The Public Authority claimed that records were eaten by the termite and the same could not be provided. It is pathetic to note that such an important department like “Department of Legal Affairs” comes up with an explanation that it could not give information as records were eaten away by termite, notes Central Information Commission. It was directed to produce termite eaten records.
It sadly reflects the state of notary/legal records. Notary Public is an important public functionary which documents certain activities for the purpose of legal consideration of transactions in the court of law. If notaries claim that their records are not produced to regulatory or contend that they are eaten away by termite, it gives rise to serious suspicion about the genuineness of concerned notary transactions, which the public authority is duty bound to check.
The Public authority and the notary are under a legal duty to protect and preserve such records/registers. If records are truly eaten away the termite, they owe an explanation to the people why they failed to prevent it. They also have a duty to give
- list of records damaged by termite;
- list of those survived termite attack and
- partially damaged records.
termite eaten records
If termite attack is claimed by the notary republic, the genuineness of same has to be verified by the regulatory. If it was found to be wrongful claim the public authority should have taken necessary action against persons responsible for same. Section 4(1)(a) and (b) imposed an obligation on notary and legal affairs department (public authority) to publish three lists. It was not done so far, hence there is a genuine doubt that registers might have been deliberately caused to disappear and being covered up blaming termite.
If it is true they should show the remains of the termite eaten records.
The decision can be read here: Termite eaten the records