Is the Office of the Attorney General of India covered under the RTI Act?
A full bench comprising Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra and Information Commissioners Annapurna Dixit and M L Sharma heard the matter whether the office of the Attorney General of India is covered under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
The Additional Solicitor General Siddarth Luthra claimed before the Central Information Commission (CIC) that the Office of the Attorney General (AG) of India is not a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. He argued that the office of the Attorney General of India is an advisor to the government and cannot be termed as an “authority”. He further stated that the work of Attorney General is stand alone and 'sui generis' (unique) in nature. Shri Luthra referred to Article 76 of the Constitution, and submitted that though Attorney General is appointed by the President, his role is to give advice to the government upon legal matters.
As per section 2 (h) of the RTI Act, "public authority" means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted by or under the Constitution. It was argued by the RTI appellants that the Attorney General is appointed under Article 76 of the Constitution, and hence he is covered under the definition of the public authority.
The bench reserved its decision on the matter after hearing both sides of the arguments. If the AG Office is declared as the public authority, it would have to respond to applications seeking information under the RTI Act.