Information regarding a domestic LPG consumer was denied u/s 8(1)(d) - FAA advised inspection locally - CIC: inform the basis of giving subsidized cylinders and present entitlement status on payment of the prescribed photocopying charges
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 18.4.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on three points regarding a domestic LPG consumer M/s Hoysala Karnatka Sangha for the period 1.4.2010 to 31.3.2013. The CPIO responded on 6.5.2013 and denied the information u/s 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 24.6.2013. In his order dated 26.7.2013, the FAA advised the Appellant to contact their Territory Manager (LPG) Mangalore and seek prior appointment to view the customer record. The Appellant filed second appeal dated 26.8.2013 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 2.9.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant submitted that the records pertaining to the period 2010-2011 have not been provided to him. The Respondents recalled that the Appellant was advised to visit their distributor and inspect the relevant records after prior appointment. The Appellant submitted that the Respondents’ Territory Manager is stationed at Mangalore, which is about 500 Kms away from his place of residence. Therefore, inspection could not be carried out. The Respondents clarified that the records are available at the distributor’s place, which is in the same city, where the Appellant resides. Prior appointment can be fixed on telephone through the Territory Manager in Mangalore. The Appellant insisted that he needs copies of the relevant records. The Respondents submitted that they will provide copies of the relevant documents, which may be around 200 pages, on payment of prescribed photocopying charges. The Appellant submitted that copies of documents be provided free of charge, as the same have not been provided within thirty days of his RTI application.
3. Having considered the records and the submissions made before us by both the parties, we find that the Appellant wanted the date of booking, date of delivery, number of LPG cylinders, cash bill number and amount paid for the period 2010-2011 in respect of a domestic gas consumer M/s Hoysala Karnatka Sangha. We direct the CPIO to follow the procedure laid down under Section 11 of the RTI Act, as the information pertains to a third party. However, the procedure laid down in Section 11 of the RTI Act need not be followed by the CPIO in respect of such of the above mentioned information, which is disclosed suo moto by the Respondents on their transparency portal. The CPIO is further directed to provide the information regarding the basis of giving subsidized cylinders and present entitlement status, as sought in the RTI application. The information should be provided on payment of the prescribed photocopying charges, as the Appellant did not avail himself of the offer of inspection of records, made by the Respondents earlier.
4. The CPIO is further directed to complete action on our above directives within thirty working days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
5. With the above directions and observations, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri G R Vidyaranya v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/001853/SH