Appellant asked the MEA why he was not allowed to execute the decree in his favour against the State of Romania - He was informed about specific notings by the Foreign Secretary & given reasons of diplomatic immunities - CIC: information has been provided
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 29.11.2013 seeking information regarding the refusal of permission to execute a decree against the State of Romania and copies of the record/minutes of a certain meeting and related information.
2. The CPIO responded on 06.01.2014. The appellant filed first appeal on 19.02.2014 with the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA responded on 24.03.2014 and provided further information to the appellant. The appellant filed a second appeal on 02.05.2014 before the Commission.
3. The appellant participated in the hearing through video conferencing and respondent participated in the hearing personally.
4. The appellant stated that the High Court of Calcutta awarded a decree in favour of the appellant but the MEA did not allow him to execute the decree. The appellant stated that when he asked the MEA why he was not allowed to execute the decree he was informed about specific notings by the Foreign Secretary and given reasons of diplomatic immunities and by citing public interest.
5. The appellant stated that he could not execute the decree because MEA was not allowing execution of the decree. The appellant further stated that the approach of MEA was wrong as this was a commercial dealing which was not covered by diplomatic immunity.
6. The appellant stated that he is seeking information on following two points
(1) specific file notings made by the then Foreign Secretary.
(2) why was the case not treated under the appropriate law taking into account the High Court decree.
7. The respondent stated that the MEA wrote to the appellant saying that the permission to execute the decree against the State of Romania cannot be acceded to in the public interest and in view of the immunity of State under international law. The respondent stated that the appellant challenged the validity of MEA’s refusal in the High Court following which the MEA to issue necessary permission for execution of the decree against the assets of the State of Romania.
8. The respondent stated that the MEA had filed appeal before Division Bench in the High Court. The High Court dismissed the appeal. The respondent stated that Union of India & another (MEA) filed Civil Appeal No. 63876390 of 2002 in the Supreme Court against dismissal of its appeal. The apex court allowed the appeal, setting aside the judgments of the Division Bench of High Court and Single Judge of the High Court and remanded the matter to the Central Government to reconsider the prayer of Shri Jain under sec 86 (3) of CPC for giving consent to execute the decree in accordance with law . The Court also left it to the Central Government to decide all questions, including whether the entity of Romania was a separate legal entity distinct from the State of Romania and, its properties enjoyed immunity under international law.
9. The respondent further stated the appellant has raised a new query regarding the file notings of Foreign Secretary Shri Dixit and that query was not raised in his RTI application.
10. The respondent stated that the appellant has been in touch with the MEA and has also met with JS (Central Europe), JS (Law) on 20.06.2013, and that the MEA has provided all the information to the appellant.
11. The respondent stated that pointwise information has been provided to the appellant except the queries in the form of seeking opinion and hypothetical questions.
12. The action taken by the respondent is upheld. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Bilash Chand Jain v. M/o E.A in Decision No.CIC/VS/A/2014/001473/08623