Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee is a public authority as per RTI Act
A division bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw of the Delhi High Court has ruled that the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) is a "public authority" and comes under the purview of the Right to Information Act. Dismissing the DSGMC's appeal against the single judge order which had held it as "public authority", the bench observed, "Once we read the definition of 'public authority' in 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, obvious conclusion would be that the appellant (DSGMC) is a 'public authority' as it is constituted by the Act of the Parliament. Undeniably, the appellant is a statutory body under the Delhi Sikh Gurudwaras Act. It is constituted under Section 3 of the DSG Act". The single judge bench of the High Court had held vide an order dated July 22, 2007, that DSGMC was a 'public authority' and is covered by the RTI Act.
The DSGMC contended that though it has been established by a law made by the Parliament but it is not a public authority as it did not receive funds directly or indirectly from government. The bench held that once it is found that an authority or body or institution of self government is established or constituted in any manner prescribed in the RTI Act, then there is no further requirement of such a body to be either owned or controlled or substantially financed by an appropriate government.