Order of the Supreme Court of India regarding on whether non-governmental organisations financed by government fall under RTI Act 2005, 17/09/2019

  • 17/09/2019

Judgement of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of D.A.V. College Trust and Management Society & Others Vs Director of Public Instructions & Others dated 17/09/2019 on whether non-governmental organisations substantially financed by the appropriate government fall within the ambit of ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Under the Act, a public authority is required to maintain records in terms of Chapter II and every citizen has the right to get information from the public authority.

The appellants who have filed the application are all colleges or associations running the colleges and/or schools and their claim is that Non­Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are not covered under the Act. According to the appellants, the objective of the Act was to cover only Government and its instrumentalities which are accountable to the Government.

The Supreme Court in a far reaching judgement said that NGOs, schools and colleges substantially financed by government funds are public authority and come within the gambit of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. " We have no hesitation in holding that an NGO substantially financed, directly or indirectly, by funds provided by the appropriate government would be a public authority amenable to the provisions of the Act," read the Judgement.