Minutes of Dispute Resolution Committee meeting were denied u/s 8(1)(h) as the matter was under arbitration - PIO: Information was executed in the recent past - CIC: Provide certified copies of file notings, correspondence & approvals of the management
1. The appellant sought the minutes of all meetings of all DRCs pertaining to Nirvana Biosys Pvt. Ltd. held since the first to the last date, minutes of all meetings held by the Sub-Committee of all DCRs pertaining to Nirvana Biosys Pvt. Ltd. since the first to last date, notings, correspondences and approvals of the previous year and new management of M/s Biosys Pvt. Ltd. The CPIO denied information under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of RTI act. Since the matter was under arbitration therefore the information sought under RTI cannot be provided. The First Appellate Authority upheld the response of the CPIO. Being dissatisfied, the appellant approached this Commission in second appeal.
2. The officer representing the respondent authority along with her legal representative stated that Nirvana Biosys Pvt. Ltd. is a company to which Technology Development Board has given a loan of Rs. 4 crore and former has defaulted in repayment of the loan. Further, it was categorically explained that based on the recommendation of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC), the respondent authority is supposed to strategize and move forward in the arbitration proceedings, which is pending adjudication. The arbitrator is yet to pass a final arbitral award. The legal representative of the respondent authority submitted that the information sought is an internal strategic document and the same is under consideration before the arbitrator, which cannot be shared with any individual as, if the decision is not favourable the public authority might have to take up the matter beyond the arbitral tribunal.
3. The legal representative stated that the information sought is already available with the appellant and the same was executed in the recent past. In the light of arguments advanced, contentions raised, authorities cited and referenced placed, the Commission directs the respondent authority to provide certified copies of the Dispute Resolution Committee’s byelaws, file notings, correspondences and approvals of the previous and new management of M/s Biosys Pvt. Ltd., within 15 days from the date of receipt of this Order. Disposed of.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: J P Gupta v. Technology Development Board in CIC/TDEVB/A/2017/170421 Decided On : 01.12.2017