CIC allows inspection of file on RIL

Rahul Mangaonkar, Times of India, August 3, 2008
AHMEDABAD: Did the Department of Industry Policy & Promotion (DIPP) consider the recommendation made by the Department of Chemicals and Fertilizers while giving the nod to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) for purchasing technology from Dow Chemical Company (DCC)?
This will now become clear as the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered DIPP to allow petitioner Dharmesh Shah to inspect the file giving approval for installation of ‘Unipol PP fluidized gas process technology’ at RIL units in Hazira and Jamnagar , under Right to Info r m at i o n (RTI) Act.
Shah had under RTI sought information on seven points pertaining to the proposals for foreign collaboration and approval given for installation of the Unipol PP technology at RIL units.
DCC took over Union Carbide (UC) in 2001 and Shah produced documents before CIC to point out that the gas process technology was the intellectual property of UC. And due to the Bhopal gas tragedy such technology cannot be freely allowed to be sold to an Indian company.
Shah stated that as UC is a criminal absconder in the eyes of Indian courts, the details of the technology tie-up between DCC and RIL be made public.
CIC found that while chemicals and fertilizers department had given this recommendation , it found no indication whether DIPP had taken this into account before giving approval.
Therefore CIC agreed there was a overriding public interest in the issue, and allowed Shah to inspect the files regarding approval.
rahul.mangaonkar@timesgroup .com

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