Information in connection with investigation of complaint against M/s J.K. Woollen & Silk Mills by the DGS&D - PIO: details of cases under arbitration or litigation in courts could not be disclosed - CIC: inspection of relevant file permitted
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 14-10-2011 seeking information in connection with investigation of complaint against M/s J.K. Woollen & Silk Mills by the DGS&D.
2. The CPIO responded on 22-11-2011, providing information on some points to the appellant while the remaining points were subjudice in the High Court, Punjab and Haryana which was pending for a decision. The CPIO further stated that information about the cases which were under arbitration or litigation in courts could not be disclosed. The appellant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 28-11-2011. The FAA responded on 17-2-2012 and informed the appellant that the matter had been forwarded to the CIC for guidance as the matter was subjudice. The appellant approached the Commission on 6-10-2012 and 17-10-2012 in a second appeal.
3. I heard the appellant through videoconferencing. The respondent was present personally in the hearing.
4. The appellant referred to the 9 points in his RTI application of 14102011 and referred to the matters captioned in the RTI application. The appellant stated that some of the information was provided but most of the information remains to be provided by the respondent.
5. The CPIO responded on 22-11-2011 and 25-1-2012 and provided the sought information to the appellant as per available records with the respondent. The respondent stated that there were no procedural lapses in carrying out the capacity assessment of the firm as per records. The respondent further stated that the concerned officer who carried out the capacity verification had retired in the year 2008 and queries made in (i) to (ix) under para 2 of the RTI application could not be given. The respondent stated that it is wrong to say on the part of the appellant that the premises of the firm had not been inspected by the respondent. The problem was started when the officials of the respondent went to inspect the firm in 2006.
6. The respondent elaborated on the background of the case by stating that M/s J.K. Woollen & Silk Mills is based at Amritsar which manufactures woolen blankets. The appellant’s father rented a process house to M/s J.K.Woollen & Silk Mills for spinning and weaving purposes on lease deed. Later on, the father of the appellant expired. The appellant sold all the machines and other items by himself and made a complaint against the firm to the CBI and CVC for investigation of the case.
7. The respondent stated that the firm had filed a case in the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh which is still pending for a decision. The respondent further stated that the information about the cases which are under arbitration or litigation in courts could not be furnished to the appellant.
8. The respondent is directed to enable inspection of the relevant file by the appellant, within 30 days of this order, in context of the RTI application. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Manoj Kumar Taneja v. DGS&D in Decision No.CIC/SS/C/2013/000180/VS/05683