The state assembly secretariat has framed new rules for implementation of Right to Information Act in the secretariat, replacing controversial rules that it framed in 2010.
The new rules were notified on November 8 just at the time when a deadline of six weeks given by Supreme Court to file a reply to a petition challenging the 2010 rules was about to elapse.
It might be mentioned that the MP State Assembly Secretariat had in November 2010 framed a set of rules that put several restrictions on RTI applicants seeking information about activities of the state assembly and the secretariat.
The 2010 rules mentioned that the applicant would have to cite public interest reason for seeking information, put restrictions on seeking more than one piece of information through single application, would have to use a specific format of application and so on.
These rules had come just a day after the state information commission had directed the assembly secretariat to provide a certain set of information to an RTI applicant.
On basis of the new rules, the secretariat refused to give the information.
The applicant first challenged the rules in MP High Court on the basis that they violated the provisions of the RTI Act, but when it refused to interfere, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court in August this year.
SC took up the matter for hearing on September 25 and issued notice to the assembly secretariat, asking it to reply in six weeks.