Policy of organisations judgement not envisaged in RTI'

Delhi High Court.

The Delhi High Court has said that giving judgment on the policy framework of an organisation and directing a change of policies are not envisaged under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The observation by the high court came while setting aside a Central Information Commission (CIC) direction to the Centre to revise the present policy for selection of meritorious students under the 'Bal Shree scheme'.

Justice Jayant Nath quashed the commission's November 11, 2018 order to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), saying the directions were "clearly beyond the statutory framework and powers of the CIC".

The order came on the ministry's appeal, filed through advocates Rahul Sharma and C K Bhatt, contending that the CIC order was "bad in law" as the direction is given was "beyond the scope, purview and ambit of the RTI Act".

Agreeing with the ministry's argument, the high court quashed the commission's order and said, "Giving judgment on the policy framework of an organisation and directing a change of policy are not envisaged in the RTI Act."

The CIC order had come on an RTI applicant's plea to the National Bal Bhawan seeking the details regarding the age limit for Bal Bhawan membership and whether it was necessary for being eligible for a 'Bal Shree award'.

In its order, CIC had said that "for selection of meritorious students (under the Bal Shree scheme), there was a lack of clarity, transparency and decision making at the District, State and National Level which requires a complete revamp and reformulation of the policy."

The commission had directed the MHRD to re-examine the contours of the policy and to ensure that a revised scheme was placed on the Bal Bhawan website. 

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