Can audit reports of registered firms be obtained from the Registrar of the Societies?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Minto Road Puja Samiti, Minto Raod Kali Mandir seeking information such as year wise details of amount collected as donation and subscription from the public as well as devotees for the year 2005 to 2011. The appellant also sought for copies of order of the Income Tax Department granting exemption under section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act with copies of audit report etc. The General Secretary of the Samiti informed the applicant that the Samiti did not come under the purview of the RTI Act.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the representatives of the Samiti submitted that they did not receive any funding from the Government and the Samiti is run by the donation given by the devotees. They also clarified that no tax exemption has been granted to them by the Income Tax department and only the donors who donate funds for the Samiti receive some tax exemption. They further mentioned that they are a registered firm with the Registrar of the Societies and accordingly are obliged to submit audit reports to the Registrar of the Society.
View of CIC
The Commission held that the copies of the audit reports which the Samiti has to mandatorily submit to the Registrar of the Societies can be shared with the appellant through the Registrar of the Society which is a public authority under the RTI Act. The CIC also ruled that the factual information regarding tax exemption may also be shared with the appellant. The Commission directed the PIO, Registrar of the Societies to peruse the appellant’s RTI application and dispose of the same as per the provisions of the RTI. The Commission also observed that since the details of the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Registrar of the Society are not available in the records of the Bench of the Commission the General Secretary of the Samiti was requested to forward this order along with the appellant’s RTI application to the concerned PIO of the Registrar of the Society for compliance.
Citation: Mr. Nikesh Mittal v. Minto Road Puja Samiti in File No. CIC/AD/C/2012/001432
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/768
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission