State Information Commission, Punjab has declared Thapar University Patiala as “Public Authorities” and directed them to provide the required information to the appellant within 30 days after receiving the orders.Disposing off a appeal, filed by Dr. (CA) Bindu Bhardwaj # 305, GHS-5, Sector 24,Panchkula , Mr SS Channy Chief Information Commissioner of Punjab and Mr. Yashvir Mahajan, State Information Commissioner ordered that " 2(h)(d)(ii) of theRTI Act thus we accordingly declare these institutions as “Public Authorities” with the direction to the University to part with the information asked for within 30 days to the appellant after receiving copy of orrders ."Disclosing this here, an official Spokesperson of the commission said that a case had been filed with the contention that Public Information Officer in the office of Thapar University Patiala were not providing information under RTI Act on the pretext that they are not a public Authority.After reviewing the documents, the commission said Thapar University has been established with the efforts of the State Government and was substantially financed by funds provided directly in the shape of recurring and non recurring grant to an extent of 95% and 75% of Non Plan and Plan expenditures respectively and indirectly by providing 250 acres of free land which was acquired at the public expense. Thus according to her, Thapar University is a Public Authority as defined in Section 2(h)(d)(ii) of the Act.
Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology has been established by Pepsu Government in 1955 consequent upon entering into an agreement with the Mohini Thapar Charitable Trust with a view to promoting technical education in the State. Under the agreement the joint Charitable Trust was created and Rs. 30 Lakh each by Mohini Charitable Trust and the Pepsu Government was subscribed to the Institute. On 19.09.1955, Pepsu Government issued a Notification under Section 4 of the Land of Acquisition Act to the effect that land measuring 250 acres was likely to required for public purposes. the land was provided by the Pepsu Government, free of cost, for the establishment of the respondent Institute. and state govt and UGC regularly given grants to the said institution.While disposing of the case, Mr SS Channy Chief Information Commissioner of Punjab in the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case titled Thalappalam Service Cooperative Bank Ltd. and others versus State of Kerala and others in Civil Appeal 9017 of 2013 arising out of SLP© No. 24290 of 12, is a Public Authority within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d)(ii) of the Act and is obliged to comply with the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. Thus we direct it to dispose of applications in hand within 30 days from the receipt of this order by providing the appellant admissible information.