Indian Council of World Affairs is a public authority
A complaint was filed under Section 18 of the RTI Act against the Indian Council of World Affairs, stating that the ICWA being a public authority has not fulfilled its obligations under Section 4 of the Right to Information Act, 2005.
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The Commission directed both the parties to provide evidence regarding whether the said organization is a public authority or not for the purpose of the RTI Act. The Commission noted that:
(1) “ICWA was a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and was constituted as a body corporate and declared an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in 2001.
(2) ICWA is substantially and directly funded by the Government of India.”
Therefore, the Commission held that ICWA is a Public Authority as defined 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. The Commission also observed that all Public Authorities were expected to appoint Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities as also comply with their obligations under Section-4 of the RTI Act before 12 October 2005. While taking a note of the fact that ICWA may not have complied with these requirements, the Commission directed the Director General, ICWA to appoint a ‘Public Information Office’ and the ‘First Appellate Authority’ before 30 December 2011. The Commission also directed the Director General to take measures to fulfill disclosure obligations under Section 4 including making information available on the official website as well as hard copies of the information at the Institution’s offices.
Citation: Mr.Saurabh Sharma v. Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs in Decision No: CIC/SG/C/2011/001124/16017