Panaji: To file an RTI application in Goa, you will first have to prove that you are an Indian citizen.
A government circular issued late Tuesday now asks all Right to Information applicants to mandatorily attach a copy of the affidavit swearing that the applicant is an Indian national.
The move has been called draconian by RTI activists as well as the Opposition.
Aires Rodrigues, a prolific information activist, calls the insistence on an affidavit "draconian and dictatorial".
"Goa is the only state where RTI applicants have to now unnecessarily bear extra financial costs of swearing an affidavit on citizenship. This skewed move of the Goa government is contrary to the very intent and objectives of the RTI Act of ensuring that information was easily available to any citizen," Rodrigues said.
The circular, according to Director of Information and Publicity Swapnil Naik, was sent to all public information officers (PIOs).
Congress legislator Vishwajeet Rane says that he was "shocked" by the action of the Goa government.
"It is trying to make it difficult for common man to get information under RTI. This government came to power promising transparency and this move of making RTI difficult shows the true intention of the government," said Rane, who called it a black day for every Goan.