Award of contract for setting up Solar Power Projects by NTPC questioned under RTI
The appellant stated that NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd., a subsidiary of NTPC, had invited tenders for setting up of Solar Power Projects at various locations in the country in 2010. The tender process has been completed and the contracts awarded to certain parties. In this respect, the appellant sought information on 06 paras in the format devised by him. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) noted that NTPC is a PSU wholly funded by the Central Government but the contract in question involves high technology. The bids have been tendered by the third parties. They may contain both financial as well as technological information which may be related to commercial confidence and trade secret or intellectual property of the bidders whose bids were evaluated. The commission observed that disclosure of such information which would be part of the evaluation process and would require that the third party procedure under section 11 of the Act be followed. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that the appellant has not appeared before the Commission to canvass his case and establish larger public interest in the disclosure of the requested information and meet the challenge of commercial confidence, trade secret and intellectual property.
An applicant should be present before the CIC to canvass his case specially when public interest is claimed as a ground for disclosure of information.
Citation: Mr. Shubho Chakravarty v. NTPC in File No.CIC/LS/A/2011/003979
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/579
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission