Sunday, June 8, 2014

RTI applies to private schools: CIC

RTI applies to private schools: CIC

NEW DELHI, June 7, 2014


Every recognised school, including private ones, is bound to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Central Information Commission has said.

The CIC order gains significance as it gives private education sector employees, especially teachers, a fighting chance to seek transparency on any calls made by the school managements.

The decision is based on an appeal filed by Sadhana Dixit, a former teacher of Jindal Public School, who was refused copies of her service book on the ground that it was exempt from the RTI law.

In a recent order, Information Commissioner Professor M. Sridhar Acharyulu said the school, whether a public authority or private body, has a duty to comply with the regulations of the Delhi Education Act and maintain records, which in turn gives the employee an inherent right to access information on those records.

Hence, the school is directed to discharge its obligation under law by furnishing the information sought by the appellant [Ms. Dixit].


Also read the FULL Decision of CIC

(Room No.315, B­Wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi 110 066)

File No.CIC/AD/A/2013/000658­SA

Appellant: Ms. Sadhana Dixit

Respondent: Diretorate of Education, GNCTD, Delhi

Date of Hearing: 19­-05-­2014

Date of Decision: 29­-05-­2014

Information Commissioner: Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu

Referred Sections: Sections 3 and 19(3) of the RTI Act

Result: Appeal allowed / disposed of

The appellant  is present. The Public Authority  is represented by Ms. Tara Walwekar, DEO, Zone­ 21, Office of DDE, Distt. SW B Zone­21, GNCTD, New Delhi. 


2. The  appellant submitted that through his  RTI application dt. 17­9­12, she is seeking copies of her appointment letter issued by Jindal Public School, staff statement of all the employees,  acquaintance roles (PBR), certified copy of her service book, etc.  PIO replied on 19­10­2012  which was upheld by  FAA  by his order dt. 18­12­2012.  Not satisfied with the information, she filed 2nd appeal before this Commission. 

3. Heard the submissions. The appellant sought copy of her service book which is maintained by the school and the school claims that it would not fall under RTI Act. The respondent authority has provided the information which is available with them. On a query asked by the Commission, the appellant stated that the school management was not transparent and not ready to show the leave record of the teachers working there. They even refused to give a copy of the appointment letter. That is why she   has chosen to file an application under the RTI Act. As an employee/former employee of the school, the appellant  has every right to information about her service book, leave record, appointment details and any other information pertaining to her service. The Jindal Public School, whether it is a public authority or private body, has a duty under sections 4 and 8 of Delhi Education Act 1973, to abide by the regulatory conditions of service, payment of salaries as prescribed, etc for which the school has to maintain the records, which provide an inherent and implied right to information to their employees. Under Right to Education Act 2009 also the recognized school is under an obligation to appoint eligible teachers and provide them prescribed wages. This also reveals that it has given inherent right to information to the teachers from their employers. If the appellant in her capacity  as ex­-employee of the school has right to information under any legislation such as Delhi Education Act, that will fall under the purview of section 2(f) of the RTI Act which gives the PIO, Appellate authority and the Information Commissioner, power to enforce her right to information. Hence, the school is directed to discharge their obligation under law by furnishing the information sought by the appellant to the respondent authority, who in turn is directed to provide the same to the appellant within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order. 

4. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.

Prof. Madabhushi Sridhar Acharyulu, Information Commissioner

Address of the parties:

1. The CPIO under RTI, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, O/o Dy.Director of Education, Dist. South West(B), Najafgarh, New Delhi.

2. The PIO under RTI/Manager, Jindal Public School, Dashrathpuri, 3Dwaraka­Palam Road, New Delhi ­ 110 045.

3. Ms. Sadhana Dixit, RZ­F­14, Mahavir Enclave, Street No.4, Palam Dahri Road, New Delhi ­ 110 045.

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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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