Site news

KARNATAKA RAJ BHAVAN AND ITS PIO IS NOT PARTY IN SLP (CIVIL) NO 33124/2011 AND SO CANNOT ENJOY IMMUNITY FROM THE RTI ACT

 
 
Picture of System Administrator
KARNATAKA RAJ BHAVAN AND ITS PIO IS NOT PARTY IN SLP (CIVIL) NO 33124/2011 AND SO CANNOT ENJOY IMMUNITY FROM THE RTI ACT
by System Administrator - Sunday, 24 January 2016, 5:28 PM
 

By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru: The Governor Secretariat or Its PIO is not the subject matter ofSLP(Civil) No 33124/2011 As it is matter between Goa Raj Bhavan and others and Karnataka Raj Bhavan is not a party so it is not applicable to Karnataka Raj Bhavan and its PIO .The Goa Raj Bhavan has filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court of India challenging the judgment of the Bombay High Court Bench in Goa which had ruled that the Goa Governor was a public authority and came within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act which is stayed bySupreme Court of India .As it is matter between Goa Raj Bhavan and others and Karnataka Raj Bhavan is not a party so it is not applicable to Karnataka Raj Bhavan and its PIO . Supreme Court of India has not stated that this stay is applicable to All Rajbhvans of India or President of India . It is not a blanket case and all governors' offices cannot take advantage of this scenario,” syas an RTI Activist.As on date President of India office provides information on RTI applications then Karnataka Raj Bhavan PIO declining information under RTI is illegal . RTI Appeal filed .It is pertinent to note that we have not asked information from Honble Governor or Governor PIO in respect of privileged information.. We have asked information from PIO Governor Secretariat which is public authority and a department under DPAR. The PIO need to stop equating herself/himself to that of Honble Governor as both is different. Any information which is received by the Governor is deemed to be available with the corresponding department/ministry of the State government and Karnataka Governor Secretariat is department under chief secretary of Karnataka/DPAR under a principal secretary or special secretary and it is public authority.

Grounds for appeal: The issue in Supreme Court is regarding whether the Honble Governor is a public authority or not and the applicability of RTI Act to the Honble Governor or His PIO is pending before Honble Supreme court of India in SLP(Civil) No 33124/2011. The Governor Secretariat or Its PIO is not the subject matter ofSLP(Civil) No 33124/2011 As it is matter between Goa Raj Bhavan and others and Karnataka Raj Bhavan is not a party so it is not applicable to Karnataka Raj Bhavan and its PIO .Wherefore governor secretariat is department and enjoyed no immunity from the RTI Act and that the Public Information Officer at the Governor Secretariat is duty-bound to furnish information sought under the Act. We have requested the Appellate authority at KGS to Issue directions to The Public Information Officer, to provide me information and certified copy of seniority list of persons employed and working in Raj Bhavan Karnataka Governor's Secretariat as per Karnataka Governor's Secretariat Services (Recruitment) Rules 1995 vide Notification No. DPAR 03 SDE 95, dated 5th November, 1995 sanctioning staff to both the Household Establishment and the Governor's Secretariat and direct to provide me list of promotions made to these posts or persons since 1995 employed and working in Raj Bhavan Karnataka Governor's Secretariat as per Karnataka Governor's Secretariat Services (Recruitment) Rules 1995 vide Notification No. DPAR 03 SDE 95, dated 5th November, 1995 sanctioning staff to both the Household Establishment and the Governor's Secretariat. Direct PIO to provide me information about steps taken to promote all these persons working in Karnataka Governor's Secretariat. And provide me details of salary increase or promotions made as per latest pay commission report as applicable to Karnataka Governor's Secretariat.

The issue in Supreme Court is regarding whether the Honble Governor is a public authority or not and the applicability of RTI Act to the Honble Governor or His PIO is pending before Honble Supreme court of India in SLP(Civil) No 33124/2011.The PIO Declined to give information citing stay of division bench order in SLP(Civil) No 33124/2011stating that matter is sub-judice and consequently no information can be provided until the final decision of supreme court order .In a rather shocking instance, Karnataka governor PIO has excluded his office from providing any information to the public. Responding to a recent RTI query, his office has told the applicant that it does not come under the ambit of Right to Information Act anymore.However, the websites of governors of the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa, among the southern states, feature RTI details whereas Tamil Nadu, like Narasimhan's office, does not feature any RTI section.Ironically, while the office of the  President still remains under the ambit of RTI Act of 2005 and disseminates information to applicants, the governor, who is appointed by the President, has chosen to stay immune from the Act. "As the governor's is a constitutional post and his office is funded by public money, his office cannot deny being a public authority, said by the RTI applicant.. It also cited a special leave petition (civil)No 333124/2011 pending in the Supreme Court stating that it cannot be deemed public authority until the verdict and mater is sub-judice and consequently no information under RTI can be made available."The case pertains to one between the Goa government and the governor of Goa in 2008. The Supreme Court has been sitting on the case since 2011. It is not a blanket case and all governors' offices cannot take advantage of this scenario,” syas an RTI Activist.