There is more good news for RTI votaries. The Chief Central Information Commission (CCIC) has recently said the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund was open to the RTI Act.

Chief Central Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said, “The relief fund is not a trust or has acquired a legal entity. While it is a discretionary fund with the PM, the information held by PMO as the public authority and they are, therefore, obliged to make it accessible to citizens under RTI Act.”

A complaint was filed by RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi when he was given improper information on his application seeking details of the PM’s fund. Under the Act, Shailesh sought details of the total amount, cash exceeding Rs 50,000 disbursed by the fund and the recipients’ list in the last two years. Though the PM’s office sent him a reply, stating the details of the fund mutilation are available on the website, he found the information was not satisfactory.

“There were no specific details about how the money had been spent,” said Shailesh, who then filed a complaint with the CCIC.

The order is significant for another reason. It brings into purview the funds disbursed under the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The state refused to provide information on similar grounds. An appeal challenging the state’s refusal has been pending with the State Information Commission.

DNA - Mumbai - ‘PM Relief Fund open to RTI Act’ - Daily News & Analysis