Bar Council is not a public authority
Background of the case
Through two separate applications, the appellant had sought certain information from the Civil Court, Bahadurgarh and Bar Association of the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding some complaints he had made about some members of the Bar. When he did not receive any response from the Bar Association, he approached the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana High Court in first appeal. The Bar Council informed him that the State Bar Council was not the first Appellate Authority under the RTI Act in this case.
View of CIC
Before the Commission, the appellant submitted that he wanted to expose certain members of the Bar who had obtained their legal certificate fraudulently and were nevertheless registered as lawyers and had been practicing for some time now. The Commission held that since the Bar Association itself is not a public authority within the meaning of 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, the Commission can do little to compel the Bar Association itself to disclose the information. The Commission observed that if there is any statutory authority which has registered those lawyers, the appellant should instead approach that authority and seek whatever information he wants in this regard.
Citation: Shri Khajan Singh Hadda v. The Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana in file No.CIC/WB/A/2010/000671 & 689SM
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/8
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