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IIBF is beyond RTI ambit: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court today said an organisation cannot be forced to disclose information under the RTI Act just because it is substantially financed by PSUs.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today said
an organisation cannot be forced to disclose information under
the RTI Act just because it is substantially financed by PSUs
and held that the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance
(IIBF) is not a public authority.

IIBF is a professional body of banks, managed by a board
comprising members from PSU banks, with its membership of over
700 banks and financial institutions as its institutional
members.

The court said an organisation should be funded by the
appropriate government in order to make it liable to public
scrutiny under the transparency law.

The court passed the order while setting aside the order
of Central Information Commission of declaring Indian
Institute of Banking and Finance(IIBF) a public authority.

"It is possible that the member banks, for instance, the
State Bank of India, is itself a public authority. However,
substantial financing by the SBI would itself not make it a
public authority. It would have to be shown that the
appropriate government itself directly or indirectly finances
or has financed it," justice S Muralidhar said.

The CIC, in its order, had justified declaring IIBF as a
public body saying the executive bodies of the Institute are
substantially manned by senior executives of public sector
banks and the bulk of its finances also come directly or
indirectly from those banks.

"The Institute, a non-governmental organisation, being
substantially financed by public sector banks directly and
indirectly, is nothing but a public authority," the CIC had
said.

Setting aside the order, Justice Muralidhar said "this
Court is not able to concur with the impugned order of the CIC
dated February 9, 2010 which is hereby set aside".

-PTI

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