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Thread: Co-ops now under RTI

  1. #1
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    Co-ops now under RTI


    Co-ops now under RTI


    Co-operative societies and Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) across Gujarat will now be considered as public authorities under the Right to Information Act (RTI), according to a recent state circular. The state circular came as a blessing for borrowers, depositors and members who have been demanding accountability from co-operative banks, APMCs, societies or even milk and housing co-operatives for a long time. This concern grew after a string of scams were unearthed in some of these co-operatives across Gujarat a few years ago.

    The circular was issued on March 30 following an order passed by the Gujarat information commission (GIC) in the case of Dilipsinh Jhala versus APMC Unjha, which said that co-operatives and APMCs are public authorities.

    However, nearly 50 co-operative banks have argued that they should not be ruled as public authorities. An APMC of Unjha has challenged the decision of the GIC ruling it as a public authority in the High Court.

    Times of India, Ahmedabad
    09.04.2007

    Comments:
    Can someone clarify that if a State Information Commission passes a certain order, can a appelant show that order to the SIC of another state ? In other words are RTI Acts and Rules different for each state ?



  2. Re: Co-ops now under RTI


    This is a good initiative of the Gujarat Government and it would be good if the Central Govt takes iniatiative in making other States follow suit as Cooperatives are under State List! Hari Gautam Obhrai

  3. #3
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    HC stays CIC order on co-op societies


    Ahmedabad, May 25: JUSTICE H N Devani of Gujarat High Court has given a stay on the order passed by the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC), which had directed that all co-operative societies, including co-operative banks, are covered under Right to Information (RTI) Act.
    The order of the CIC was challenged in three separate petitions filed by the Gujarat Co-operative Banks Federation, Gujarat State Co-operative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd, and Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank Ltd.
    Advocate Tushar Mehta represented the petitioners.
    Earlier, the Registrar of Co-operative Societies (RoC) had issued a circular in March 2007, directing that all co-operative societies in the State are included in the definition of “public authorities” under the RTI Act. The circular had also directed the co-operative societies to appoint “public Information officer” and “appellate authority.”
    Meanwhile, the CIC had, while acting on several complaints pertaining to refusal of information by the co-operative banks, held that the banks are covered under the RTI Act and therefore are bound to provide information sought under the Act.
    In the petitions, the banks have challenged the CIC’s order raising several legal grounds. Advocate Mehta contended that since co-operative societies are created not by any act of Parliament or the state legislature, they could never fall within the definition of public authority as defined under Section 2 (h) of RTI Act.
    Advocate Mehta also contended that right of autonomous functioning and right to govern the internal administration without outside interference is the very basic concept of a co-operative society.
    Having heard the contentions made by the petitioners’ advocate, the High Court has granted stay on the order passed by CIC on May 15, 2007.
    The High Court has also stayed the circular issued by the RoC.
    While issuing the notice to CIC, State of Gujarat and RoC, the court has fixed the matter for further hearing on June 18.

  4. Re: Co-ops now under RTI



    That is an important move. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Re: Co-ops now under RTI


    As President Board of Revenue,MP some years back I had occasion to deal as a Tribunal under Co-Op Acts to decide many cases of co-ops from various sectors!
    It will be interesting to see the verdict of High Court whether Cooperatives are public authorities under RTI Act though set up under State Legislations!
    I hope CICS view is upheld in the interest of members!
    Thanks for useful post which will have far reaching implications!
    Hari Gautam Obhrai

  6. Re: Co-ops now under RTI


    It is always possible to cite decisions in appeals of another State though each State will have its own Act and Rules but will not differ on basic principles laid down in Central Legislation! Hari Gautam Obhrai
    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    Co-ops now under RTI


    Co-operative societies and Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) across Gujarat will now be considered as public authorities under the Right to Information Act (RTI), according to a recent state circular. The state circular came as a blessing for borrowers, depositors and members who have been demanding accountability from co-operative banks, APMCs, societies or even milk and housing co-operatives for a long time. This concern grew after a string of scams were unearthed in some of these co-operatives across Gujarat a few years ago.

    The circular was issued on March 30 following an order passed by the Gujarat information commission (GIC) in the case of Dilipsinh Jhala versus APMC Unjha, which said that co-operatives and APMCs are public authorities.

    However, nearly 50 co-operative banks have argued that they should not be ruled as public authorities. An APMC of Unjha has challenged the decision of the GIC ruling it as a public authority in the High Court.

    Times of India, Ahmedabad
    09.04.2007

    Comments:
    Can someone clarify that if a State Information Commission passes a certain order, can a appelant show that order to the SIC of another state ? In other words are RTI Acts and Rules different for each state ?

  7. #7

    Re: Co-ops now under RTI


    There is a lot of mis management by the working committee of the coop housing society



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