BENGALURU: The Raj Bhavan of Karnataka seems to be becoming unreachable to the public. The state’s highest constitutional institution has started rejecting applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In a recent incident, the Raj Bhavan refused to provide information under the RTI Act and replied, “Raj Bhavan will not come under the purview of the RTI.” And this on the ground that a Special Leave Application is pending before the Supreme Court.
RTI activist Marilingegowda Mali Patil said, “I have submitted two RTI applications to Raj Bhavan — one seeking information on construction and repair works of buildings inside Raj Bhavan and another seeking information on visitors or the register book. But, for both the queries, I received a reply saying Raj Bhavan does not come under the purview of the RTI Act. I was shocked to receive such a reply (see photo) from the highest institution of the state. I have decided to approach the State Information Commission and file an appeal based on this reply.”
However, as per the RTI Act, Raj Bhavan is not exempted. L Krishnamurthy, State Information Commissioner, told Express, “Raj Bhavan is a constitutional institution and comes under the purview of the RTI Act.”
Interestingly, representatives of the Raj Bhavan had appeared before the Information Commission and assured to provide information. An official in the commission said, “Recently, in some corruption related case, Raj Bhavan appeared before the commission and assured of providing information. It looks like they are only providing information which will not have any negative impact on them.”
“Even Rashtrapati Bhavan provides information under the RTI Act. How can Raj Bhavan reject information? It has become unreachable to the public. Even if we send mails, they do not respond. In case we need to meet the governor to submit a memorandum or an invitation, it is almost impossible,” Patil rued.