Kerala SIC chief to appear before privilege committee

The state information commissioner had moved high court


Danish Raza | March 29, 2010

The division bench of the Kerala High Court, on Monday, directed the chief information commissioner of the state, Palat Mohandas, and
former state information commissioner, PN Vijaykumar, to appear before the Assembly Privilege Committee on Tuesday.

On March 25, both had moved the high court challenging the notice of the legislative secretary asking them to appear before the Assembly Privilege Committee for alleged breach of privilege.

After hearing the petition, Justice TR Rmachandran Nair had referred the matter to a division bench.

On Monday, the division bench ordered that the petitioners should explain their stand before the committee.

The matter refers to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Kochi based lawyer DB Binu in which he had sought the video tape and a printed copy of the speech delivered by Kerala Congress (Jacob) leader TM Jacob in the Assembly in 2005.

Jacob was participating in a no-confidence motion debate against the Oommen Chandy government.

While the applicant obtained the text of the speech, the video recording was not made available to him on the grounds that it was a
privilege matter.

The applicant then approached the state information commission which directed the public information officer of the assembly to provide him with a copy of the video recording.

The privilege committee took note of the matter and issued summons to Mohandas, the state chief information commissioner, and Vijaykumar who
was the state information commissioner when the commission decided the case.

The privilege committee charged that the commission was breaching the privileges of the house by trying to enforce the order.

“I am going to file a writ petition in the high court asking for the implementation of the commission’s order,” Binu told Governance Now on




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