SIC declares Mahanand Dairy a public authority under RTI Act
An application was filed with the Mahanand Dairy, a federation of milk unions at the district and taluka levels in Maharashtra, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get some information about the losses incurred by it.
The reply from the dairy said that information cannot be provided to the applicant as it was not a public authority and hence doesn’t fall under the ambit of the RTI Act. Following this, the applicant filed another application seeking to know if the dairy came under the control of Maharashtra government but received no proper reply. So, the applicant filed a complaint with the State Information Commission (SIC) regarding denial of information. During the hearing, the state chief information commissioner found that the dairy received Rs. 56.19 crore as aid from the government and that it was allotted land a subsidized rate. It also found that a managing director, a financial advisor and some other senior officials appointed by the government manage the dairy’s affairs. More so, it also received regular grants from the government.
Based on the observations, the SIC held in its order that the Mahanand Dairy is a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act and directed the dairy to appoint a public information officer and a first appellate authority to deal with the RTI appeals.