Complaint No. CIC/SB/C/2016/000142-BJ. Case: R.K. Jain Vs CPIO & Accounts Officer, Customs Excise & Service Tax and Ors.. Central Information Commission

Case Number:Complaint No. CIC/SB/C/2016/000142-BJ
Party Name:R.K. Jain Vs CPIO & Accounts Officer, Customs Excise & Service Tax and Ors.
Counsel:For Appellant: R. K. Jain, Adv. and For Respondents: V. P. Pandey, CPIO & Assistant Registrar
Judges:Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner
Issue:Right To Information Act, 2005 - Sections 19(8)(b), 20, 4(1), 4(1)(b)
Judgement Date:April 17, 2017
Court:Central Information Commission
 
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Court Information Central Information Commission Cases
Judgment Date 17-Apr-2017
Party Details R.K. Jain Vs CPIO & Accounts Officer, Customs Excise & Service Tax and Ors.
Case No Complaint No. CIC/SB/C/2016/000142-BJ
Judges Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner
Advocates For Appellant: R. K. Jain, Adv. and For Respondents: V. P. Pandey, CPIO & Assistant Registrar
Acts Right To Information Act, 2005 - Sections 19(8)(b), 20, 4(1), 4(1)(b)

Decision

Bimal Julka, Information Commissioner

FACTS:

1. The complainant, vide his RTI application sought inspection of case records of following 07 files:

"(i) E/51395/2014-EX-DB-Rockwell Industries

(ii) E/57482/2013-EX-DB-Kailash Traders

(iii) E/58715/2013-EX-DB-Godrej Consumer Products Ltd.

(iv) E/1579/2011-EX-DB-Panacea Biotech Ltd.

(v) E/58787/2013-EX-DB-A.G. Flats Ltd.

(vi) E/59601/2013-EX-DB-Simplex Casting Ltd.

(vii) E/59258/2013-EX-DB-Lafarge India Pvt. Ltd."

2. Dissatisfied on not receiving any response from the CPIO, the complainant approached the FAA. The CPIO and Accounts Officer, CESTAT, New Delhi vide its letter dated 16.09.2015, transferred the RTI application to AR, Excise, CESTAT, New Delhi. The FAA, vide its order dated 13.10.2015, directed the CPIO to provide information within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of the order.

Facts emerging during the hearing:

The following were present:

Complainant: Mr. R.K. Jain (M. 9810077977);

Respondent: Mr. V.P. Pandey, CPIO & Assistant Registrar, CESTAT, New Delhi (M: 9811559708);

3. The Complainant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and stated that the information regarding vakalatnama on point (vii) had not been provided, till date by the CPIO. The CPIO vide its letter dated 24.07.2015 and 16.09.2015 transferred his RTI application to the deemed CPIO, Assistant Registrar (Excise) and Registrar, CESTAT, New Delhi with a direction to provide information within a stipulated time frame, but no information was provided to him. Aggrieved by the deemed refusal to provide information, the Complainant filed a first appeal. The FAA vide its order dated 13.10.2015 directed the CPIO to collect the information/documents from the concerned section and to forward the same to the Complainant within a period of two weeks from the day of receipt of its order. The Complainant further explained that despite several reminders, only partial information was provided by the CPIO on 02.05.2016 (51 pages) as conveyed by him, with a delay of 252 days. Admitting the delay in furnishing reply, the Respondent emphasized the shortage of staff and large number of RTI applications filed by the Complainant as the main cause for such delay. The Respondent further submitted that the delay for furnishing information was also caused due to the contradictory positions undertaken by the FAA, Chennai and FAA, New Delhi for non-disclosure of information under the RTI Act, 2005. He stated that the FAA, Chennai vide its order dated on 07.01.2016 directed that the information pertaining to judicial proceedings could be disclosed only as per CESTAT (Procedure) Rules, 1982 and therefore he was in a dilemma for a long time whether to provide such information or not. The Complainant contested this submission and explained that the CPIO should comply with the order of FAA, New Delhi, which is the authority in this case. Moreover, the Complainant submitted that the CPIO should have acted on the application within the stipulated time period as envisaged in the RTI Act, 2005 and demanded initiation of penal proceedings against him in the matter.

4. The Respondent in his written submission...

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