CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Adjunct to Complaint No. CIC/WB/C/2007/00138 & 140 and Complaint No. CIC/WB/C/2007/00071 dated 30-12-2006
Right to Information Act 2005 – Section 19
Complainant: Ms Gita Dewan Verma.
- Delhi Tourism & Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC)
- Delhi Development Authority (DDA)
In our Adjunct to Appeal in file no. CIC/WB/C/07/00138 & 140 dated 9-4- 07 we had decided as follows:
“Whereas the complaint with regard to MCD1stands disposed of, the complaint with regard to DTTDC Delhi and DDA2 is adjourned to be heard together with a hearing in complaint no. CIC/WB/C/2007/00071, which will be held on 19thOct, 2007 at noon.”
The application to DDA had been submitted on 2-1-07 to which there had been a response to CPIO on 9-2-07 transferring some questions to the Chief Manager, DTTDC and another to Chief Town Planner, MCD. This has been discussed in detail in our Order of 27-8-07 on complaint Nos. CIC/WB/C/07/00138 & 140. In file No. CIC/WB/C/2007/0071 is the case regarding request of 2-1-2007 to DTTDC. In this request first submitted to the DDA the information sought was as follows:
“a) Copies of Resolution/ Agenda items relating to Authority approval of land use change under section 11A to allow commercial use at the site.
b) Copies of Authority Resolutions/ Agenda items relating to regularization under section 57 (1) (f) of construction in violation of Master Plan land use.”
On not receiving a response from DTTDC Ms. Gita Dewan Verma moved a complaint before us with the following prayer:
“I request direction to DTDC PIO to furnish reply and also imposition of penalty.”
Subsequently in response to complaint notice we received letter from Shri Suman Sharma SPIO dated 28-5-07 stating as follows:
“1. The application submitted to DDA by the Appellant which was subsequently referred to this Corporation by DDA on 9thFebruary, 2007 which was received in this office on 22ndFebruary, 2007.
2. The application was forwarded to the Engineering Division of the Corporation as the matter was related to the Engineering Division.
3. The reply of the Engineering Division to the concerned paras was as under: - (Received on 16thMarch, 2007).
Para (a) & (b) - No document as requested are available in this office. This pertains to DDA who may be requested to do the needful.
Para (c) - As per DDA letter No. Dir. (UC)/ DDA/ 2005/RTI (UC)/1080/ XVI/D- 20 dated 9.2.2007 the Para has already been referred to MCD for reply.
However, by mistake, this office was waiting for confirmation of the deposition of required fee along with application under RTI.
A letter to confirm the above was sent to the Appellant with a copy to DDA.
The Appellant informed this office that the fee was deposited with DDA against computerization acknowledge No. ID 22 dated 2.1.07. Immediately after confirming the above, the reply was sent to the Appellant on 26thApril, 2007.”
The letter goes on to acknowledge that there has been a delay but pleads that this would have been rectified, had the appellant approached the 1stAppellate Authority before approaching the CIC.
This response was followed by considerable correspondence between the appellant Ms. Gita Dewan Verma, DTTDC and DDA culminating in a letter of 20- 8-07 from Ms. Verma stating as follows:
“PIO has commented on my failure to make First Appeal, However:
- PIO’s reply dated 26.4.07 did not even specify name/ designation of First Appellate Authority.
- I did make to DTTDC MD a representation (pages 22-25, Appendix B) dated 20.6.07 requesting intervention for expediting Comment (Which had not been sent to me) and also for including in it S.4 (1) (b) information missing in the website disclosure to enable evaluation of PIO’s reply to the effect the matte does not pertain to DTTDC. I had placed this on record by letter dated 3.7.07 and fact of not having got response of it by letter dated 25.7.07 (Appendix-A).
PIO’s Comment is based on incorrectly describing transfer back to DDA as reply to me. I had placed on record by my letters in Appendix-A the following, evidencing DDA’s rejection of PIO’s reply/ transfer back-
- DDA PIO’s transfer back dated 18.6.07 (page 21, Appendix-B).
- DDA’s transfer dated 12.7.07 to DTTDC (page 28, Appendix-B) of MOUD reference on my representation dated 11.5.07 (page 18, Appendix-B/ placed on record by my letter dated 24.5.07.
PIO has also not provided any response on the above, for which plea of fee deposition confirmation does not hold and I have also made, to no avail, representation in nature of appeal to DTTDC MD.”
From the above it will be clear that the application has gone around in circle without producing the information sought. In the meantime Shri P.S. Uttarwar, Director (Plg.) DDA in his letter of 10-9-07 has pleaded that his disposal was prompt, stating as follows:
“The RTI application of Mrs. Gita Dewan Verma regarding clarification on construction of shopping complex in Garden of five senses at Village Said-ul-Ajaib was received in this Unit on 29.01.07 vide letter No. F. 1 (1) 06/RTI/54 dated 23.01.07 from SRO (RTI) and further it was put up in file by UDC on 5.2.07 (Between there were three Govt. holidays) and further the request was examined by AD (Plg.) UC/Dy. Dir. (Plg.) UC and observations were put up to undersigned on 8.2.07, accordingly reply was sent on 9.2.07.
You will appreciate; application was disposed within 8 working days. Therefore, it should not be considered as delay.”
The appeals were heard on 19-10-2007. The following are present:
Ms. Gita Dewan Verma
- Shri P.S. Uttarwar, Director (Plg.) UC/ DDA
- Shri Suman Sharma, Chief Manager, DTTDC
- Shri S. Sharma, Supdt. Engineer, DTTDC
- Shri K.S. Paul, Ex. Engineer, DTTDC
- Shri Kripal Singh, AM (PR)
- Shri Chandu Bhutia, Dy. Director (Plg.) DDA
- Shri Jitender Rana, JE. (Plan) MCD
In their letter to Ms. Verma dated 12-9-07, DTTDC have stated as follows:
“The proposal for setting up of Tourist Complex at Said-Ul-Ajaib was approved in pursuance of the above clearance of DDA by the Board of Directors of DTTDC in its 95thmeeting held on 23rdApril, 1997 in which Member Engineering, DDA was also present. It is further clarified that in view of the above approval of the Technical Committee of DDA and the decision of the Board of Directors, the
Garden of Five Senses has been commissioned as a Picnic Spot dedicated for catering to the recreational needs of public and is being operated by DTTC. Every effort is being made by the DTTDC to address all environmental concerns and no public nuisance or any inconvenience to the public is allowed.”
A copy of the recommendation of the Technical Committee (TC) are attached. The minutes of the TC meeting read as follows:
“The representative of DTTDC, through invited but was not present in the meeting. The proposal tourist complex at Said-Ul-Ajaib falls in the “Regional Park” in (Southern ridge) shown in MPD 2001. the Technical Committee noted the recommendations made by Lov Raj Kumar Committee for recommending the management pattern of the ridge not to allow any encroachment or construction. The Technical Committee did not agree for the change of land use to develop a “tourist complex”3. However, it observed that the area could be developed as a “picnic spot” having a few purely temporary structures, if necessary with 0 FAR.”
As explained in the hearing this TC is a Committee of the DDA, whose recommendations regarding building are binding since the DTTDC is not authorized to undertake such activity without the clearance of DDA. Shri Uttarwar present in the hearing, however, stated that this is the first he has seen of the recommendation of the TC. In the meantime in response to a letter of 10-9-07 addressed by DTTDC to us, a copy of which was handed over to appellant Ms. Verma in the hearing of 19-9-07, Ms Verma has sought some clarifications from the DTTDC which the DTTDC has treated as a fresh application. They have, however, brought a response to the three questions which were provided to appellant during the hearing, but stated that with regard to the remaining two questions, these would be provided within the mandated time limit.
With regard to DDA, the question is very simple i.e. whether the construction in the Garden of the Five Senses (Said-ul-Ajaib) has been cleared by them after the TC whose decision is quoted above recommended that it did not approver the change of land use to develop this project. Director (Plg.) Shri Uttarwar will obtain the requisite information from the concerned PIO/ Wing of the DDA and supply the same to appellant within 10 working days of the date of issue of this decision notice.
With regard to information pending from the DTTDC Shri Suman Sharma will now supply the full information sought by Ms. Gita Dewan Verma in her five questions including the question No.4 and 5 appellant within 10 working days of the date of issue of this decision notice. The request that this be replied to in the usual mandated time limit cannot be agreed to, since already there has been heavy delay in responding to the original transfer to the DTTDC by the DDA and transfer back to the DDA in blatant transgression of the time lime mandated u/s 7 (1) and 6 (3).
As is clear from the submission of Shri Suman Sharma of 10-9-07 the application of Ms. Gita Dewan Verma was received in the DTTDC on 21-2-07. However, a response even though not substantive was only sent on 26-4-07. Shri Suman Sharma SPIO has rendered himself liable for penalty from 21-3-07 to 26-4-07 @ Rs. 250/- per day amounting to Rs. 9,000/-. He will, therefore, show cause either in writing by 7th November, 07 or through personal appearance on 12th November, 2007 at 10.00 as to why a penalty of Rs. 9000/- should not be imposed upon him.
In conclusion we find that the kind of information sought in this case by Ms. Gita Dewan Verma is the kind of information that is of general public interest. The DTTDC would have been well advised for uploading this information on their website or published it u/s 4 (1) (b). This has not been done. DTTDC will, therefore, examine its process of suo-moto disclosures as mandated u/s 4 (2) and ensure that all the information required to be uploaded u/s 4 (1) (b) is uploaded within 30 working days of the date of issue of this decision notice. If necessary the assistance of NIC can be taken for this purpose to whom a copy of this decision notice is endorsed.
Hence the appeal is allowed. Announced in the hearing.
Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner 19-10-2007
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges prescribed under the Act to the CPIO of this Commission.
(Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar) Joint Registrar