Seeking information relating to Ambuja Cement Ltd. - Companies Act provides for inspection of records maintained by RoC - CIC: providing same information vide two different machineries would lead to unnecessary and avoidable duplication of work
1. The appellant filed an RTI application dated 3.12.2011 seeking information on (12) points relating to Ambuja Cement Ltd. Like no. of employees working in accounts department during the period Jan 1990 to Dec 1990, full particulars of employee of accounts department who have been voluntarily retired/resigned/terminated, details of direct or indirect assistance received from Central/State Govt., documents with respect to registration of Company etc. . The CPIO vide letter dated 12.12.2011 provided a point wise reply to the appellant. Not satisfied with the reply the appellant filed first appeal dated 16.12.2011 which was rejected by the order dated 30.12.2011.
2. The respondent submits that the office maintains records of the documents filed by the Companies and on examination of the application it was noticed that most of the abovementioned records/information was not available in the records available with this office. The respondent also submits that as per the provisions of section 610 of the Companies Act, 1956, the records of the companies maintained by this office is available for physical inspection to any member of public on all the working days of this office in between 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM and also the online inspection of records of the companies is also available on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs - www.mca.gov.in.
3. In the matter of ROC Vs Dharmendra Kumar Garg (W.P.(C) 11271/2009) the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has held as under in Judgment dated 1.6.2012: “35. The mere prescription of a higher charge in the other statutory mechanism (in this case Section 610 of the Companies Act), than that prescribed under the RTI Act does not make any difference whatsoever. The right available to any person to seek inspection/copies of documents under Section 610 of the Companies W.P.(C.) No. 11271/2009 Page 19 of 38 Act is governed by the Companies (Central Government's) General Rules & Forms, 1956, which are statutory rules and prescribe the fees for inspection of documents, etc. in Rule 21A. The said rules being statutory in nature and specific in their application, do not get overridden by the rules framed under the RTI Act with regard to prescription of fee for supply of information, which is general in nature, and apply to all kinds of applications made under the RTI Act to seek information. It would also be complete waste of public funds to require the creation and maintenance of two parallel machineries by the ROC one under Section 610 of the Companies Act, and the other under the RTI Act to provide the same information to an applicant. It would lead to unnecessary and avoidable duplication of work and consequent expenditure.”
4. In view of the submissions of the respondent that some of the information sought is not available with their office and that the available information can be inspected as per section 610 of the Companies Act, the Commission finds no reason to interfere with the order of the CPIO and the appeal is accordingly disposed off.
Citation: Meena Bhandari v. Registrar of Companies in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000968