CPIO is not supposed to create information which otherwise is not available with him-IBBI
In the Appeal, which is borne out of the application under section 6 of the Right to Information Act, 2005, the information requested has been held against the appellant. In this case, the information, sought for, pertained to Model Timeline Vs Actual Timeline achieved for Dream Procon Pvt Ltd under insolvency with reasons for delay and action taken to remove delay if any.
The reply given by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the IBBI, was that the model timeline for corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) is provided under Regulation 40A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016. It was also put forth that the CIRP in the matter of Dream Procon Pvt. Ltd., commenced on 6th September, 2019 and is presently ongoing.
The appellant had stated that the requested information was not provided by CPIO, and hence, this appeal was filed to provide the following information-Actual timeline (each and every task) vis-à-vis Model Timeline; Reasons for delay and Action taken to remove delay.
The respondent has submitted that Regulation 39(4) of CIRP Regulations provides for submission of a compliance certificate in Form H by the Resolution Professional to the Adjudicating Authority, when resolution plan approved by the CoC is submitted before the Adjudicating Authority. Para 10 of Form H deals with details of Model Timelines under Regulation 40A and Actual Timeline.
No information with respect to Form H in the CIRP of CD concerned, is available with the Board.
With respect to the information sought relating to actual timeline it has been answered against the appellant by stating that the CPIO is not supposed to create information which otherwise is not available with him.
To bring further clarification, the judgment of the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in its decision in the Registrar of Supreme Court of India Vs. Commodore Lokesh K Batra & Ors. has been referred to wherein it has been held that on a combined reading of Section 4(1)(a) and Section 2(i), it appears that the requirement is only to maintain the records in a manner which facilitates the right to information under the Act. "Right to information" under Section 2(j) means only the right to information which is held by any public authority.
This being the position, the submission of CPIO that there is no requirement to create information on Actual timeline (each and every task) vis-à-vis Timeline in the matter of Dream Procon Pvt Ltd., as the same was not available with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India, has been agreed with. Accordingly, this issue is held against the appellant.
With respect to the information sought relating to Reasons for delay and Action taken to remove delay, it has been affirmed that the CPIO is not required to provide reasons for delay or suggest actions taken to remove delay.
In this connection, the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the matter of CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors., has been referred to wherein it was held that: "… A public authority is also not required to furnish information which require drawing of inferences and/or making of assumptions.
It is also not required to provide 'advice' or 'opinion' to an applicant, nor required to obtain and furnish any 'opinion' or 'advice' to an applicant.
The reference to 'opinion' or 'advice' in the definition of 'information' in section 2(f) of the Act, only refers to such material available in the records of the public authority. Many public authorities have, as a public relation exercise, provide advice, guidance and opinion to the citizens. But that is purely voluntary and should not be confused with any obligation under the RTI Act."