CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan has every right to obtain information from government that would help him to defend himself in the SNC Lavalin case. The Opposition argument against that it devoid of merit.
If he has obtained information relating to the Cabinet decision on the SNC Lavalin case from the Government under the Right to Information Act and presented it before the Supreme Court, his action is perfectly in order. However, P. C. George, MLA, has raised the question whether the information in question was actually released under provisions of the Act. This is a valid question and is to be looked into.
The Opposition leader Oommen Chandy, on the other hand, maintains that the release of the information under the Act on Cabinet decisions sets a bad precedent as not only Mr. Vijayan but also known offenders like Om Prakash would be able to get information beneficial to them in criminal cases.
In an open government, every citizen has right to get information and the rights of Mr. Vijayan is not different from that of Om Prakash. Moreover, it is the duty of the government not only to ensure successful prosecution of offenders but also to ensure fair trial. If government suppresses information, that would hamper fair trial. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure fair trial in every case.
However, the problem is that governments are not only unwilling to ensure successful prosecution of known offenders with political connections but also aid them in various ways. The accompanying picture points to open political patronage to known offenders.