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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Public Authority
Supreme Court(Public Authority)/ CIC(Public Authority)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 Writ Petition No.1304 of 2008 With Civil Application No.15469 of 2016
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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.
2 LPA 168/2015
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03 Feb, 2017 Union of India vs Subhash Chandra Aggarwal & Anr.

Union of India vs Subhash Chandra Aggarwal & Anr.
Section 2(h) Public Authority. Office of the Attorney General of India. The contention of the writ petitioners was that AGI being an authority under the Constitution, falls within the definition of "public authority" under section 2(h) of the RTI Act. It was contended on behalf of the Union of India/the respondent in the writ petitions that AGI having been appointed under Article 76 of the Constitution of India to give advice to the Government of India upon the legal matters, the relationship between AGI and the Government of India is that of a lawyer and client and therefore, the office of AGI does not fall within the definition of "public authority" under the RTI Act. The learned Single Judge had accepted the plea of the writ petitioners that the office of AGI is covered by the definition of "public authority" under section 2(h) of the RTI Act.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in paras 1, 4-9, 11-15, 27-29 & 31 of the Judgement

3 CWP No. 22748 of 2016
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04 Nov, 2016 Paramjit Singh Vs SIC Punjab

Paramjit Singh Vs SIC Punjab
The petitioner contended that 12 acres of land had been leased out by the Punjab Government and there were grants being given by the Government and therefore, respondent No.2-hospital and respondent No.3-Society would come within the definition of 'Public Authority' and therefore, it is liable to provide information, as demanded. Reliance has been placed upon the order under Section 80(G)(5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, to submit that benefits have been taken and the Society should be treated as a 'Public Authority.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that merely because leased land of 12 acres was given by the Government, would not mean that the Society is controlled and financed to such an extent that the State would have a substantial control over the same. The exemption granted under the Income Tax Act is a permissible exemption which can be claimed by certain category of tax- payers and merely because such an exemption has been granted, would not mean that the Government would have such control over the hospital.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the Judgement
4 CWP No. 10668 of 2015
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24 Oct, 2016 The Bathinda District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd.Bathinda vs SIC Punjab

The Bathinda District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd.Bathinda vs SIC Punjab
The petitioner challenged the compensation of Rs. 5000/- which has been awarded in favour of respondent No. 2, by respondent No.1-Commission. The petitioner challenged before the Commission that it does not come under the definition of public authority.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that it is for the first time, before this Court, stand has been taken that petitioner is not a public authority. This would not be permissible at this point of time once the petitioner had never raised the issue before the respondent commission at the preliminary stage. Rather it had also supplied information earlier to the hearing of the case, which was conducted on 24.02.2015. The arguments which now sought to be raised cannot be accepted on the principle of estoppel. Resultantly, on account of inordinate delay of over seven months on part of the PIO, Rs. 5000/- as compensation awarded by the Commission in favour of respondent No.2 is justified and sufficient.The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the Judgement
5 CWP No. 9873 of 2015
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03 Oct, 2016 The Rail Coach Factory Employes Primary Coop Consumer Store Ltd. vs The State Information Commission Punjab and Ors.

The Rail Coach Factory Employes Primary Coop Consumer Store Ltd. vs The State Information Commission Punjab and Ors.

Whether the RCF, Employees Primary Co-operative Consumer Store Ltd. is a public authority under the RTI Act?

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that the respondent-Commission have to firstly, decide the issue whether the petitioner is a public authority under section 2(h) of the Act, which it has failed to do so, and directed for furnishing all information without touching the aspect whether the society would be covered under the Act or not which is a issue of jurisdiction and goes to the root of the matter. This Court is of the opinion that the matter is to be decided afresh by the respondent-Commission, accordingly, keeping in view of the above observations. Accordingly, the present writ petition is allowed and the respondent-Commission shall decide the issue afresh. The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in para 5 of the Judgement
6 W.P. No. 12549 (N) of 2016
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01 Sep, 2016 Dinesh Sinha & Anr. vs Council for the India School Certificate Examinations & Ors.

Dinesh Sinha & Anr. vs Council for the India School Certificate Examinations & Ors.
Section 2(h) Public Authority. Council for the India School Certificate. The petitioner made an application for issuance of original answer scripts, the respondent no. 2 rejected the prayer of the petitioner the reason that the said Council is not a public authority and as such is not covered within the meaning of section 2(h) of the said Act, 2005. Whether the council is a Public authority under the RTI Act.

The Hon'ble High Court of Calcutta held that the Council is not a public authority or body or Institution of self- government established or constituted under the Constitution, under the law enacted by the Parliament or by the State Legislature or body owned, controlled or substantially financed, directly or indirectly by the fund provided by the appropriate Government. Therefore, it does not come within the purview of a public authority under Section 2(h) of the said Act.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the Judgement
7 W.P. (MD) No. 12711 of 2013 and M.P. (MD) No. 1 of 2013
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18 Aug, 2016 D.Ponraj Vs. The State Information Commissioner, No.2, Sir Thyagaraja Salai, Tenampet, Chennai

D.Ponraj Vs. The State Information Commissioner, No.2, Sir Thyagaraja Salai, Tenampet, Chennai
The petitioner as the PIO refused to part with certain information on the basis of the advice that the Co-operative Society is not a Public Authority, as defined under section 2(h) of the RTI Act.

The Hon’ble High Court of Madras held that the Supreme court in Thalappalam’s case held that the appellant’s Co-operative Societies are not Public Authorities and hence, not legally obliged to furnish any information sought for by a citizen under the RTI Act. The impugned order dated 30th July, 2012, was passed by the State Information Commissioner only on the basis of the order passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court dated 25.04.2012 in W.P. Nos. 9763 of 2008, etc. The order has already been set aside by the Division Bench. The second respondent issued the charge memo on the strength of the order passed by the first respondent. Since, the very order, which was the basis for allowing the appeal by the State Information Commissioner, was set aside by the Division Bench, by judgement dated 29.04.2015, the order passed by the first respondent is liable to be set aside. The consequential disciplinary proceedings initiated by the second and third respondents are also liable to be quashed.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the paras 1, 3, 5 & 6 of the Judgement
8 Writ petition No. 3758 of 2009
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09 Feb, 2016 Kopergaon Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd vs 1.) The Regional Joint Director of Sugar, Trilok Chamber 2). Deeliprao Naiku Thorat 3). Avinash S/o Jaganath Mohite, Satara

Kopergaon Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd vs 1.) The Regional Joint Director of Sugar, Trilok Chamber 2). Deeliprao Naiku Thorat 3). Avinash S/o Jaganath Mohite, Satara
The petitioner No.1 Karkhana which is a co-operative society contends that it is not substantially financed by the State and it also does not have substantial control over the same, as such, the Right to Information Act is not applicable- the Division Bench of Bombay High Court Bench at Aurangabad held that the Petitioner Cooperative societies are not creature of statue but are registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act. In the present case also the contention of Petitioner is that they are not substantially financed by the State. The said statement is not controverted by the State or any of the Respondents. The Division Bench of this Court had held that, the Cooperative Societies/ Banks do not come within the ambit of Right to Information Act and recommendation was made to the Central Government to take steps to bring it within the ambit of Right to Information Act. Writ petition allowed.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the paras 5 of the Judgement
9 W.P. (C) 1041/2013
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10 Mar, 2015 Subhash Chandra Agrawal & Anr. vs Office of the Attorney General of India

Subhash Chandra Agrawal & Anr. vs Office of the Attorney General of India
Section 2(h) Public Authority. Whether the Office of Attorney General of India is a 'Public Authority' within the meaning of section 2(h) of the RTl Act?

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. The AGI performs the functions as are required by virtue of Article 76(2) of the Constitution of India. A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the matter of B.P. Singhal v Union of India: (2010) 6 SCC 331 had held that the office of the AGI to be a public office. In this view also, the office of the AGI should be a public authority within the meaning of section 2(h) of the RTI Act.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the paras 1-4, 7, 9, 10, 14, 23, 25, 27 & 29 of the Judgement

Observation of the High Court:
Reference to the definition of an authority under Art 12 of the Constitution is not necessary in determining the scope of section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The expression “authority” as used under section 2 (h) of the RTI Act, also necessarily takes colour from the context of the said Act. An office that is established under the Constitution of India would clearly fall within the definition of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act. Even in common parlance, the AGI has always been understood as a constitutional authority.
10 W.P. (C) 6751/2013
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02 Mar, 2015 Subhash Chandra Agrawal & Anr. vs Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. & Ors.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal & Anr. vs Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. & Ors.
Section 2(h) Public Authority. Whether the IFFCO is public authority under the RTI Act? The CIC held that IFFCO is not a public authority under the Act observing that it is not substantially financed and controlled by the appropriate government. The petitioners contended that IFFCO is a public authority within the meaning of section 2(h) of the Act as according to them, IFFCO is controlled and substantially financed by the Central Government.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the statutory provisions, conferring certain powers on the Central Registrar/Central Government are regulatory in nature and do not establish control of the Central Government over IFFCO. No hesitation in coming to the conclusion that IFFCO is not a public authority under section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The appeals are dismissed.
The issue of 'public authority has been dealt by the Honble High Court in the paras 12, 15-17, 23, 25, 30-32 & 34 of the Judgement
11 W.P. (C) 3110/2011 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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02 Feb, 2015 Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Private Limited vs Hatim Ali & Ors.

Section 2(h) Public Authority. Vide order dated 15.04.2011, the CIC held the petitioner to be a Public Authority under the RTI Act and directed the petitioner to appoint a CPIO and an Appellate Authority.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the petitioner's entire share capital vests with the NDDB. Since the petitioner's undertaking had been set up by funds provided by the Central Government, the equity capital that is currently held by NDDB also owes its origin to the assets funded by the Central Government. It is also not the petitioner's case that the assistance granted to promote Mother Dairy, Delhi or the Fruit and Vegetable Project were in terms of any general scheme floated by the Government. It is relevant to note that the expression "substantially financed" is suffixed by the words "directly* or ''indirectly". Thus, finances indirectly provided by an appropriate Government would also have to be considered while determining whether a body has been substantially 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. ln the present case, the basic infrastructure of the petitioner's undertakings were promoted by funds provided by the Central Government; whether the said funds found their way through NDDB or otherwise is not material. Thus, the petitioner would also be a public authority on account of being substantially financed by the Central Government.
12 LPA No. 867/2013 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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19 Nov, 2014 Army Welfare Housing vs Adjutant Generals Branch & Ors

The said writ petition was preferred impugning the order dated 23rd July, 2013 of the Central Information Commission (CIC) holding the appellant to be a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) and directing the appellant to designate a Central Public Information Officer and a First Appellate Authority within the meaning of the RTI Act. The Hon’ble Court set aside the judgment of the learned Single Judge and allowed the appeal and held that the appellant is not a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act.
13 CWP No. 1140 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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18 Feb, 2014 Vijay Kumar Vs. SIC Haryana

Section 2(h) – Public Authority. In the present case, the Respondent is a private hospital which refused to provide the information requested by the Applicant under the RTI Act.
The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that the petitioner has not been able to show as to how the respondent No. 5 comes under the definition of “public authority” as only the institute / body owned, controlled or substantially financed, directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government can be considered as a public authority.
14 CWP No. 1140 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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18 Feb, 2014 Vijay Kumar vs State Information Commission, Haryana & Ors.

Section 2(h) Public Authority. The respondent No.5 is a private hospital and the information has not been supplied on the ground that it is a non-public authority. The petitioner submitted that respondent No.5 is a registered statutory authority under the Registration Act and record of the employees is required to be maintained.

The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that the petitioner has not been able to show as to how the respondent No. 5 comes under the definition of “public authority” as only the institute / body owned, controlled or substantially financed, directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government can be considered as a public authority but none of the element is there in case of respondent No.5.
15 W.P. (C).3422/2012
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16 Sep, 2013 Population Services International V.S. Rajesh Dhiman

Section 2(h)
Whether the Population Services International is the public authority or not under the RTI Act? The Honourable High Court of Delhi held that the exercise as to whether the organizations and societies from which the funding was received by the petitioner the question as to whether the funding received by the petitioner from such organisations societies can be said to be a substantial funding or not is also a matter which cannot be gone into write petition. All these, are the, matters which need to be examined by the Commission, hence, the impugned order is set aside and the matter is remitted back to the Commission to decide in the light of this order as to whether the petitioner is substantially funded either directly or indirectly by the appropriate Government or not.
Total Case uploaded: 26