A tenant of Empire House Building sought information regarding the condition of the building & BMC circular - LIC: the occupants have been asked to vacate the building for repairs - CIC: matter pending with High Court - CIC: decision of PIO upheld
A tenant of Empire House Building sought information regarding the condition of the building & BMC circular - LIC: Repair could be done only after supporting it from inside and therefore they had asked the occupants to vacate the building - CIC: the matter is already going on with Hon’ble High Court of Bombay in WP(C) No. 1642 for eviction and in Small Cause Court under the Municipal application no. 19; decision of the respondents upheld
1. The appellant, Shri Vinod Shah, submitted RTI application dated July 17, 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Life Insurance Corporation of India, Mumbai seeking copy of Structural Audit/Consultant Report with reference to Empire House T C No. 1553 obtained by Life Insurance Corporation of India as per BMC circular.
2. Vide reply dated July 31, 2013, the CPIO denied the information u/s 8(1) (d) & (e) of the RTI Act, 2005 as the information sought for involved commercial confidence, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of the third party. Further, the information was available with them in fiduciary capacity. Not satisfied with the decision of CPIO, the appellant preferred appeal dated August 28, 2013 before the first appellate authority (FAA). The FAA upheld the decision of CPIO vide order dated September 12, 2013.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant’s representative submitted that he had been residing as a tenant in Empire House Building and respondents were the landlords of the building. He further stated that he as tenant had right to get the information regarding the condition of the building which was 30 years old. He submitted that Bombay Municipal Corporation had issued a circular u/s 353 B making the inspection, structural audits and repair, if required, mandatory and that he had right to know whether this circular had been followed by the respondents in the case of Empire House Building. The respondents submitted that the structural audit was done for the building in question and it was found that it required to be structurally repaired which could be done only after supporting it from inside and therefore they had asked the occupants to vacate the building. They stated that they had filed a writ petition against Bombay Gas ltd. in Hon’ble High Court of Bombay and another case in Small Cause Court for eviction of the building but the Bombay Gas Ltd., a tenant had not been vacated the building while a number of other tenants had.
5. The Commission finds no reason to intervene as the matter is already going on with Hon’ble High Court of Bombay in WP(C) No. 1642 for eviction and in Small Cause Court under the Municipal application no. 19 and upholds the decision of the respondents. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Vinod Shah v. Life Insurance Corporation of India in Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000544