RTI case: Goa Governor seeks immunity under Article 361
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Last Updated: Tuesday, January 04, 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 Court.


First Published: Tuesday, January 04, 2011, 14:14

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