President under RTI? HC seeks Centre`s stand

Last Updated: Monday, July 18, 2011 - 17:55

Panaji: The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the
the Union government to file an affidavit as to whether top
constitutional offices such as the President, Chief Justices
and Governors fall within the ambit of Right to Information
Act.

The Goa bench of Bombay High Court asked Additional
Solicitor General, Vivek Tankha, who represented the Union,
to state the legal position regarding the President of India,
Chief Justices and Governors; while state Advocate General
Subodh Kantak will have to reply about position of the Speaker
of legislative assembly, vis a vis the RTI.

The matter will be heard next month.

The bench of Justices S A Bobde and F M Reis was hearing
the petition filed by Goa Raj Bhavan, challenging the order of
Goa State Information Commissioner who had asked the Raj
Bhavan to submit certain information under the RTI Act, as
demanded by activist Aires Rodrigues.

Tankha, appearing for Goa Raj Bhavan, argued that the
President, Governors, Speaker and the Chief Justice of India
as well as Chief Justices of High Courts did not come within
the Act`s purview.

Certain posts had been consciously kept out of RTI`s
ambit, although they have been termed as a `public authority`
under the Constitution, he said.

To this, the judges observed that the case presented a
novel situation.

The court asked the government to clarify the position.
"We can`t decide till we have proper information on the
position of these authorities," judges said.

PTI



First Published: Monday, July 18, 2011 - 17:55

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