Professional Communication Between State and Govt Pleader Cannot Be Disclosed Under The RTI Act: Gujarat HC

The Gujarat High Court has dismissed a plea filed by a lawyer seeking details of correspondence between the government counsel and various state departments in a matter where the petitioner-lawyer appeared for a party.

The Bench of Justice Biren Vaishnav dismissed the instant plea and observed that it was open to the lawyer to contest the application filed in the court on merits and he cannot use RTI provisions to further his cause.

In this case, the petitioner (a practising lawyer) used to appear in a matter filed in 2010 which was allowed by the coordinate bench.

The State appealed the decision but as there was a delay, the state filed an application seeking condonation of delay.

The petitioner who was representing the respondent then sought details of correspondence by filing an application under the RTI act but it was dismissed on the ground that the petitioner was appearing in the matter therefore there is no need to provide further investigation.

Aggrieved, the petitioner moved the High Court under Article 226.

However, the High Court dismissed the petition filed by the advocate-petitioner and opined that he could have contested the application seeking condonation of delay on merits and his attempts to get information of correspondence between parties is an attempt to subvert judicial process.

To arrive at this conclusion, the court relied on UoI versus RK Jain wherein it was held that communication between government counsel and State regarding judicial proceedings is professional communication under the Evidence Act and therefore is exempt under the RTI Act.

In this context, the court dismissed the instant plea filed by the petitioner-lawyer.

Title: Nimish Mahendra Kapadia versus Dy. secretary of Gujarat Information Commission 

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