Citizens entitled to info on Prez donations: HC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Citizens entitled to info on Prez donations: HC

In a significant ruling, the Delhi high court on Thursday said that under the Right to Information Act, every citizen was entitled to know about the donations given by the President of India.

delhi Updated: Jun 15, 2012 01:30 IST

In a significant ruling, the Delhi high court on Thursday said that under the Right to Information Act, every citizen was entitled to know about the donations given by the President of India.

“Every citizen is entitled to know as to how the money, which is collected by the state from him by exaction, has been utilised.

Merely because the person making the donations happens to be the President of India, is no ground to withhold the said information,” Justice Vipin Sanghi said.

The court upheld the CIC’s order directing the President’s secretariat to make the names of recipients of the donation — besides their addresses and the sum of donation — public.

Dismissing the Centre’s plea against the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) May 4 order to provide the information to Nitish Kumar Tripathi, the court said, “The hon’ble President of India is not immune from the application of the Act (RTI). What’s important is that it is a public fund that is being donated by the President, and not his /her private fund...”

Earlier, allowing Tripathi’s plea, the CIC had asked Rashtrapati Bhawan to give details of the donations made by the President to Tipathi within 15 days, and upload the information on the official website of the President’s secretariat.

The court also rejected the government’s argument that some people seek donations for medical treatment, and the right of privacy of third parties would be breached by such disclosures.

“The donations made by the President of India cannot be said to relate to personal information of the President. It cannot be said that the disclosure of the information would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of, either the President of India, or the recipient of the donation,” it said.