HC seeks Centre's stand on whether President comes under RTI

Written by: Pti
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Panaji, Jul 18: Bombay High Court today (Jul 18) asked the Union government to file an affidavit as to whether top constitutional offices such as the President, Chief Justices and Governors fall within the ambit of Right to Information Act.

The Goa bench of Bombay High Court asked Additional Solicitor General, Vivek Tankha, who represented the Union, to state the legal position regarding the President of India, Chief Justices and Governors; while state Advocate General Subodh Kantak will have to reply about position of the Speaker of legislative assembly, vis a vis the RTI.

The matter will be heard next month. The bench of Justices S A Bobde and F M Reis was hearing the petition filed by Goa Raj Bhavan, challenging the order of Goa State Information Commissioner who had asked the Raj Bhavan to submit certain information under the RTI Act, as demanded by activist Aires Rodrigues.

Tankha, appearing for Goa Raj Bhavan, argued that the President, Governors, Speaker and the Chief Justice of India as well as Chief Justices of High Courts did not come within the Act's purview.

Certain posts had been consciously kept out of RTI's ambit, although they have been termed as a public authority' under the Constitution, he said.

To this, the judges observed that the case presented a novel situation. The court asked the government to clarify the position.

"We can't decide till we have proper information on the position of these authorities," judges said.


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