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Informations related to private bodies may be taken from any Govt. Controlling agency.


kochharsk

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The bench mark is to decide whether the organization in question is a 'Public Authority'

 

‘Public authority’ means any authority or body or institution of self

government established or constituted –

  1. by or under the Constitution
  2. by any other law made by Parliament
  3. by any other law made by State Legislatures;
  4. by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government;and includes any –

    1. body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
    2. non governmental organization substantially financed;
    3. directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government.
    4. Here the definition is very strict to define the Public Authority, except for the wider interpretation of the word 'Substantially Financed'.

      You can read about the definition of it here:

      http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/appeals-decisions/188-substantially-financed-while-defining-any-organization-public-body.html

       

      companies are broadly classified as Public Sector (Government owned) and Private Sector Companies. Private Sector companies may further be classified as Private Limited and Public Limited Companies.

       

      Public Limited Company means a company which is not a private limited company. It does not carry the word `private’ in its name and also do not have the restrictions as carried out in the private limited companies. Public limited companies are generally large companies with widespread shareholding with shares being quoted in the stock exchange.

       

      By this definition it is clear that the Public Sector company do not come under 'Public Authority', and thus the question cannot be asked under Right to Information Act.

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ganpat1956

There is an additional clarification involved here. Public Sector companies like nationalised banks, insurance companies, GAIL, SAIL, Hindustan Zinc Ltd etc have their own PIO/CPIOs since they fall within the purview of "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by the government.

 

Only those public limited companies that are in the private corporate sector cannot be compelled to provide information under RTI. Even in respect of such companies, basic information about them is available with the Registrar of Companies since they are required to file periodical returns and this information with ROC is open to public.

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As public Limited Company are not Public Sector company, but as kushal said comes under Private sector company therefore out of purview of RTI Act.

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ganpat1956

Please donot get yourself confused over the terms Public Ltd Co & Public Sector Co.

 

If in any company, not less than 51% of the paid up shares are held by the Central/State government, or partly by the Central and one or more of the state governments, then such a company is deemd as a government company.

 

In our country we have quite a lot of such limited companies which are not under the private sector, but functioning under the public sector.

 

During this Jan.2007 alone, the CIC has decided appeals against more than a score of such companies, whose replies to RTI applications were found unsatisfactory by the applicants.

 

Just to name a few : BSNL, MTNL, BHEL, GAIL, Container Corporation of India Ltd., Mazagon Dock Ltd, RITES Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Central Bank of India, State Bank of India, PNB, IOB, Oriental Bank of Commerce, NTPC Ltd, Heavy Engineering Corpn Ltd etc., were just some of the limited companies who were also respondents in various appeals before CIC.

 

All these are public limited companies by the structure of their constitution and because of the government's share-holding in these companies, they are also considered as public sector companies and they very well come under the ambit of RTI.

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The information about the companies registered in India can be found out from Ministry of Company Affairs website. (Both private as well as public).

One can obtain the information about any public limited company by purchasing a share and then asking for information. But there is no mechanism as strong as RTI.

Let us hope that in near future RTI can be extended to all companies with restriction that share holders can request information.

Ministry of Company Affairs

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can we say companies fall in the defination of public authority as stated below because a company is formed under companies act a law made by parliament

 

2. by any other law made by Parliament

 

 

same time def of information restricts information from a private body

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having seen this thread a question comes to mind which is a slight digression but very relevant to many.

if one has complained to the ROC about mismanagement in a private limited company with proof,can the ROC just refuse to answer on the basis that their letter of query to the concerned company has not been replied to.

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ganpat1956

Companies, banks under purview of the govt have to honour RTI requests, clarifies information commission:

 

(Article posted by K P Narayana Kumar in livemint.com)

 

India’s private sector companies have to go public with information.

 

M.M. Ansari, information commissioner at the Central Information Commission that oversees the implementation of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, told Mint that as long as these companies reported to a regulator or a government department, they were within the purview of the sunshine law.

 

According to the commission, companies will not have to appoint an information officer to deal with right-to-information demands the way government entities do. Applicants will route their requests through the relevant agency.

 

Thus, information on telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile telephony firm, can be accessed through the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; that on banks through the Reserve Bank of India; and on brokerages and foreign investors active in stock markets from the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

 

Though rules for doing business have been simplified since 1991, most companies that operate in the country have extensive dealings with various arms of the government. Companies, privately, closely or publicly held, have to file their financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.

 

“Applicants have every right to seek information on a private company even though it is in the private sector, if it reports to a government body,” Ansari says, citing sections of the Act that made this possible.

 

Only applications that served public interest would be dealt with, not those that sought to erode a company’s competitive position, he adds. The message: you can ask a cola company for details on how much water it used and where the water came from, but not the formula of its fizzy drink. If there is any difference of opinion on what constitutes public interest and what doesn’t, the commission will intercede and decide.

 

It is already hearing one such case where an individual used the information act to ask the RBI for details of a loan issued by the Bank of Punjab, since acquired by Centurion Bank. The central bank refused to give out the information saying that it was not available, and that Bank of Punjab, a private-sector bank, did not fall under the purview of the act. The commission heard the case in December and will issue its order soon.

 

“The act is under-utilized when it comes to gathering information on the private sector, but it does have a provision for seeking information on the corporate sector,” said Arvind Kejriwal, one of the champions of the sunshine legislation, and a winner of the Magsaysay award. He said that Parivartan, a non governmental organization that he runs would wait till the commission passed an order in favour of an applicant and against a private-sector company and start a campaign to make people aware that private companies aren’t all that private anymore.

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That is a good information and in fact it was already there in the Act. See this thread:

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/ask-rti-query/4-can-we-ask-info-about-private-institution-pio.html

 

However, it seems it does not solve the original issue of the thread, as the original thread deals with the information which is registered with company act and most of the information would be exempt under 'company competitive position' though!

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nile0611

I has taken a matter under RTI regarding my credit card with State bank of india credit card. I received answer that SBICPL is private limited company incorporated under the provision of the companies act 1956 and is registered as non-banking financial company under the Reserve bank of india 1934.

I would like to know whether i can fetch the information form RBI directly for my credit card.

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What about "control" of SEBI ?

What about "Control" of RBI over FERA ?

 

It is defined in RTI that "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by the government are covered under this ACT.

I got good order from state Information commissioner on this "Control" against multistate scheduled co-operative Bank of Maharashtra.

Also nongrant Educational Trusts / Societies under "control" of AICTE / DTE.

Good work Mr. Suresh Joshi , State Information Commissioner & Thx for the order.

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maneesh

Nile,

I guess regarding the information and bad service about your credit card, One can also approach consumer forum.

 

I personally feel that will be herculean task for RBI to obtain information from all the companies and provide to the public.

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ganpat1956

Nile,

In one of my earlier replies to you during Feb. I had posted to you the RBI's link for credit cards. Now it appears that the said link has not helped you much. Probably your query relates to obtention of information only and not complaint against the card issuing company. In that case you can think of trying the following method.

 

Make an application to the PIO of SBI in the following format:

 

1.Is the SBI Card, a subsidiary company of SBI?

2. If the answer to the above is yes, then, the PIO of SBI is requested to furnish the following information on SBI Cards, under any one of the following options, that suits him depending on the regulatory and supervisory role of SBI over SBI cards.

(i) The SBI PIO may immediately transfer my application to SBI cards, if the SBI card is better connected with the information and also falls within the definition of Public Authority under the RTI Act.

(ii) The SBI PIO may seek the "assistance of the appropriate officer in SBI cards" to obtain the information and reply me .

(iii).The SBI may use its controlling and regulatory power to lawfully access the information sought by me and pass on the same to me.

 

After the above preamble, list the questions for which you seek information on SBI cards.

 

My suggestions above are listed on the basis of a landmark judgement by CIC dated 30.11.2006 in the matter of appeal by Shri Sarbajit Roy against Delhi Electric Regulatory Commission. I am also providing link for that 34-page exhaustive decision here: http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_30112006_12.pdf

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In discussion with some public authority I came to know that Indian Citizen may not ask informations of private bodies. Friends every private bodies bound to supply so many informations to many Govt agencies. Any person may ask information related to private bodies from Govt bodies. The Ministry of Company Affairs collecting so many informations from companies hence we may ask informations from MOC.

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I think, one can get the information on non-govt entity through the govt. agency which regulates such private entity and all that information which the regulating agency holds or can seek through any law other than RTI. For example, one can file RTI application with RBI for information of a private bank or with TRAI for private mobile company or a public trust through Charity Commissioner of the Area. SEBI/NSE can be approached through RTI for information on listed public limited company. Majority of non-govt entities are regulated by one or the other office/dept of central/state govt.

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