Final arguments heard over veil of secrecy at the legislature secretariat: Order on 13th Feb

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Goa State Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Vishwas Satarkar today heard final arguments on the appeal filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues against the orders passed by the First Appellate Authority and Secretary of Goa Legislature Secretariat Namrata Ulman and also the Public Information Officer (PIO) Mohan Gaonkar declining to furnish information sought by him under RTI Act. CIC Vishwas Satarkar will pronounce his order on February 13th.

Adv. Aires Rodrigues argued that the orders passed by the Legislature Secretariat were illegal, perverse, bad and contrary to law as the RTI Act was intended to furnish information and not to deny it. The Government Advocate Deep Shirodkar however submitted that furnishing the information would amount to the breach of the Legislative Assembly and against the orders of the Speaker.

Adv. Aires Rodrigues on June 28th last year had sought a copy of the file notings and correspondence pertaining to the two day training workshop for MLAs held on 27th and 28th June at the Taj Vivanta and also complete details of the expenditure incurred on the event.

The PIO Mohan Gaonkar, in his reply informed Adv. Rodrigues that the disclosure of the information would cause breach of Privilege of State Legislature and would also be against Rule 37(16) of the Rules of Conduct of Business of Goa Legislative Assembly.

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