Copy of NOC obtained from Delhi Fire Dept., Land use change by DDA /MCD/NDMC with regard to LPG distributorships was denied stating no such records are available - CIC: PIO to submit a sworn affidavit under intimation to the appellant
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 26.2.2014 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on seven points regarding NOCs obtained in respect of LPG dealerships and some related issues. The CPIO responded on 26.3.2014. Not satisfiedwith the response of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal with the FAA on 8.4.2014. He filed second appeal dated 30.6.2014 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission the same day.
2.The Appellant submitted that LPG distributorships have to be set up in keeping with the Delhi Master Plan and in case there is any deviation, permission for change of landuse has to be obtained from DDA. Since these distributorships stock highly inflammable materials, including LPG, the Respondents are required to take various clearances, as was also mentioned in the Delhi High Court decision dated 10.3.2014 in Gokal Chand Mittal Vs. Union of India [W.P. (C) 6645/2013]. However, in response to his RTI application, the Respondents have informed him that records concerning such clearances are not available. In response to our query, the Appellant clarified that he needs information on all the points of his RTI application for the period September, 2013 till 26.2.2014.
3. The Respondents stated that their relationship with their dealers is that of principal to principal and not of principal to agent. Therefore, the necessary clearances have to be CIC/SH/A/2014/001157 obtained by each dealer directly from the concerned authorities. In so far as the Respondents are concerned, they insist on getting from every dealer a copy of the explosives license obtained by the dealer concerned from the Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation. The Respondents also stated that even in the Delhi High Court judgment mentioned above, it was noted that any applicant for LPG dealership/godown would have to take a No Objection Certificate from DDA in accordance with the prevalent Master Plan of Delhi 2021 as well as license from the Chief Controller of Explosives under Gas Cylinders Rules.
4. The queries of the RTI application were considered in the light of the above submissions. In respect of point No. 1, the Appellant stated that he wants to know as to how many LPG distributorships were commissioned on private land during the period mentioned above (September 2013 till 26.2.2014), for which information is needed in respect of all points of the RTI application. The Respondents agreed to provide this information and the CPIO is directed to do so. With regard to the queries at point Nos. 2 and 3, seeking copies of NOC of Delhi Fire Department and Land Use Change by DDA /MCD/NDMC, the Respondents reiterated the CPIO’s reply that they have no such information available in their office. The Appellant stated that this reply is misleading as in some of the communications obtained by him from the Respondents, it is evident that they obtain such clearances. The Respondents reiterated that they have no records of the documents mentioned at point Nos. 2 and 3. The CPIO is directed to file a sworn affidavit to this effect to the Commission, under intimation to the Appellant. Regarding point No.4, seeking information on NOC required from the Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation, the Respondents agreed to provide it and the CPIO is directed to do so. Regarding point No.5, the Respondents stated that they do not have a copy of the Gazette Notification, but have provided the Appellant a copy of the letter dated 15.3.2013, which contains the details of the notification. We see no ground to interfere with the action taken by the Respondents in response to this point. Regarding point No.6, the Respondents submitted that this information should be available with the Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation. Accordingly, the CPIO is directed to transfer this query to the CPIO of the above Organisation, within five days of receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission and the Appellant. The CPIO of Petroleum Explosives Safety Organisation is directed to respond to this query within fifteen days of its receipt from the CPIO of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act, under intimation to the Commission. We see no ground to interfere with the CPIO’s response to point No. 7.
5. The CPIO should comply with our directives in the preceding paragraph within twenty days of the receipt of this order (except in cases where a different time limit is laid down in a particular case), under intimation to the Commission. The information should be provided free of cost.
6. With the above directions and observations, the appeal is disposed of.
7. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri G. C. Mittal v. Indian Oil Corporation Limited in Case No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001157