Respondent: Certain difference arose between the two parties subsequently & the matter is pending before the arbitrator - CIC: the arbitrator is a functionary of the public authority & has not been appointed by a court; denial on this ground rejected
These files contain appeals regarding RTI applications dated 30.5.2013, 7.6.2013, 5.6.2013, 11.6.2013 and 13.6.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on various issues. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, the Appellant has approached the CIC in second appeal in all the five cases.
2. The Appellant was not present in spite of a written notice having been sent to him. We heard the submissions of the Respondents. The Respondents stated that a memorandum of agreement for toll blending and filling of MAK lubricants was entered into between them and M/s Nandan Petrochem Ltd. on 1.7.2010 for two years. Certain difference arose between the two parties subsequently. The Respondents further submitted that the matter is pending before the arbitrator and the next hearing is fixed for November 2014. They also stated that the Appellant is the General Manager of Nandan Petrochem Ltd. We note that the Respondents have denied the information in most of the cases on the ground that the matter is pending before the arbitrator. In response to our query, the Respondents submitted that the arbitrator is a General Manager of the public authority and has been appointed in keeping with the provisions of the agreement between the two parties. We thus note that the arbitrator is not an arbitrator appointed by a court, but is a functionary of the public authority, albeit appointed as per the agreement between the two parties, as submitted by the Respondents. In view of the foregoing, we do not agree with the decision of the Respondents to deny the information on the ground that the matter is before the arbitrator.
3. In the RTI application dated 30.5.2013 (File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002309/SH), the Appellant had enquired about the method and basis of arriving at quantity mentioned in the agreement for filling and packing. The Respondents submitted that the agreement between the two parties, which is also available with the Appellant, provides the operational details. The Appellant was not present to make a submission regarding why he needs this information, in spite of the fact that he would be in possession of a copy of the agreement. In view of the foregoing, intervention by the Commission is not considered necessary in this case.
4. In his RTI application dated 7.6.2013 (File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002374/SH), the Appellant had sought a copy of the minutes of a meeting dated 24.11.2011. The Respondents submitted during the hearing that no minutes of the above meeting are available on their records. The CPIO is directed to confirm this in writing to the Appellant, within ten days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
5. In the RTI application dated 5.6.2013 (File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002377/SH), the Appellant had sought the names of persons and the dates of visit to the Plants of Nandan Petrochem Ltd. by the officials of the Respondents and copies of the minutes and proof of the above visits. The Respondents stated that such minutes should be available with the Appellant, but they would be willing to provide this information. Accordingly, the CPIO is directed to provide information in response to points No. 1 and 2 of the RTI application dated 5.6.2013 to the Appellant, within thirty days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
6. The RTI application dated 11.6.2013 (File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002375/SH), sought information regarding incurrence of losses on account of fraud at the loading station. The CPIO responded on 1.7.2013 that there was no loss on account of fraud. However, in his order dated 13.8.2013, the FAA stated that the information could not be provided in view of the arbitration proceedings. Taking into account the records of this case and the submission made by the Respondents before us, we direct the CPIO to reconfirm to the Appellant the position as stated in his reply dated 1.7.2013. The CPIO is further directed to complete action on our above directive within fifteen days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission. .
7. In the RTI application dated 13.6.2013 (File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002376/SH), the Appellant had enquired about the names of statutory auditors etc. in point No. 1. In point No. 2, he had stated: “Please furnish necessary copies thereof.” The Respondents provided information on point No.1. Regarding point No. 2, they stated that the query was not clear and the Appellant should clarify. Having perused the records, we find that the above query was imprecise. The Appellant neither indicated the documents, of which copies were required by him; nor did he indicate the period for which the information was required. In view of the foregoing, intervention by the Commission is not considered necessary in this case.
8. With the above directions and observations, the five appeals are disposed of.
9. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Ravindra Suresh Mhatre v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., in File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002309/SH File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002374/SH, File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002377/SH, File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002375/SH, File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002376/SH