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Thread: Applicability of RTI Act to Private & Unaided Schools

  1. Applicability of RTI Act to Private & Unaided Schools


    he Information Commissioner Prof M M Ansari has given an interesting decision on this subject recently.

    The case in brief: Shri D K Chopra of Delhi had asked for some information from the Directorate of Education, GNCT of Delhi. Except the minutes of the Managing Committee of Purna Prajna Public School, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, other info were furnished. Shri Chopra went on appeal and the CIC directed the PIO to obtain the said minutes u/s 2(f) of the Act and provide a copy to the appellant within 15 days. Subsequently, the appellant informed the Commission that the PIO has not complied with the above decision. The PIO, in turn, stated that he had no legal authority to obtain the information from the school.

    While deciding on the matter in favour of the appellant, the Commission has made the following important observations.

    1.That the Government of Delhi has no control on the functioning of un-aided schools and that it cannot access the minutes of MCs under any law, is un-acceptable to the Commission.

    2.The information asked for is an outcome of deliberations of the major stakeholders – school authorities, teachers, representatives of PTA and the Government of Delhi. The minutes of MCs are thus already in public domain, as these are circulated among the members. How can it be treated as confidential or secret?

    3.As the activities of the functionaries of the education sector have intense and pervasive influence on every human activity, the decisions taken by the Managing Committees have considerable implications for promoting quality education and the well-being of the entire society. Such documents, therefore, cannot be claimed as secret information by any school which performs a governmental function.

    4.All the aided or unaided schools are performing governmental functions to promote high quality of relevant education. An official of the GNCT of Delhi is nominated by the Directorate of Education as a member of the Management Committee of all the schools. The nominated member of the Directorate of Education is therefore the custodian of the minutes of the MCs under section 5(4) of the RTI Act. And, there is no reason why such minutes, reflecting the aspects of governance of the school, should not be put in public domain. The Government has the control on the functioning of the schools and, therefore, it has access to the information asked for. And, so has a citizen.

    5.Not only the land allotted to private educational institutes are provided at subsidized rates, but also the fees paid by the students/parents enjoy income-tax concession. There is thus some element of indirect Government funding in the activities of even private and un-aided schools.

    6.The PIO’s contention that the minutes of the MCs are not included in Annexure-II of Delhi Education Act and, therefore, he cannot acquire them is not acceptable, as Section 22 of the RTI Act, 2005 has an overriding effect on all such provisions that come in the way of promotion of transparency in functioning of the schools, the activities of which are governmental in nature.

    Holding that , the Principal of the school and the PIO have connived to withhold the minutes of the MCs for reasons that contravene with the larger purpose of creating an information regime for good governance, The Commission has also directed the Director of Education, GNCT Delhi to initiate appropriate action against the school, including cancellation/withdrawl of it’s recognition, as the school has chosen to function in a manner which is not duly transparent and is, thus, inconsistent with the ethos and purpose of the RTI Act.

    The full text of the decision can be viewed at : Adjunct to Decision No. 714/IC(A)/2007 dated 12/09/2007 on Appeal from Shri D.K. Chopra Vs Directorate of Education, GNCT of Delhi



  2. Re: Applicability of RTI Act to Private & Unaided Schools


    THANKS FOR PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION.

    Can this ruling be taken as a base for schools in Maharashtra and information be sought from Ministry of Education, Maharashtra.?

  3. #3
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Applicability of RTI Act to Private & Unaided Schools


    CIC orders/decisions cannot be used to force some state public authority to also disclose information.
    You can apply for the information and then use this citation for persuasive value at the time of first or second appeal.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  4. Re: Applicability of RTI Act to Private & Unaided Schools



    Please follow:


    Private entity:
    https://www.rtiindia.org/forum/blogs/...under-rti.html

    On 29-12-2011 under decision No CIC/LS/A/2011/902758 CIC has ordered TRAI to suck information from Reliance Mobile and supply to applicant of RTI.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.



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