Order to bring RInfra under RTI stayed
In a major reprieve for Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), the Bombay high court on Thursday stayed an order passed by the State Information Commission (SIC) holding that the provisions of the Right to Information Act were applicable to the company.mumbai Updated: Oct 14, 2011 01:35 IST
In a major reprieve for Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra), the Bombay high court on Thursday stayed an order passed by the State Information Commission (SIC) holding that the provisions of the Right to Information Act were applicable to the company.
The division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice Nishita Mhatre also directed the state government to file, within 8 weeks, an affidavit in reply to the petition filed by RInfra challenging the order. On July 19, the SIC had brought RInfra under the purview of RTI observing that although it was a private company, it provided essential public services like electricity and hence would be covered under the provisions of the RTI Act.
The SIC had also directed the company to appoint information and appellate officers for providing information to activist Anil Galgali, who had sought information related to his own electricity bills. However, when the company denied the information stating that provisions of the RTI Act were not applicable to them, Galgali had carried the matter to CIC in appeal.
In its challenge to the CIC order, RInfra contended that it was a private company and not a public authority and hence the provisions of the RTI Act could not be applied to them. "The petitioner company does not fall within the definition of a public authority as either being owned, controlled or substantially financed by the funds provided by the government," their appeal stated.
They further contended that even the SIC had accepted that RInfra is a private company and had not been set up by the government. The court has now posted the petition for further hearing after eight weeks.