The Supreme Court has stayed a Full Bench judgment of the Kerala High Court holding that cooperative societies in the State would come within the ambit of ‘public authority’ under the Right to Information Act.
A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra stayed the judgment for three months after hearing senior counsel V. Giri and counsel Vipin Nair, appearing for Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank challenging the judgment dated April 10. The Bench issued notice to the respondents seeking their reply.
The appellant society contended that the Full Bench of the High Court had erroneously interpreted the provisions of the RTI Act to hold that a co-operative society being a democratically run organisation should get covered under the definition of “public authority”.
Definition The appellant said “a co-operative society is a conglomeration of people within the territorial limit who join together for economic advancements of themselves by conducting different economic activities. The profit and loss is shared equally by the members of the general body of the society. Needless to say, the activities of the society are confined to its members. Co-operative societies are autonomous bodies and are not creations of a statute. It is clear that the RTI Act is applicable to the functioning of ‘public authorities’ only. It is not meant to cover any and every organisation which has no connection with the public at large.”
It said “it cannot be stated that each and every co-operative society receives funding from the government, let alone being substantially funded. Therefore, each and every co-operative society cannot be said to be satisfying the definition of a ‘public authority’.” The appellant further said “conflicting view on the said issue exists amongst the different High Courts. An authoritative and final order is required from this Court so that the matter is put to rest and the various petitioners are saved from the continuing uncertainty on this issue.” The appellant sought quashing of the impugned judgment and an interim stay.
I do agree that the cooperatives are formed by a group and its information should not become a general public document. However, when corrupt people control the cooperative, they deny necessary information even to their members, which they are legally bound to give. So, it would be proper if the cooperatives are partially covered under RTI, i.e. they should be legally required to provide information to their members under RTI.
Firstly Co-operative Housing Society formed then land property purchased by them and therefore conveyance registered before the Public Authority. Also the District Collector accord his NOC to construct building on the land which includes NA permission and collectors inspection whether original land owner is entitle to sell the land to the said Society, tree cutting/fell etc. Thereafter the roll of B.M.C. starts to sanction building permit. Tree Authority grants tree cutting permission. If after forming of the Co-operative Housing Society all these Government authorities involved for completion of the Societies building itself, the R.T.I. Act, 2005 is attracted to remove bad action by the members of the society against the State or Central Government. The Public may be allowed to interfere with the bad by filing R.T.I. before Registrar of the Co-operative Housing Society. At list the public residing in the same land must have such right to information otherwise the said society will grab the property of the public in its land.
Sadanand B.. Mestry
"cooperative societies are registered under registrar of coop societies so all the information be made available with the registrar under the RTI act" This is true in words but not in practical.I myself face situation where PIO or FAA says openly "we can't do anything if no info provide by cooperative ".
yes this is true for even indians, society do not maintain records, they do not submit, and registrar never take inspection of the society, and registrar ajudicate matters pertaining to society, and for those matter for which society has never issued shares, registrar's ambit is for all those matter for which share are issued and not beyond that and absolutely for those for which shares have not been issued, section 39 or so of the society says that "for private societies , at the most only 10% and for the government society 20% of the cost of tenenments , society can issue shares, that is between 0% to 10 or 20% tenement value of share can be issued, and by corollary society has to issue other than shares or cost deposit receipts for the remaining protion which is at least 90% for private and 80% for government society which means the rest of the tenement cost is not forming part of the society which is at least 90% for private and 80% for government society and at the most 100%. yet society registrar ajidicates for those balance 90% or 80% matters which is not formimg part of the society !!!!! or society wants to get it adjudicated by the registrar under majority rules,,,, or registrar equates "political ownership" with actual "finacial ownership"... all inidan are political owner of India , and not real owner, so none of indian can sell "India" like queen fo england is only worshiping idol or tituliar person for england.. also the act is silent about the rest of matter for which shares have not been issued, that is 90 or 80 to 100% matter.
ask under RTi for inspection report of the society carried out by the registrar, and if they have not carried out then let them reply in writing so , als let the registrar reply in writing that society has not submitted the rrequired information with them...... and this will be proof tor your case in cooperative court.
like you i also struggle!!!!
also file RTI for assessment order and proceedings and paper filed , with income tax authorities in relation of the society, there the accounts and matter will be independently audited and decided , by the way every society has to file income tax return each year irrespective of the income even if they do not have any income, and the rate applicable is the higest rate, with no basic deduction at all. so that is best bet for aggrieved society member.
New Delhi: Supreme Court Monday ruled that the Co-operative banks in Kerala will not come under the Right to Information act.
The court said the banks will not qualify for the definition of 'public authority' in the RTI act. Supreme Court has cancelled the order issued by commissioner, Right to Informaiton, on this regard. Hence the state government's circular, which includes Co-operative banks under RTI rule, had cancelled.
However, Supreme Court said information can be collected in a case if it involves a huge amount of public money.