ICWA answerable under RTI Act, says CIC
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 17:23
New Delhi: The Indian Council for World Affairs, a foreign policy think-tank which is headed by Vice President as its ex-officio President with members including External Affairs Minister, is answerable under the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission has held.

The panel has received the complaint against the Council that even after six years of implementation of the RTI Act, the elite think-tank located in Sapru House was not complying with the section four of the RTI Act which mandates suo moto disclosure about its activities.

According to the RTI Act each public authority within 100 days of enactment of the RTI Act in October 2005 was mandated to appoint a Central Public Information Officer for receiving and processing the applications received under the law and comply with section four within 120 days.

When Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi issued notices to ICWA, its Assistant Director Anita Chopra said ICWA was a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and was constituted as a body corporate and declared an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in 2001. Chopra also stated that ICWA is substantially and directly funded by the Government of India.

"Thus from the statement of Ms. Anita Chopra it is apparent that ICWA is a public authority as defined under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act," Gandhi said.

He said all public authorities were expected to appoint Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities as also comply with their obligations under Section-4 of the RTI Act before October 12, 2005.

"It appears that ICWA may not have complied with these requirements," Gandhi pointed out directing the Council to fulfil requirements of the law before December 30.


First Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 17:23

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