MSEDCL's power distribution franchisee comes under the ambit of RTI Act
Some applications were filed with the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking some information about the power distribution in Aurangabad. The applications were forwarded to Global Towers, a franchisee of the MSEDCL for distribution of power and allied services for Aurangabad city.
Global Towers contended that it could provide information to the MSEDCL but not to the consumers as did not attract the provisions of the RTI Act because there was no involvement of the government in the company. As the company refused to provide information to the consumers on the grounds that it was a private company and hence didn't fall under the ambit of RTI Act, the applicants approached the information commission.
In the order, the Aurangabad information commissioner held that the franchisee was substantially funded by the MSEDCL thus making it a public authority as defined 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. The State Information Commission (SIC) has directed the company to appoint a PIO and an appellate authority within 100 days.