Collection of information by public authority from private entity
Section 2f of RTI Act 2005-Information of private entities [to which RTI Act is not directly applicable] to be provided by public authorities/Regulators which control such private entities. There are two contradictory judgments of Hon’ble Supreme Court. However later in date judgment should be effective.
Some regulators especially RBI is quoting judgment dated 09-11-2011 to deny collection and supply of information held by a private entity. Subsequent judgement dated 07-10-2013 is bypassed as it is pro-information seeker.
I am appending verbatim relevant paragraphs of two judgements and source of these paragraphs. Please make use of judgment dated 07-10-2013 in first or second appeal or as a note in RTI application itself.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/000389+000421+000692/5281
Date of Decision: 06 June 2014
Mr. Akshay Kumar Malhotra v/s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
EXTRACT from following judgement dated 07-10-2013 in case of CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9017 OF 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.24290 of 2012):
“Hon’ble Supreme Court in its subsequent decision dated 07.10.2013 in the case of Thalappalam Ser. Coop. Bank Ltd. and others versus State of Kerala, relevant extracts whereof are as hereunder:
“52. Registrar of Cooperative Societies functioning under the Cooperative Societies Act is a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Act. As a public authority, Registrar of Co-operatives Societies has been conferred with lot of statutory powers under the respective Act under which he is functioning. He is also duty bound to comply with the obligations under the RTI Act and furnish information to a citizen under the RTI Act. Information which he is expected to provide is the information enumerated in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act subject to the limitations
provided under Section 8 of the Act…………………………………………
Consequently, apart from the information as is available to him, under Section 2(f), he can also gather that information from the Society, to the extent permitted by law. Registrar is also not obliged to disclose those information if those information fall under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act.
EARLIER SC JUDGEMENT EXTRACT:
The Supreme Court in CBSE vs. AdityaBandopadhyay, (2011)
SCC 497, [ decided on 09-08-2011 IN CIVIL APPEAL NO.6454 OF 2011[Arising out of SLP [C] No.7526/2009]] has held as under:-
63. At this juncture, it is necessary to clear some misconceptions about the RTI Act. The RTI Act provides access to all information that is available and existing. This is clear from a combined reading of Section 3 and the definitions of “information” and “right to information” under clauses (f) and (j) of Section 2 of the Act. If a public authority has any information in the form of data or analysed data, or abstracts, or statistics, an applicant may access such information, subject to the exemptions in Section 8 of the Act. But where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non-available information and then furnish it to an applicant. A public authority is also not required to furnish information which require drawing of inferences and/or making of assumptions. It is also not required to provide “advice” or “opinion” to an applicant, nor required to obtain and furnish any “opinion” or “advice” to an applicant. The reference to “opinion” or “advice” in the definition of “information” in Section 2(f) of the Act, only refers to such material available in the records of the public authority. Many public authorities have, as a public relation exercise, provide advice, guidance and opinion to the citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be confused with any obligation under the RTI Act.”
Note: Please refer my article “Private Party under RTI” in my blog www. jps50.blogspot.in at https://jps50.blogspot.in/search/label/RTI?updated-max=2009-01-24T18:54:00%2B05:30&max-results=20&start=133&by-date=false