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AG office not a public authority under RTI Act: ASG

The office of Attorney General of India is not a public authority under the RTI Act, Additional Solicitor General argued before the CIC.

New Delhi: The office of the Attorney General of India is not a public authority under the RTI Act but an advisor to the government and hence is not supposed to respond to information seeking pleas, Additional Solicitor General Siddarth Luthra on Thursday argued before the CIC.

He said the Attorney General was not an "authority" but an advisor to the government whose work is stand alone and `sui generis` (unique) in nature.

Quoting Article 76 of the Constitution, Luthra said even though Attorney General is appointed by the President, his role is to give advice to the government upon legal matters.

Central Information Commission today convened a full bench comprising Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra and Information Commissioners Annapurna Dixit and M L Sharma to decide whether Attorney General is a public authority or not.

The case came before the CIC after the plea of activist Subhash Agrawal and two other applicants was not responded to by the Attorney General`s office.

Agrawal on the other hand argued that "public authority" means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution. He said since Attorney General is appointed under Article 76 of the Constitution, it becomes a public authority.

He said since a notification is also issued by the government on the appointment of the Attorney General which brings it under the ambit of the RTI Act.

After hearing the arguments for nearly an hour, the bench reserved its decision.


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