Details of complaint procedure for demand by LPG delivery boy more than net amount mentioned in invoice - CIC appropriate response has been given to the appellant after substantive delay; Penal action as per Section 20 (1) may be initiated in future22 Mar, 2023
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Chennai, Tamil Nadu .The appellant is seeking information as under:-
i) To whom complaint should be given when demand is made by delivery boy more than net amount mentioned in the GST invoice issued by Gas Agency.
ii) Is there any delivery charge for LPG delivery? If so, upto how many kilometres delivery charges is not claimed.
iii and iv) What actions should be taken etc…
2. The reply of the CPIO was not on record. Being dissatisfied with the same, the appellant had filed first appeal dated 15-05-2021 and requested that the information should be provided to him. However, the FAO is also not on record. Aggrieved, the Appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the ground that information sought has not been provided to him.
3. The appellant remained absent during the hearing despite prior intimation. The respondent, represented by Mr T.P Premnath, Business Development and Network Manager attended the hearing through video conference.
4. The appellant has submitted his written submission vide letter dated 21.12.2022 wherein he inter alia stated that the CPIO/ FAA failed to provide him the information within the stipulated time limit and that the reply was received by him after the receipt of the notice of hearing from the Commission.
5. Mr T.P Premnath, Business Development and Network Manager, BPCL, Tamil Nadu reiterated his written submission dated 28.11.2022 wherein he stated that reply to the RTI application was inadvertently not provided due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as only limited staff were functioning in their department. He also stated that he took over as the CPIO w.e.f., 28.04.2022 whereas the RTI application pertains to April, 2021. In addition, he mentioned that information as per available record was provided to the Appellant after the receipt of the notice of hearing from the Commission.
6. On being queried by the Commission regarding the erstwhile CPIO, Mr Premnath replied that Mr Satish Kumar, Co-ordinator, TN was the then CPIO.
7. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and after perusal of records, observes that although appropriate response has been given to the appellant at this stage, there has been a substantive delay in providing the same. A feeble excuse is given by the respondent in the given context since there was sufficient time in the interregnum to provide a reply to the information seeker.
8. In view of the above, the Commission cautions Mr Satish Kumar, Erstwhile CPIO and Co-ordinator, TN, BPCL to ensure that timelines stipulated under the RTI Act, 2005 are complied with failing which penal action as per Section 20 (1) of the Act may be initiated in future. Mr .P Premnath, Business Development and Network Manager, BPCL, Tamil Nadu is directed to serve a copy of this order to Mr Satish Kumar for his information and perusal.
9. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: Mr.K Rajendran v. Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Second Appeal No.CIC/BPCLD/A/2021/131512, Date : 03-02-2023