Delhi Golf Club is a public authority under RTI Act: CIC
Delhi Golf Club (DGC) is based on 179 acres of land provided to it by the central government on lease which is to end in 2020. The DGC had requested the government to increase their lease to a fifty years term starting from 2021 following which the lease period was extended till 2050. In this regard, an application was filed with the DGC under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get details about the lease term and membership of the club. The application also sought to know the reasons for renewal of the lease term much before its lapse.
As the reply from the secretary, DGC said that the information could not be provided as the club didn't fall within the purview of the RTI Act; the applicant filed a complaint with the Central Information Commission (CIC). The CIC observed during the hearing that DGC was provided huge chunk of prime land at a heavily subsidized price implying that it was substantially funded by the government. It also found that there were nominees of central government in its board of directors depicting some control of the government on its management.
The CIC held in its order that the club 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 and has to respond to applications seeking information under the transparency act.