Is the Army Wives Welfare Association covered under the RTI Act?
The appellant had submitted that the she is the wife of a serving soldier .She had sought information on 04 paras about the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA). The Public Information Officer (PIO) noted that this information was denied to her on the ground that AWWA is not a Public Authority. He further noted that AWWA is an NGO and is not a part of the Army and so it is not a Public Authority.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) did not go into the question whether AWWA is a Public Authority under section 2(h) “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution; (b) by any other law made by Parliament; (c) by any other law made by State Legislature; (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any- (i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed; (ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government; of the RTI Act kept this issue open for future deliberations. The CIC directed to provide the information to the appellant sought in this particular application.
The CIC should have examined the basic question whether the AWWA is covered under the RTI Act rather than taking an ad-hoc decision. If AWWA is not covered under the RTI Act, there is no need to provide the information and if it is covered, it should appoint a PIO and implement section 4.
Citation: Mrs. Shikha Sharma v. HQ Western Command in File No.CIC/LS/A/2011/002467
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/557
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission