India Today: Chandigarh: Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
The Punjab State Information Commission, has declared two Gau Sewa Samitis in Ludhiana as public authorities, thereby qualifying them to come under the ambit of the RTI Act.
Two cases were filed in the commission by Dinesh Jethi of Sham Nagar in Ludhiana, contending that Gau Sewa Samiti, Partap Singh Wala, Hambran Road and Gobind Gaudham, Partap Singh Wala, were getting regular grants from Ludhiana civic body and as such they qualify to be designated as public authorities with resultant obligations under RTI Act, an official spokesperson said.
After reviewing the documents, the commission said every year more than Rs one crore is being given to the societies from public funds for its functioning, which is more in the nature of a public duty.
"As the societies in question are being substantially financed by a body of the government... we accordingly declare these as public authorities with the direction... to part with the information asked for within 30 days to the appellant and take simultaneous action as envisaged under Section 4 and 5 of the RTI Act," State Information Commissioner Yashvir Mahajan ordered.
The argument of the respondents that they were only discharging a contractual obligation with the government by charging a fee of Rs 30 per cattle was of no consequence when seen in larger perspective, the spokesperson said.
It is indisputable that the society is charging more than Rs one crore annually, 2010 onwards for attending to more than 1,000 heads of cattle from the Municipal Corporation, he said. PTI CHS NSD.