PM CARES Fund Not A ‘Public Authority’ Under RTI Act

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News: Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) has refused to provide information about the PM CARES Fund stating that the fund is not a ‘public authority’ under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Facts:

Public authority under RTI: As per Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, “public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self government established or constituted—

  • by or under the Constitution;
  • by any other law made by Parliament/State Legislature.
  • by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any—
    • body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
    • non-Government organisation substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government.

Additional Facts:

Right to Information Act, 2005:

  • RTI Act provides for timely disclosure of information by citizens from both central and State Public Authorities. It seeks to empower citizens and promote accountability and transparency.
  • Under the Act, Public Authorities are required to make disclosures on various aspects of their structure and functioning. This includes:
    • disclosure on their organisation
    • functions and structure
    • powers and duties of its officers and employees and
    • Financial information.