Information regarding a school on campus of Damodar Valley Corporation - School is an unaided institution - CIC: school funded by DVC as huge building has been provided - DVC Management represented on School Management Committee
1. In the RTI application dated 25.9.2012, the appellant had sought information about 11 paras about the De Nobili School located at Maithon. The CPIO had responded to it vide letter dated 1.11.2012 providing such information as was available with him. However, information on some of the paras could not provided as the same was being held by the School.
2. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the appellant has filed the present appeal.
3. During the hearing, Shri Jha submits that information on paras 3 to 11 is being held by the School and not by the DVC and, therefore, it is required to be provided by the School. But the School has refused to disclose this information vide letter dated 25.1.2013. It is the stand of the School that it is an unaided, minority private school established, managed and governed by De Nobili Jealgora Society which does not come under the purview of the RTI Act.
4. In this context, it may be pertinent to mention that this matter had earlier come up before this Commission and the Commission in order dated 30.8.2012 in Pankaj Kumar Singh vs DVC (File No. CIC/LS/A/2012/000686) had held that the said School was a public authority u/s 2 (h) of the RTI Act. Para 02 of the said order is extracted below:- “2. The matter, in short, is that the DVC had handed over a building to the Missionaries for running a school in the DVC campus at Maithan under the name and style of De Nobili School in 1980. As per para 11-A of the agreement signed between the DVC and the Management of the School, the Managing Committee of the School is to consist of nine members, including two officers of DVC viz. the Project Head and another nominee of DVC. It would, thus, appear that the School can be said to be funded by DVC as a huge building has been placed at its disposal by DVC. In addition, DVC Management is also represented on the School Management Committee. In this view of the matter, it can be held that the School 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.”
5. In view of the above, the stand taken by the School cannot be countenanced. The reasoning for declaring the School a public authority is given in the para extracted above. Hence, non-supply of information by the said School to the DVC for servicing the RTI Act is contrary to law and renders the Principal of the School liable for penal action under the RTI Act.
6. In view of the above, the Principal of De Nobile School, Maithon, is hereby advised to have a rethink on the matter and transmit information being held by him to CPIO of DVC. His failure to do so would exposé him to penal provisions of the RTI Act.
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Girijeshwar Prasad v. Damodar Valley Corporation, Maithon (Dhanbad) in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/001130