Why should you not be considered public authority: CIC asks MP, MLA
Is a legislator a public authority liable to furnish information sought from them under the RTI Act? The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show-cause notices to a BJP MP and a Nagaland MLA, in separate cases, seeking their explanation why they should not be declared “public authority” to answer people’s queries under the Act. The CIC has also issued a notice to the BJP president to explain the party’s position, being a public authority.
One of the cases relates to BJP MP from Machhlishahr in UP, Ram Charitra Nishad, who did not furnish his caste certificate as sought by an RTI applicant. “The CIC finds that the information sought is held by Nishad, who thinks it reasonable to give him an opportunity to present his views as to why the CIC should not consider him as public authority and direct him to furnish information,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said.
Acharyulu said it is required under principles of natural justice to provide an opportunity to the party, which was declared as ‘Public Authority’ by a full bench decision of Commission dated June 3, 2013, to explain why it should not be directed to give information as sought by the appellant.
In the other case related to Nagaland MLA Neiphrezo Keditsu, an RTI applicant had sought from Bangalore-based Rajiv Gandhi University of Health and Sciences, date and year of enrolment for the MBBS course of the legislator, who claims to have obtained a degree from the institute.