Bhopal: In a landmark judgement, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed disclosure of the Governor`s monthly report sent to the Centre on prevailing political and law-and-order situation in the state.
The direction came during hearing of a petition filed against officials of Madhya Pradesh Governor`s House by a RTI activist Ajay Dubey.
In 2011, Dubey had filed an application seeking details of Governor`s reports and the action taken by the administration based on them.
Aggrieved over the denial of information by Public Information Officer of the Governor`s Secretariat, he had approached First Appellate Authority.
The Appellate Authority overruled the PIO`s order and directed that the information may be given to the activist.
The PIO, despite clear direction did not follow order of the appellate authority which forced Dubey to approach State Information Commission last year.
"It was a tedious work. I had to fight a typical bureaucratic battle where a PIO has deliberately refused to abide by his senior`s order," Dubey said.
Since the SIC did not have either Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioners, Dubey had in December last year approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The high court in its order said there was no provision under Article 226 of the Constitution (which deals in power of high courts to issue certain writs) to issue a writ of Mandamus (an extraordinary order for an authority) for compliance of any order of any authorities working under different departments within the state.
"But, looking to the fact that no further forum is functional at the moment under the provisions of Right to Information Act within the state, the writ petition is disposed of with a direction that the order passed by the appellate authority be complied with by the concerning authority within a month from the date of receipt of certified copy of the order," Justice K K Trivedi said in his order issued July 19.
All posts of chief information commissioner and information commissioners are lying vacant at SIC here for past six months.
A monthly dossier carrying the status of prevailing political and law-and-order situation in a state is sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs by the Governor.
In a related matter, the Supreme Court is hearing a matter arising out of the Bombay High Court order asking the Goa Raj Bhawan to make public the Governor`s report to the Centre on the political situation of the state during July-August 2007.