SIC forwarded appeal regarding IOCL to CIC - CIC: Disclosure of sales figure of the individual retail outlet would harm the competitive position of third party; denied u/s 8(1)(d) & 8(1)(e) - details of supply by IOCL to retail outlet is disclosable
Shri Dinesh Sankhla, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 15.12.2012 before the State Information Commission of Rajasthan, Jaipur against the respondent Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), Jaipur for denial of information in response to his RTI-application dated 1.8.2012. As the matter pertained to the Central Government Department, the State Information Commission of Rajasthan have forwarded this appeal before the CIC vide letter dated 22.4.2013. The appellant was absent whereas the respondent were represented by Shri Atul Bhatnagar, DGM(E).
2. The appellant through his RTI application dated 1.8.2012 sought information in respect of supply of petrol, diesel, oil etc. to IOCL’s retail outlet of Shri Hiraji Filling Station, NH-14, of District Pali (Rajasthan) during the period 15.10.2010 to 24.10.2010, including the sales figures whether cash or credit etc. The CPIO vide letter No. RSO/RTI/1689 dated 5.10.2012 informed the appellant that the information as sought for related to commercial confidence, trade secrets which would harm the competitive position of third party and attracts the provisions of 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; and (e) of the RTI Act.
3. Aggrieved with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal on 15.10.2012 before the FAA. The FAA has not adjudicated on appellant’s first appeal till the filing of the present appeal before the Commission.
4. In his second appeal filed before the Commission the appellant states that he has a grievance against Shri Hiraji Filling Station, NH-14, District Pali (Rajasthan), IOCL outlet regarding the settlement of outstanding dues and in this connection he wanted to have the aforementioned information.
5. During the hearing the respondent CPIO states that appellant has sought information regarding sales data of Shri Hiraji Filling Station, Pali, which is not maintained by them. Moreover, disclosure of sales figure of the individual retail outlet to the appellant would harm the competitive position of third party.
6. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission is of the view that the sales figures in respect of Shri Hiraji Filling Station pertains to commercial confidence, trade secrets of third party and therefore the provisions of Section 8(1) (d) and (e) would apply. However, details of supply of petrol, diesel, oil etc. to the said retail outlet is disclosable information. The CPIO is hereby directed to provide details of supply of petrol, diesel, oil etc. to Shri Hiraji Filling Station during the period 15.10.2010 to 24.10.2010 to the appellant free of cost. The CPIO will comply with the directions of the Commission within two weeks of receipt of this order.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Dinesh Sankhla v. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., in Case No. CIC/LS/A/2013/001128/SS