Citizen has the right to know Cabinet decision
RTI: Citizen has the right to know Cabinet decision
As reported by P. Divakaran in NewIndPress on March 2 2008
KANNUR: Does the Right to Information Act confer on a citizen the right to know the decision of a Cabinet meeting of the state together with relevant notes?
Yes, says State Information Commission. And, the commission didn’t stop there.
It has ordered that a copy of the Cabinet decision with relevant notes sought by the citizen should be given to him within 15 days under the RTI act.
Again, can the Law Minister of the State refuse to give a copy of the representation he made to the Union Law Minister concerning the establishment of a Bench of the High court in Thiruvananthapuram to a citizen under the RTI act?
No, says the State Information commission. The commission has further ordered to give a copy of Law Minister M. Vijayakumar’s representation to the Central Law Minister Bharadwaj, to the complainant, T. Asafali, president of the Thalassery-based People’s Council for Civil Rights.
The organisation had requested the public information officer of the secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram, through the RDO Thalassery to provide a copy of the decision taken by the Cabinet meeting on August 16,2006 regarding the establishment of a High Court Bench in Thiruvananthapuram.
The council also had sought a copy of the representation made by M. Vijayakumar to Bharadwaj in this connection.
The Thalassery RDO forwarded the request to the state public information officer of the Law Department.
He sent it to the Home Department which rejected it after sitting on it for more than four months.
When a complaint against the rejection was lodged, the public information officer of the Home Department, K. K. Ramani, was summoned by the State Information Commissioner.
The Commissioner found that the rejection of information under section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act was not justifiable.
The Commissioner found that public information officers of the Home and Law departments were equally responsible for the disposal of the request, and ordered the public information officer of the Home Department to supply a copy of the Cabinet decision with relevant notes to the citizen who made the request for information.
The public information officer of the Law Department also is bound to to furnish a copy of the representation made by the Law Minister.