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Central Information Commission
Dated, the 20th September, 2006
Name of the Appellant : Sh. Pradipta Dutta, B-141 Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi â€“ 110 019
Name of the Public Authority: Directorate of Income Tax (Legal & Research) (DIT), 3rd floor, Drumshaped Building, I.P.Estate, New Delhi- 110 002. DECISION
Facts of the Case:
The appellant had sought certain information in the form of queries, whichhave been duly responded by the CPIO and the appellate authority as well. Hehas however filed an appeal before the Commission against the reply of theappellate authority and prayed that the CPIO of DIT (L&R) be directed to furnishinformation with respect to his following queries:
â€œKindly inform why ITOs have been posted at DIT (L&R) even though there is no corresponding post in the same pay-scale at ITJSection, CBDT. What functions are the ITOs expected to discharge at DIT (L&R)?
Kindly inform why ITOs at DIT (L&R) are being forced, under threat of disciplinary action, to perform the functions of an Asstt.Commissioner without being paid officiating pay.â€
In its oft-repeated decisions, the Commission has advised the informationseekers that they ought not seek the views and comments of the CPIO on the questions asked by them. Yet, in the garb of seeking information mainly for redressal of their grievances, applications from requesters are filed. The CPIOâ€™s in turn, have also ventured to answer them. Thus, the information seekers as providers have erred in interpreting the definition of information.
A CPIO of any public authority is not expected to create and generate a fresh, an information because it has been sought by an appellant. The appellant is, therefore, advised to specify the required information, which may be provided, if it exists, in the form in which it is sought by him.
The information sought relate to duties and responsibilities of ITOs deployed at different locations and the salary or compensation paid to them.Under Section 4(1) of the Act, all the public authorities are required to disclose such information as above. Had it been done by the respondent, the CPIO could have informed the applicant about the source where from he could have obtained the information. The need for filing application for information and this appeal could have thus been avoided. In pursuance of the principle of maximum disclosure, as u/s 4(1) of the Act, the CPIO is directed to disseminate the information so that in future, such applications are minimized.
The appeal is accordingly disposed of.
(Prof. M.M. Ansari)
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PUNE: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than just holding medical camps or running literacy classes in villages close to the factory location. For mentors of the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST), it means inculcating a sense of fiscal responsibility and values (like paying taxes,) among brand new entrepreneurs. For companies like Cummins India Ltd, it means getting involved in an organisation like the Public Concern for Governance Trust (PCGT), which is spearheading a campaign on eradicating corruption in the country.
BYST, supported by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as part of its CSR initiatives, ensures its mentors inculcate a sense of social commitment to would-be entrepreneurs. The mentors are themselves usually entrepreneurs, drawn from the small and medium size enterprise (SME) sector.
Pratibha Bhamburkar, partner, Shiv Shakti Paints and mentor with BYST, ex-plained that among her first lessons to the would-be entrepreneur was to impart a sense of fiscal discipline.
"The entrepreneur I was mentoring had to be given directions on the need to pay taxes regularly, that he needs to be registered with the relevant tax authorities, especially now since his turnover is Rs. 40 lakh," Ms Bhamburkar said. Thereby creating an upright corporate citizen.
Dinesh Castellino, vice president legal and company secretary, Cummins India Ltd (CIL) said the engine manufacturer's involvement with the NGO was for its CSR initiatives.
"For us, at Cummins, this is part of our involvement in a social cause, which is also part of our values, of improving the lives of the people and communities in which we operate," Mr Castellino said. He added that CIL is represented on the right to information (RTI) and anti-corruption sub-committees of the PCGT. Two other sub committees, on improving the condition of roads and imparting softer, people- and situation-handling, skills to policemen, are yet to start in Pune.
This is in keeping with CIL's commitment made by its chairman, Anant Talauli-car, at the company's annual general meeting in July 06. He had then said, "We will promote the RTI Act to ensure India becomes a meritocracy," adding that CIL would work with the PCGT, a Mumbai-based Trust.
Taking that commitment forward, Mr Castellino explained that CIL's role is limited to creating awareness about the existing fora for redressal which exist in government departments.
"Government departments have the mechanism to fight corruption. All we plan to do by holding workshops is to make people aware of these mechanisms, which government officials will themselves explain," Mr Castellino stated. For the over Rs. 1400 crore engine maker, this is an activity into which all its eight entities could be roped in, on a need basis.
PCGT plans to start a help desk at its own office, manned two-three hours a day, which will offer help to people on the RTI Act.
CSR for fiscal responsibility & tax payment-Corporate Trends-Companies A-Z -News-The Economic Times