Tirumala Tirupati Devatsnam to reply to applications filed under the RTI Act
The Tirumala Tirupati Devatsnam (TTD) management has said that it would henceforth reply to questions filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act if the questions are in an 'appropriate' form. The executive officer of TTD MG Gopal told the media that TTD falls under the purview of the RTI Act.
Earlier state BJP spokesperson G Bhanuprakash Reddy filed an application under the RTI Act seeking information about the number of ‘VIP passes’ issued during Vaikuntha Ekadasi Day and New Year's Day. The TTD had refused to entertain the application claiming that as it is not a ‘Public Authority’ as described 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, it would not be covered under the RTI Act.
Vide a circular No.50838/2008 K-4 dated 27.03.2012, the Commissioner of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department, Chennai that held that in respect of temples in which hereditary trustees are administering the temple as well as where there are scheme decrees, the trustees of the concerned temple were appointed as Public Information Officers. Readers may refer to “Madras HC -Temples are covered under the RTI Act” at http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/madras-hc-temples-are-covered-under-rti-act-1842