Activist moves CIC against NALCO for denying information

Bhubaneswar, Dec 3 : An Odisha activist Tuesday said he has moved the Central Information Commission against state-run aluminium maker Nalco for denying him information under the Right to Information Act.

Activist Akhand said he had field an RTI application Sep 19 to find out the name of foreign companies registered with the Nalco to buy alumina and aluminium, tenders floated by it and tenders awarded to the buyers and their shipment status.

Nalco denied the information saying that such details are of commercial confidence and thereby cannot be shared, the activist told IANS.

"I also filed another application Oct 3 to find out if the vigilance unit of the company is maintaining any records on the corruption charges against some of its former chairmen and directors, Akhand said.

"To my surprise, the company also refused to share this information", he added.

In response to his query, K.N. Ravindra, company secretary and Nalco's public information officer said no such record on the corruption charges was being maintained in the department.

Many senior Nalco officials have in the past shared the company's domestic sale and export details with media. A section of media recently reported that the company had struck a dubious deal with a foreign company this year, the activist said.

It is mandatory for a company to maintain transparency in its activities. The denial of such information was an attempt to conceal corruption, he said.

"Like any public sector enterprise, Nalco is supposed to ensure transparency, probity and integrity in such matters. Since such information is of larger public interest, I don't understand why Nalco is maintaining secrecy," he said.

"I have appealed the Central Information Commission against Nalco. I have sought direction to the Nalco to provide all the information free of cost. I have also sought imposition penalty on the company's public information officer for not providing the details, he added.

Nalco, headquartered in Bhubaneswar, is India's third largest aluminium maker.

--IANS (Posted on 03-12-2013)

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