A three-member bench set up by the state information commissioner ruled on Tuesday that electricity supplier Reliance Infrastructure falls within the ambit of the Right To Information (RTI) Act.
The Anil Ambani group-owned company supplies electricity to consumers in Mumbai’s suburbs.
RTI activist Anil Galgali had, in December 2008. enquired about the change of consumer procedure under the RTI but the company refused to give him the information saying it was a private firm.
Galgali then approached the State Information Commissioner who after two hearings appointed a three-member bench to look into the issue.
The bench approached the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission MERC that issued the licence to Reliance. The bench then ruled, taking into account MERC’s reply, that as Reliance Infrastructure is an electricity distribution company that provides a public utility and is concerned with the welfare of electricity consumers, it comes within the ambit of the RTI.
“We have followed this issue for 32 months,” said Galgali. “It is not just a victory for me but for 30 lakh electricity consumers in Mumbai. As more and more private companies enter the market this will make a big difference.”
A spokesperson for Reliance Infrastructure said, “We have received the said order, it is being examined and we will take such steps as available under the law.”