Bills of lunch hosted by Smt Sonia Gandhi in Ashoka - hotel is a commercial enterprise and protects the commercial confidence of its customers - payment for the lunch was not made by any Government Department - exempt u/s 8(1)(d)
1. The Appellant had referred to some lunch hosted by Smt Sonia Gandhi on 18 July 2012 and had wanted the details about the bills and other payment details for this lunch. The CPIO had refused to provide any such information by claiming exemption under section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the Right to Information (RTI) Act since, in his opinion, this was in the nature of commercial confidence. Against this order, the Appellant had preferred an appeal. The Appellate Authority had endorsed the stand taken by the CPIO and disposed of the appeal.
2. During the hearing, the respondent categorically stated that the lunch was neither hosted by any Government Ministry or Department nor any payment for the lunch was made by any such Government Ministry or Department. This hotel is a commercial enterprise. It has to maintain and protect the commercial confidence of its customers if it is to successfully work in the market. It cannot be expected to disclose the bills of various clients and guests. Therefore, the hotel cannot be expected to share any such information. In any case, in view of the fact that the respondent has very categorically mentioned that the above lunch was not paid for by any Government Ministry or Department, there is no further information to be disclosed. The appeal is disposed off accordingly.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation : - Sh. Aseem Takyar v. The Ashoka Diplomatic Enclave in File No.CIC/SM/A/2013/000389