Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday
quashed two notifications by Uttar Pradesh government which
excluded confidential section under Home and Civil Aviation
departments from the purview of RTI Act, saying restrictions
imposed were excessive and beyond the powers of the state.
The order was passed by a Lucknow bench comprising
justices Pradeep Kant and Decvendra Kumar Upadhyaya while
allowing two Public Interest Litigations challenging the
notifications issued by the state government.
On June 7 2009, a notification was issued excluding
certain works alloted to conidential sections of the state
government from the purview of RTI Act.
Prior to this, one more notification was issued on March
25, 2008 which specified that the operation unit, the
maintenance, security and general administration unit of the
civil aviation department of the state were excluded from the
applicability of the RTI Act.
The court in its order observed that the RTI is part
and parcel of the right to freedom of speech and expression as
contained in the Constitution.
Further the RTI Act gives statutory safeguard to the
freedom of speech and expression guaranteed in the
Constitution, which cannot be curtailed except with resonable
restrictions, it said.
The court said that therefore restrictions imposed were
excessive and beyond the powers of the state, which cannot be
done by issuance of the impugned notifications.
"For the aforesaid reason petitions are allowed and both
the notifications being invalid or hereby quashed," it said.