The Central Information Commission (CIC) has stated that the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) is a public authority and is obliged to provide information under the provisions of the RTI Act .
Information Commissioner Prof M M Ansari said, "IGL is a joint venture between GAIL, BPCL and the Government of NCT of Delhi and has been assigned to perform a public duty of providing supply, distribution and selling of natural gas to general consumers in Delhi. According to the provisions of the Act, the citizens have the right to seek accountability in the functioning of IGL."
Appellant Amit Kumar Sharma sent an application to the IGL seeking information on the working conditions and pay scale of the employees working at IGL stations operated by the sub-contractors. The information was refused on the ground that the RTI did not apply to it since it was neither a public-sector undertaking nor a government company.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has asked the CIC to clarify whether RTI Act would apply to IGL or not.
In submission before the Commission, IGL said that it is not a government company as defined under Companies Act. It is not substantially financed by the government and its accounts are not audited by the auditors appointed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. It is not dependent on GAIL, BPCL or the Government of NCT of Delhi for its day-to-day functioning.
Rejecting the above contentions of IGL, the panel held that it is a public authority as it is promoted by GAIL and BPCL, both of whom are Government of India undertakings and the total financial support from the PSUs and the Government of NCT of Delhi through equity participation is about Rs 70 crore.
The Government of NCT of Delhi has provided infrastructure support for IGL and the posts of the Chairman and the Managing Director of IGL has always been held either by the Chairman of BPCL or of GAIL, who are appointed by the government. This clearly establishes that IGL is controlled by the promoters, which are Government of India undertakings, said the panel.