PANAJI: Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today filed a petition before the Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) challenging the order passed yesterday by the Secretary of Goa Legislature Secretariat Namrata Ulman, who is also the designated First Appellate Authority under the Right to Information Act (RTI), rejecting his appeal against the order of the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the Legislature Secretariat Mohan Gaonkar declining to furnish the information sought by him.
Pointing out that Namrata Ulman’s order was illegal, perverse, bad and contrary to law, Adv Rodrigues, in his petition, has stated that the RTI Act was intended to furnish information and not to deny it.
Stating that the veil of secrecy at the Goa Legislature Secretariat was unlawful and unacceptable, Adv. Rodrigues has further submitted that Parliament enacted the RTI Act keeping in mind the rights of an informed citizenry in which transparency of information was vital in curbing corruption and making the Government and its instrumentalities accountable.
Stating that the denying of information was illegal, untenable, and a fraud, Adv. Rodrigues has also submitted that the grounds used to refuse the information were a total ruse and that the unjustifiable grounds to wrongly deny information were unsustainable.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues, on June 28th, had sought a copy of the file notings and correspondence pertaining to that 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 Public Information Officer Mohan Gaonkar, in his reply, informed Adv. Rodrigues that the disclosure of the information would cause a 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.