Commercial plot allotted to DLF by DDA for construction of convention centre – disclosure of details of allotment, terms and conditions, file notings, action taken for delay in construction is in public interest
1. The appellant filed an application dated 16.09.2011 under the RTI Act, seeking information regarding whether any commercial plot was allotted to DLF, details of allotment, terms and conditions, file notings, action taken, etc. Respondent responded to the application of the appellant. Appellant filed first appeal before the first appellate authority (FAA). FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO. Aggrieved by the decision of the CPIO, appellant filed this present second appeal.
2. Appellant and respondent were present before the Commission.
3. Appellant referred to his RTI application and stated that he was seeking information regarding whether any commercial plot was allotted to DLF, details of allotment, terms and conditions, file notings, action taken, etc.
4. Appellant stated that his focus was on the following points:
(i) whether any plot was allotted to DLF; if yes, then the details of the terms and conditions;
(ii) any condition mandating the builder to complete the particular project within a stipulated time;
(iii) whether the builder had violated any of the conditions as per the allotment; if yes, the details of action taken by the respondent; and
(iv)instances similar to the above where land was allotted to DLF.
5. Appellant stated that the response of the CPIO was delayed considerably and seriously violated the provisions of the RTI Act.
6. Appellant stated that the land was allotted for the construction of a convention centre. Appellant stated that as the builder did not complete the project within the stipulated time, the establishment of the convention centre had been delayed, which was a considerable setback to the growth of much needed conference facilities in the capital.
7. Appellant stated that it is in the public interest that he sought the information in this regard, taking into account that any delay in the construction of the convention centre was against the public interest.
8. Appellant stated that respondent cannot take the cover of third party information. It was also stated that the respondent did not invoke section 11 of the Act.
9. Respondent stated that the delay in replying to the application of the appellant was regretted as there was shortage of staff during that time.
10. Respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant was third party information and that the appellant was not connected with the matter. Respondent stated that there was a dispute between the DLF and the DDA and a case was pending before the Delhi High Court, and that the outcome should be awaited before any information is given.
11. Nothing specific emerged in the hearing to disallow the providing of information on the RTI application and the issues mentioned in para 4 above. The public interest considerations are obvious, taking into account the need for conference facilities in the capital. The construction of a convention centre and the reasons for any delay is of interest to the public. This is the thrust of the RTI application, in which context, the information sought on the points, as summarized in para 4 above, should be provided.
12. Respondent is directed to:
(a) provide to the appellant the information sought in the RTI application;
(b) show cause why action should not be taken against the respondent for contravening the timelines prescribed in the RTI Act; and
(c) comply with the above within 30 days of this order.
The appeal is disposed of. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Delhi Development Authority in Decision No.CIC/VS/A/2012/000807/03729