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RTI case: Goa Governor seeks immunity under Article 361

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 14:14

Panaji: Goa Governor Dr S S Sidhu today
sought immunity under Article 361 of the Indian constitution
to absolve himself from the case filed against him with the
State Information Commission for not submitting a reply under
Right to Information (RTI) Act.

"The Governor enjoys the privilege extended to him under
Article 361 of the Indian Constitution (Protection of
President and Governors) and has exercised it," Carlose
Fereira, legal counsel to the Governor, told reporters after
appearing before the Commission this morning.

According to Article 361, "The President, or the Governor
or Rajpramukh of a State, shall not be answerable to any court
for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of
his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him
in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties."

In the order dated December 22, State Information
Commissioner Motilal Keny had asked Governor and his Special
Secretary N Radhakrishnan to personally appear before the
Commission today at 1030 hours.

While the Governor, who is currently hosting President
Pratibha Patil, did not remain present for the hearing, his
Special Secretary appeared before the bench.

The complaint against Governor and his special secretary
was filed by Goa-based social activist Aires Rodrigues.

Fereira said that Governor should not be the party to the
current case against him in the Commission as he has not
signed the order vis-a-vis information under the RTI Act.

Governor`s Special Secretary in a reply before the
commission has said that Governor is not a public authority
and hence he cannot be covered under RTI.

The next date for hearing is fixed on January 21, 2011.

Rodrigues, by an application on November 29, had sought
from Raj Bhavan under the Right to Information Act details of
action taken on the complaints made by him to the Governor of
Goa against the Advocate General of Goa.

Rodrigues had also sought copies of noting sheets and
correspondence pertaining to the processing of his complaints
against the Advocate General.

Radhakrishnan had declined to furnish the information,
stating that information under RTI Act could not be furnished
as the Governor of Goa is not a Public Authority and that an
affidavit to this effect has been filed before the Bombay High


First Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 14:14

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