Bom HC | Right to free speech and expression includes within it the right to information; RTI is implicit and inbuilt under Art. 19(1)(a) of Constitution

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of S.C. Dharmadhikari and R.I. Chagla, JJ., addressed a PIL that sought effective enforcement and implementation of The Right to Information Act, 2005.

For the above, bench stated that certain orders have been passed from time to time to ensure that the RTI Act, 2005 does not become a dead letter.

The Court stated that,

“Enactment is in the larger public interest. Right to Information is implicit and inbuilt in the right and freedom guaranteed to a citizen under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India. Right to free speech and expression includes within it the right to information. That is how this constitutionally recognised and permitted right is made meaning and its enforcement is now serving a larger public purpose. It is only the enforcement machinery which is created by the RTI Act, 2005.”

Local bodies and all those authorities having the trapping of a State are covered by the law. As far as the State Government is concerned, it was handicapped for want of staff. It has been noted that on account of the present PIL and certain directions of the Supreme Court, recruitment rules have been framed.

State Government by its affidavit assured the Court that the rules framed with respect to recruitment will be duly followed and the vacant posts will be filled up from time to time. Further through the affidavit, it has also been informed that merely because there are vacancies, the State Government will not deny information to the members of the public if that is otherwise to be made available.

It has also been noted that only 14 vacant positions are left to be filled now, for which the process in accordance with the recruitment rules will be initiated and completed.

In view of the above, the matter has been placed listed for 14-01-2020. [Public Concern for Governance Trust v. State of Maharashtra, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 5303, decided on 03-12-2019]

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