RTI means Govt has to disclose info on corruption in even pvt firms: CIC
As Reported by Ganesh Pandey in Indian Express
Posted online: Friday, January 11, 2008 at 0106 hrs
The Central Information Commission (CIC) hasheld that the Government or a public authority, under the Right toInformation Act, has to provide information it has on any company, publicor private, despite the companyâ€™s refusal to part with such information.
Information commissioner M M Ansari said that a public authority cannottake refuge to â€œthird party exemptionâ€ under the RTI Act to denyinformation merely because the company concerned has not concurred withsuch disclosure.â€œA major concern of the RTI Act is to contain corruption. The disclosure ofinformation relating to corrupt practices of public/private companies is,therefore, largely in public interestâ€ the CIC observed.
The CICâ€™s order came on an appeal filed by Anil Kumar Sharma of Jabalpurwho sought certain information from Registrar of Companies (Ministry ofCompany Affairs) regarding a company of which he is a shareholder. In hisapplication, he alleged the company had been conducting its businessactivities in an â€œillegal mannerâ€ and has thus earned profit throughcorrupt practices.
The requisite information was denied on the grounds thatthe company concerned did not permit the disclosure of information askedfor by the appellant and hence cannot be divulged without expressconcurrence of the company.Rejecting this argument, the CIC said that as the matter pertained toalleged corruption, disclosure of information was largely in the publicinterest and any exemption under Section 8(1)(d) of the Act â€” whichprotects from disclosure, information relating to commercial confidence,trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harmthe competitive position of a third party â€” is untenable.
Directing the Registrar of Companies to acquire the information asked forand furnish it to the appellant within 15 days, the CIC said: â€œTheallegations made by the appellant about the illegal activities of theCompany in question should have been investigated by the competent body,mainly the Registrar of Companies.
However since this was not done, the appellant is advised to approach the competent authority to investigate the allegations made by him so as to find the facts in the matter.
By akhilesh yadav
HUDA pays over and over; clean-up bill Rs 61L
Reported by Yogesh Kumar in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on August 30, 2012
HUDA pays over and over; clean-up bill Rs 61L - The Times of India
Gurgaon: HUDA has claimed to have spent over Rs 61 lakh in three months for sanitation and cleaning up of roads in over eight sectors in Gurgaon.
In its reply to an RTI filed by Raman Sharma, HUDA gave area-wise details of the expenditure and payments made for sanitation and clean-up works on roads and sectors by private contractors. In the first three months, Rs 17 lakh, Rs 17 lakh and Rs 26 lakh were paid to over a dozen different contractors.
According to HUDA's response, between January and March, Sheetla Mata road and Palam Vihar road was cleaned up by different contractors five times.
"The condition of these two roads, however, has not improved much but HUDA kept on paying the contractor again and again without checking the quality of work," said Sharma. In January the two roads were cleaned twice by two different contractors.
The RTI reply stated that in January HUDA paid O P Sharma Contractors Rs 4.47 lakh for working in Sectors 5, 6, 12, 12A,18, Sheetla Mata Mandir Road and Palam Vihar Road. Interestingly, the same month another contractor Ansh Enterprises was paid Rs 4.91 lakh for carrying out sanitation and cleaning up of the roads in 12, 12A, 5 and Sheetla Mata Mandir Road and Palam Vihar Road.
In the same month another contractor, M/s Ram Premi Contractor, was paid Rs 4.69 lakh for working in Sector 22 alone.
In February, roads in Sectors 22, 23, 23A, 5, 12 and 12A were cleaned up by different contractors. The two roads, Sheetla Mata and Palam Vihar, were also cleaned up. The RTI reply also revealed that the contractor, Ram Premi, alone was paid thrice, totally over Rs 8 lakh for cleaning up 23 and 23A. "It is worth noticing that all the work was sanctioned on the same day (23 January 2012) for Sector 23 and 23A. The HUDA officials blindly sanctioned the works and made the payments," said the RTI activist.
The expenditure swelled drastically in March and rose to Rs 26 lakh for the eight sectors falling under HUDA division (2). The maximum payment, Rs 4.97 lakh to B P Sharma Contractor for cleaning up roads was made for Sectors 3, 6, 5, 12A and Sheetla Mata Mandir Road.
Work on Sector 22 roads was given twice to another contractor, Dharamvir Singh Contractor, and payments of Rs 4 lakh and Rs 3.04 lakh were made by HUDA. The same contractor was paid Rs 2.51 lakh for clean-up work in March this year.