Information regarding transmission tariff of natural gas sought under RTI
The appellant submitted that GAIL was responsible for transmission of Natural Gas in the Cauvery Basin area for which it had entered into correspondence with Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for fixation of tariff. In this context, he filed an application under RTI seeking the full set of copy of the application filed by GAIL with PNGRB for fixation of tariff. The Public Information Officer (PIO) disclosed the contents of GAIL’s letter to PNGRB but denied for the other information under section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act stating that it was of commercial confidence in nature and information related therewith can be disclosed only in the larger public interest. The appellant pleaded that he has sought the information with a view to ascertaining whether uniform procedure was being followed in the fixation of tariff or not. The respondent submitted that transmission tariff is fixed by PNGRB in the light of notification dated 20th November, 2008 issued by it.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that fixation of tariff is a matter of ‘commercial confidence’ and information related therewith can be disclosed only in the larger public interest. The Commission rejected the appeal observing the query raised by the appellant is irrelevant as the fixation of tariff is to be ensured by PNGRB and not by GAIL.
Citation: A. Ramanathan v. GAIL in File No.CIC/LS/A/2011/003452
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/322
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