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Division Bench of Delhi HC splits as to whether PM National Relief Fund is a ‘public authority’ under RTI Act: Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund v. Aseem Takyar

Division Bench of Delhi HC splits as to whether PM National Relief Fund is a ‘public authority’ under RTI Act

[Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund v. Aseem Takyar,  2018 SCC OnLine Del 9191, dated 23.05.2018]

 

The Division Bench comprising of S. Ravindra Bhat and Sunil Gaur, JJ., gave different opinions regarding the below mentioned issue.

ISSUE

Whether Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is a ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h)(d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The Bench gave a split decision on the question of the Fund being a ‘public authority’ or not.

 

BRIEF FACTS

Initially, information was sought by the respondent regarding information related to amount, name and particulars of each recipient, beneficiary, and donor during the information period. The CPIO, Prime Minister’s Office, gave partial information and withheld the rest on the grounds that PMNRF was not a ‘public authority’ within the meaning of Section 2(h) (d) of the Act. The Chief Information Commissioner, in appeal by the respondent, decided that PMNRF was a ‘public authority’ within the Act, and hence the Fund was directed to provide information as sought by the respondent.

The appellant Fund filed the appeal before the learned Single Judge which was dismissed.

HELD

By reason of divergence in opinion, the Bench directed the matter to be placed before the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal to refer the following question to a third Judge:

“Whether the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund is a “public authority” within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and accordingly, whether information pertaining to various transactions made by the Fund can be obtained by preferring an application under the said Act?”

[Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund v. Aseem Takyar,  2018 SCC OnLine Del 9191, dated 23.05.2018]

 

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