Goel said two nominees from the Delhi Administration (Directorate of Education) hold important positions of control in the management committee and the Directorate of Education is also custodian of all information related to the school.Information Commissioner Annpurna Dixit pointed out that the letter of grant of land says that "DDA reserves the right to alter any terms and conditions on its discretion thereby establishing its control over the way school uses this land given free to the school by the DDA in a prime area of the capital which at today's rate, is valued at several crores of rupees".She directed the school to make arrangement for the processing of the RTI applications and pro-active disclosure as mandated under the section four of the transparency law."India is facing the difficult task of ensuring social justice and equity to all people and the model chosen by the government spreading welfare and its benefits through private schools, which are tasked and assisted for this purpose is commendable. The crucial role that information plays in achieving this objective cannot be understated," she said.Dixit added that it is in this context that section 2(h) recognises that non-state actors may have responsibilities of disclosing information which would be "useful and necessary for the people they serve".
NEW DELHI: Delhi high court on Friday decided to examine if the private unaided schools in the capital fall under the RTI Act and can be termed a "public authority" .
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw admitted a petition filed by one of the Delhi Public Schools challenging a Central Information Commission ruling that such schools are "public authority" as defined by the RTI Act and stayed the CIC order.
HC also made 'Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh' - an association of parents - a party to the case and asked all stakeholders , including the education directorate, to respond to the petition filed by DPS Rohini through its Principal Rita Sen.
Appearing for the school, advocate Punit Mittal argued the school is neither directly nor indirectly funded by the government. He also opposed CIC's conclusion that land was allotted to the school in 1997 at a concessional rate and said the CIC ruling is bad in law. After taking into account the arguments , HC has now posted the case for December.
Earlier this year, the CIC had declared DPS comes under the ambit of RTI Act as it received substantial funding from the government in the form of subsidized land. The transparency panel said Delhi Public School, Rohini, is a public authority within the ambit of the RTI Act as it is controlled by different agencies under the Delhi administration like DDA and Directorate of Education.
The case relates to an RTI applicant Mohit Goel who sought information from DPS, Rohini, on admission procedures and admissions made under the policy framework specified by the Department of Education for 2010-11 for preschool.
The school refused to give any information saying the RTI Act is not applicable on it as it is a private unaided organization and also cited clause of exemption of personal and private information. Before the Commission, Goel challenged the reasons put forth by the school saying over 10,000sqm of land has been allotted to the school by DDA at a nominal rent of Rs 10 per annum.