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Ministry fined for not disclosing Cola drink ingredients

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Ministry fined for not disclosing Cola drink ingredients

as reported by STAFF WRITER of PTI New Delhi, Jun 27

 

What is it about Cola drinks that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is trying to hide?

Ministry officials are apparently willing to pay the penalty imposed by the Central Information Commission rather than reveal details of the ingredients of cola drinks sold in the country.

 

One year and seven months have passed since RTI applicant S C Agrawal enquired why ingredients of Cola drinks were not printed on Cola bottles. He has yet to get an answer.

 

Under the Right to Information Act a person seeking information has to get an answer within one month.

 

This seemingly deliberate delay angered Central Information Commissioner Deepak Sandhu so much that she imposed the maximum allowable penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Ministry official -- the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO).

 

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jps50

Even by paying penalty, information has to be supplied.

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karira

As reported in expressindia.com on 28 June 2010:

Ministry hiding dirt on Cola? - Express India

 

Ministry hiding dirt on Cola?

 

New Delhi What is it about Cola drinks that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries is trying to hide?

 

Ministry officials are apparently willing to pay the penalty imposed by the Central Information Commission rather than reveal details of the ingredients of cola drinks sold in the country.

 

One year and seven months have passed since RTI applicant S C Agrawal enquired why ingredients of Cola drinks were not printed on Cola bottles. He has yet to get an answer.

 

Under the Right to Information Act a person seeking information has to get an answer within one month.

 

This seemingly deliberate delay angered Central Information Commissioner Deepak Sandhu so much that she imposed the maximum allowable penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Ministry official -- the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO).

 

Sandhu directed the Joint Secretary of the Ministry to recover the penalty from the salary of the CPIO.

 

In her order, Sandhu expressed concern that the CPIO had "held back the RTI application for as long as one year seven months and sought to absolve himself of any responsibility by merely forwarding the Commission's show-cause notice and RTI application to the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India on June 1, 2010."

 

Agrawal had petitioned the Information Commission asking why his application of November 2008 had not received any reply from the Ministry. Agrawal had sought to know whether Cola drinks were considered a packaged drink and if so they why were the ingredients not printed on the containers. And why were they allowed to be sold when the ingredients were not mentioned?

 

But the RTI enquiry received no response from the Ministry and neither did a show-cause notice issued by Sandhu.

 

The CPIO did not attend the Information Commissioner's hearing at which she announced the imposition of the maximum allowable penalty against the official concerned.

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karira

As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 10 July 2010:

Cola firms reuse bottles, so can't list their ingredients - India - The Times of India

 

Cola firms reuse bottles, so can't list their ingredients

 

NEW DELHI: The government on Friday said cola firms must list nutritional value of their drinks on the bottle as per existing rules. The response, in reply to an RTI query, came after the Central Information Commission slapped a maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 on the ministry of food processing industry.

 

When asked why colas did not provide a list of ingredients on their bottles, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India CPIO Dhir Singh said, "Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, do not exempt cola drinks or carbonated water from declaring ingredients on the label. However, as per rule 32(1) relating to exemption from labelling requirements, it is provided that in case of liquid products marketed in bottles, if such bottle is intended to be reused for refilling, the requirement of list of ingredients shall be exempted, but the nutritional value... shall be given on the label."

 

The response came on an RTI plea filed by activist S C Agrawal. The CIC recently took note of the fact that the ministry had delayed giving information for as long as 18 months. Information commissioner Deepak Sandhu observed that the ministry was trying to "absolve itself of any responsibility" by forwarding the showcause notice to Food Safety and Standard Authority.

 

Sandhu imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 and directed that the Authority provide Agrawal with a reply in a month's time.

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