SC stays Kerala HC order to bring co-operatives under RTI
A full bench of the Kerala High Court judgment, which held that cooperative societies in the state would come within the ambit of ‘public authority’ under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, has been stayed by a Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra of the Supreme Court (SC).
For the Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank, it was argued that the High Court judgment was the result of misinterpretation of RTI Act. The appellant put the view that cooperative societies are formed by a group of individuals for the purpose of some economic benefits. These are autonomous and non-statutory bodies and they are not necessarily funded by the government. Apart from this, they have little public interface to bring them under the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act.
There are conflicting views amongst the different High Courts on the issue whether Co-operative societies are public authorities.