Friday, January 15, 2010

[rti_india] SC stays HC order on RTI for pvt cos


SC stays HC order on RTI for pvt cos

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN


New Delhi: In the midst of a raging debate as to whether there should be boundary limiting the Right to Information Act, the Supreme Court on Friday came across an interesting question — should the RTI Act be extended to private

power distribution companies which have taken over work from PSUs? The SC stayed a Orissa HC orer, which had upheld a Naveen Pat- government order of the year 2006 ing Reliance Power-owned power ribution companies — Southern tricity Supply Company of Orissa (Southco), Wesco and Nesco — une purview of the RTI Act.

A Bench comprising Justices V S Sirpurkar and M K Sharma stayed the HC order of December 9 last year after hearing advocate Suresh Tripathy, who appeared for the Reliance-owned companies. Tripathy argued that the Act was applicable only to "public authority" the meaning of which was erroneously expanded by the government and agreed to by the HC to include the companies under the RTI Act.

He said the Reliance companies had challenged the December 2005 decision of the Patnaik government to include the power distribution companies under the purview of the RTI Act. But, the HC dismissed the petitions without appreciating the fact that the private companies could not have been put on the same plank as a "public authority".



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