In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court today said that under the Right to Information Act, every citizen is entitled to know the donations given by the President of India. “Every citizen is entitled to know as to how the money, which is collected by the State from him by exaction has been utilised. Merely because the person making the donations happens to be the President of India, is no ground to withhold the said information,” Justice Vipin Sanghi said.
The court upheld the CIC’s order directing the President’s secretariat to make public the names of recipients of the donation, besides their address and the sum of donation given by the First Citizen. While dismissing the Centre’s plea against the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) May 4 order to provide the informations to Nitish Kumar Tripathi, the court said, “The Hon’ble President of India is not immune from the application of the Act (RTI).
What is important is, that it is a public fund which is being donated by the President, and not his /her private fund placed at his /her disposal for being donated amongst the needy and deserving persons.” Earlier, allowing Tripathi’s plea, the CIC had asked the Rashtrapati Bhawan to give details of the donations made by the President to Tipathi within 15 days and upload the information on the official website of the President’s secretariat.
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