Legal Opinion: RTI Act, 2005 is applicable to AOAs? - NOFAA

Legal Opinion: RTI Act, 2005 is applicable to AOAs?

Issue: Whether RTI Act,2005 is applicable to Apartment owners Associations (AOAs), Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) and other similar Associations registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860 or not? A couple of Office-bearers of AOAs have sought Legal on the above issue. We begin by reproducing the relevant provisions of RTI Act, 2005 on the question posed. ”Public authority” has been defined under Section 2(h) as under “(h)” public authority” means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted (a) by or under the Constitution (b) by any other law made by Parliament (c)by any other law made by State Legislature (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government and includes any. As AOAs/RWAs are not financed directly or indirectly by any Authority or Government, the ONLY QUESTION which needs to be answered in relation to AOAs/RWAs is whether they are controlled by the Central Government or by a State Government or not. The definition of the word ‘control’ fully applies in the case of AOAs etc. which are controlled by the State Government of Uttar Pradesh through its instrumentality viz. Registrar, Societies, Firms & Chits, Lucknow and it’s zonal offices. There is not even an iota of doubt that AOAs/RWAs fall within the domain of RTI Act, 2005. A doubt has been raised in some quarters as to whether required in Societies Registration (Uttar Pradesh Amendment) Act, 1984 needs to be made for RTI Act to become applicable to AOAs/RWAs as has been done by the State Government of Haryana after whether add an enabling provision is delete the words ‘needs to be made’. The Haryana Govt. enacted “Haryana Regulation and Registration of Societies Act, 2012”. In which an enabling provision was made by inserting Section 83 to make the implementation of RTI Act, 2005 possible without any problems or challenges from RWAs etc. Section-83 of 2012. Act reads as under “(1) All documents filed be a Society with the District Registrar under the Act shall be deemed to be public documents and can be accessed by any Citizen under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005. To that extent every Society registered under the Act shall be deemed to be a public office for the purposes of the said Act and shall be liable to supply the requisite information against the fee prescribed by the Society, if any, for all purpose. In the case of Haryana, the Govt. incorporated Section 83 to be doubly sure that RWAs do not take recourse to Courts of law, obtain Stay orders and thus that wart attempt of the Government to get the RTI law implemented by RWAs etc. The Hon’ble High Court in the case cited in the Note has s a id ” It is an admitted position that the 2005 Act is applicable to the Societies which have been registered under the 2012 Act” To strengthen their argument, they have added.” especially in the light of the provisions of Secon.83 of the 2012 Act” It is clear from the Judgement that even without Section 83, the RTI Act, 2005 was applicable to the Societies registered under Haryana Regulation and Registration Act, 2012. In view of the detailed discussion on the subject, there is not even an iota of doubt that RTI Act, 2005 is applicable to AOAs, RWAs and all other types of Societies registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860.