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RTI query: ONGC pulled up for delayed response

September 20, 2007 15:31 IST

The Central Information Commission has pulled up state-run energy firm ONGC for failing to set up an expeditious information redressal system under the Right to Information Act.

"Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has shown a lackadaisical attitude in so far as implementation of RTI Act is concerned," Information Commissioner M M Ansari said in a recent order.

The order came on an application of a Baroda resident S K Jain who was denied an appropriate response in respect of a query within the stipulated time limit. The CIC also directed the ONGC chairman to review the company's arrangements in responding to RTI queries.

Calling for strengthening of the company's system for "expeditious disposal of RTI applications", Ansari also asked ONGC to submit a compliance report in that regard.

Jain had moved an application on August 31 last year, seeking information on realization of the company's dues toward sale of natural gas to 14 consumers.

ONGC's Central Public Information Officer did not give a reply till October 30 and later declined to provide the details on the ground the information pertained to commercial confidence and was exempted under the provisions of the RTI Act. This prompted Jain to appeal against the CPIO's decision before the company's Appellate Authority on November 20.

After nearly four months, the Authority replied to Jain's request, but merely stated that the information pertained to CAG Report, 2005 and the details might be available with the office of Comptroller and Auditor General.

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