Mr. Bandaru Dattatreya had been the Governor of Himachal Pradesh since September 11, 2019. He took oath as the 18th Governor of Haryana on July 15, 2021.
Hemant Kumar, an advocate at the Punjab and Haryana High Court had through the RTI, sought the copy as issued by the President under his hand and seal under Article 155.
In reply to the RTI application, the President’s Secretariat stated that the Warrant of Appointment of the Governor is a communication between two constitutional functionaries in a fiduciary relationship. Hence, a copy of the same cannot be provided in terms of Section 8(1)(e)of the RTI Act, 2005.
It was further stated that there is a press communiqué issued in this regard, and has been posted on the public domain which is the website of The President of India.
The advocate who was not satisfied with this reply has filed an appeal against the reply to the appellate authority of the secretariat.
The appeal stated that before the person is administered the oath of office, the Chief Secretary reads out the order warrant, which means he has access to the document. Therefore, citizens cannot be denied.
It was further stated that the press communiqué mentions that Mr. Dattatraya, Governor of Himachal Pradesh, is transferred and appointed as Governor of Haryana.
But there was no mention of the term ‘transferred’ in the order of appointment as read by Vijai Vardhan, Chief Secretary of Haryana, on July 15, before the oath was administered by the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
It was stated that due to the inconsistency, an appeal is filed and the copy of the warrant is sought under the RTI Act.