New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has held that the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS) is a public authority and comes under the purview of RTI Act.
Upholding the Chief Information Commission`s (CIC) March, 2010, order, Justice Vipin Sanghi said the company, a joint venture between Delhi government and Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd (IDFC), comes under the ambit of RTI Act as it has been "substantially financed" by the government.
"I am of the view that the petitioner is a public authority...For the reasons, I hold the petitioner company to be substantially financed, for the purpose of the Act.
"I find no infirmity with the decision of the CIC holding the petitioner company to be a `public authority` under the Act. I find no reason to interfere with the impugned order," Justice Sanghi said while dismissing two separate appeals filed by DIMTS against the CIC order.
"It is to be borne in mind that when a government substantially finances a body, it uses public money and as such the financing has to be in the larger interest of the public. It is for this reason that a citizen has a right to obtain information about such bodies which have received substantial financing from the government," the court said.
Earlier, the Information Commission had ordered that DIMTS is a public authority and it should appoint a public information officer and first appellate authority to provide information on people`s queries.
DIMTS works in the field of urban transport and infrastructure development, including the controversial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor in the city.
In the March 2010 order, the transparency panel had said that DIMTS was a public authority as defined under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act and had directed the company to appoint a public information officer and First Appellate Authority before March 31, 2012.
RTI applicants -- -Rakesh Aggarwal and Sachin Sapra -- had filed queries regarding affairs of DIMTS under the RTI Act from the public information officer at the chief minister`s office but received no reply. They then approached the CIC, questioning the basis on which DIMTS did not come under the purview of the RTI Act.