The documents sought involve three parties viz. M/s IBPGFInabensa (JV), M/s Protech Galvaniser and Fabricators Pvt. Ltd. & Railway Electrification Department - CIC: the PIO directed to follow the procedure laid down in Section 11 of the RTI Act
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 8.4.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking copies of the original bank guarantees issued in favour of the Joint Venture called IBPGFInabensa, copy of the document in which the bank was authorised to cancel the above guarantees and copies of all documents with certain references. The CPIO responded on 15.5.2013 and denied all the information under Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority. In his order dated 24.7.2013, the FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO. The Appellant filed second appeal dated 25.10.2013 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 28.10.2013. In this appeal, he has stated, inter alia, that he is an employee / authorised representative of the company Inabensa Bharat Pvt. Ltd. and has the right to receive the information sought by him.
2. The matter came up before us today. The Respondents submitted that the guarantees were issued in favour of M/s IBPGFInabensa (JV) on behalf of the bank’s customer M/s Protech Galvanisers and Fabricators Pvt. Ltd. These were returned by IBPGFInabensa (JV) to M/s Protech Galvanisers and Fabricators Pvt. Ltd. on 12.7.2012 and in turn, M/s Protech Galvanisers and Fabricators Pvt. Ltd. returned the guarantees to the bank on the same day with a request to cancel the same and the bank carried out cancellation on 12.7.2012 itself. The Respondents further submitted that in January 2012 guarantees with the same number were also issued in favour of Railway Electrification Department fraudulently, apparently in connivance with a manager of the bank. The bank had filed an FIR with the police and all the original documents were seized by the Ambala Cantonment Police recently and the matter is under investigation. In response to our query, the Respondents submitted that they stand by their original decision to deny the information to the Appellant under Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act.
3. The Appellant submitted that he is an employee / authorised representative of Inabensa Bharat Pvt. Ltd. and is entitled to receive the information sought by him. In response to our query, the Respondents submitted that the Appellant has not given them any authorization letter from M/s IBPGFInabensa (JV), authorising him to receive the information sought by him. The Appellant stated that he had filed the application in his personal capacity as a citizen, because an application cannot be filed on behalf of a company. However, he acknowledged that he has not submitted any authorization from the company to the bank, authorising him to get the information. Advocate Kapil Kher, speaking on behalf of the Appellant, stated that the CPIO should have followed the procedure laid down in Section 11 of the RTI Act and that this was not done. He also submitted that the Appellant has sought only copies of the documents and such copies should be available with the Respondents. The Respondents acknowledged that even though the original records have been seized by the police, copies of the same are available with them. Advocate Kapil Kher also pleaded that the Respondents should give the Appellant information regarding the specific police authority that has seized the documents, so that they could also pursue other avenues to get copies of the same.
4. We have considered the records and the submissions made by both the parties before us. We note that the documents sought by the Appellant involve three parties viz. M/s IBPGFInabensa (JV), M/s Protech Galvaniser and Fabricators Pvt. Ltd. and Railway Electrification Department. Accordingly, the CPIO is directed to follow the procedure laid down in Section 11 of the RTI Act in respect of the three parties mentioned above and thereafter take a decision on the Appellant’s request for provision of the documents mentioned in his RTI application. Should the CPIO eventually decide to provide any or all of the documents sought by the Appellant, the Appellant should also be informed about the specific police authority that has seized the original documents.
5. With the above directions, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Rajesh Kumar Jha v. Dena Bank in File No. CIC/VS/A/2013/002024