‘Schools not funded by state do not come under RTI purview’

November 16th, 2008 - 7:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) The central government has informed the Delhi High Court that educational institutions which are not funded by the state are not covered under the Right to Information Act.The government made the submission while challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) order directing a school run by the Indian Air Force to provide information sought in an RTI application.

Advocate S.K. Dubey, appearing in the court for the government, contended that institutions which do not receive government funds cannot be directed to reveal information under the RTI Act.

“Air Force schools are non-public fund ventures and are administered and managed by a society. These schools cannot be termed as public authority under the RTI Act,” Dubey said while challenging the CIC’s order.

Justice G.S. Sistani, after hearing the contentions of the government, stayed the CIC order and directed the commission to file its response on the government’s plea.

The CIC held that army schools are public authority as they are headed by serving officers from the forces.

“Even if we were to concede that the school is a private body, by dint of its head being a service officer and serving as head in that capacity, the officer has the authority to access the information regarding the school and is therefore required to service an RTI application,” the commission had said.

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