Punjab

SIC declares MGN educational trust Jalandhar and its Institute as Public Authorities

September 07, 2017 10:47 PM

CHANDIGARH, SEPTEMBER 7: State Information Commission, Punjab has declared MGN educational trust Jalandhar and its educational institutes as “Public Authorities” and directed them to provide the required information to the appellant within 30 days.

Disposing off a appeal, filed by Major Charanjit Singh Rai r/o Sector-33-D, Chandigarh, Mr. Yashvir Mahajan, State Information Commissioner ordered that "the trust and its educational institutions in question are being substantially financed by the government and given land on a nominal annual rent of Rs.600 by the Jalandhar Improvement Trust, squarely fits into the definition of Section 2(h)(d)(ii) of the RTI Act thus we accordingly declare these institutions as “Public Authorities” with the direction to the authority of trust and school to part with the information asked for within 30 days to the appellant."

Disclosing this here, an official Spokesperson of the commission said that a case had been filed with the contention that Public Information Officer in the office of Principal, MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar, Jalandhar were not providing information under RTI Act on the pretext that they are neither public Authority nor they have been declared as such by any competent forum. Resultantly, they are not obliged to act on the application of the complainant.

After reviewing the documents, the commission said that MGN College of Education, Jalandhar, GN College of Education for Women, Kapurthala, MGN Senior Secondary School for Girls, Jalandhar, MGN Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar and MGN Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar Cantonment are running and funded by MGN educational trust, Jalandhar, who receives 95% Grant-in-Aid from the Punjab Government for the said educational institutions and also the Trust was allotted six acres of prime land on a nominal annual rent of Rs.600 by the Jalandhar Improvement Trust, which is an extended arm of the Government. Similarly the land to one of its Public Schools has also been sold to the Trust on concessional rates by PUDA. It is also the case of the complainant the cantonment land has been leased to it for 33 years for MGN Senior Secondary School at Jalandhar.

While disposing of the case, Information Commissioner Mr. Mahajan said that "in the light of the Supreme Court of India in its judgment passed in Civil Appeal No. 9017 OF 2013 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 24290 of 2012), the trust in its constituent units as such squarely fits in the definition of a Public Authority under Section 2(h) (d) (ii) of the Act. The respondent Trust, therefore, is hereby declared as a Public Authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act and is directed to designate a Public Information Officer and First Appellate Authority besides taking all measures as enshrined under Section 4 of the RTI Act and arrange to furnish the information to the complainant as asked for within a month.

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