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NIPER directed to allow petitioner to inspect documents under RTI Act

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Joseph Alexander at pharmabiz.com on 22 December 2008


The Central Information Commission has directed the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Mohali, to allow an RTI activist to inspect the relevant documents after the institute failed to provide required information on many things including the working of the SMPIC centre.


The rare order of the Commission comes as another embarrassment to the premier pharma institution against which a number of allegations had been raised earlier by many including political leaders like Abani Roy. There was also criticism by many especially the small scale industry about the running of the much-wanted SMPIC which became a reality after the continued efforts by many like governing board member Lalit Kumar Jain, who is also the senior vice chairman of the SME Pharma Industries Confederation. It was alleged that the centre failed to deliver upto the expectations of the small scale sector to help them.


In his decision, professor M M Ansari, Central Information Commissioner has ordered, 'both the parties are expected to mutually decide a convenient date and time for inspection of records within 15 working days from the date of issue of this decision’ dated December 16. “It was agreed that the institute would allow inspection of the relevant documents so as to enable the appellant to identify and specify the information, which should be furnished to him, as per the provisions of the Act,” the order said.


The queries raised by RTI activist Anil Maheshwari included the number of meetings of Board of Governors (BOG) and various sub committees, held during the last five years vis –a- vis the minimum number of meetings as per acts and statues of NIPER, the issue of having minutes of BOG and all the sub-committees kept in the hard bound minutes books as per the act. He had also sought all relevant documents including applications submitted by candidates, order passed by the competent authority on those applications, the copies of appointment letters and minutes of the proceedings of the selection committee with regards to various appointments made by the NIPER during the tenure of the present and past directors of the body.


In the second application in May 09 he had asked for the proposed programme and funds allocated for running SMPIC centre at NIPER during 09 – 10 to the satisfaction of SME Pharma Sector along with the solutions to problems being faced by SME Pharma sectors for regulatory methods under schedule M and Good Laboratories Practices would be address to.


While replying to the questions, the NIPER had given some answers but could not part with many information as they were either 'voluminous’ or can be exempted from disclosure under the relevant sections. According to the answer, the BOG met nine times since 2005, but failed to specify how many meetings should be held during the period as per the laws.


Source: NIPER directed to allow petitioner to inspect documents under RTI Act - Research

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