CIC Refuses Information On NHPC Records

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Srinagar—The CIC has rejected an RTI plea seeking disclosure of records related to the discussions on the demand for handing over by the Centre seven NHPC projects in Jammu and Kashmir to the state government, citing exemption clauses of “commercial confidence” and “third party”.

The case pertains to an RTI application filed by activist Venkatesh Nayak seeking communication exchanged between the Centre and the state regarding the buyback of hydropower projects, feasibility of the proposal and file notings.

“The Jammu and Kashmir government had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre in the year 2000. It states that seven hydro electric projects in the state would be transferred to NHPC Limited for a period of 10 years for funding, execution and operation,” Nayak said.

Giving details of the case, he said both the Centre and the state agreed in the MoU that they would work out a mutually acceptable methodology for handing over these projects back to the state.

Nayaks application filed with the Union power ministry was transferred to NHPC limited, a mini-ratna public sector undertaking, which refused to disclose the information, saying it is a listed company and “disclosure would lead to unwanted speculations and confusion among shareholders and “affect the commercial confidence” of the NHPC.

“…the Commission (Central Information Commission) discerns that the information sought by the appellant is in the nature of commercially sensitive information, the disclosure of which would not serve any public interest and would lead to unwarranted speculations amongst the shareholders of the respondent PSU and shall affect the commercial confidence of the NHPC Limited,” Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava said.

He said the information sought is, therefore exempted from disclosure under sections of the RTI Act pertaining to commercial confidence and third party.


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