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rahul vinod   22 December 2020

RTI and Private Trust/Organizations

hello sir/madam..

can RTI be used to obtain informations about the working of a private trust? in our locality, we have a trust run on community basis. They don't keep records or minutes of their activities but are involved in fund collection. Can RTI be used to know about their activities?


 6 Replies

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     22 December 2020

The benchmark is that there should be a contribution from Govt..  Without such contribution, the Trusts cease to function.  In other words, if there is no Govt assistance they can not function.  I am afraid that under this category trusts are not within the ambit of RTI Act.  But, if there is a control by such Commissioner/ Registrar through which they are bound to submit their financial transactions to Govt under law, such information available with those authorities comes under the ambit of RTI Act.  That information should be available in the form of a material form with controlling authority.  You can first file a complaint to Commissioner for Trusts (Find out the authority and designation that is having such controlling authority) with such prima facie evidence and ask them to take action.  After two or three months seek information under RTI from the public authority on the Action Taken report.

1 Like

P. Venu (Advocate)     22 December 2020

Only public authorities are covered under RTI. In the instant case, you can seek information, as available, from the authority with which the Trust  is registered.

1 Like

175B083 Mahesh P S   22 December 2020


To fall under the ambit of RTI the institution or organisation must be either completely funded by the government or partly funded by the government. 

Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Indian Parliament which sets out the rules and procedures concerning citizens' right to information. 

It superseded the former Freedom of Information Act 2002. As per the provisions of RTI Act, any citizen of India has the right to request for information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. 

In case of matter has bearing on a petitioner's life and liberty, the information has to be provided within 48 hours. As per the Act, every public authority must computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain categories of information so that the citizens can easily gain access to information they are seeking.

The Act very prominently states that every Indian citizen has the right to request for information from a “public authority. But what is actually pondered over is the scope of the term “public authority”. The question of who and what falls under the purview of “public authority” is often pondered over.

In the case of D.A.V College Trust & Management Society V. Director of Public Instructions, the Supreme Court held that even if an NGO is substantially financed by the government , it falls under the purview of “public authority” under section 2(h) of Right to Information Act, 2005.

Irrespective of whether the Government is direct or indirectly funding the NGO, it falls under the ambit of RTI as long as the Government is involved in the funding procedure in one way or the other.

Hence the important determinant here is whether the trust is funded by the government in any way, if not then it doesn’t fall under the ambit of the RTI.


Thank you


1 Like

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     22 December 2020

Quote: Hence the important determinant here is whether the trust is funded by the government in any way, if not then it doesn’t fall under the ambit of the RTI.

The point is not contribution, the key faction is "Substantial Contribution".  The substantial contribution as interpreted by the Supreme court is "Without such assistance, the organization cease to exist"

To find out the facts financial statements are a must and it can only be determined by commissions that hear second appeal, if fortunate after 3 years, and in some state commissions, the pending second appeals are more than 10 years.

1 Like

Dr J C Vashista (Advocate)     23 December 2020

Very well explained and advised by Mr. Mahesh PS, I endorse and appreciate. 

Adv chirag Vajani (Advocate)     04 January 2021

You can approach charity commissioner with application seeking required information. for e.g. in state of maharashtra for more details you can visit 

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