Info Commission clashes with Transport Dept over red beacon cars

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 11 February 2016 21:44 IST

Goa’s information commission is on loggerheads with the state transport authorities on the issue of the Chief Information Commission using a red beacon car.

Based on a complaint filed by RTI activist-cum-lawyer Aires Rodrigues, the transport department today issued a show cause notice to the secretary of Information Commission on CIC using the red beacon car.

CIC Prashant Tendulkar, while talking to goanews.com, however went a step ahead stating that even the State Information Commissioners can use the red beacon cars.

While confirming that the notice has been issued based on the complaint filed by Aires, transport director Sunil Masurkar told goanews.com that the notice has been issued based on a notification issued by Goa government.

“Information commissioners do not figure in the list of dignitaries provided in the notification”, he said.

The Information Commission has to answer the notice within seven days.

The Supreme Court had recently issued an order, restraining several authorities from using the red beacon cars, based on which the central and state government have issued fresh lists of dignitaries who are entitled to use red beacon cars.

Justifying his action of using the red beacon, CIC Tendulkar states that all the information commissions in the country are governed by the central government and the central notification applies to them.

“The Right to Information Act was passed by the Parliament and the CIC and SICs are appointed by the Governor”, he states.

Quoting sections of the Motor Vehicle Act as well as the RTI act, Tendulkar says the CIC is considered equivalent to the Election Commission of India while the SICs are equivalent to the state Chief Secretary.

While the CS is entitled to use the red beacon car as per the Goa government notification, he says the central government authorises the Election Commissioner to use it.

“Does the transport department act against President of India, Prime Minister or central ministers for using red beacon cars while in Goa because they are not listed in the state government notification” argues the Goa CIC. 

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AS DEFIANT GOA CIC CONTINUES MISUSING RED BEACON, GOVT PUT ON NOTICE TO FACE CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS IN SUPREME COURT

With a defiant Goa Chief Information Commissioner Prashant Prabhu Tendolkar continuing to use the red beacon on his official vehicle GA-07-G-5555, the Goa government has today been put on notice to face contempt proceedings before the Supreme Court.

In a letter jointly addressed to the Chief Secretary, DGP and the Director of Transport today, their attention has been drawn that despite being booked by the Transport department yesterday Prashant Tendolkar continues to use the red beacon in clear defiance of law.

Pointing out that surprisingly the authorities including the Goa Police have not taken steps to seize and confiscate the red beacon, it has been stated in the letter that the authorities are duty bound to act in accordance with law and comply with the directives of the Supreme Court Judgment dated December 10th 2013 on the issue of misuse of the Red beacon.

It has been further stated that if the misuse of the red beacon by Goa’s Chief Information Commissioner Prashant Prabhu Tendolkar is allowed to continue, the Supreme Court of India would be moved by way of a Contempt of Court petition to ensure that the rule of law is not allowed to be made a casualty.

Please read the entire Supreme Court Judgment dated 10th December 2013 on the issue of misuse of Red beacons. http://ijtr.nic.in/Abhay%20Singh%2025237%20of%202010.pdf

- Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar | 12 th February 2016 19:41

 

Fantastic logic by Tendulkar and no matter what anyone may say or feel Tendulkar is right Whenever an advocate files a complaint the government authorities seem to fall all over themselves to please the complainant rather than seeing the legal position Not that the Transport Dept is doing its duty that's a joke for another day

- DINESH MATHA, Margao | 12 th February 2016 17:53

 

Total nonsensical step by RTO.I have seen NRI director using red beacon car even when he comes to temple. What kind of constitutional post is that.

- Parag Hede, Panaji,Goa. | 11 th February 2016 22:06

 

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