RTI Judgement Series: Builder paid dues and yet MCD was asking occupants to pay money
Moneylife Digital Team 25 June 2013

Despite collecting dues from the builder, the Assessor & Collector Department at MCD sent demand notices to the occupants of a building. The CIC said, the department certainly acted very callously leading to a lot of trauma and stress for the appellant. This is the 120th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) in the Assessor & Collector Department (ACD) at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to provide the information sought by the appellant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.


While giving this judgement on 15 October 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “The (ACD) department certainly acted very callously leading to a lot of trauma and stress for the appellant. The PIO also erred in demanding additional fee though 30 days were over.”


New Delhi resident SC Sharma, on 14 March 2008, sought information regarding assessment proceedings against the builder of Ashish Corporate Tower from the PIO of ACD at the MCD. Here is the information he sought and the reply provided by the PIO...


1. The reasons for not completing assessment proceedings against the builder of Ashish Corporate Tower and for not sending a reply to the undersigned and to the Association.  On the letters sent by them it may also be indicated as to the reasons why the House Tax Department is insisting in initiating assessment proceedings on cost basis against unit area method in an arbitrary manner, whereas in other cases in the same complex assessment has been completed on the basis of unit Area method.  

PIO's reply: The occupiers of the portions of Ashish Tower had not submitted the request for the mutation and finalizing of assessment in respect of their occupied portions.  The reply already sent by this office vide letter no. Tax/Shah (South)/2007/446 dt. 30.05.2007 (I.D.No. 626 dt. 21.05.2007) is self-explanatory. As per the occupancy certified issued by DDA vide no. 23 dt. 10.02.2004, the date of completion is 24.10.2003. Further unit Area method was adopted since 01.04.2004. The office of the Association may take up the matter with assessing authorities regarding finalization of the portions of Ashish Tower, Karkardooma on any working day in the office.


2. The number of properties in the Ashish Corporate Tower, where assessment has been done on Unit Area method and why descriptions are being done against me.    

PIO's reply: The information is such as has no relationship to any public interest. Larger public interest does not warrant to indicates the number of cases with the subject and is exempted u/s 8() (i) of RTI Act. Further, no such discrimination is being done against the applicant of RTI, you are also requested to submit the mutation application along with 3% transfer duty and composite fee of Rs150, so that your case could be processed for assessment. In case you had already submitted, the request may meet the undersigned with the references.


Not satisfied with the reply, Sharma filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) did not pass any order except a note mentioning that the PIO would furnish the requisite information within seven days.


After not receiving the information, Sharma decided to approach the Commission with his second appeal.


During the hearing before Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the department had sent a letter intimating the appellant (Sharma) and other occupiers of the building that there was an outstanding of Rs36.79 lakh for the entire building. Sharma sent letters to the department and has been demonstrating that this demand caused a lot of agony and stress to the occupiers.


The PIO stated that the department also sent this demand to the builder and admitted that the money had actually paid in 2005 by the builder and this demand (to Sharma and other occupants) was wrong. He also claimed that they corrected this error on 28 March 2007 and also informed to the appellant. Sharma stated that this was false and no information was given to him.


Mr Gandhi noted that the department certainly acted very callously leading to a lot of trauma and stress for the appellant.


The PIO then expressed his apology for this and stated that he will offer all the help for the mutation of the property in favour of the appellant.


While allowing the appeal the CIC said, “The appellant will visit the respondent on 29 June 2009 at 11:00am. Some information of the RTI has not been given since the PIO had demanded additional fee though 30 days were over. The PIO has erred and is warned to ensure that the time limits of the RTI Act followed properly.”




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000859/3588


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000859



Appellant                                            : SC Sharma

                                                                New Delhi


Respondent                                       : A Rahman,


                                                               Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                               Assessor & Collector Deptt.

                                                              Geeta Colony, Shadara South Zone,


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