuesday petitioned Goa Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo, accusing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of trying to scuttle the RTI Act and intimidate applicants.
"The government is trying to exempt departments from the RTI Act, beginning with the vigilance department," Aires Rodrigues, spokesperson of the 11-member delegation that met Wanchoo at Raj Bhavan, told reporters after the meeting.
Rodrigues also said the Goa government had a "lot of skeletons to hide" and the attempt to scuttle the RTI Act and intimidate RTI activists was to ensure that the queries for information dry up.
The Goa chief minister has been at loggerheads with RTI activists for several months now with Parrikar even suggesting that those activists who spend money disproportionate to their known income on RTI queries should be referred to the income tax department for scrutiny.
RTI activists also alleged that Parrikar, who was one of the most prolific users of the RTI Act when he was the opposition leader for seven years, was now trying to intimidate applicants.
"A government circular has directed all public information officers to list every RTI applicant who has sought information under the act. This is nothing but intimidation. The chief minister is trying to scare and target people seeking information," the petition to the Goa governor says.