Gujarat Assembly opposes request for live broadcast of proceedings
He said it was for the Assembly to determine what information it deemed appropriate to be released.
The Gujarat Legislature has opposed a PIL seeking to live stream its proceedings and share other documents online, saying it is up to it to determine what information it sees fit to publish.
In a hearing Tuesday before the High Court of Gujarat, the Assembly secretariat told a division chamber of Justices RM Chhaya and Nirzar S. Desai that there was no legal obligation on his part to act. comply with obligations under the RTI Act to disclose and regularly update its procedures and other documents, as requested in a PIL filed by a Neeta Hardikar.
PIL asked the tribunal to order the Assembly Secretariat to disclose and regularly update in Gujarati and English, on its website, information on live and old TV broadcasts and transcripts of its proceedings. .
He also asked to disclose the details of the documents to be tabled in the House, the resolutions emanating from the deputies, the deliberations without time, the list of questions and their answers, the texts of the debates, the legislations, the information on the committees of the House, rules, regulations, instructions and other documents.
The Secretariat of the Assembly, in an affidavit submitted to the court, said: “The defendant has the privilege of controlling and regulating the publication of its proceedings and documents and the source of these is in Part II. of Article 194 (3) of the Constitution. .. The public authority is not legally bound to provide any information covered by the exceptions provided for in Article 8 of the Right to Information Act.
“It is at the discretion of the Gujarat Legislature to determine what information it deems appropriate to publish,” the affidavit said.
He noted that Article 194 (2) of the Constitution grants absolute and unrestricted immunity to Members of Parliament for anything said to the Legislative Assembly and to anyone issuing a report, document or proceeding under the authority of a House of the Legislative Assembly. Article 194 (3) is particularly relevant in this case as it provides for ancillary privileges, he said.
At the same time, he said that some information is being provided on the new website, which is in the development stage.
In the “bulletin board” section of the website, there are several categories where essential documents have been uploaded in English and Gujarati. The governor’s speeches and the finance minister’s budget speech are regularly broadcast live, he said.
“Respondent has made sincere efforts to post relevant information on its website and broadcast important events on Gujarati channels. It continues to add new additions to the list of documents that have been uploaded to the website, ”he said.