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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Right to Information in Sri Lanka: RTI Commission files action against Health Officials for failure to disclose ingredients of imported milk powder:

The Right to Information Commission has filed a case before Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court against two Information Officers attached to the Health Ministry for their failure to disclose the ingredients of imported milk powder.

On February 27, 2019, Dr. Nilan Fernando representing the People’s Movement for Free Health Service had filed an application requesting a report pertaining to the ingredients of imported milk powder. Subsequently, on September 24, 2021, the Right to Information Commission had taken a decision directing the Health Ministry to release this information to the applicant who sought access to information from a public authority in terms of section 3 of the Right to Information Act.

When the matter called before Colombo Chief Magistrate, Counsel Himalee Kularathna appearing for the Right to Information Commission made an application to issue summons on two accused for violating section 32(1), 32(3), 39(1) of the Right to Information Act read with section 32 of the Penal Code.

Being satisfied with the submissions made by the counsel for the Right to Information Commission, Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis issued summons ordering two Information Officers V.T.S. Siriwardena and J.C. Gamlath to appear in Court on March 21.

According to the section 39 of the Right to Information Act, upon conviction the guilty party will be liable to a fine not exceeding Rs.50,000 or to a imprisonment up to two years or to both such fine and imprisonment. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)/DM

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