Information regarding details of transfer of gas connections - PIO: records around 10 years old and are not available with them - CIC: PIO to examine whether the records are present at any level or not and then pass a speaking order in the matter
Information regarding details of transfer of gas connections - PIO: records around 10 years old and are not available with them - CIC: PIO to examine the appellant’s request afresh and ascertain whether the records in question are present at the level of the gas agency / the field officer concerned or not, and then pass a speaking order in the matter – in the order, clearly mention the exact location of records; retention period of such records, if any; and system in place to monitor such records – CIC: if the records are available, PIO shall arrange the inspection of said records
The present appeal, filed by Shri Phool Singh against Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Noida, was taken up for hearing on 21.10.2013 when the Respondents were present through Shri Umesh C. S. Bisht, Sr. I.S. Manager, Shr Sukrit Dutt, Ch. Manager (LPG S) and Shri Abhishek Kumar, Law Officer. The Appellant was present in person.
2. The Appellant through RTI application dated 04.11.2012 sought information against 4 points (regarding details of transfer of gas connections) in respect of a gas agency, namely, Yadav Indane Gas Agency, Meerut for the period from 1986 to 1996.
3. The CPIO vide his letter dated 29.03.2013 furnished the information in respect of point no. 3 (i.e. numbers of consumers present during the years 1986 to 1996) to the Appellant, while also informing him that this information is available in 10 pages which may be collected on payment of the requisite fee. Further this information is also available on the website i.e. www.indane.co.in. As for point Nos. 1 & 2, the CPIO denied the availability of records related to the transfer cases of gas connections for the period from 1986 to 1996. As for point No. 4, the CPIO provided the inspection details in relation to M/s Yadav Indane Gas Agency for the period from 1986 to October, 2012 to the Appellant.
4. Dissatisfied with this reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal dated 15.04.2013 before the Appellate Authority which the Appellate Authority decided vide his order dated 03.05.2013 upholding the CPIO’s reply.
5. The Appellant then filed the present appeal before the Commission alleging that the information given by the CPIO in respect of point Nos. 1, 2 & 3 of the RTI application is incomplete, incorrect and misleading.
6. During the hearing, the Respondents state that the records related to the information sought by the Appellant is around 10 years old and that they are not available with them. The Appellant, on his part, argues that such category of records is maintained at the level of gas agency and the field officers concerned and that therefore they ought to be present with them. The Respondents also do not deny this fact and state that it is possible that said records might be available with the gas agency/filed officer concerned.
7. Considering the submissions above and on perusal of records, the Commission hereby directs the CPIO to examine the Appellant’s request denovo and ascertain the fact whether the records in question are present at the level of the gas agency/the field officer concerned or not, and then pass a speaking order in the matter, clearly mentioning therein the exact location of records; retention period of such records, if any; and system in place to monitor such records. The CPIO then, in the event the records are found to be available at the level of gas agency/filed officer concerned, shall arrange the inspection of said records for the Appellant. Following the inspection the Appellant shall be allowed to take authenticated copies of documents which he may like to select from the inspected records. Considering the Appellant’s claim that he belongs to BPL category, while also claiming that he is a journalist, the CPIO should provide to him 200 pages (which is a reasonable amount of information) free of cost.
8. Appeal is disposed of with the above directions, which are to be complied with within 3 weeks of receipt of this order.
Citation: Shri Phool Singh v. Indian Oil Corporation Limited, in Case No.CIC/LS/A/2013/001247SS