Bombay HC had granted stay on the applicability of the RTI Act to LIC HFL in 2009 - CIC: Considering the plight of the applicant, it is incumbent upon the respondent to discharge its duties & responsibilities towards the citizens in larger public interest
The appellant vide his RTI application sought information on 04 points regarding the procedure followed for sanction of loan, the list of documents required, its terms and conditions, details of his individual case for sanction of loan etc. Aggrieved on non-receipt of any information by the CPIO, the appellant approached the FAA. The order of the FAA, if any, is not on record of the Commission.
Facts emerging during the hearing: The following were present:
Appellant: Mr. Ajit Kumar (M: 8930070250) through VC;
Respondent: Absent; The respondent remained absent despite prior intimation.
The appellant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and explained the harassment caused to him by the respondent company. It was submitted that despite several letters and other communications sent to the company and its superior officials, no reply is forthcoming. It was also argued that the respondent company cannot shy away from its responsibility by citing the stay order of Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. The Commission was informed that being an Ex-Naval officer he had invested his entire savings in construction of his house by seeking loan from the respondent company. All original documents pertaining to the house deed etc. had been submitted to the company for sanction of loan. A sudden denial of non-availability of original document was causing immense physical and mental torture. Since a larger number of investors are involved in the matter, it is beyond doubt that they owe certain obligations towards the information seekers. The Commission observed that in similar cases heard today, the respondent had stated that Hon’ble High Court of Bombay vide order dated 25.11.2009 had granted stay on the applicability of the RTI Act, 2005 to their company i.e. LIC HFL in the Writ Petition No. 2327/2009 which is pending before Hon’ble High Court of Bombay. A reference was also made to its endorsement in CIC order dated 22.01.2016 File no. CIC/SH/A/2014/002089. Therefore it was contended that no further directions can be issued by the Commission pending adjudication proceedings in Hon’ble High Court of Bombay.
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by the appellant and in the light of the written submission of the respondent in similar cases drawing attention of the Commission to the pending adjudication with Hon’ble High Court of Bombay, no further intervention of the Commission is warranted in the matter. However, considering the plight of the information seeker who is being denied any information on his RTI application, it is incumbent upon the respondent company to discharge its duties and responsibilities towards the citizens of the country in larger public interest. The appeal stands disposed accordingly.
Citation : Mr. Ajit Kumar v. LICHFL in Appeal No.:-CIC/MP/A/2016/000578-BJ, Date of Decision : 10.02.2017