Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Try RTI to get info from speaker, HC to petitioner

Times of India‎‎: Madurai: Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
The Madras high court Madurai bench on Tuesday encouraged a public interest litigation petitioner to use the Right to Information Act to obtain information from the Speaker on his representation seeking disqualification of the chief minister and four ministers.
T Analagan from Srivilliputur had filed the PIL plea seeking to disqualify chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and four ministers K A Sengottaian, Sellur K Raju, G Srinivasan and R Kamaraj for their alleged breach of constitutional provisions by directing the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker to forward his representations dated March 13 and 16 to the Governor.
On Tuesday, when the matter came up before the division bench headed by justice A Selvam, the court said it had no authority to issue the direction to the speaker or governor. If there was any judgment of the Supreme Court enabling the high court to issue direction in such a matter, the petitioner's side may produce it before the court, the bench said.
However, the petitioner's counsel insisted on issuing a direction to the speaker. Following this, the bench asked the counsel "Did you (the petitioner) receive any response to the representation submitted to the speaker?" The counsel said 'No'. Then the court suggested, "If you did not receive reply, you apply under the RTI Act seeking information from the speaker," and adjourned the case to April 28.
The petitioner had said in his petition that the four ministers visited AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in jail and discussed with her the functioning of the government. The chief minister however did not object to these statements. Hence, these five people including the CM had violated the oath of secrecy under the constitution. They should be declared disqualified from the post of ministers and also from the post of MLA by the governor, the petitioned had contended.