Thursday, 7 January 2010

CWG committee comes under RTI act

The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the organising committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Indian Olympic Association comes within the ambit of the RTI Act.

Justice S. Ravindra Bhat passed the order on a petition filed by organising committee challenging the government’s decision to bring it under the transparency law.

The organising committee for Commonwealth Games and the Centre had been at loggerheads in the Court as the panel has challenged the government’s decision of declaring it a public authority, liable to disclose information under Right to Information Act.

The committee, which is charged with the responsibility to conduct Commonwealth Games, has contended that it is an independent and autonomous body, not liable to reveal information under the RTI Act.

The organising committee had pleaded that it did not fulfil the criteria of being declared a State under Article 12 of the Constitution and hence, it could not be declared a Public Authority under the RTI Act.

The Centre, however, opposed its contention, saying almost the whole budgetary support of about Rs 52 crore to the project was provided by the government and the committee can't take the plea that it is an independent body.

The committee had countered the government’s stand, saying the financial support given to it was a loan which is to be returned.

“No financial grant is given by the government to meet the whole or entire expenditure of the petitioner society. The monies advanced to it are on loan, returnable basis carrying interest. The financial arrangement which it has with the Centre is purely commercial,” the committee had contended.

“It has not been established or constituted as an institution of self-government or under the Constitution. It has not been created under the law made either by Parliament or State legislature,” it had further said.


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