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HC stays order to include Power discoms under RTI

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) The Delhi High Court has stayed directive of the Central Information Commission (CIS) to include Delhi Power Discoms - BSES Rajdhani Power, BSES Yamuna Power, North Delhi Power - under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act exposing their functioning to the public scrutiny.

In an interim order, Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said the private discoms didn't prima facie fall under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2005 as a 'public authority'.

The State Government had directed the discoms to appoint public information officers and Appellate Authority in their respective organisations as required under the Act.

The Court also stayed the operation of the impugned order of March 3, 2006 and the consequential order passed by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission on April 3, 2006.

Filing their respective petitions, the discoms said they didn't fall under the purview as they were not substantially financed by the Centre or the Delhi Government.

Besides, none of the three privatised discoms were notified in the schedules to the Delhi RTI Act, as was done in the case of power department of the state government, DERC, Genco and Transco, said the petitions filed through Counsel Amit Kapur and Mansoor Ali Shoket.

The issue before the court was what would be the measure to determine 'control' and being 'substantially financed' in terms of Section 2(h)(d)(i) of the RTI Act which came into effect on October 12, 2005.

They said 'Control' would mean majority on the board of directors to influence the policies and working of the company and 'Substantially financed' would mean working capital apart from equity flowing in to sustain the activities undertaken by the company, the BSES counsel contended, adding that the working capital and revenue did not flow from Delhi Power Supply Co Ltd or State Government.

All these discoms are joint ventures with majority shares with private operators, said the petition.

UNI PAT SC PM1837

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