New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has held
that non-governmental organisations which get government funds
come within the purview of RTI Act making it mandatory for
them to disclose information pertaining to their functioning.
"The term public authority has been given a broad and
wide meaning not only to include bodies which are owned,
controlled or substantially financed directly or indirectly by
the government but even non-government organisations, which
are substantially financed directly or indirectly by the
government," Justice Sanjeev Khanna said while declaring the
stock exchanges as public authorities.
The court said it is not necessary that the government
should have pervasive and deep control over an organisation to
bring it under the purview of the transparency act.
"Even private organisations, which are enjoying benefit
of substantial funding directly or indirectly from the
governments, fall within the definition of public authorities
under the Act," the court said.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by the
National Stock Exchange (NSE) challenging a Central
Information Commission order which had directed it to disclose
information under the Act.
The court dismissed the plea of NSE which submitted that
they cannot be forced to reveal information to public under
the transparency law as they are autonomous bodies
incorporated under Company Act and are not controlled by the