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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Definition of Information
Supreme Court(Definition of Information)/ CIC(Definition of Information)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 W.P.(C) 12388/2018 & CAV 1056/2018 & CM APPLs. 48059- 48060/2018 20 Nov, 2018 TELECOM REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF INDIA vs KABIR SHANKAR BOSE

The respondent is Barrister in the Supreme Court of India and he sought information as under:-
(i) Whether my Vodafone No. XXXXXXXXX has been placed under surveillance or tracking or tapping by any agency
(ii) Under whose direction and by which agency my phone has been placed under surveillance or tracking or trapping.
For the said information, the respondent simultaneously, sent a separate request to Vodafone India, however, they replied in negative by stating that they are not a “Public Authority” under the RTI Act, 2005.
Para 11:
……. the commission directed the petitioner herein to get the information from services provider and furnish the same to the respondent.
Para 14:
…….. Information as defined in Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act includes in its ambit, the information relating to any private body which can be assessed by public authority under any law for the time being inforce. Therefore, if a public authority has a right and is entitled to access information from a private body, under any other law, it is “information” as defined in Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. Thus, it is obligation on the public authority to get the information from the private body and furnish the same to the applicant.
2 WP (C) 2025/2014 & CM No 4213/2014 08 Oct, 2018 PIO, Commissioner of Police Vs V Choudhary

In terms of the RTI Act, all information as available with the public authority is required to be provided to the citizen unless it is exempt from disclosure under section 8 of the RTI Act or otherwise pertains to the organizations that are excluded from the purview of the RTI Act. Thus, the question whether authentic information is available with another public authority is not a ground to deny the information as sought from a public authority.
3 WP(C) NO 7845 OF 2013 12 Feb, 2018 PARAS NATH SINGH VS UOI

The contention that notings made by a junior officer for use by his superiors is third party information, which requires compliance of sec 11 of the act, is unmerited. Any noting made in the official records of the Govt/public authority is information belonging to the concerned Govt /public authority……….the reasoning that the notings or information generated by an employee during the course of his employment is his information and thus has to be treated as relating to a third party, is flawed.
4 Writ Petition No.1304 of 2008 With Civil Application No.15469 of 2016 13 Feb, 2017 Jalgaon Jillha Urban Cooperative Bank vs The State of Maharashtra

It is the contention of the petitioner that in view of the provisions of section 2(h) and section 8 of the Right to Information Act 2005 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act"), cooperative institutions registered under the Cooperative Societies Act cannot be treated as public authority. It is also contention of the petitioner that in view of the provision of section 34A of the Banking 3 WP 1304 of 2008 Regulation Act, 1949 these institutions are not bound to disclose certain information which, according to them, is confidential in nature. It is also contention that these institutions are not receiving financial aid from the Government directly or indirectly and so the provisions of the Act cannot be made applicable to them.
Cooperative Societies Act if read with the definition of information given in section 2(f) of the Act, it can be said that everything which is mentioned in the definition of information needs to be supplied by the cooperative institution to the authority created under the Cooperative Societies Act. The definition of 'Public Authority' given in section 2(h) shows that such public authority can be created by any law made by the State Legislature. It is already observed that the officers like Registrar and his subordinate officers are appointed under the Cooperative Societies Act and they have the control over the aforesaid things. In view of these circumstances, the observations made by the Apex Court in the paragraphs already quoted can be used safely when the information is sought from the authority like Registrar or his subordinates under the Cooperative Societies Act.
5 W.P. (C) 8917/2016 HIGH COURT OF DELHI 30 Sep, 2016 Tapan Choudhury vs Central Information Commission & Ors.

The petitioner sought copies of shorthand note books of dictation of draft judgements. The CPIO rejected. The FAA and SAA also rejected the applicant’s request treating shorthand notes not held by the Public Authority. Relying on the observations of full bench in the ‘Secretary General, Supreme Court of India Vs. Subhash Chandra Agarwal, AIR 2010 Delhi 159’, the Hon’ble High Court held that “when draft judgments and order do not form part of a ‘record’ held by a public authority, a shorthand note book which is memo of what is dictated and which would later be typed to become a draft judgment or an order can certainly not be held to be ‘record’ held by a public authority”.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 5 and 6 of the judgement.
6 W.P. (C) 6532/2013 C.M. Nos. 14204-14205/2013, 16799/2014 & 20303/2014 17 Mar, 2016 Ms. Eliamma Sebastian Vs. Ministry of Home Affairs and Ors.

The petitioner, a member of a cooperative group housing society, sought information regarding the affairs of the Society. The High Court relying on “Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. & Ors. v. State of Kerala and Ors (2013) 16 SCC 82” held that applicant can obtain information which can be accessed by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies under RTI Act and other information under section 139 of the Delhi Cooperative Societies Act directly from the Society.
The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 12 to 14 of the judgement.
7 Writ Petition No. 3758 of 2009 09 Feb, 2016 Kopergaon Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. Vs. The Regional Joint Director of Sugar Trilok Chamber, Laltaki Road, Ahmednagar

The question in the case was whether the petitioning co-operative society was a Public Authority under the Right to Information Act, Replying on “Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. & Ors. v. State of Kerala and Ors (2013) 16 SCC 82” held in the negative.
The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 4 and 5 of the judgement.
8 LPA 24/2015 & CM No 965/2015 07 Jan, 2016 Registrar, SCI Vs Lokesh Batra

On a combined reading of section 4(1)(a) and section 2 (j), it appears to us that the requirement is only to maintain the records in a manner which facilitates the right to information under the Act. As already noticed above, “right to information” under section 2(j) means only the right to information which is held by any public authority. We do not find any other provision under the Act under which a direction can be issued to the public authority to collate the information in the manner in which it is sought by the applicant.
9 Writ Petition No: 25114/2009 03 Nov, 2015 Manipal University Vs. S. K. Dogra

The petitioner sought information related to admissions in pharmacy college run by the deemed University, The question in the case was whether the this University is a Public Authority under the Right to Information Act. Replying on “Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. & Ors. v. State of Kerala and Ors (2013) 16 SCC 82” held in the negative.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 5 of the judgement.
10 W.A. Nos. 2425 to 2428 & 2500 of 2013 29 Apr, 2015 The Public Information Officer, O/o. The Illayankudi Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd. Vs. The Registrar, Tamilnadu Information Commission & Others

The question for consideration is whether a co-operative registered under the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1983, is a “public authority” within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. And whether provisions of the RTI Act would be applicable to cases where the
Government Officers are appointed to function as Special Officers of the society.

The Court held that the Cooperative Societies in question in the petition are not Public Authorities as covered by the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Thalappalam Ser. Coop., Bank Ltd., and Others.

The Court also held that the distinction sought to be drawn to cases where the Government Officers are appointed to function as Special Officers of the society, when there is no elected Board of Directors, could hardly make any difference in the light of the pronouncement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 5, 6 and 7 of the judgement.
11 W.P. (C) 6946/2011 & CM No. 15943/2011 12 Mar, 2015 HARDICON LTD versus MADAN LAL

The principal question to be addressed was whether Hardicon Ltd., in which more than 60% equity investment is by Government entities, is considered to be owned, controlled or substantially financed, directly or indirectly, by funds provided by the appropriate Government.

The Court observed that although substantial part of equity of nationalized banks is held by the Government, the sources of funds available to the bank are not limited to the Government alone. Since the funds received by the petitioner by way of subscription to its equity cannot be traced to any Government, the conclusion that the government has indirectly provided substantial finance to the petitioner is not sustainable. Held that the petitioner is not a Public Authority under RTI Act.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 8, 9 and 16 of the judgement.
12 W.P. (C) 1041/2013 and W.P. (C) 1665/2013 10 Mar, 2015 SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL versus OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIA

The question was whether the Office of Attorney General of India is a ‘public authority’ within the meaning of section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that the role of the AGI is not limited to merely acting as a lawyer for the Government of India as is contended by the respondent; the AGI is a constitutional functionary and is also obliged to discharge the functions under the constitution as well as under any other law.

It is not disputed that the functions of the AGI are also in the nature of public functions. The AGI performs the functions as are required by virtue of Article 76(2) of the Constitution of India. In B.P. Singhal, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held the office of the AGI to be a public office.

Therefore, the Court held, the office of the AGI should be a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 10, 21 and 27 of the judgement.
13 W.P. (C) 6751/2013 and W.P. (C) 824/2014 02 Mar, 2015 SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL versus INDIAN FARMERS FERTILISER COOPERATIVE LTD. & ANR.

The contention was whether Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (hereafter ‘IFFCO’) is a Public Authority for the purposes of RTI Act

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi concurred with the order of CIC declaring IFFCO not a Public Authority.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 15, 16 and 32 of the judgement.
14 Crl. O.P. (MD) Nos. 2987 and 3087 of 2015 And M.P. (MD) Nos. 1 and 1 of 2015 24 Feb, 2015 Jose Dhanapaul Vs. The State represented by The Inspector of Police, Vigilance and Anti-corruption, Nagercoil. Periannan Vs. The State represented by The Inspector of Police, Vigilance and Anti-corruption, Nagercoil

The petitioners sought copy of DVAC manual. The question was whether DVAC Manual, which is a non-statutory administrative guideline for conduct of investigation, is to be treated as information under RTI, whether it is to be exempted under sec 8.

The Court directed the DVAC to upload the DVAC Manual in their website within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and update the same from time to time without any delay.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 16 of the judgement.
15 W.P. (C) 3110/2011 and CM 6577/2011 and W.P. (C) 5809/2011 and CM 11833/2011 02 Feb, 2015 MOTHER DAIRY FRUIT & VEGETABLE PRIVATE LIMITED versus HATIM ALI & ANR

Whether Mother Dairy fruit and Vegetable Pvt Ltd is a Public Authority or not?

The Court held that the finances indirectly provided by an appropriate Government would also have to be considered while determining whether a body has been substanitially financed by an appropriate Government. The test to be applied is whether funds provided by the Central Government, directly or indirectly, are of material or considerable value to the body in question.

Therefore, Mother Dairy would also be a public authority on account of being substantially financed by the Central Government.

The relevant sections have been discussed in paragraph Numbers 13, 16, 34 and 37 of the judgement.
Total Case uploaded: 21