Information pertaining to sale of assets of Prime Chem Oil Ltd., a Company which was financed by IDBI Bank Ltd of which the appellant was an ex-Director & Guarantor, was sought - CIC: provide number of bids received & total auction amount received
1. The appellant, Shri Ashok Goyal, submitted RTI application dated 13.08.2013 Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Stressed Assets Stabilization Fund (SASF), Mumbai seeking information pertaining to sale of assets of Prime Chem Oil Ltd., a Company which was financed by IDBI Bank Ltd of which the appellant was an ex-Director and Guarantor, such as list of total assets taken over, land and building details, machinery, stocks, copies of public auction notice, number of responses received, number of bids received, Action Committee members and meeting held by them etc. through 17 points.
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 18.09.2013 provided information on point 1, 10, 15, partly provided information on Point 2 to 7 the details of assets as provided in Bid Document and denied rest of the information u/s 8(1) (e) and (j) of the RTI Act and denied information on remaining points under the provisions of Section 8(1) (d), (e) and (j) of the RTI Act. Dissatisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal on 09.10.2013 before the FAA. The FAA vide order dated 26.10.2013 while upholding the reply of the CPIO recorded that the appellant had not substantiated how the public interest outweigh the harm to the protected interests as provided u/s 8(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. of the RTI Act.
3. Thereafter the appellant filed second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant stated that the consortium lender Rajasthan Finance Corporation Jaipur had already supplied information as requested under the RTI Act. He sought loan agreement, trust letter, affidavits, power of attorney, guarantee deeds of all guarantors, copy of loan account, statement of net worth of guarantors submitted, in order to defend his case before the DRT as Guarantor. The respondents stated that the IDBI has filed recovery application (O.A. No. 199 of 2001) against the company and guarantors at DRT, Delhi in which all the loan documents, security documents, guarantee agreements, statement of account etc. were filed along with the recovery application. In recovery application filed by IDBI at DRT, the company and other (including the appellant are defendants in the case and the court case is sub judice. Thus the copy of loan agreement, personal guarantee agreement and loan amount outstanding are being served by the DRT Office, the appellant is unnecessary diverting the precious resources of the public authority by seeking such information. The appellant being one of the defendants is required to file his written statement including his objections, if any on SARFEASI sale before the DRT or by way of separate appeal before DRT. As per Recovery of Debits due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, the claim against the appellant will be adjudicated after affording full opportunity to him as per principles of natural justice.
5. Having considered the submissions of the parties and on perusing the relevant documents on file, the Commission directs the CPIO to provide number of bids received as sought at point 12 and total auction amount received of all assets in response to point 15 to the appellant within one week of receipt of the Commission’s order. On remaining points, the decision of the respondents is upheld. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Ashok Goyal v. Stressed Assets Stabilization Fund (SASF) in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000569