Agreements/documents pertaining to commercial confidence between parties, exempted under S. 8(1)(d) of RTI Act

Central Information Commission: Recently, CIC addressed an appeal against the CPIO, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bangalore on denying the certified copy of the agreement entered into between BEL and the Registrar General of India (RGI), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought by appellant. The information was denied by the respondent on the grounds of confidentiality under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act.

The Commission heard the respondents who contended information sought by the appellant clearly pertains to the commercial confidence entered into by BEL with RGI and contains the rates at which it would be conducting the enrollment for the National Population Register (NPR). Respondents went on to explain that is the information was disclosed, it would adversely affect its competitive position as well as its prospective contracts. Hence, exemption under Section 8(1)(d) of the Act was pleaded.

Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava on hearing the arguments and observing the relevant records agreed with the respondents and declared that no further action was required in the matter and exempted the information sought under RTI. [Aditya Jain v. Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Bharat Electronics Ltd., Decision No. CIC/CC/A/2015/003884, decided on  29.08.2017]

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