HC refuses to stay SIC order against the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
On a petition seeking stay of the order of the state information commission (SIC) holding the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) as a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Andhra Pradesh high court refused to stay the proceedings. Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the AP high court observed that there was no reason to pass an ex-parte interim order without a counter-affidavit being filed by respondents.
On a complaint lodged by V Rajagopal of Tirupati, the state information commission had summoned certain records of the TTD which was challenged before the HC. It was contended by TTD that the SIC ought not to have entertained Rajagopal's application as it is not 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 is was not required to maintain the records which were sought. The advocate for TTD relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Thalappalam Ser. Coop. Bank Ltd v. State of Kerala and the judgment in Dr. N. Ram Gopal v. Executive Officer, TTD, Tirupathi.
The case was adjourned for two weeks.