This is the literal translation of a news item that appeared in a local daily "Pudhari" dtd the 04th of July'06
Pune Municipal corporation "PMC" has used Right to Information act to obtain information from sales tax dept.
PMC's efforts to obtain information about turnover of some merchants failed. The Octroi dept of PMC knew that many merchants smuggle their goods into Pune without paying octroi. So the PMC wanted to ask about the sales tax paid by these merchants, but all their efforts failed, sales tax dept was not cooperating, so finally they used RTI to obtain such information.
Initially they filed a requisition asking information of sales tax paid by cloth merchants, and they got the information within 30 days and then they filed requisitions about plywood, hardware ,electrical merchants etc. And due to this information income of octroi dept has increased.
I hope all the municipal corporation in India will learn lesson from this example!!!!
NEW DELHI, APR 13: In a verdict which may have a far-reaching consequence in the future, the Central Information Commission (CIC) on Friday directed the department of bio-technology (DBT) to make public the data generated from the tests carried out on transgenic crops by agro-biotech companies.
Chief commissioner Wajahat Habibullah delivered this right to information (RTI) power-punch, in response to an petition filed by Greenpeace India, after the review committee on genetic modification (RCGM) under DBT consistently refused to part with this closely guarded secret for over a year. Striking down the DBT's contention that the data falls under Section 8.1.(d), Habibullah pointed out that the request of the applicant for toxicity and allergenicity tests on genetically modified (GM) rice, mustard, okra and brinjal cannot be refused under the RTI Act. Any further grounds for non-disclosure are invalid even if the data in reference are in the process of development. The information was also directed to be disclosed under section 4. (1). (d) of the RTI Act, which states " provide reasons for its administrative or quasi judicial decisions to affected persons.â€ Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan who appeared pleaded before the CIC on behalf of Greenpeace India said,â€ The Commission's order is significant as past experience shows that RCGM has not used the right kind of protocols for bio-safety testing". In February, last year, Greenpeace India had requested the RCGM to make public the toxicity and allergenicity data for four GM crops alongwith the minutes of the meeting. "Our victory today is in keeping with the spirit of the RTI, and has only strengthened the RTI as a tool to building a participatory democracy, " Divya Raghunandan of Greenpeace India.
Info body gives bio-tech dept a RTI power-punch