Copy of the document submitted by the committee constituted by Dean, on furtherance of PhD programme of the appellant was sought form Vellore Institute of Technology - CIC: VIT is a private university and is not a public authority under RTI Act17 May, 2020
The appellant has sought the copy of the document submitted by the committee i.e. Dr. G. Anil Kumar and Dr. S. Babu (constituted by Dean, Academic Research) on furtherance of PhD programme of the appellant (Registration No.13PhD0336).
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant relied on the letter dated May 16, 2007 of the Commission issued by the then Additional Registrar, Shri L.C Singhi where it was mentioned as under:
"Kindly refer to your letter no. F.4-9/2007 (CPP-1) dated 13th March, 2007 seeking clarification regarding applicability of the Right to Information Act, 2007 in respect of the "deemed universities". The matter has been examined by the Commission and the Commission is of the view that the "deemed universities" like other universities established under a Union or State Law are covered under the Right to Information Act, 2005."
He further requested for information sought i.e copy of the document submitted by the committee i.e. Dr. G. Anil Kumar and Dr. S. Babu (constituted by Dean, Academic Research) on furtherance of PhD programme of the appellant (Registration No.13PhD0336).
Based on a perusal of the records, the Commission noted that the recent dictum of the Judiciary is pertinent to mention. The High Court of Karnataka, in the matter of Manipal University vs S.K Dogra and CIC in WP. No. 25114 of 2009 vide decision dated 3rd Nov 2015 held as under:
"Given the above facts and circumstances and the legal arguments canvassed by the learned Senior Advocate, it would have to be accepted that the petitioner is a "Deemed to be University” and recognized as such under the UGC Act and it is not established under the Act unlike a University, which is generally established under a statute either under a Central Government Act or State Government Act and therefore it could not be confused with any other University which may be so established. It is neither controlled or financed by the State Government and it is certainly a private institution with its own management and control and therefore, the same cannot be brought under the purview of the definition of a "public authority" as contained under the RTI Act. Hence, it would not be tenable for the respondents to proceed as if the petitioner came under the definition of "public authority" in having issued directions in the impugned order."
A deemed university is a college or institution with a name of the university. Under the term private university, many institutes and colleges can fall, however under deemed universities, there is a single college or institution only. The present case relates to Vellore Institute of Technology which is a private university. The appellant could not substantiate that Vellore Institute of Technology is controlled or financed by the State/Central Government. In view of the above, the Commission is not in a position to provide any relief to the appellant.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: K Hemanth Kumar v. Vellore Institute of Technology in Decision no.: CIC/MOHRD/A/2018/167353/03252, Date of Decision: 25/04/2020