The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show-cause notices to two central government environment ministry officials for not disclosing information on a GM mustard crop in violation of an earlier order from the CIC
The Indian government doesn’t appear to want to disclose biosafety information on the GM mustard that’s being considered for commercialisation.
Such secrecy naturally breeds mistrust and concern over what they could be hiding.
Show-cause notice to Environment Ministry over GM mustard
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued show-cause notices to two Union environment ministry officials for not disclosing information on a genetically modified mustard crop in violation of an earlier order from the CIC.
Information Commissioner M Sridhar Acharyulu, asked the officers, P Saranya and Madhumita Biswas, to show cause why the maximum penalty should not be imposed against each of them for non-compliance with the Right to Information Act.
"The commission has every authority to enforce the RTI of appellant (an anti-GM activist), which was violated by these two officers, by not complying with the orders of CIC, and also breached their own undertaking to give the information within two months,” says the August 12 CIC order.
This comes four months after CIC asked the environment ministry to release the biosafety data on the trials of GM mustard to the public to ensure that confidential information is in the public domain.
The indigenous GM crop, developed by scientists at Delhi University, is under the government's consideration for commercial release. However, the activists are up in arms against the genetically engineered mustard.
The information commissioner said Saranya and Biswas sought extension without putting forward any substantive reason and failed to offer any specific time for furnishing the same.