BJP MLA moves privilege motion against Goa RTI activist

Panaji, July 17 (IANS) A BJP MLA in Goa has filed a privilege motion against RTI activist Kashinath Shetye, a government servant, after the legislator’s starred question, which is yet to be replied to, was put by Shetye on Facebook last week.

On the other hand, Shetye told IANS that he had filed petitions in the past in his capacity as a private citizen and not as a government servant.

Speaker Pramod Sawant confirmed on Monday that Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nilesh Cabral’s complaint to his office has been forwarded to the assembly’s Committee on Privileges.

Sawant said a theft complaint had been filed in the matter and the Chief Secretary asked to probe the leak.

“His (Cabral) questions had been leaked by the department or our office. We do not know who has leaked it. As a result, Kashinath had posted the question on Facebook and has commented on our honourable MLA,” Sawant said.

Shetye has filed dozens of petitions against systemic corruption and government-related inefficiencies in the past.

Cabral told IANS that he will move a privilege motion against Facebook also on Tuesday for “publishing privileged information”.

On July 12, Shetye had uploaded a photograph of Cabral’s legislative question, which is due to be answered in the assembly during the monsoon session that begins on Tuesday.

In the question, uploaded on Shetye’s Facebook wall, Cabral has asked: “Whether the government is aware that one Kashinath Shetye working as a Junior Engineer in the Electricity Department is indulging in grave violation and serious abuse of conduct rules by filing cases in the High Court, National Green Tribunal, and various courts and forums and working as a full-time activist, thereby not behaving like a government servant.”

Cabral said a government servant cannot work as a “full-time activist” and that a privilege motion would also be filed against Facebook in the assembly, because privileged information had been uploaded on the popular social media site.

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