The Goa Legislature Secretariat has declined to furnish information sought by Adv. Aires Rodrigues under the Right to Information Act by claiming that the information sought is exempt from disclosure as it falls within the ambit of Section 8 (1) (c) of the RTI Act and Rule 37 (16) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Goa Legislative Assembly.
Adv. Rodrigues on June 28th had sought a copy of the file notings and correspondence pertaining to the two day training workshop for MLAs held on 27th and 28th June at the Taj Vivanta. Adv. Rodrigues had also sought complete details of the expenditure incurred on the event.
Mr. Mohan Gaonkar, the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the Legislature Secretariat has informed Adv. Rodrigues that the disclosure of the information would cause breach of Privilege of State Legislature and also against the Rules of Conduct of Business of Goa Legislative Assembly.
Pointing out that denial of the information was in rank violation of the RTI Act, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that this veil of secrecy being unacceptable an appeal would be filed against the denial of the information by the PIO.
Adv. Rodrigues has recalled that the Legislature Secretariat had earlier furnished him the information pertaining to a similar two day orientation programme conducted for Goa’s MLAs on 8th and 9th June 2012 at Hotel Mandovi.
The expenses on that orientation programme amounted to Rs 4, 87,880 of which Rs 1, 25,550 was spent on Air Tickets for the guest speakers and Rs 25,000 on the honorarium paid to them while another Rs 53,265 was spent on Hotel accommodation. Rs 14,190 on Mementos given to guest speakers while Rs 42,450 was spent on Printing, Stationery, folders and banner. The Video recording cost Rs 8,000 while the flower bouquets for the occasion cost Rs 6,200. A further amount of Rs 2, 13, 225 was spent on food and refreshments for the MLAs during those two days.