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Court stays move to bring UTI under RTI

BS Reporter in Mumbai | September 12, 2008 15:52 IST

The Bombay high court has stayed the Central Information Commission's order on the applicability of the Right to Information Act 2005 on UTI Asset Management Company. UTI Mutual Fund and UTI Trustee company had filed a writ petition challenging the CIC order.

Public interest activist Vijay Gokhale had moved CIC after UTI AMC refused to share information, including balance sheet, the mode of appointment of directors and reasons for retaining the UTI logo. Gokhale had referred to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India's choice of UTI AMC as one of the fund managers for the new pension scheme.

CIC had ruled at the time that "Even though there is no specific provision in the RTI Act that a body owned, controlled or substantially funded by another public authority is also a public authority, yet from the purpose and object of the RTI Act, it is crystal clear that there should be transparency in the functioning of any institution, in which public money is deployed. The four sponsors are public authorities and when they, in turn, own another entity, such an entity has to be treated as a public authority. In the present case, none of the grounds taken by UTI AMC to advance the contentions that it is not a public authority is sustainable."

UTI AMC has four state-run companies - State Bank of India [Get Quote], Punjab National Bank [Get Quote], Bank of Baroda [Get Quote] and Life Insurance Corporation of India - as sponsors.

The matter came up for hearing in the High Court on September 10. It is now subjudice and will now come up for further proceedings.


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