Goa governor skips RTI hearing


Panaji : Goa Governor S.S. Sidhu Tuesday invoked constitutional immunity to avoid appearing for a Right to Information (RTI) Act hearing, his lawyer said.

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Speaking to reporters outside the state information commission (SIC) here, Sidhu’s counsel Carlos Fereira said that the governor had sought immunity provided under article 361 of the Indian constitution.

“The governor enjoys privilege extended to him under article 361 of the Indian constitution,” Carlos told reporters here after Sidhu failed to appear before the SIC despite summons asking him to remain present at the hearing.

According to article 361 of the constitution, “The president, or the governor or rajpramukh of a state, shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise and performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those powers and duties”.

Goa’s chief information commissioner Motilal Keni had issued the summons in response to an appeal under the RTI act filed by local activist Aires Rodrigues.

In his RTI application dated Nov 28, 2010, Rodrigues had asked for details of the action taken on the complaints made by him to the governor against state advocate general Subodh Kantak. The activist had also sought copies of noting sheets and correspondence pertaining to the processing of his complaint.

The governor’s special secretary, N. Radhakrishnan, who was also present at the hearing, said that the office of the governor “could not be construed as a public authority and hence could not be covered under RTI”.

The next hearing at the SIC is on Jan 21.