Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Bhopal: ‘Public Service Centres under RTI purview’.

Free Press Journal : Bhopal: Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
In significant judgment, the state information commission has ruled that the Public Service Centres being run in the state under the Public Services Guarantee Act fall under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Disposing of a petition, Information Commissioner (IC) Atmadeep, on Monday, rejected the plea of the respondents that they were not ‘government bodies’ as defined in the RTI but were private entities being run on Pubic Private Partnership (PPP) Mode and thus RTI did not apply to them.
In his order, the IC said the centres were being run by the elected government in public interest and were funded by the state exchequer. The government was using these centres to provide public services to the people and had not only determined how the centres would work but also the fees to be charged by them for various works.
Appellant Satendra Kumar of Gohad, Bhind had sought some information from a Public Service Centre through the Public Information Officer/ Tehsildar. The PIO directed the centre to provide the information but it was not done. Kumar then filed the first appeal before the SDO, who again asked the centre to do the needful. However, his orders were also not complied with. The petitioner then moved the SIC, which has ordered that the information be provided to applicant free of cost within 15 days.