Information regarding CM Relief Fund to be provided under RTI
An application was filed with the chief minister's office (CMO) of Gujarat under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the details about the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. The query sought to get the copies of circulars and resolutions and expenditure and savings details of the relief fund for the period between April 1, 2005 and December 31, 2009.
The CMO forwarded the application to the revenue department but no reply was provided to the applicant. The applicant then filed a second appeal before the state information commission (SIC).
While hearing the case, the information commissioner noted that the usages of the fund are determined by a committee comprising of public authorities. Hence, the IC concluded that the purposes for which the money has been sanctioned and the total amount disbursed in each category cannot be termed as information of personal nature and thus fall under the purview of the RTI Act.
The information commission has now ordered the state government to furnish year-wise details on expenditure and usage of Chief Minister's Relief Fund free of cost to the appellant. However, the details about the persons for whom the disbursals were made will be exempted under Section 8 of RTI Act. Readers may recall that similar information about the Prime Minister’s relief fund was permitted by Central Information Commission long time back.