How are the cars defined as 'big' or 'small'?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue seeking information in relation to a news item “Increase duty on diesel cars up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs: Jaipal” . He specifically wanted to know whether it is true that Union Petroleum Minister has written some letter probably to Union Finance Minister suggesting to increase excise-duty on diesel cars; is it true that big and small cars are presently defined according to length of cars rather than their ex-factory prices for differential rates of excise duty; is it true that many car-manufacturers have reduced length of cars (like Maruti Swift Dezire) and/or introduced costlier luxury cars of smaller length to avail lower rate of excise duty which is presently levied according to length of cars rather than ex-factory price. He also wanted complete and detailed information on action taken by Union Finance Ministry in the interest of revenue to tackle such tactics of car manufacturers like categorizing big and small cars according to ex-factory price rather than length along with related correspondence/ file notings/ documents etc. on action taken on each and every aspect of his submissions “Excise Duty on Diesel Cars” routed to Department of Revenue through PG Portal. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some Information.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO submitted that the information regarding action taken by Union Finance Ministry and the related correspondence/ file notings/ documents etc. is not maintained by the Department of Revenue. For the rest of the queries the PIO argued that do not fall within the ambit of the definition of “information” as defined in section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the appellant has sought specific information and directed the PIO, Department of Revenue to provide clear/ categorical information to the appellant. The CIC also directed the PIO to provide action taken on appellant’s submissions “Excise Duty on Diesel Cars” routed to Department of Revenue through PG Portal.
Citation: Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/003172
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1456
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission