Chief Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has ordered the Public Information Officer and Assistant Drug Controller of the Department of Drug Control to put up the details of substandard and spurious drugs detected by the Department every month.

Mr. Gandhi issued the directions and stated that a compliance report will be sent to the Commission before March 15, 2010.

The order came in an appeal filed by Ramesh Verma, a resident of Hissar, on October 20, 2009 in which he had sought information on three related issues. The petitioner had demanded to know the total number of medicines of which samples had been taken by the Drugs Department, Delhi from Health Centre under control of Delhi Government from January 2003 to October 2009.

He had also sought information on the details of such samples of medicines including the date on which the sample was taken, the total number of medicines of which sample was taken, and name of medicine, formulation and manufacturer among other things.

The petitioner had also asked how many medicines were found to be sub-standard or spurious in the tests. He had also demanded copies of the test report of samples, and full details of action taken against their manufactures.

The final query pertained to whether the Drugs Department had destroyed the samples found sub-standard or spurious during test by itself. And if so, it had asked for the date of destroying the medicines, name of the manufacturer of the medicine, type of method used to destroy, and name of the official before whom work of destroying done along with a Provide certified copy of the rules under which such matters are dealt.

In reply, the PIO had stated that the information relating to collection of drug samples is available in the form of sample registers maintained by the department on financial year basis from April to March.

Noting that the information sought by the appellant is not readily available in the form desired, he had stated that the appellant can therefore inspect the relevant pages of the sample register of the specific year and obtain the copies of the same after depositing the requisite fees in accordance with RTI Rules 2005.

However, the appellant did not agree to inspect the records and appealed further.

The Commission then directed that PIO to ensure that details of all samples which are found substandard by the inspector must be put up on the website every month giving details of date on which the sample was drawn, name of drug and name of manufacturer and action taken in the matter. This, it said, must be put up monthly before the 10th of the subsequent month starting with January 2010.

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