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Panaji: Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today filed a complaint before the Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) over the Goa Raj Bhavan not complying with the Right to Information Act.
In his complaint filed under section 18 (1) (a) of the RTI Act, Adv. Aires Rodrigues has drawn the attention of the GSIC that the Goa Raj Bhavan despite being a “Public authority’ in terms of section 2 (h) of the RTI Act 2005 has not appointed a Public Information Officer (PIO) for members of the public to be able to seek information and that the Goa Raj Bhavan has also not made the mandatory disclosures required under section 4 (1) of the RTI Act.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has stated that as the Goa Raj Bhavan is covered under the definition of public authority, the failure to appoint a PIO in illegal, very high-handed, malafide and without reasonable cause.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has further stated that it was very deplorable that the Goa Raj Bhavan instead of leading by example has been scuttling an Act which was enacted to ensure transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Government and that the high-handed conduct of the Goa Raj Bhavan was unacceptable while it cannot be allowed to breach its constitutional obligation of having to comply with the law.
Pointing out that with the exception of Goa all other Raj Bhavans across the country and even the Rastrapathi Bhavan were complying with the RTI Act, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that instead of strengthening the Transparency law, the Goa Raj Bhavan has allowed it to be weakened and that it was imperative that this veil of secrecy be lifted so that there could be public scrutiny into the affairs and working of the Goa Raj Bhavan.
While seeking directions to the Goa Raj Bhavan to forthwith appoint a Public Information Officer and to also make the mandatory disclosures under Section 4 (1) of the RTI as required by law, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint has sought that the GSIC also impose penalty on the Goa Raj Bhavan as prescribed under Section 20 of the RTI Act.