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shrivar1212

RTI- Any expert on co-operative matter?

Question

shrivar1212

Hello,

I require help on co-operative issue. I had filed the RTI with the PIO, Dy registrar of co-op societies seeking information on affairs of society.

The PIO has replied stating that the information I am seeking is available with co-operative society. My query is:

1] Can PIO direct an applicant to private body for information?

2] The society in question comes under the jurisdiction of the PIO, since PIO is public authority and co-operative society a private body, is it not duty of PIO to seek information from society and give it to me? How can PIO direct me back to society? This is RTI application, either I have to appeal or I have to forego. I cannot complaint against reply. So I want to approach FAA, under what grounds can I?

3] What kind of violation PIO has committed by directing me back to private society? 

4] Does co-operative society come under the purview of RTI ACt?

Your views are appreciated. I am fighting lone battle with corrupt system. 

 

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Prasad GLN

Sorry, you may not find expert in this forum on matters beyond ambit of RTI but the following guidance is general in nature.

The bench mark to look as to whether an entity is within ambit of RTI is there must be substantial contribution by Government.

Substantial  means without Govt's help that organization can not function.  For example if a society wants Rs.50 lakhs for it's functioning, and Govt is providing minimum Rs.30 lakhs, and if govt stops that grants society can not function.  In those cases one can seek information under RTI  from that society.  (The legal terminology is "without such assistance from Govt., the society/organization cease to exist)

Co operative societies and private concerns are beyond ambit of RTI Act.

However, if any co-operative society that is under control of Registrar has submitted such statements before public authority, as a supervisory/control process those documents that are available with Sub Registrar are certainly public record.

If you are a member of society, in your own capacity as member, even without any RTI you have right to seek such information from that society in which you are a member, by writing simple letter as notice to Secretary.

If I am in a position, i will enclose the letter written by PIO and write a formal letter to secretary to provide the information as directed by supervisor/controlling authority.

It is always proper to post the exact query of information sought, so that members can guide you in a befitting manner.

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Sunil Ahya

For the purpose of RTI Act, the Co-operative Societies can be broadly classified into two types:

(1) Bodies owned, controlled or substantially financed by a Govt. etc. (i.e. Societies which fall under the definition of public authority as given under section 2 (h) of the RTI Act); and

(2) Bodies which do not fall under the definition of section 2 (h) of the RTI Act i.e. Private Bodies.

The first type of Co-operative Societies are public authorities and therefore directly covered under the RTI Act; by virtue of section 2(h) of the RTI Act; and

The second type of Co-operative Societies are covered indirectly under the RTI Act, by virtue of the definition of section 2(f) of the RTI Act.

In other words, both the type of Co-operative Societies are covered under the RTI Act, one directly under section 2(h) and the other indirectly under section 2(f).

Please find para 52 from the decision of Hon'ble Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 9017 of 2013 quoted below:

Quote

52. Registrar of Cooperative Societies functioning under the Cooperative Societies Act is a public authority within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the Act. As a public authority, Registrar of Co-operative Societies has been conferred with lot of statutory powers under the respective Act under which he is functioning. He is also duty bound to comply with the obligations under the RTI Act and furnish information to a citizen under the RTI Act. Information which he is expected to provide is the information enumerated in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act subject to the limitations provided under Section 8 of the Act. Registrar can also, to the extent law permits, gather information from a Society, on which he has supervisory or administrative control under the Cooperative Societies Act. Consequently, apart from the information as is available to him, under Section 2(f), he can also gather those information from the Society, to the extent permitted by law. Registrar is also not obliged to disclose those information if those information fall under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act.

 

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