The Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission (SIC) has dismissed the Raj Bhawan public information officer’s plea which denied a right to information (RTI) activist the access to the Governor’s monthly law and order updates to the Centre.
This means such updates can be made public if the order is not challenged in a higher high court bench or the Supreme Court, legal experts said.
State chief information commissioner KD Khan dismissed the public information officer’s plea on August 17. However, the official orders to this effect were issued on Monday.
Activist Ajay Dubey had sought the monthly law and order updates through an RTI application on December 12, 2011. However, former Raj Bhawan PIO Monica Joshi rejected the application stating that the nature of the information sought was not clear.
Dubey then appealed to the Raj Bhawan deputy secretary, the first appellate authority in the case, who directed the PIO in February 2012 to give Dubey an access to the specified documents as per the rule.
However, when the PIO didn’t do so, Dubey moved the high court in July 2013. The court in its July 19, 2013 order asked the PIO to implement the Raj Bhawan deputy secretary’s direction in this regard.
However, the PIO brought the matter before the SIC in August 2013, arguing that the Raj Bhawan deputy secretary’s order was illegal and hence be quashed.
After hearing both sides, state chief information commissioner KD Khan on August 17 held that the commission could not take cognizance of the matter as the high court order was still effective since it had neither been challenged in a higher bench nor in the Supreme Court.
Citing the reasons, Khan dismissed the PIO’s appeal.
Dubey said, “The dismissal of the appeal means that the Raj Bhawan PIO is bound to implement the HC order and provide us with details of the law and order reports.”