Information regarding alleged anticompetitive activities indulged in by ethanol manufacturers & some related details was denied saying that the Competition Commission of India is already seized of the matter - CIC: provide the information
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 26.3.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on four points regarding anticompetitive activities indulged in by ethanol manufacturers, who participated in a tender process, and some related details. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, the Appellant filed second appeal dated 25.9.2013 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 8.10.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant stated that the full information sought by him has not been provided. In this context, we note that the CPIO denied all the information by stating that the tender for the year 2013 was already finalised and further details were being denied because the Appellant had not specified any larger public interest. In his order dated 14.8.2013, disposing of the first appeal, the FAA stated, “Competition Commission of India is already seized of the matter based on certain complaints and has directed DG (Investigation) to investigate.” With regard to query No. 4, in which the Appellant had enquired whether the ethanol suppliers indulging in anticompetitive activities were blacklisted for future bidding, the FAA stated that the above query elicited an opinion and was not a request for information. We are not in agreement with the above interpretation of the FAA regarding query No. 4 of the RTI application. Further, we note that the information provided by the FAA in his order dated 14.8.2013 does not answer all the queries of the RTI application. In view of the foregoing, we direct the CPIO to provide information in response to all the four queries of the RTI application dated 26.3.2013, within twenty days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
3. With the above direction, the appeal is disposed of.
4. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Lalit Kumar Sharma v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., in File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002672/SH