CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday passed an interim stay on an order passed by the State Information Commission directing an agricultural cooperative credit society in Sirkazhi to disclose the details of people who availed jewel loans and the beneficiaries of the jewel loan waiver scheme.
Justice Abdul Quddhose passed the interim injunction on hearing a petition filed by the president of the Madhanam Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Society (PACCS) in Madhanam village of Sirkazhi taluk, Mayiladuthurai.
The petitioner prayed for a direction to quash the orders passed by the commission and deputy registrar of co-operative societies, Mayiladuthurai circle, asking the PACCS Madhanam to disclose the details of people who availed loans, jewel loans with their pattas, chittas as well as the beneficiaries list of jewel loan waiver scheme to one Jeeva, who sought the details under Section 6 (1) of Right To Information RTI Act.
“The PACCS is an autonomous body and run by the elected board of members. It is not a public authority within the meaning of Section 2 (h) of the Right To Information Act, 2005. Our society is not owned, controlled, or substantially financed directly or indirectly by the State government. Our society is not a statutory body and is not performing any public function and will not come with the expression of the State within the State meaning under Article 12 of the Constitution of India,” the petitioner submitted.
He further pointed out that the cooperative societies would not fall under the RTI as per Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act.
“The person who sought the details from our society had done that with an intention to harass the society’s office-bearers. The details which he requested were voluminous and cannot be disclosed,” the petitioner said, adding that the orders issued by the district registrar and the SIC were illegal, arbitrary and unsustainable, and liable to be set aside.
Recording these submissions, the judge passed the interim injunction directing the respondents, the State Information Commission, and the co-operative department to file their responses.