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HC stays CIC direction to HI to disclose sponsorship details

 Agencies |  2016-10-04 23:04:44.0  |  New Delhi

Delhi High Court on Monday stayed a Central Information Commission's (CIC) order directing Hockey India (HI) to disclose details of sponsorship amount received by it in the last two years and the commission it had paid to get them.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also issued notice to expelled BJP MP Kirti Azad seeking his response on the plea of HI which has moved the court challenging CIC's direction.

"Issue notice to respondent no. 2 (Azad). Till the next date of hearing, the order will remain stayed," the court said and fixed the matter for further consideration on February 8 next year. The CIC directive had come on the plea of the BJP MP who had sought the response of HI, the apex body which conducts activities for both men's and women's hockey in the country, on seven points, including sponsorship details.

The MP had also sought to know the details of expenditure incurred on consultancy and legal expenses in the last two years with name of each consultants and lawyers engaged by HI and the Hockey India League.  Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for HI, asked how was the BJP leader entitled to have such information. 

Earlier, the Hockey India had argued before the CIC that these details were already in the public domain through their website and hence they need not provide them under the Right to Information Act. Azad had argued before the CIC that he had not received the information on the points relating to sponsorship amount, commission paid to get sponsorship and expenditure incurred on consultancy and legal expenses.

The charge was countered by HI counsel who had said that the website was complete and they could provide printouts.However, the Commission had said in its order that it was of "the considered view that the appellant has been deprived by the respondents deliberately from having the benefits of the RTI Act, 2005, even after lapse of more than 11 months period. 

As such, the Commission feels that appellant's second appeal deserves to be allowed partly ... Therefore, it is allowed accordingly." It had said Hockey India will provide printouts of their website with regards to three issues -sponsorship amount, commission paid to get it, and legal and consultancy fee paid by it - and if the information is not available on the website, they will furnish it to Kirti Azad. 

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